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Contracts £250k-£499.99k

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Dear City of York Council,

Dear City of York Council,

I note that in the forward plan decision maker Exec Director of finance there is a routine procurement within budget of between 250k and 500k. This, as the report says, needs to be treated as a key decision.

https://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgIssueHis...

According to my understanding there are many contracts awarded each year that would meet these requirements but are not decided by Members at Exec decision sessions.

Please therefore may I have for this financial year to date by department the following

1. The number of contracts by department that fall within this category ( routine & within budget) and similarly for non routine and or not within budget)
2. Provide the schedule of all contracts awarded ( by Department) between the value of £250k and £500k- this treated as key decisions). Exel or csv please

3. Your recorded information on the number (by Department) actually decided as by Exec Members in decision session according to this protocol and how else the remaining contracts were decided by whom.

4. The recorded decision protocols and advisory notes for this level of contract (£250-£500k) within three constitution and otherwise and when the dates they were instituted.

5. Finally the decision notice refers to a chief officer position solely as ‘Deputy Chief Executive’ -according to my understanding no such position exists nor is there a post holder. Can you publish an accurate management chart and confirm if such a position exists ( there is a joint corporate director of business and deputy cx - but that post holder is temp CX whilst the incumbent is absent). This post is to be downgraded to a non corporate director position as decided by Council in secret session.
Can you therefore confirm the name of the staffer responsible for this decision considering the *confusion*.

May I remind you that the ICO has repeatedly advised you that you should clarify ‘any confusion’ with citizens rather than ignore. You have my contact details and as always, I am always keen to clarify and take advice to ensure this can be answered within the legal time frames.

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

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Customer Feedback Team

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foiresponses_NO-REPLY@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Swinburn,
 
Freedom of Information
 
Please see below the response to your enquiry under the Freedom of
Information Act received on the 3^rd of December, 2019.  I apologise for
the short delay in responding to your request.
 
I have repeated your request in blue below, with my answers in red.
 
Dear City of York Council,
 
I note that in the forward plan decision maker Exec Director of finance
there is a routine procurement within budget of between 250k and 500k.
This, as the report says, needs to be treated as a key decision.
 
[1]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgIssueHis...
 
According to my understanding there are many contracts awarded each year
that would meet these requirements but are not decided by Members at Exec
decision sessions.
 
Please therefore may I have for this financial year to date by department
the following:
 
1. The number of contracts by department that fall within this category
(routine & within budget) and similarly for non-routine and or not within
budget)
 

 1. Answer

 
We are unsure what the categories (routine and within budget, etc) refer
to, and invite clarity on the question’s wording.
 
For an explanation of relevant thresholds, we refer you to paragraph 4 of
Article 14 under Section 2 of the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules under
Section 4G of the Council’s Constitution (please see
[2]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/...).
 
We would also refer you to Rules 7.6 to 7.9 (inclusive) of the Council’s
Contract Procedure Rules under Section 4G of the Council’s Constitution
(please see
[3]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/...).
 
For the sake of clarification, please note that:
 

* Where the aggregate contract value (including any extension) is
£250,000 or less, Directors may agree or authorise another Officer to
enter a Contract under their delegated powers

 

* Where the aggregate contract value (including any extension) is
between £250,000 and less than £500,000 then the decision to enter the
contract requires the approval of either an Executive Member, or the
full Executive unless the procurement is treated as, “Routine,” (see
below).

 

* Where the aggregate contract value (including any extension) is
£500,000 or more, the decision will be regarded as a Key Decision.

 
“Key Decisions” are defined under Para. 4.1 and 4.2, of Art. 14 Section 2
of the Council’s Constitution as a decision made in connection with the
discharge of a function which is the responsibility of the Executive,
because it is likely to result in the Council incurring significant
expenditure, or making significant savings, or will have a significant
impact/effect on communities, unless the Chief Finance Officer acting in
consultation with the Monitoring Officer has approved the procurement as,
“Routine” (see below).
 
For the purposes of the Council’s Constitution, savings or expenditure are
considered to be significant if they are equal to or greater than
£500,000, or equal to or greater than £100,000 where the savings or
expenditure exceeds 10% of the budget for the service plan area, whichever
is the less.
 
There is no financial limit attached to the effects/impact on communities.
 

* A, “Routine Procurement,” is any arrangement that represents a low
commercial and legal risk to the Council and relates to procurement of
goods, services or works with a clearly defined specification and that
clearly relate to the routine day to day operation of the Council.
Routine procurements will normally be limited to items such as
utilities, insurance or stationery. However, where Council Officers
consider a procurement process may be Routine, they are required to
liaise with the Council’s Commercial Procurement Team, who will advise
on the relevant paperwork to be submitted to the Chief Finance Officer
for approval.

 
Once the Chief Finance Officer has granted their approval, then a Director
may enter a Contract where the procurement has been treated as Routine in
lieu of Executive Member or Executive approval.
 
