Council Expenditure or Payment to Suppliers

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

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

I'd like to make a request under the Freedom of Information act for all transactions over £500 from 1st April 2017 to 31st December 2018 (if December 2018 is not available, then, November 2018). Please provide the data in a machine readable format (preferably CSV). 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.

For avoidance of doubt, I am making this request under the Freedom of Information Act. I await your response within 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,
Nikhil Prabhu

City of Edinburgh Council

Nikhil Prabhu

Our ref: 21763

Dear Nikhil Prabhu

Acknowledgement of Request

Subject: Council Expenditure or Payment to Suppliers

Thank you for your request for information received on 07/01/2019. I can confirm that your request will be processed under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Environmental Information Regulations (Scotland) 2004, or the INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations 2009.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless the Council does not hold the information, or there is a reason for it to be withheld. We will write to you in any event. This means we have until 04/02/2019 to respond to your request.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case we will let you know.

If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so on, then please let me know.

If you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175....

Further information about your rights and accessing information is available on our website at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

City of Edinburgh Council

Nikhil Prabhu

[FOI #542272 email]

Our ref: 21763

Dear Nikhil Prabhu

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Excessive Cost

Subject: Council Expenditure or Payment to Suppliers

Thank you for your request for information of 07/01/2019, where you asked the following:

I'd like to make a request for all transactions over £500 from 1st April 2017 to 31st December 2018 (if December 2018 is not available, then, November 2018).

Please provide the data in a machine readable format (preferably CSV).

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.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with the information you have requested as the cost to the Council of locating, retrieving and providing you with the information exceeds the statutory maximum of £600.

Section 12 (1) of the Act does not oblige a Scottish public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the statutory limit.

The total cost of complying with your request is £9,285.00.

This sum has been calculated as follows:

In order to collate the specific information requested over the 21 month period we would have to run a number of large reports. We have estimated that a report covering one month’s data would generate approximately 3,539 records. Over 21 months this would equate to 74,326 records. Each of these records would then require to be manually filtered and checked to ensure that we comply with the Data Protection Act 2018. A manual removal of all third party personal information would be required such as sole traders, foster carers and any other individuals contained within the documentation who would not expect their details to be released into the public domain in this way, i.e. in response to a freedom of information request. We believe that the publication of payments made to these individuals would compromise those person’s privacy and thereby breach the Data Protection Act 2018. Allowing 30 seconds per record to complete the process would equate to approximately 619 hour of work.

Estimated number of records to be located, retrieved and provided – 74,326

Number of staff hours involved – 619 hours

Charge per hour - £15.00

Total cost - £9,285.00

The Council appreciates that you may not have been aware of the size and scope of the information that you requested the Council provide you with as a result of your request. It may be possible to provide you with a portion of the information that you are seeking. Please note that requests revised in this way are considered as new requests under the legislation. If you wish to discuss this option further, or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175...

Your right to seek a review

If you are unhappy with the way we have dealt with your request, you can ask us to review our actions and decisions by writing to the:

Head of Strategy & Insight
The City of Edinburgh Council
Waverley Court Business Centre 2:1
4, East Market Street
Edinburgh
EH8 8BG or,
Email: [email address]

Please note that your request must be in a recordable format (email, letter, audio tape etc.), and that you have 40 working days upon receipt of this letter to ask for a review. You will receive a full response to your review request within 20 working days of its receipt. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you can ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to review our decision. You must submit your complaint to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving our review response. The Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
Telephone: 01334 464610
Fax: 01334 464611
Website: www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal
Email: [email address]

Yours sincerely

Iain Burden
Information Rights Officer

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

Thank you for your response of 04 February 2019.

I would like to appeal against the council’s decision to refuse information as they feel the cost would exceed the statutory maximum of £600.

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 £600 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 limit.

We are 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 all suppliers from 1st April 2017 - 31st December 2018 - preferably in a CSV format. I look forward to your response as soon as possible.

