Common Purpose

R Soles made this Freedom of Information request to Kent County Council This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please provide the following information:

Charity "Common Purpose"; meaning the training organisation of that name:http://www.commonpurpose.org/home.aspx

1. Name all Elected Councillors who have attended a
Common Purpose course?

2. Name all employees who have attended a Common Purpose course?

3. How much money has been paid to this organisation?

4. Please provide copies of invoices/receipts.

Yours faithfully,

R Soles

Kent County Council

Dear Mr Soles
Thank you for your email.

I acknowledge your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
However before I can progress your request, you will need to clarify the
timescale or financial period for which you want the information for
(Question 3 - How much money has been paid to Common Purpose?). Once you
have confirmed this, I will advise you of when you can expect to receive a
response.

Please quote our reference - FOI/09/207 - in any communication regarding
this particular request.
Best regards
Jemila Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Officer, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room 1.94, Sessions
House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 696265 - Fax: 01622 694383
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...

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Dear Sir or Madam, YOUR REF: FOI/09/207

To clarify on a yearly basis from 2000 onwards , unless of course money was paid to Common Purpose from an earlier period, in which
case please supply information from the earlier period.

Yours sincerely,

R Soles

Dear Sir or Madam, YOUR REF: FOI/09/207

To clarify on a yearly basis from 2000 onwards , unless of course
money was paid to Common Purpose from an earlier period, in which
case please supply information from the earlier period.

Yours sincerely,

R Soles

Kent County Council

Dear R Soles

Thank you for clarifying your request for information.

I will now process your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Assuming we hold this information, I will endeavour
to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later than 1st April
2009 (20 working days from date of receipt).

I will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information. Please quote our reference - FOI/09/207 - in any
communication regarding this particular request.

Best regards

Jemila Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Officer, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room 1.94, Sessions
House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 696265 - Fax: 01622 694383
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...

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Kent County Council

1 Attachment

Dear R Soles

Thank you for your request for information.

1. No County Councillors have attended or participated in a Common Purpose
training course

2. 21 members of staff have taken part in Common Purpose programmes since
2000. (Kent County Council's employee headcount is just over 44,000). As
these members of staff are not Chief Officers, we believe it would be a
breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 to disclose their names and
therefore we are relying on section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act
to withhold this information from you.

3. & 4. Please see the attached spreadsheet extrapolated from our
financial database.

I hope this satisfies your request. If you have a query with the
information provided, please contact me on 01622 221652. However, if you
are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied with
legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints process;
details can be found at this link
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...
on our website. Please quote reference FOI/09/207.

Best regards

Caroline Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Coordinator, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room 1.94, Sessions
House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 221652 - Fax: 01622 694383
[2]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Please confirm if any money was paid to Common Purpose,
prior to 2000.

Yours sincerely,

R Soles

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for confirming that Kent County Council has spent £125,072.02 to date from 2000; although this figure could change once you have replied to email 20th March 2009.

a)The public interests test has been applied else where and is always in favour of disclose.

b) Because these are civil servants whose money is provided by the rate payer, therefore no exemption can apply.

c) As a prerequisite to attending a course, graduates sign a waiver giving permission for publication of their names, employment position and employers.

c) Where challenged to do so , other Councils have provided this information willing.

Therefore, please supply ALL information as requested.

Yours sincerely,

R Soles

Kent County Council

Dear R Soles

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry you are unhappy with my response to your request for
information, specifically the use of the personal information exemption
under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act to withhold the names
and job titles of officers attending training courses hosted by Common
Purpose.

The Director of Law and Governance and our Legal Department will
investigate your complaint and review our original response on behalf of
the Chief Executive. Their reply will be forthcoming within 28 days from
receipt (by 24th April 2009)

Best regards

Caroline Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Coordinator, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room 1.94, Sessions
House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 221652 - Fax: 01622 694383
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...

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Kent County Council

Dear R Soles

Thank you for your request for information.

We cannot confirm or deny whether any payments were made to Common Purpose
prior to 2000 as we no longer hold this information. This is because
financial records need only be retained for seven years (current financial
year plus six years) to comply with statutory provisions as set out by
Financial Regulations. In fact we were only able to go back as far as
2000 by looking at our responses to previous Freedom of Information
requests (which are retained for two years plus current year) about Common
Purpose and extrapolating and re-using the data.

I hope this satisfies your request. If you have a query with the
information provided, please contact me on 01622 221652. However, if you
are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied with
legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints process;
details can be found at this link
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...
on our website. Please quote reference FOI/09/295.

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can
appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should
you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the
Information Commissioner's website
[2]http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

Best regards

Caroline Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Coordinator, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room 1.94, Sessions
House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 221652 - Fax: 01622 694383
[3]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...

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Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Kent County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Common Purpose'.

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

Clearly, it is not in the Public Interest that Kent County Council who pertain to operate in an open,honest,transparent way can appear to hide details of Officers/Staff paid for from the Public Purse.

What tangible benefit has the Public received from members of staff attending Common Purpose courses?

Yours sincerely,

R Soles

Kent County Council

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FOI 09 207 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF REQUEST FOR REVIEW RECEIVED 25th MARCH 2009.html

    14K Download

Dear R Soles

Thank you for your email. I had already instigated a review of this
request following receipt of your 24th March email, (copy of email and
acknowledgement attached).

