Council Expenditure or Payment to Suppliers from Jan to June 2020

nikhil prabhu made this Freedom of Information request to Conwy County Borough Council

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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

Dear Conwy County Borough Council,

I'd like to make a request under the Freedom of Information act for all transactions over £500 from 1st Jan 2020 to 30th June 2020. As a minimum, please make sure to include the date, value and recipient of each transaction. Please also provide details on the procurement category of each transaction if you have it.

If it would help, I am specifically looking for payments to suppliers who provide a service in Health and Social Care. This would include all suppliers falling under the following categories :-

1. Payments to suppliers who provide fostering and adoption services to the Council
2. Payments to suppliers who provide care services to the council. This would include suppliers who provide care under each of the categories below
a. Children's Residential/ Nursing Care Providers
b. Adult Residential/ Nursing Care Providers
c. Elderly Residential/ Nursing Care Providers
d. Domiciliary Care Home Providers
e. Supported Living Care Home Providers
f. Care at Home Providers
g. Providers who carry out Homeless Services
3. Payments to suppliers who provide Special Education Services

In particular I am looking for itemized transactions for suppliers from Jan to June 2020 - preferably in CSV format. For avoidance of doubt, I am making this request under the Freedom of Information Act. I await your response within 20 working days.

Thank you,
Yours faithfully,
Nikhil Prabhu

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost. Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth
dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain
niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email. If you are requesting access to information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will receive a
response within twenty working days.

[1]Sefyllfa Bresennol Gwasanaethau'r Cyngor   |   [2]Council Services
Current Situation

[3][USEMAP]

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Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your enquiry.

In light of the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic please be aware that we will continue to make every effort to comply with any relevant timescales that might apply to your enquiry, however the safety and security of the public remains the primary concern and it is with this in mind please be aware that some slippage might occur with regards to the timely provision of any response.

This will be kept to a minimum wherever possible and the Council will review its position in line with directions from Government and Public Health organisations as and when required.

Please ensure all email correspondence is sent to the [Conwy Council request email] email address.

Thanking you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Uned Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth/ Information Governance Unit Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol CONWY County Borough Council E-Bost / E-Mail: [Conwy Council request email]

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Dear Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit,

May i request an update?

Yours faithfully,
nikhil prabhu

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost. Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth
dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain
niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email. If you are requesting access to information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will receive a
response within twenty working days.

[1]Sefyllfa Bresennol Gwasanaethau'r Cyngor   |   [2]Council Services
Current Situation

[3][USEMAP]

show quoted sections

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Dear Sir,

Please accept my apologies for the short delay in my response.

Thank you for your email received 21st August 2020, where you requested information relating to all transactions over £500 as from 1st Jan 2020 to 30th June 2020.

It is confirmed that the council holds information that falls within the description specified in your request. However, it is estimated that it will take more than the appropriate limit to consider your request. The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 requires Local Authorities in England to publish information on expenditure over £500 on their websites, however this is not a requirement for Wales. Obtaining the total and excluding personal data and commercially sensitive information would take longer than the 18 hour period.

The appropriate limit is specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which for local government is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 working hours in determining whether the service holds the information, together with locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

Consequently, CCBC is not obliged under section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request as it stands and please accept this correspondence as a refusal notice under S17.

You may wish to consider refining your request by narrowing its scope by being more specific about what information you particularly wish to obtain, including any dates or period of time relevant to the information required.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be sent to this address.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales, 2nd Floor, Churchill House, Churchill Way, Cardiff, CF10 2HH.

Uned Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth/ Information Governance Unit
Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol CONWY County Borough Council
E-Bost / E-Mail: [Conwy Council request email]

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Dear Conwy County Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Conwy County Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council Expenditure or Payment to Suppliers from Jan to June 2020'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]
I would like to appeal against the council’s decision to refuse information under S17 and is not obliged under section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to my request (Excessive cost of compliance). The appropriate limit is specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which for local government is set at £450.

All councils now have a sophisticated accounting system which enables information to be downloaded using the in-built software. This software should have filters to enable data without compromising any sensitive information. As an accountant myself I use this facility extensively.

We feel the cost in downloading and assessing the data should not exceed £450, as much of the work would be done by the machine itself. We therefore would like to appeal against the council’s refusal to provide information as they feel the cost will exceed the threshold.

