Cllr Oxby's Handling of alleged Misconduct in a Public Office

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, North East Lincolnshire Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Allegations of Misconduct in a Public Office were made about the Council's Chief Executive and Monitoring Officers in a letter dated 10 August 2016:

https://[potentially defamatory material removed]

Regarding these allegations and the amended disciplinary process that came into force on 11 May 2015 (SI 2015/881), will the council please provide information held in relation to the process and considerations made by the independent panel,

for example,

- which officers sat on the panel
- conclusions of the investigation
- representations from the officers concerned

Yours faithfully,

Sam Davis (Ms)

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Ms Davis

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number NELC/5991/1718.

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:

[1]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 on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

Thank you for your information request reference 5991_1718. I can confirm
that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following information.

 

Request: Regarding these allegations and the amended disciplinary process
that came into force on 11 May 2015 (SI 2015/881), will the council please
provide information held in relation to the process and considerations
made by the independent panel,

 

Following receipt of the letter dated 10th August 2016, the matter was not
considered by Independent Panel because the Leader of the Council referred
it to Humberside Constabulary for external investigation as it alleged
criminal behaviour by senior officials at the Council.  On 19th November
2016, the Police confirmed that they had investigated the allegations and
had found no evidence pertaining to dishonesty on behalf of the council or
allegations of perjury.  Given this finding, no further action was
required or is proposed therefore no recorded information is held
regarding the disciplinary process in relation to this matter.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dear PPD - FOI,

I assume the 19 November 2016 letter is the one in this link:

https://[potentially defamatory material removed]

If so there is nothing in the letter that would remotely satisfy the council that the police did in fact carry out any investigations. More to the point the contents indicate that Humberside police were complicit.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Davis

Dear PPD - FOI,

'On 19th November 2016, the Police confirmed that they had investigated the allegations and had found no evidence pertaining to dishonesty on behalf of the council or allegations of perjury.'

a) What evidence was provided the council satisfying it that the police had investigated the allegations and that no evidence was found pertaining to dishonesty on behalf of the council or allegations of perjury?

b) What if any legal action has the Council taken (or intends to take) against the person making the false allegations?

Yours sincerely,

Sam Davis

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/6442/1718.

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:

[1]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 on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

 

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

Thank you for your information request reference 6442_1718. I can confirm
that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following information.

 

a) What evidence was provided the council satisfying it that the police
had investigated the allegations and that no evidence was found pertaining
to dishonesty on behalf of the council or allegations of perjury?

 

Humberside Constabulary wrote to the Leader of the Council on 19^th
November 2016 confirming that they had investigated the allegations and
had found no evidence pertaining to dishonesty on behalf of the council or
allegations of perjury.

 

b) What if any legal action has the Council taken (or intends to take)
against the person making the false allegations?

 

The only recorded information held by North East Lincolnshire Council
regarding this matter is contained within the letter to the individual.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear PPD - FOI,

"Humberside Constabulary wrote to the Leader of the Council on 19th November 2016 confirming that they had investigated the allegations and had found no evidence pertaining to dishonesty on behalf of the council or allegations of perjury......The only recorded information held by North East Lincolnshire Council regarding this matter is contained within the letter to the individual."

If that letter (containing no evidence of an investigation) is the only recorded information held by the Council regarding the matter, then what basis was there for the relevant officer being satisfied that the allegations were unfounded?

Yours sincerely,

Sam Davis

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

Thank you for your further enquiry in relation to information request
reference 6442_1718. I can confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council
holds no further recorded information.

 

It may be helpful if I explain that the Freedom of Information Act (2000)
gives individuals and organisations the right of access to all types of
recorded information held, at the time the request is received, by public
authorities such as North East Lincolnshire Council. Section 84 of the Act
states that in order for a request for information to be handled as a
Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it must be for recorded information.
For example, a Freedom of Information request would be for a copy of a
policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy in place.
On occasion, North East Lincolnshire Council receives requests that do not
ask for recorded information, but ask more general questions about, for
example, a policy, opinion or a decision. In this instance I am satisfied
that your request falls outside of the scope of the Freedom of Information
Act as it is not a request for recorded information.

 

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

 

 

 

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of North East Lincolnshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Cllr Oxby's Handling of alleged Misconduct in a Public Office'.

I disagree with the council's reasoning for arriving at a decision that my request falls outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act. The council considers that it is not a request for recorded information based upon its assertion that asking a question or for an explanation invalidates the request for FOI purposes.

Please refer to the guidance on the Information Commissioner’s website under the heading; “Can a question be a valid request?”. It is clearly the Commissioner’s view that not only a question may be a valid request but asking for an explanation would also be valid.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

Section 84 of the Act states that in order for a request for information to be handled as a FOI request, the information may be recorded in any form.

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,

Sam Davis

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/6442/1718 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:
[1]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

 

 

 

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

Further to your request an Internal Review has taken place into North East
Lincolnshire Council's handling of your information
request NELC/6442/1718, concerning correspondence from the Council.

I have reviewed the response provided to you and the handling of your
request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and find:

o That your request was responded to within the statutory time of 20
working days;
o That you were informed whether or not the information you asked for
was held by North East Lincolnshire Council;
o That you were provided with the information you asked for available
under the Freedom of Information Act; and
o That your response provided you with your rights of appeal. 

I am therefore satisfied that the Council has acted in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act in the handling of your request.

As previously advised, North East Lincolnshire Council has provided all
the recorded information it holds in relation to this matter. The letter
from the police does not need any further evidence or information to
assure the Council that the allegations have been investigated
appropriately and have been concluded to be unfounded.

I trust that this Internal Review answers your queries in relation to your
request, and clarifies that your request has been handled in accordance
with the Freedom of Information Act. 

If you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request, or
the decision of the internal review you can request an independent review
by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office at Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Ian Hollingsworth

Information Governance and Complaints

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear PPD - FOI,

"The letter from the police does not need any further evidence or information to assure the Council that the allegations have been investigated appropriately and have been concluded to be unfounded."

You have stated the above in the context that there is some evidence in the letter (i.e. 'further evidence') that the allegations have been investigated appropriately and have been concluded to be unfounded.

That is completely untrue. There is no evidence whatsoever that the allegations have been investigated appropriately etc.

Whether you consider this to be a valid freedom of information request or not is no reason to make untrue statements.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Davis

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