CIPFA Council Tax benchmarking club - Questionnaire

The request was partially successful.

Dear North Lincolnshire Council,

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

Yours faithfully,

Fran Conatra

FIN - FOI,

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    2012 CIPFA Council Tax Benchmarking Club Questionnaire.xlsx

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Dear Fran Conatra

I refer to your recent Freedom of Information Request which was received
on the 13th March into North Lincolnshire Council.

Please find attached copies of the Council Tax CIPFA benchmarking club
questionnaires from 2012-2016; unfortunately we do not have copies of this
questionnaire for prior dates.

I trust this is a satisfactory response, but if you are unhappy about how
we have dealt with your request then please let me know and I will refer
the matter to the council’s [1]Information Complaints Policy. 
Alternatively you can complain by e-mail using the following email
address: [email address].

FOI, Financial Systems & Accounting, Northern Lincolnshire Business
Connect

[2][email address]

Finance Partners - Copy

[3]www.nelincs.gov.uk | [4]www.northlincs.gov.uk

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Dear FIN - 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 data as zero (arrangements) 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 the arrangements would not be zero:

"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 £918,000 (the same spreadsheet). The calculation provided in another request gives a figure of around £650,000 to be the aggregate of issuing summons and liability orders. Is it correct that 70% of the total budget is attributable to applying for court orders?

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

FIN - FOI,

Dear Fran Conatra

Thank you for the below email

Unfortunately we are unable to proceed with your request without further clarification. This clarity is required around your final statement:

'The calculation provided in another request gives a figure of around £650,000 to be the aggregate of issuing summons and liability orders. Is it correct that 70% of the total budget is attributable to applying for court orders?'

Can you please advise of where this figure is from?

In line with North Lincolnshire Council policy, the 20 working days for your request has been placed on hold until your response has been received. If we do not receive a response within 30 days of this email, we will terminate your enquiry. You are within your rights to resubmit your request at a later date however it will be handled as a new request.

Thank you in anticipation

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InfoRequest, North Lincolnshire Council

2 Attachments

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From: North Lincolnshire Council Customer Services <[email address]>
Sent: 12 April 2018 10:17
To: InfoRequest
Subject: Notification of submission - Freedom of Information request form
- (INF72702999)
 
An instance of the Freedom of Information request form form has been
submitted on . The reference number is INF72702999.

A copy of the completed form has been attached to this email as a .PDF
file.

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

Dear FIN - FOI,

The link to the calculation I referred to is here.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

The exact amount is £648,351 which is the sum of the two totals £551,867 and £96,484 (cells F20 and F38).

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

Dear InfoRequest,

I am questioning whether an email which was sent to me yesterday was meant to be for someone else.

Can you please advise. The following was asked in the email.

"Is this request made under: Freedom of Information Act"

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

Dear InfoRequest,

Will you please confirm that the further clarification I provided in response to your request on 12 April 2018 was sufficient for the council to proceed.

I ask because I queried an email which I suspected was sent to me in error but received no response.

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

InfoRequest, North Lincolnshire Council

Thank you for contacting North Lincolnshire Council.

"Your original request INF70265243 was closed once the response was issued and a new reference number INF72702999 was given to the clarification email, which is still an ongoing request."

Regards
Customer Service
________________________________________
From: Fran Conatra <[FOI #470546 email]>
Sent: 25 April 2018 08:42
To: InfoRequest
Subject: Re: Fw: Notification of submission - Freedom of Information request form - (INF72702999)

Dear InfoRequest,

Will you please confirm that the further clarification I provided in response to your request on 12 April 2018 was sufficient for the council to proceed.

I ask because I queried an email which I suspected was sent to me in error but received no response.

Yours sincerely,

Fran Conatra

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Dear FIN - FOI,

Thank you. You have stated the following.

"Ø 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 70% 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

InfoRequest, North Lincolnshire Council

2 Attachments

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

From: North Lincolnshire Council Customer Services <[email address]>
Sent: 11 May 2018 11:55
To: InfoRequest
Subject: Notification of submission - Freedom of Information request form
- (INF75332145)
 
An instance of the Freedom of Information request form form has been
submitted on . The reference number is INF75332145.

A copy of the completed form has been attached to this email as a .PDF
file.

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

FIN - FOI,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Conatra

I refer to your recent Freedom of Information Request which was received
on the 11^th May into North Lincolnshire Council.

You have queried the below prior response:

·       The total cost of collecting council tax for the period 2014/15 is
£918,000 (the same spreadsheet). The calculation provided in another
request gives a figure of around £650,000 to be the aggregate of issuing
summons and liability orders. Is it correct that 70% of the total budget
is attributable to applying for court orders?

Ø  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 70% of the total budget is
attributable to applying court costs.

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.

None of the figures from either of the  data sources will correspond as
the percentage calculation made is against figures from two different
years, one for 2014/15 (actuals) and the other for 2017/18 (estimate) and
therefore these are not directly comparable and it is not appropriate to
perform the calculation to achieve an accurate percentage figure.

The £918k figure quoted in the CIPFA return is calculated after
enforcement income is deducted; the figure to calculate a percentage from
would more accurately be the gross costs, which for 2014/15 is shown on
the return as £1,462k.

The relevant percentages for 2017/18 are actually included within the
2017/18 estimate figures within the summons cost calculations. Work
specifically related to the summons is 27% of the Council Tax team, 70% of
the Debt Recovery team and 20% of the Control and Monitoring Team. A
further 10% of Debt Recovery Team time and Control and Monitoring Team
time is also charged for liability orders. The overall percentage is
£648,351/£1,378,280 = 47%.

I trust this is a satisfactory response, but if you are unhappy about how
we have dealt with your request then please let me know and I will refer
the matter to the council’s [1]Information Complaints Policy. 
Alternatively you can complain by e-mail using the following email
address: [email address].

FOI, Financial Systems & Accounting, Northern Lincolnshire Business
Connect

[2][email address]

cid:image001.jpg@01D32656.EF268B80

[3]www.nelincs.gov.uk | [4]www.northlincs.gov.uk

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