Council Tax Summons (£130.77) - Grant Thornton case

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

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear Haringey Borough Council,

Q1. Please disclose the calculation referred to in paragraph 11 of the judgment below:

Nicolson v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2016] EWHC 710 (Admin)
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi...

" 11. As set out in the witness statement of Paul Dossett, a partner of the respondent, the Council provided a spreadsheet showing its calculation of cost per case of issuing a summons on 2 December 2014. This led to a cost per case of £130.77, slightly in excess of the £125 sought. "

Q2. Please disclose the calculation referred to in paragraph 13 of the same judgment (supplied to Grant Thornton) if different to that asked for in Q.1.

"The Council has provided us with their calculation of costs to support the charge of £125 per summons issued"

Yours faithfully,

fFaudwAtch UK

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for the below request.

 

Please supply your full name so I can get this logged for you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Simon Dingomal 

Feedback Review Officer

 

Haringey Council 

River Park House, 225 High Road, London, N22 8HQ

 

020 8489 1988

[email address]

 

www.haringey.gov.uk

twitter@haringeycouncil

facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear FOI, N Gilliatt AKA fFaudwAtch UK Yours sincerely, fFaudwAtch UK

Gunn Claire1, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Regulations Request:
Reference LBH/5462316

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 04 July 2016.

This information request will be dealt with in accordance with the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations and we
will send the response by 01 August 2016.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us on 020 8489 1988 or
[email address].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Claire Gunn

Feedback Review Officer

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2576

E. [1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

 

P Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 

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Traidia Toni, Haringey Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Gilliat

 

Re:  Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/5462316

 

Please find attached the response to your request for information received
on 4 July 2016.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Toni Traidia

Court Officer

Shared Service Centre | Revenues

 

Haringey Council

PO Box 10505, Wood Green, London N22 7WJ

 

T. 020 8489 5361

E. [email address]

 

[1]www.haringey.gov.uk

[2]twitter@haringeycouncil

[3]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear Traidia Toni,

Thank you for disclosing the requested information.

The breakdown (if that was all Haringey provided) would be meaningless to auditor Grant Thornton as an item of evidence required by law to be satisfied how the figure was arrived at, and what "costs" it represents to determine whether the costs were reasonably incurred and even more meaningless to the judge.

I would like the figures justifying, for example how the figure £4.16 million has been arrived at as the Cost of Council Tax collection when the figure stated ( https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2... ) in the CIPFA Benchmarking Club Council Tax 2014.xlsx is less than half that amount

Also there is £0.774 million attributable to Council Tax Reduction (CTR) which is wholly unjustified as are the percentages (60%, 80%, 80%, 60%) of Enforcement costs, direct costs, indirect costs and overheads respectively. These would clearly be unreasonable to any reasonable thinking person as proportions to be claimed simply for asking the Magistrates permission to use enforcement measures.

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Gilliat,

 

If you wish to submit a new FOI request please clarify what information
exactly you are requesting.

 

Please note that we will take no further action regarding your email below
until we receive clarification from you.

 

Regards,

 

Sirkku Pietikäinen

Information Governance Officer

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2552

[1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear FOI,

The breakdown would be meaningless to auditor Grant Thornton as an item of evidence required by law to be satisfied how the figure was arrived at, and what "costs" it represents to determine whether the costs were reasonably incurred and even more meaningless to the judge.

I would like information disclosing to justify the figures.

How has the figure £4.16 million been arrived at as the Cost of Council Tax collection. Please note that the figure stated in the CIPFA Benchmarking Club Council Tax 2014 is less than half that amount.

What further information does the council hold to support the figure £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction (i.e. what is it?)

What further information does the council hold to support the percentages (60%, 80%, 80%, 60%) of Enforcement costs, direct costs, indirect costs and overheads respectively.

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

FOI, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Gilliat

 

Freedom of Information Request: Reference LBH/5486516

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 13 July 2016.

 

This information request will be dealt with in accordance with the Freedom
of Information Act and we will send the response by 10 August 2016.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us on 020 8489 1988 or
[email address].