This information should be made available to the public as public funds are involved. The public have a right to know where and to whom the spend arises. Not providing this information is detrimental to the cause and against the rules of the FOI Act. We feel by withholding and not providing this information, the Council are not fulfilling their statutory obligations under the FOIA.

All Councils in England, Scotland & Wales and Northern Ireland now provide this information on request (We can supply examples). We feel Conwy should comply as have every other council done. (Those that have redacted have un-redacted the transactions upon request, where they do not involve the names of private individuals or personal sensitive information.)

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

Thank you,
Yours faithfully,
Nikhil Prabhu

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost. Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth
dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain
niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email. If you are requesting access to information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will receive a
response within twenty working days.

[1]Sefyllfa Bresennol Gwasanaethau'r Cyngor   |   [2]Council Services
Current Situation

[3][USEMAP]

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Derek O'Connor, Conwy County Borough Council

Dear Mr Prabhu,
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) 0291-20 – Outcome of Internal Review
Thank you for your email dated 22/09/2020 which is being treated as Internal Review and passed to me.
I should firstly explain that the original request you submitted was treated as a Freedom of Information request because the Freedom of Information Act 2000 facilitates public access to information held by public authorities.
It does this in two ways:
• Firstly, public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and secondly
• Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
Your original request was received from you on the 21/08/2020, and stated:
Dear Conwy County Borough Council,

I'd like to make a request under the Freedom of Information act for all transactions over £500 from 1st Jan 2020 to 30th June 2020. As a minimum, please make sure to include the date, value and recipient of each transaction. Please also provide details on the procurement category of each transaction if you have it.

If it would help, I am specifically looking for payments to suppliers who provide a service in Health and Social Care. This would include all suppliers falling under the following categories :-

1. Payments to suppliers who provide fostering and adoption services to the Council 2. Payments to suppliers who provide care services to the council. This would include suppliers who provide care under each of the categories below a. Children's Residential/ Nursing Care Providers b. Adult Residential/ Nursing Care Providers c. Elderly Residential/ Nursing Care Providers d. Domiciliary Care Home Providers e. Supported Living Care Home Providers f. Care at Home Providers g. Providers who carry out Homeless Services 3. Payments to suppliers who provide Special Education Services

In particular I am looking for itemized transactions for suppliers from Jan to June 2020 - preferably in CSV format. For avoidance of doubt, I am making this request under the Freedom of Information Act. I await your response within 20 working days.

Thank you,
Yours faithfully,
Nikhil Prabhu

A response was sent to you on the 22/09/2020 which advised the following:
Dear Sir,

Please accept my apologies for the short delay in my response.

Thank you for your email received 21st August 2020, where you requested information relating to all transactions over £500 as from 1st Jan 2020 to 30th June 2020.

It is confirmed that the council holds information that falls within the description specified in your request. However, it is estimated that it will take more than the appropriate limit to consider your request. The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 requires Local Authorities in England to publish information on expenditure over £500 on their websites, however this is not a requirement for Wales. Obtaining the total and excluding personal data and commercially sensitive information would take longer than the 18 hour period.

The appropriate limit is specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which for local government is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 working hours in determining whether the service holds the information, together with locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

Consequently, CCBC is not obliged under section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request as it stands and please accept this correspondence as a refusal notice under S17.

You may wish to consider refining your request by narrowing its scope by being more specific about what information you particularly wish to obtain, including any dates or period of time relevant to the information required.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be sent to this address.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales, 2nd Floor, Churchill House, Churchill Way, Cardiff, CF10 2HH.

Uned Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth/ Information Governance Unit Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol CONWY County Borough Council E-Bost / E-Mail: [Conwy Council request email]

Your subsequent email of the 22/09/2020 stated:
Dear Conwy County Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Conwy County Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council Expenditure or Payment to Suppliers from Jan to June 2020'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ] I would like to appeal against the council’s decision to refuse information under S17 and is not obliged under section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to my request (Excessive cost of compliance). The appropriate limit is specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which for local government is set at £450.

All councils now have a sophisticated accounting system which enables information to be downloaded using the in-built software. This software should have filters to enable data without compromising any sensitive information. As an accountant myself I use this facility extensively.

We feel the cost in downloading and assessing the data should not exceed £450, as much of the work would be done by the machine itself. We therefore would like to appeal against the council’s refusal to provide information as they feel the cost will exceed the threshold.