Yours Faithfully,
nikhil prabhu

Review, City of Edinburgh Council

Dear Nikhil Prabhu

I e-mail to acknowledge your application for a review of the handling of your Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 Request for all transactions over £500 from 1st April 2017 to 31st December 2017.

Please accept this email as an acknowledgement that your review request has been received and confirmation that a response will be issued by 4th March 2019.

Regards

Fiona Smyth| Information Compliance Officer (GDPR) | Information Governance Unit| Strategy & Communications | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1, Waverley Court, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | Tel: 0131 200 2340| Email: [email address] |Website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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Review, City of Edinburgh Council

1 Attachment

Dear Nikhil Prabhu

Please see attached a letter detailing the outcome of my review of your recent information request,

Regards
Fiona

Fiona Smyth| Information Compliance Officer | Information Governance Unit| Strategy & Communications | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1, Waverley Court, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | Tel: 0131 200 2340| Email: [email address] |Website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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Dear Review, Ms. Smyth, Fiona,

Thank you for your response yesterday.
I would like to know - Is it the same as an "Internal Review" or would that be a different process?

Thank You,
Nikhil Prabhu

Review, City of Edinburgh Council

Nikhil,

The review I undertook was the internal review that applicants can request under s20 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. As detailed in my letter of yesterday's date, if you remain dissatisfied with the Council's handling of your information request, you can make an application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision whether or not the Council handled your request appropriately,

Regards
Fiona

Fiona Smyth| Information Compliance Officer Information Governance Unit| Strategy & Communications | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1, Waverley Court, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | Email: [email address] |Website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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Dear Review, Ms. Smyth, Fiona,

I just had a chat with the Regulator Ms. Suzanne Jenkins, and she advised me to go back to you regarding this review, which was done for my original request on 07 Jan 2019 of "All supplier transactions over £500 from 1st April 2017 to 31st December 2018". However, in my subsequent appeal on 04 Feb 2019, I had narrowed my scope to "Suppliers only in Health & Social Care" - Ms. Jenkins is requesting for you to please review this later request. I am including it below for your reference :-

"We are looking for payments to suppliers who provide a service in Health and Social Care ONLY. 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 all suppliers from 1st April 2017 - 31st December 2018 - preferably in a CSV format."

I do now look forward to your response as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely,
Nikhil Prabhu

Dear Review, Ms. Fiona Smyth,

Could you please respond as the statutory limit has long expired?

Yours sincerely,
nikhil prabhu

Dear Review, Ms. Fiona Smyth,

Apologies, the statutory limit for response just expired yesterday.
As stated in my previous Internal Review request, we our looking for you to review our later modified request for data ONLY in Health & Social Care.

Thank you,
Yours sincerely,
nikhil prabhu

Review, City of Edinburgh Council

Mr Prabhu

My apologies for any delay or confusion regarding this - I am currently preparing a submission for OSIC which includes the fresh calculation of cost they asked us to undertake. I agreed an extension of the OSIC deadline to 30th May 2019 to account for some unexpected time I had out of the office last week which they agreed to, as such, it will be tomorrow I will issue a further response to you.

Regards
Fiona

Fiona Smyth| Information Compliance Officer | Information Governance Unit| Strategy & Communications | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1, Waverley Court, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | Tel: 0131 529 4270 (Ext: 34270)| Email: [email address] |Website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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Dear Review, Ms. Fiona Smyth| Information Compliance Officer,

Thank you for the update & we are looking forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,
nikhil prabhu

Review, City of Edinburgh Council

1 Attachment

Mr Prabhu

With thank for your patience and understanding, please see attached letter detailing my fresh calculation of the cost of compliance with your request for information. I will copy this to OSIC for their information also

Regards
Fiona

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Dear Review,

Thank you for your revised estimate. However, we are still unhappy with your response and will be approaching the Regulator. Larger Councils like Fife and West Lothian have provided is with datasets greater than 74,000 lines, still well within the statutory cost limit, for similar requests.

Yours sincerely,
nikhil prabhu

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