As I said in my previous acknowledgement, I am sorry that you are unhappy
with my response to your request for information, specifically the use of
the personal information exemption under section 40 of the Freedom of
Information Act to withhold the names and job titles of officers attending
training courses hosted by Common Purpose.

The Director of Law and Governance and our Legal Department are
investigating your complaint and will review my original response on
behalf of the Chief Executive. Their reply will be forthcoming within 28
days from receipt (by 24th April 2009)

Best regards

Caroline Dodge
Corporate Access to Information Coordinator, Chief Executive's Department
Kent County Council, Legal & Democratic Services, Room 1.94, Sessions
House, County Hall, Maidstone. ME14 1XQ.
Tel: 01622 221652 - Fax: 01622 694383
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/council-and-democ...

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Kent County Council

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I have been instructed to undertake an independent review of the response
you received recently to your Freedom of Information Act request regarding
Common Purpose training.
I would be grateful if you could contact me on 01622 694416 in order to
discuss this matter. Or alternatively please could you provide me with
a telephone number that I may contact you on?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Wendy Morse

Solicitor

Commercial & Environmental Group

Legal & Democratic Services

Kent County Council County Hall Maidstone ME14 1XQ

E: [1][email address] T: 01622 694416 F: 01622
694402 W: www.kent.gov.uk/Legal

This communication may contain advice or information, that attracts legal
professional privilege and may be exempt from disclosure under the Data
Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Accordingly,
do not disclose this communication to a third party without first taking
legal advice from the sender.

References

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1. mailto:[email address]

Kent County Council

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Your email of complaint dated 24th March 2009 was acknowledged on 31st
March, this advised that you would receive a response to your complaint by
24th April 2009. I will be unable to complete the review within this
timeframe and propose to have this completed as soon as possible and in
any event by no later than 11th May 2009.

Regards,

Wendy Morse

Solicitor

Commercial & Environmental Group

Legal & Democratic Services

Kent County Council County Hall Maidstone ME14 1XQ

E: [1][email address] T: 01622 694416 F: 01622
694402 W: www.kent.gov.uk/Legal

This communication may contain advice or information, that attracts legal
professional privilege and may be exempt from disclosure under the Data
Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Accordingly,
do not disclose this communication to a third party without first taking
legal advice from the sender.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Kent County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Please find attached a letter explaining the outcome of my review of the
handling of your FOIA request.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Wendy Morse

Solicitor

Commercial & Environmental Group

Legal & Democratic Services

Kent County Council County Hall Maidstone ME14 1XQ

E: [1][email address] T: 01622 694416 F: 01622
694402 W: www.kent.gov.uk/Legal

This communication may contain advice or information, that attracts legal
professional privilege and may be exempt from disclosure under the Data
Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Accordingly,
do not disclose this communication to a third party without first taking
legal advice from the sender.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Wendy Morse,

Thank you for the response.

Clearly, it is disappointing that Kent County Council feels the need to hide the identity of 19 members of staff who have attended these very expensive courses paid for by the rate payer, but not unexpected.

Kent County Council unfortunately appears to have a track record of not compiling 'fully' with FOI requests.

The question was , what tangible benefit do the Public receive from staff attending 'Common Purpose' course, not what benefit the staff receive?

Yours sincerely,

R Soles

Kent County Council

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Thank you for your email of the 13th May. If you are of the opinion that
KCC has failed to comply with its duties under FOIA then you can make a
complaint to the Information Commissioners Office as they oversee
compliance with the Act.

Kent County Council believes in training and developing its staff. This
motivates them as individuals and also helps to make them more effective
in their jobs: by encouraging and nurturing skills such as problem
solving, leadership and team work. The public benefit from this through
improvements in the way services are provided throughout the County.

Unless you have a query concerning the actual outcome of my review of the
handling of your FOIA request I am unable to assist further with this
matter. Please be advised that any future correspondence on this same
subject will also be treated as vexatious by Kent County Council within
the meaning in section 14(1) FOIA and no further information will be
provided.

Regards,

Wendy Morse

Solicitor

Commercial & Environmental Group

Legal & Democratic Services

Kent County Council County Hall Maidstone ME14 1XQ

E: [1][email address] T: 01622 694416 F: 01622
694402 W: www.kent.gov.uk/Legal

This communication may contain advice or information, that attracts legal
professional privilege and may be exempt from disclosure under the Data
Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Accordingly,
do not disclose this communication to a third party without first taking
legal advice from the sender.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

S.McCaw left an annotation ()

Nearly £6,000 spent on each of 21 employees is a substantial sum of money. Professional courses in accounting or IT cost a fraction of this. What benefit could there possibly be for the taxpayer for courses about "nothing"?

Ken left an annotation ()

This is very disturbing.
Until this week I'd never heard of Common Purpose.
But you can be sure I'll be researching them now.
We have a right to know how our money is being spent.

Barry Hutton left an annotation ()

Open up - or face court, council told

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/4821...

Saturday 26th December 2009
TOWN Hall chiefs have been threatened with High Court action amid claims they have breached the Freedom of Information Act.
Bolton Council is refusing to divulge the names of officers who attended a training course which cost taxpayers almost £30,000.

Now Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith has issued a decision notice against the authority telling it to open up - or face being held in contempt of court.

harrybutton@rocketmail.com