Correspondence with Local Government Auditor re: mobile telephones

Richard Jackson made this Freedom of Information request to Belfast City Council

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.

Richard Jackson

Dear Sir or Madam,

Could you please provide copies of all correspondence between the Council and the Local Government Auditor since the Newry and Mourne District Council case regarding reimbursement of mobile telephone expenditure, in relation to that matter.

Yours faithfully,

Richard

Trevor Wallace, Belfast City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Jackson

Re your FOI request please see attached documents

Regards

Trevor

Trevor Wallace
Financial Accounting Manager

Corporate Services Department
Belfast City Council
Adelaide Exchange
24-26 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8GD
[email address]
028 9027 0262

www.belfastcity.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Richard Jackson

Dear Mr Wallace,

Thank you for your response. As I do not have Microsoft Word I cannot read the contents of the attachment entitled "Mr Jackson.doc". Can you please resend that one in a non-proprietary format, as I am assuming it is a refusal notice for the remainder of the correspondence not included in the PDF provided, and I'm keen to understand why.

Thank you,

Richard

Trevor Wallace, Belfast City Council

Dear Mr Jackson,

Apologies for any confusion, the word attachment was not a refusal
notice but a full disclosure notice. The pdf contains the only
correspondence we have in relation to this matter. I have copied the
text of the word document below.

"Dear Mr Jackson,

Thank you for your email dated 1 July 2008 requesting copies of all
correspondence between Belfast City Council and the Local Government
Auditor relating to the reimbursement of mobile telephone expenditure
since the Newry and Mourne District Council case.

I can confirm that the Council does hold the information you have
requested and has decided that it can be disclosed. Accordingly, this
information is attached to this email.

If you are dissatisfied with how the Council handled your request for
information, you have the right to request that the Council formally
review this decision. If you wish to do so, please write to the Records
Manager, Belfast City Council, Adelaide Exchange, 24-26 Adelaide Street,
Belfast, BT2 8GD.

Should you remain dissatisfied following the Council's internal review,
you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner.
Requests for an independent review should be made in writing to: The
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF. However I would advise you that the Information
Commissioner has indicated that a review will not be undertaken unless
the Council has first had an opportunity to re-consider its decision.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Trevor Wallace

Financial Accounting Manager"

Again, apologies for any confusion caused.

Regards

Trevor

Trevor Wallace
Financial Accounting Manager

Corporate Services Department
Belfast City Council
Adelaide Exchange
24-26 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8GD
[email address]
028 9027 0262

www.belfastcity.gov.uk

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Richard Jackson

Dear Mr Wallace,

Thank you for this clarification. The reason I assumed that this was (at least in part) a refusal notice was that the letter provided appears to have had some text redacted with no explanation as to why.

Further, the Council's own minutes refer on several times to advice sought and received by the Director of Legal Services from the Local Government Auditor on this matter. I am somewhat surprised that the correspondence provided is the full extent of this. It could be, of course, that that advice was purely verbal, but I would have expected that policy decisions (particularly those made as a result of legal action against another Council) would have required something slightly more formal than that.

Thank you,

Richard

Trevor Wallace, Belfast City Council

Dear Mr Jackson

The letter in question included correspondence about a non-related
subject and as such was redacted from the information forwarded to you.
I apologise if this caused confusion but I can assure you that the
information redacted did not relate to your request.

Regards

Trevor

Trevor Wallace
Financial Accounting Manager

Corporate Services Department
Belfast City Council
Adelaide Exchange
24-26 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8GD
[email address]
028 9027 0262

www.belfastcity.gov.uk

show quoted sections