Carmarthenshire County Council investments + accounts; Dyfed Pension Fund investments

The request was partially successful.

Dear Carmarthenshire County Council,

1. What “specified investments” (i.e. “sterling investments of not more than one-year maturity”) did Carmarthenshire County Council (“CCC”) hold during the financial years 2017-18; 2018-19; 2019-20; 2020-21; 2021-22? Kindly provide an exhaustive list.

2. What “non-financial assets (including loans and other non-specified investments) which the organisation holds primarily for financial reasons, such as investment property portfolios” did CCC make during the financial years 2017-18; 2018-19; 2019-20; 2020-21; 2021-22? Kindly provide an exhaustive list. This must include but not be limited to “loans supporting service outcomes, investments in subsidiaries, and investment property portfolios”.

3. Kindly provide an exhaustive list of approved counterparties for non-specified investments, correct at 31st March in each of the following years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022.

4. What insurance fund(s) if any is CCC able to claim from in the event of anticipated/scheduled Council Tax payments being delayed and/or not being (partially or fully) received?

5. Kindly state the total number of all bank accounts to which CCC holds legal title and/or has use, and state individually (i.e. one by one) the specific purpose of each and every bank account.

6. What was the CCC contribution rate (i.e. specifically CCC as an employer) to the Dyfed Pension Fund for each of the most recent ten financial years to 2021-22? (i.e. from 2012-13 to 2021-22 inclusive).

7.
(i) What bank account(s) does CCC hold for receipt of payments made to the Dyfed Pension Fund (i.e. payments made to Dyfed Pension Fund from any party, into account(s) held by CCC)?
(ii) What else is this account/are these accounts used for?
(iii) Who holds legal title to it/them?

8. Has it ever been the case that CCC has held, in the same account, funds pertaining to more than one of the following three purposes?
(a) Council Tax revenues (whether received directly from taxpayers or indirectly from government payments subsequent to Council Tax payments made by taxpayers to central government-held accounts);
(b) the Dyfed Pension Fund; and/or
(c) CCC’s own investments and cash flow operations.

9. Are there any statutory or regulatory reasons why funds pertaining to any partial combination of Council Tax revenues, the Dyfed Pension Fund, and CCC’s own investments and cash flow operations may not be held in the same account? If so, what are these reasons? Kindly provide reference to specific statutory legislation/regulations.

10. What insurance fund(s) if any is Dyfed Pension Fund able to claim from in the event of anticipated/scheduled employer contributions being delayed and/or not received in part or whole?

11. Kindly state Dyfed Pension Fund’s total investment in Pharmaceuticals for each of the financial years 2017-18; 2018-19; 2019-20; 2020-21; 2021-22.

12. How has the Dyfed Pension Fund taken into account human rights, in relation to its investment in the tobacco industry and the weaponry/arms manufacture industry, in accordance with its Responsible Investment Policy, specifically the section on ‘Human Rights’ which states that “The Committee recognises that it has an obligation to respect human rights… and to encourage good practice which protects against violation and exploitation” and with respect to Articles 2, 3 and 14 (among others) of the European Convention on Human Rights? Kindly provide evidence of this issue being addressed and/or discussed, for example in meetings, memoranda, press releases, newsletters etc.

Yours faithfully,

james orme

FOIA, Carmarthenshire County Council

Diolch am eich gohebiaeth.

Os ydych yn gwneud cais am wybodaeth, bydd y cyfnodau isod yn berthnasol:

Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 (DRhG) a’r Rheoliadau Gwybodaeth
Amgylcheddol 2004 (RhGA) - 20 diwrnod gwaith, oni bai bod angen eglurhad
arnom ynghylch y wybodaeth yr ydych yn gofyn amdano. 

O ganlyniad i’r sefyllfa bresennol gyda'r firws COVID-19 a'r effaith ar
rai o wasanaethau'r Cyngor, gall fod angen i flaenoriaethu ceisiadau DRhG
a RhGA, yn dibynnu ar y wybodaeth y gofynnir amdani. Ymddiheurwn am hyn.

Deddf Diogelu Data 2018 a’r GDPR (ceisiadau am ddata personol) – un mis ar
ôl derbyn y cais.

Os bydd angen eglurhad arnom ar unrhyw agwedd o’ch cais, byddwn yn
cysylltu â chi mor gynted ag y bo modd.

 

 

Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

 

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Dear Carmarthenshire County Council,

We refer you to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Section 10 :

Time for compliance with request.
(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt.

