Company Number 6990831 - DM56 Limited (a.k.a Digital City (UK) Ltd - Directorship held by Mr HITESH KUMAR PATEL

Geoff Reid made this Freedom of Information request to Companies House

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Companies House,

My freedom of information request relates to the directorship held by Mr HITESH KUMAR PATEL of Company Number:6990831 - DM56 Limited, (now known as 'Digital City (UK) Ltd'), between the 15th of September 2009 and the 12th of March 2010:

My request:

1. When the 288a form bearing Mr Patel's signature and address was received by Companies House, what steps did Companies House take to confirm with Mr Patel, DM56 Limited and any other individual, company or public body that Mr Patel's Directorship of DM56 had been recorded at Companies House?

2. Please supply copies of any correspondence, (including information packs/advice), sent by Companies House to Mr Patel, his representative(s) and other individuals and bodies in relation to Mr Patels directorship of DM56/Digital City (UK) Ltd between 15/09/2009 and 13/03/2010

3. After the 12th of March 2010 did Mr Hitesh Kumar Patel contact Companies House to inform them that he 'did not know' he was a Director of DM56 Limited/Digital City (UK) Ltd between 15/09/2009 and 13/03/2010?

4. Is Companies House aware of any reason why Mr Hitesh Kumar Patel might not reasonably assume that he would become a Director of DM56 Limited/Digital City (UK) Ltd by signing form 288a ?

5. After receiving form 288b terminating Mr Patel's directorship of company number: 6990831, has companies house received any correspondence from Swindon Borough Council, or agents acting on the Councils behalf, regarding Mr Patels Directorship of DM56 or Digital City (UK) Ltd ?

5. Please supply copies of any relevant documents pertaining to points 3, 4 & 5

Yours Sincerely

Geoff Reid

Geoff Reid left an annotation ()

My FOI request (above) is related to the Swindon 'WiFi' scheme, which is a 'public/private' partnership between Swindon Borough Council & Digital City (UK) Ltd*. (*Digital City (UK) Ltd was formerly known s 'DM56 Limited' until its name was changed to Digital City (UK) Ltd.

History: Members of the www.talkswindon.org forum have asked Swindon Borough Council to explain why its Director of Business Transformation, (Mr Hitesh Kumar Patel), became a Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd just before the Council lent the company £450,000 of public money, but publicly denied he was a director of the company.

Moreover, although Mr Patel did not inform Swindon Borough Council during his 5 months tenure as a Director of Digital City (UK) Ltd, he regularly updated his 'LinkedIn' profile, publicising and describing himself as a: "Main Board Director, Digital City (UK) Ltd (Wireless industry) November 2009 — Present (5 months)"

Readers may be interested in a Talkswindon forum discussion topic which can be found here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?top...

Mr Patels 'hidden' Directorship of Digital City was publicly questioned by a member of Swindon Borough Council 'Cabinet', (Councillor Peter Greenhalgh) on the 10th March 2010. Mr Patels directorship of Digital City was implicitly denied at this meeting although Companies House records show that a TM01 'Termination of Directorship' form was submitted to Companies House on the 12th of March 2010, thus bringing Patel's directorship to an end.

Forms 288a and TM01 can be viewed here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?top...

To date, Cabinet members at Swindon Borough Council have repeatedly failed to answer many basic and reasonable questions about the Swindon WiFi scheme apparently preferring to simply ignore the question and the questioner.

'Political embarrasment'is one possible reason for their behaviour, which unfortunately leaves those interested in the 'business' dealings of our elected representatives and council little choice but to submit Freedom of Information requests to get answers to simple and reasonable questions.

We would obviously prefer Swindon Borough Councils default position to be one of transparent and open engagement with the electorate.

Unfortunately this is not their position and, although a televised House of Commons 'Adjournment Debate' on the Swindon WiFi scheme highlighted many concerns about this scheme and its architects, getting accurate and believable information about this scheme is usually like pulling stubborn teeth.

The Parliamentary debate can be viewed here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?top...

Ceri Harnett, Companies House

Dear Mr Reid

I refer to your request for information in your email dated 18/08/10
concerning Company Number 6990831 – DM56 Ltd/ Digital City (UK) Ltd and
Mr Hitash Kimar Patel

I shall answer your enquiries in the same order as your email.

1. When the 288a form bearing Mr Patel's signature and address was
received by Companies House, what steps did Companies House take to
confirm with Mr Patel, DM56 Limited and any other individual, company
or public body that Mr Patel's Directorship of DM56 had been recorded
at Companies House?

Documents received for filing are accepted in good faith subject to basic
examination checks. Acknowledgements of receipt are not routinely issued.

2. Please supply copies of any correspondence, (including information
packs/advice), sent by Companies House to Mr Patel, his
representative(s) and other individuals and bodies in relation to Mr
Patels directorship of DM56/Digital City (UK) Ltd between 15/09/2009
and 13/03/2010

I can confirm that at the time of Mr Patel’s appointment information
packs for 1^st directors were being issued as a matter of course by
Companies House. I should point out that at that time these packs
actually just consisted of a computer generated letter which briefly
described a director’s responsibility and referred to the Companies
House website for further advice and guidance. Our computer system
identified new directors on a monthly basis and letters were produced and
issued to the individuals concerned. We do not keep copies of individual
letters issued so have no way of confirming a letter was issued to this
individual. I can also confirm that Companies House has not issued any
other correspondence concerning this appointment.

3. After the 12th of March 2010 did Mr Hitesh Kumar Patel contact
Companies House to inform them that he 'did not know' he was a
Director of DM56 Limited/Digital City (UK) Ltd between 15/09/2009 and
13/03/2010?

Should we hold any communication of this nature on our records, I would
have to consult with Mr Patel to seek his permission to disclose any
information with you. Under section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act
2000, we are bound by a Code of Practice to inform third parties that we
have received a request under this legislation to disclose their
information. This gives them the opportunity to object to such
disclosure and provide reasons as to why they consider the information
should be exempt from disclosure.

However, in this instance I can confirm that we do not hold any
correspondence between Companies House and Mr Patel concerning this
appointment.

4. Is Companies House aware of any reason why Mr Hitesh Kumar Patel might
not reasonably assume that he would become a Director of DM56
Limited/Digital City (UK) Ltd by signing form 288a?

As you are aware from the public record, the form 288a was filed on paper
and presumably signed by Mr Patel. Signatures of course cannot be
verified, as explained above documents are accepted in good faith and
subject to basic examination checks only. I cannot comment on Mr Patel’s
assumptions, this is something that only Mr Patel would know.

5. After receiving form 288b terminating Mr Patel's directorship of
company number: 6990831, has companies house received any
correspondence from Swindon Borough Council, or agents acting on the
Councils behalf, regarding Mr Patels Directorship of DM56 or Digital
City (UK) Ltd ?

As explained above, should we hold any communication of this nature on our
records, I would have to consult with any third party to seek their
permission to disclose any information with you.

However in this instance, I can confirm that we do not hold any
correspondence from Swindon Borough Council or agents on their behalf.

Please supply copies of any relevant documents pertaining to

points 3, 4 & 5

Please see my response above to these questions

Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information
legislation. I am required therefore to inform you that if you are unhappy
with the result of your request for information you may request an
internal review within two calendar months of the date of this email. Any
requests for such a review should be addressed in the first instance to me
and I will ensure that it is forwarded to a senior member of Companies
House who has had no previous involvement in this case and they will
undertake the review.

If you are then not content with the outcome of the internal review, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at Information
Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

Regards

Mrs C Harnett

Information Rights Team

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