Details these Routine Procurement decisions are published on the Officer
Decision Log published on the Council and Democracy section of the website
(please refer to
[4]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgDelegate...,
where you can carry out your own keyword search of all of our published
decisions).
 
2. Provide the schedule of all contracts awarded (by Department) between
the value of £250k and £500k- this treated as key decisions). Exel or csv
please
 

 2. Answer

 
Again, we refer you to paragraph 4 of Article 14 under Section 2 of the
Council’s Contract Procedure Rules under Section 4G of the Council’s
Constitution (see
[5]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/...).
 
Normally, most contracts valued under £500,000 will not be Key Decisions,
unless:
 

* the Executive Member believes the contract requires full Executive
approval, due to any savings or expenditure likely to be made or
incurred will be equal to or greater than £100,000 and said savings or
expenditure exceeds 10% of the budget for the service plan area; or

 

* the Executive Member believes the contract requires full Executive
approval, due to the likely impact or effect the contract is likely to
have on local communities. 

 
Neither or these circumstances were held to apply to the YFAS Scheme in
this instance.  It was therefore not a Key Decision, and did not go to
Executive.
 
The YFAS scheme was approved by the Executive Member at the Decision
Session (Executive Member for Finance and Performance) on the 16^th of
December 2019. 
 
The procurement was however classed as Routine by chief officers in line
with Rules 7.6 to 7.9 (inclusive) of the Council’s Contract Procedure
Rules under Section 4G of the Council’s Constitution, following advice
from procurement officers.  Although officers could therefore make the
decision without the need for Executive Member approval, the decision was
taken by the Executive Member due to the potential implications of the
contract.
 
We will consider how we can better word the published description of the
decision-making process.
 
We are not aware of any contracts between £250k and £500k which were
treated as Key Decisions and sent to full Executive for approval.  All
such decisions would be published on the Council and Democracy section of
the website, and we refer you to those pages for further information
(please refer to
[6]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgDelegate...,
where you can carry out your own keyword search of all of our published
decisions). 
 
Please note, that there may be contracts which have been approved at
Executive as part of either a larger Capital Programme of works, or as
programme of revenue items generally for maintenance,  and therefore
individually are not approved by the Executive Member or Executive again
which may fall into this £250k - £500k category (please refer to Rule 7.5
of the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules under Section 4G of the
Council’s Constitution
([7]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/...).
 
We attached a spreadsheet showing all contracts agreed this FY to date,
their values, and whether they were approved by Executive.  We have
presented contracts of values over £100k, as we are unsure exactly
information is being sought.  Should you seek further information, please
clarify.
 
 
3.  Your recorded information on the number (by Department) actually
decided as by Exec Members in decision session according to this protocol
and how else the remaining contracts were decided by whom.
 

 3. Answer

 
Please note that we are unsure of what protocol you refer to, and would
greatly appreciate further clarity from yourself on this point further to
section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to help us identify and
locate the information requested.  Similarly, we request clarity about
what exactly you mean when you refer to “the remaining contracts”.
 
All decisions made in Executive Member decision sessions are published on
the Council and Democracy section of the website, and we refer you to
those pages (please refer to
[8]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgDelegate...,
where you can carry out your own keyword search of all of our published
decisions).
 
4. The recorded decision protocols and advisory notes for this level of
contract (£250-£500k) within [the] constitution and otherwise and when the
dates they were instituted.
 

 4. Answer

 
All decisions made in Executive Member decision sessions are published on
the Council and Democracy section of the website, and we refer you to
those pages (please refer to
[9]https://democracy.york.gov.uk/mgDelegate...,
where you can carry out your own keyword search of all of our published
decisions).
 
5. Finally the decision notice refers to a chief officer position solely
as ‘Deputy Chief Executive’ - according to my understanding no such
position exists nor is there a post holder. Can you publish an accurate
management chart and confirm if such a position exists (there is a joint
corporate director of business and deputy cx - but that post holder is
temp CX whilst the incumbent is absent). This post is to be downgraded to
a non-corporate director position as decided by Council in secret session.
 

 5. Answer

 
The Chief Officer Structure is in an interim position due to the ongoing
absence of the CEX, as detailed in public papers through Staffing Matters
and Urgency Committee.  We are applying section 21 as the current
structural information is published on the website and you have been
advised of this through FOI response IGF/15007.
 
If you are dissatisfied with our response you have the right to ask for a
review of how your enquiry was handled and responded to. This can be done
by contacting us through [10][City of York Council request email] stating your reason(s) why
you are dissatisfied. If you remain dissatisfied after receiving the
review response you
can contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a
national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Or email: [11][email address] (please include your telephone number)
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Contact Point
t: 01904 554556 | e: [12][email address]
 
City of York Council  |  Customer Complaints & Feedback Team, Customer &
Corporate Services
West Offices | Station Rise | York YO1 6GA
[13]www.york.gov.uk | [14]facebook.com/cityofyork | [15]@CityofYork
 
 
 
 
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Help protect the environment! - please don't print this email unless you
really need to.

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Gwen Swinburn please sign in and let everyone know.