Your response is overdue, in contravention of s.10; nevertheless your compliance with section 1(1) is still required and we expect you to rectify immediately your failure to provide this information in accordance with the legislation by which you are bound.

Yours faithfully,

james orme

FOIA, Carmarthenshire County Council

Diolch am eich gohebiaeth.

Os ydych yn gwneud cais am wybodaeth, bydd y cyfnodau isod yn berthnasol:

 Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 (DRhG) a’r Rheoliadau Gwybodaeth
Amgylcheddol 2004 (RhGA) - 20 diwrnod gwaith, oni bai bod angen eglurhad
arnom ynghylch y wybodaeth yr ydych yn gofyn amdano.

 Deddf Diogelu Data 2018 a Rheoliad Cyffredinol ar Ddiogelu Data y DU
(ceisiadau ynghylch data personol) – un mis ar ôl derbyn y cais.

Os bydd angen eglurhad arnom ar unrhyw agwedd o’ch cais, byddwn yn
cysylltu â chi mor gynted ag y bo modd.

Thank you for your correspondence.

If you are making a request for information, the following timescales will
apply:

 Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) & Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIR) - 20 working days, unless we need clarification
regarding the information you are seeking.

 Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR (requests relating to personal data) –
one month from the receipt of the request.

If we do need to clarify any aspect of your request, we will contact you
as soon as possible.

Tîm Rheoli Gwybodaeth | Information Governance Team
Gweithrediadau a Llywodraethu TG | ICT Operations & Governance
Adran y Prif Weithredwr | Chief Executive’s Department

Mae croeso i chi gysylltu â ni yn Gymraeg neu Saesneg |
You are welcome to contact us in Welsh or English

FOIA, Carmarthenshire County Council

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Orme,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 29^th
August 2022 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. We apologise for the delay in responding to you on this.

We will now respond to your request in the order it was presented using
numbered points as headings for ease of reference.

1. What “specified investments” (i.e. “sterling investments of not more
than one-year maturity”) did Carmarthenshire County Council (“CCC”) hold
during the financial years 2017-18; 2018-19; 2019-20; 2020-21; 2021-22?
Kindly provide an exhaustive list.

Please refer to the attached Excel file ‘Specified Investments’. Data for
each year requested is provided on separate tabs.

2. What “non-financial assets (including loans and other non-specified
investments) which the organisation holds primarily for financial reasons,
such as investment property portfolios” did CCC make during the financial
years 2017-18; 2018-19; 2019-20; 2020-21; 2021-22? Kindly provide an
exhaustive list. This must include but not be limited to “loans supporting
service outcomes, investments in subsidiaries, and investment property
portfolios”.

We would be grateful for further clarification regarding precisely what
items of information are required here.

3. Kindly provide an exhaustive list of approved counterparties for
non-specified investments, correct at 31st March in each of the following
years: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022.

Please see the attached PDF approved counterparty lists, for each year
requested.

4. What insurance fund(s) if any is CCC able to claim from in the event of
anticipated/scheduled Council Tax payments being delayed and/or not being
(partially or fully) received?

The Council does not have an insurance policy in place to respond to
events of this nature.

5. Kindly state the total number of all bank accounts to which CCC holds
legal title and/or has use, and state individually (i.e. one by one) the
specific purpose of each and every bank account.

• CCC Cash Cheque Account – bank account used for CCC payments
• CCC Income Account – bank account used for CCC income
• CCC Creditors Account – bank account used for CCC payments
• CCC Housing Benefits Account – bank account used for Housing Benefits
income
• CCC Pensions Expenditure Account – bank account used for Pension Fund
payments
• CCC Pensions Income Account – bank account used for Pension Fund
income
• CCC Benefits Social Care Account – bank account used Social Care
Benefit related transactions
• CCC Payroll Account – bank account used for CCC payroll
• CCC Moneymaster Account – cash balances swept at end of day in to
Moneymaster account
• CCC Pensions Payroll Account – bank account used for Pension Fund
payroll
• Santander Rent Account – Income received when made through Post
Office. Swept to Barclays Bank accounts automatically.
• Santander Council Tax Account – Income received when made through Post
Office. Swept to Barclays Bank accounts automatically.

6. What was the CCC contribution rate (i.e. specifically CCC as an
employer) to the Dyfed Pension Fund for each of the most recent ten
financial years to 2021-22? (i.e. from 2012-13 to 2021-22 inclusive).

