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CIPFA Council Tax benchmarking club - Questionnaire

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Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Please disclose completed Council Tax CIPFA benchmarking club questionnaires for all years since 2008 to present.

Yours faithfully,

Francis

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been allocated the reference number NELC/8155/1718.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at:
https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor... .

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

North East Lincolnshire Council

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Dear PPD - FOI,

This request is delayed. According to the law a response should have been provide by 2 March 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

9 Attachments

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Thank you for your information request, reference number 8155_1718.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

 

Please disclose completed Council Tax CIPFA benchmarking club
questionnaires for all years since 2008 to present.

 

Please see attached questionnaires as requested.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you for the information. I have a query about the data provided under Item 4(d) of the questionnaire. For example, the spreadsheet relating to 2015 provides no data for the number of Special arrangements 'pre' and 'post' liability order. However, under "Text Questions" (Item 11) the following is stated in answer to one of the questions which suggests that there are arrangements and there should be data supplied relating to them:

"Staff continue to be flexible with instalments/arrangements, removing costs incurred at the end of a successful arrangement period."

Also the total cost of collecting council tax for the period 2014/15 is £741,000 (the same spreadsheet). The calculation provided on the council's website for the corresponding year gives a figure of £630,530 to be the aggregate of issuing summons and liability orders. Is it correct that 85% of the total budget is attributable to applying for court orders?

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

I am pleased to acknowledge your further request for information, which has been allocated the reference number NELC/8155/1718.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at:
https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

North East Lincolnshire Council

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PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Thank you for your further correspondence in relation to information
request, reference number 8155_1718.

 

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following
information.

 

Thank you for the information. I have a query about the data provided
under Item 4(d) of the questionnaire. For example, the spreadsheet
relating to 2015 provides no data for the number of Special arrangements
'pre' and 'post' liability order. However, under "Text Questions" (Item
11) the following is stated in answer to one of the questions which
suggests that there are arrangements and there should be data supplied
relating to them:

 

"Staff continue to be flexible with instalments/arrangements, removing
costs incurred at the end of a successful arrangement period."

 

·         The number of special arrangements entered into by the authority
is not  easily quantifiable as accounts can move between enforcement
stages on a daily basis – as such this information is not available within
the appropriate limit.

 

We have estimated, that the time required for the activities needed to
locate, retrieve and extract the information you have requested would
exceed the appropriate limit of £450 (18 hours).

 

For each record we will need to locate the file and there is a minimum of
43,000. We have estimated it would take approximately 5 minutes per record
to find the information, equating to approximately 3583 hours or a cost of
£89,575 based on an hourly rate of £25 per hour.

 

Under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a public
authority is not obliged to comply with a request where the estimated cost
of doing so would exceed the appropriate limit. The Council’s Charging
Policy for information requests, which clearly sets out our
responsibilities and how the charging policy is applied, is available on
our website at:
[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

 

We will therefore not be complying with your request, at this time by
virtue of section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act, as to do so would
exceed the appropriate limit of £450.

 

As a Council we are committed to the Freedom of Information Act and are
happy to support where ever possible any request for information we
receive. We would like to offer you our advice and assistance to refine
your request, so the appropriate limit will not be exceeded and the
information can be provided free of charge. 

 

We are unable to identify any way the information required to be searched
could be reduced as the accounts are in a constantly fluid state and every
account outstanding would need to be checked to see what accounts have
been at an arrangement.

 

Also the total cost of collecting council tax for the period 2014/15 is
£741,000 (the same spreadsheet). The calculation provided on the council's
website for the corresponding year gives a figure of £630,530 to be the
aggregate of issuing summons and liability orders. Is it correct that 85%
of the total budget is attributable to applying for court orders?

 

·         The two figures quoted are not comparable as each incorporates
different components and the figures relate to different financial years.
In answer to the query it is not correct that 85% of the total budget is
attributable to applying court costs.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

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Dear PPD - FOI,

Thank you. You have stated the following.

"The two figures quoted are not comparable as each incorporates different components and the figures relate to different financial years. In answer to the query it is not correct that 85% of the total budget is attributable to applying court costs."

It would have been helpful if the council explained its response. Under the heading, "what should we do when we receive a request for information" of the ICO guidance https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui... it states the following.

"Under the Act, if you have information in your records that answers the question you should provide it in response to the request"

Can you please provide whatever information that answers the question, for example regarding the different components and state which figures correspond to the same financial year.

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

I am pleased to acknowledge your correspondence and wish to confirm that an Internal Review of the handling of your Information Request NELC/8155/1819 is to take place.

The Internal Review has been passed to the relevant department for processing and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

North East Lincolnshire Council

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