This information should be made available to the public as public funds are involved. The public have a right to know where and to whom the spend arises. Not providing this information is detrimental to the cause and against the rules of the FOI Act. We feel by withholding and not providing this information, the Council are not fulfilling their statutory obligations under the FOIA.

All Councils in England, Scotland & Wales and Northern Ireland now provide this information on request (We can supply examples). We feel Conwy should comply as have every other council done. (Those that have redacted have un-redacted the transactions upon request, where they do not involve the names of private individuals or personal sensitive information.)

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www....

Thank you,
Yours faithfully,
Nikhil Prabhu

The purpose of an Internal Review is to assess how your request was handled in the first instance and to determine whether the original decision given to you was correct. This is an independent review: I was not involved in the original decision.
Within the internal review request from yourself above, you have stated that "All councils now have a sophisticated accounting system which enables information to be downloaded using the in-built software. This software should have filters to enable data without compromising any sensitive information".

This is certainly not the case in Conwy, our financial system is one that we have utilised for many, many years and we have no such facility to automatically filter sensitive information in the way in which you have described, therefore the process required to ensure that the information that we release can be done so safely without breaching GPDR is a very time consuming one and one that we are unable to carry out in a short period of time when dealing with the number of transactions matching the criteria in your original request.

I do at this juncture wish to raise a point that in England it is a legislative requirement to publish transactions over £500 but this is not a legislative requirement in Wales. It may well be that the English authorities have invested in systems that enable the automatic filter of sensitive information and can easily produce the information requested, however this is not the case within Conwy County Borough Council at present.
So I can only advise that in relation to your original request, the response that we are unable to comply as the time required to do so will be in excess of the appropriate limit as it is specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which for local government is set at £450, this represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 working hours in determining whether the service holds the information, together with locating, retrieving and extracting the information, was correct.

Consequently the original refusal issued by Conwy County Borough Council was correct and I can concur with the original decision that it is not obliged under section 12 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request. As this still stands please accept this correspondence as a confirmation of that refusal notice under S17.

This therefore concludes the Internal Review of your information request. If you disagree with the outcome you should contact the Information Commissioner’s Office whose contact details are below:

Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

Email: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Derek O'Connor
Rheolwr Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth / Information Governance Manager
Cyngor Bwrdeistef Sirol CONWY County Borough Council
E-Bost / E-Mail: [email address]

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Dear Conwy County Borough Council / Mr O'Connor,

Thank you for your response to my request for internal review. In order to comply with Section 12 - Instead of conducting the voluminous tasks required, i.e., determining whether the service holds the information, together with locating, retrieving and extracting the information; we request you to please provide us with the entire council spend for that period. i.e. Kindly request you to please provide itemized transactions of ALL supplier payments, made for the period Jan to June 2020.

This should ensure that the time required to do so will be wintin the appropriate limit of £450, as it is specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Thank you so much,
Yours sincerely,
nikhil prabhu

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost. Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth
dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain
niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email. If you are requesting access to information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will receive a
response within twenty working days.

[1]Sefyllfa Bresennol Gwasanaethau'r Cyngor   |   [2]Council Services
Current Situation

[3][USEMAP]

show quoted sections

Dear Conwy County Borough Council,

May I please request an update? This is well past due.

Yours faithfully,
nikhil prabhu

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost. Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth
dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain
niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email. If you are requesting access to information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will receive a
response within twenty working days.

[1]Sefyllfa Bresennol Gwasanaethau'r Cyngor   |   [2]Council Services
Current Situation

[3][USEMAP]

show quoted sections

Dear Conwy County Borough Council,

I will be filing a complaint with the regulator now.

Yours faithfully,
nikhil prabhu

Uned Llyw-Gwyb / Info-Gov Unit, Conwy County Borough Council

Diolch am eich neges e-bost. Os ydych yn gofyn am fynediad at wybodaeth
dan delerau Deddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 2000 cewch ymateb o fewn ugain
niwrnod gwaith.

Thank you for your email. If you are requesting access to information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will receive a
response within twenty working days.

[1]Sefyllfa Bresennol Gwasanaethau'r Cyngor   |   [2]Council Services
Current Situation

[3][USEMAP]

show quoted sections