Year Contribution Rate
2021-22 18.0%
2020-21 18.0%
2019-20 18.0%
2018-19 17.8%
2017-18 17.7%
2016-17 17.6%
2015-16 17.2%
2014-15 16.9%
2013-14 16.6%
2012-13 16.6%

7.

(i) What bank account(s) does CCC hold for receipt of payments made to the
Dyfed Pension Fund (i.e. payments made to Dyfed Pension Fund from any
party, into account(s) held by CCC)?

Carmarthenshire County Council Pensions Income Account.

(ii) What else is this account/are these accounts used for?

The Carmarthenshire County Council Pensions Income Account is only used
for the receipt of Pension Fund related income, for example pension
contributions, transfers in to the scheme and pension investment income.

(iii) Who holds legal title to it/them?

Carmarthenshire County Council.

8. Has it ever been the case that CCC has held, in the same account, funds
pertaining to more than one of the following three purposes?

(a) Council Tax revenues (whether received directly from taxpayers or
indirectly from government payments subsequent to Council Tax payments
made by taxpayers to central government-held accounts);

(b) the Dyfed Pension Fund; and/or

(c) CCC’s own investments and cash flow operations

From time to time, the Council will hold funds during a month, however,
they are transferred at the end of each month.

9. Are there any statutory or regulatory reasons why funds pertaining to
any partial combination of Council Tax revenues, the Dyfed Pension Fund,
and CCC’s own investments and cash flow operations may not be held in the
same account? If so, what are these reasons? Kindly provide reference to
specific statutory legislation/regulations.

Pension Funds must maintain separate bank accounts for Pension Fund
transactions to be processed separately to Administering Authorities (i.e.
Carmarthenshire County Council) by virtue of the Local Government Pension
Scheme (Management and Investment of Pension Funds) Regulations 2009.

10. What insurance fund(s) if any is Dyfed Pension Fund able to claim from
in the event of anticipated/scheduled employer contributions being delayed
and/or not received in part or whole?

No insurance funds or policies are in place. New employers must either
provide a Bond, or have a Guarantor to be admitted to Scheme.

11. Kindly state Dyfed Pension Fund’s total investment in Pharmaceuticals
for each of the financial years 2017-18; 2018-19; 2019-20; 2020-21;
2021-22.

WPP have provided the investments for year ending March 2021 and 2022.

Baillie Gifford and Columbia Threadneedle were Fund Managers during
2017-18 and 2018-19 until WPP’s launch. The Council does not hold this
information for those Fund Managers.

Year (as at 31^st March) BlackRock Wales Pension Partnership
2021-22 £91,942,242.42 180,735,633.44
2020-21 £67,926,521.93 149,266,820.18
2019-20 £74,909,973.55 WPP launched during 2019 so again
N/A
2018-19 £70,682,505.27 N/A
2017-18 £54,571,619.53 N/A

12. How has the Dyfed Pension Fund taken into account human rights, in
relation to its investment in the tobacco industry and the weaponry/arms
manufacture industry, in accordance with its Responsible Investment
Policy, specifically the section on ‘Human Rights’ which states that “The
Committee recognises that it has an obligation to respect human rights…
and to encourage good practice which protects against violation and
exploitation” and with respect to Articles 2, 3 and 14 (among others) of
the European Convention on Human Rights? Kindly provide evidence of this
issue being addressed and/or discussed, for example in meetings,
memoranda, press releases, newsletters etc.

Fund Managers engage with Companies on Dyfed Pension Fund’s behalf. Robeco
has been appointed as Voting and Engagement provider for WPP investments.

Yours sincerely

Tîm Rheoli Gwybodaeth | Information Governance Team

Gweithrediadau a Llywodraethu TG | ICT Operations & Governance

Adran y Prif Weithredwr | Chief Executive’s Department

Mae croeso i chi gysylltu â ni yn Gymraeg neu Saesneg |

You are welcome to contact us in Welsh or English

signature_201305547

Dear FOIA,

I acknowledge receipt of your response, which was completed outside of the legally permitted timeframe as per the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Further, I acknowledge your receipt for further clarification in respect of one item (viz. #2); and I draw your attention to two responses which are not compliant (viz. #5 and #12).

To assist you in answering item #2, please note the term "non-financial assets" as a subset of the term "investments" in the following excerpt from a Carmarthenshire County Council ("CCC") meeting of 2nd March 2022 “Report of the Director of Corporate Services: Treasury Management Policy and Strategy 2022-2023”:

“This Council defines its Treasury Management activities as: The management of the Council’s borrowing, investments and cash flows, its banking, money market and capital market transactions and the effective control of the risks associated with those activities, and the pursuit of optimum performance consistent with those risks. ‘Investments’ in the definition above covers all the financial assets of the organisation, as well as other non-financial assets (including loans and other non-specified investments) which the organisation holds primarily for financial returns, such as investment property portfolios. This may therefore include investments which are not managed as part of normal treasury management or under treasury management delegations. All investments require consideration of appropriate investment management and the risk management framework under this Revised CIPFA Treasury Management Code of Practice 2017.”

As such, you are best placed to identify and then disclose an exhaustive list of the precise items of information required, but we can ascertain the following in relation to non-financial assets:

* they may include loans and other non-specified investments;
* they are held primarily for financial returns;
* they may include investment property porfolios;
* they may include investments not managed as part of "normal treasury management" or under "treasury management delegations".

Please note that, for the purpose of this clarification, the verb "include" is employed with its "everyday" meaning in plain simple English; i.e. including but not necessarily limited to.

In relation to item #5, your response is appreciated but it stops short of stating "the total number of all bank accounts to which CCC holds legal title and/or has use". Please confirm the number and, if this requires the addition of any accounts not previously stated, kindly add the description of any such accounts.

In relation to #12, it is apparent that you have not answered the question with a relevant response. You seem to be saying that "fund managers" - here, "Robeco" - are the party directly involved in selecting investments on behalf of Dyfed Pension Fund. This gives no particular indication that Robeco has given any consideration to human rights, which is what the question was about, consistent with Dyfed Pension Fund's own policy on "Responsible Investment", which includes a section on "Human Rights". Furthermore, by your own admission, Robeco would be acting "on Dyfed Pension Fund's behalf", i.e. acting as an agent of Dyfed Pension Fund, whose administrators have the role of trustee. Therefore you are required to provide evidence of how the trustee's paper claims pertaining to Human Rights and Responsible Investment translate into practice, given the Fund's considerable investment in the tobacco industry and the arms industry.

Thank you in advance for your prompt, full and non-misleading disclosure of the requested information.

Yours sincerely,

james orme

Dear Carmarthenshire County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Carmarthenshire County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Carmarthenshire County Council investments + accounts; Dyfed Pension Fund investments'.

Please refer to my response of 3 October 2022 (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...) and treat the content therein as the detail which requires your Internal Review.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

james orme

Robert Edgecombe, Carmarthenshire County Council

Dear Mr Orme,

I write with regard to your above information request and in particular
your email of the 7^th October 2022 in which you asked

“Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Carmarthenshire County
Council's handling of my FOI request 'Carmarthenshire County Council
investments + accounts; Dyfed Pension Fund investments'.

Please refer to my response of 3 October 2022
([1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...)
and treat the content therein as the detail which requires your Internal
Review.”

I will be conducting this internal review and ordinarily would seek to
conclude it within 20 working days, that is by the 4^th November. However
as I am on leave the week commencing 31^st October I would be grateful if
you would agree to my having until 5pm on Friday 11^th November to
complete it instead.

Yours sincerely

Robert Edgecombe

References

Visible links
1. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Dear Robert Edgecombe,

Thank you for your response.

In principle I have no objection to your request for additional time in view of your leave arrangements, though I would point out that my response of 3 October 2022 was clear in stating in its opening that the responses to two items (viz. #5 and #12) were not compliant in terms of their content - in addition to the entire response having been completed outside of the 20-working day timeframe.

ICO guidance states that "A requestor does not have to ask for an internal review explicitly", and that from your perspective "(i)f you receive a complaint which seeks to challenge the outcome of your initial response then you should treat this as a request for an internal review".

My additional message of 7 October 2022, explicitly requesting an "internal review", was intended to ensure there would be no further delays in respect of this request.

Therefore I think it reasonable to request that the internal review be completed within 20 working days of 3 October 2022, which would be 31 October 2022, or effectively 5pm on 7 November 2022 to accommodate your leave arrangements.

Yours sincerely,

james orme

Robert Edgecombe, Carmarthenshire County Council

Dear Mr Orme,

Thank you for your email, the contents of which I note.

I will endeavour to work to the timescales set out.

Regards
Robert Edgecombe

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