Yours sincerely,

 

Sirkku Pietikäinen

Information Governance Officer

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2552

[1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

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Law Sandra, Haringey Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Gilliat

 

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request ref: LBH/5486516

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 13 July 2016, in
which you asked for the following information:

 

·         How has the figure of £4.16 million been arrived at as the cost
of Council Tax collection

 

·         What further information does the council hold to support the
figure £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction (i.e.
what is it?)

 

·         What further information does the council hold to support the
percentages (60%, 80%, 80%, 60%) of Enforcement costs, direct costs,
indirect costs and overheads respectively.

 

My response is attached

 

Please note that due to the volume of requests from you, we will need to
consider the costs of complying with any future FOI requests from you on
this topic.

 

Section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act allows a public authority to
charge for providing the information where the costs of complying with the
request exceed a certain limit, which has been set at £450. When
calculating the costs of responding to an FOI request, public authorities
may take into account other requests made by the same person about the
same matter and also any requests from other people where the requests are
clearly connected.

    

If you have any further queries, or are unhappy with how we have dealt
with your request and wish to make a complaint, please contact the
Feedback and Information Team as below. (Please note you should do this
within two months of receiving this response.)   

 

Feedback and Information Governance Team

River Park House

225 High Road

N22 8HQ

T 020 8489 1988

E [1][email address]

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Sandra Law

Team Leader

Shared Service Centre/Revenues

 

Haringey Council

Level 10, Alexandra House,  10 Station Road, London N22 7TR

 

T. 020 8489 3537

[email address]

 

www.haringey.gov.uk

twitter@haringeycouncil

facebook.com/ haringeycouncil

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear Law Sandra,

Thank you for your response.

I am impressed by the skill and creativity gone into convincing Magistrates that such obscure elements of expenditure can be genuinely linked to a process that merely entails requesting the court's approval to enforce outstanding council tax. The money obtained covers the majority of the billing authority's annual Council Tax admin budget.

If no body has been imprisoned over this, why haven't they?

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear Law Sandra,

I would like the following to justify the amounts which doesn't appear to have been included in the response. If I am mistaken and the information can be derived from the breakdown, please provide clarification in context of the figures.

" How has the figure £4.16 million been arrived at as the Cost of Council Tax collection. Please note that the figure stated in the CIPFA Benchmarking Club Council Tax 2014 is less than half that amount.

What further information does the council hold to support the figure £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction (i.e. what is it?) "

Yours sincerely,

fFaudwAtch UK

L : Turnbull left an annotation ()

Go to lawful rebellion.info for the most up to date information on council tax from our lawful rebels.
Pure law and pure original research by the best legal minds in the rebellion.
Council tax is treason.
Lance.

Adamna left an annotation ()

In the breakdown (agreed, a work of fiction) there is an inaccuracy @ No.6 (both times)
"Postage costs for summonses (60p) x 19,000 = £15,600"
Perhaps they need an audit?
It's true that in December 2013 their reply to Arnold Layne https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1... said
"Total number of accounts summoned - 18,153" (close to 19,000) but they now maintain that there are some 26,000. (8,000 pa more real people defrauded?).
I also notice that in that same reply to Arnold Layne in Dec 2013 they saw it as proper to deduct the £179,000 "cost of customers progressing to reminder/final but not liability order stage" (quite correctly), but then suddenly in 2013/14 'costs' INCLUDED is "Recovery notices are sent monthly and generate a high number of enquiries. Recovery notices include reminders, second reminders and final notices." as well as including work on CTR schemes, which have nothing to do with a summons. In fact they are charging for work done to NOT send a summons!
Plus, also @ No.6, which 44,000 cases are these?
"Printing 44,000 at 35p per case - £15,400"
We all know that the 'case files' are sent electronically to the court, and consist simply of a list of names and allegedly overdue amounts (including fictional costs). Even if they were printed, 35p each for an inflated number is not credible.
It would be great if you could ask for clarification, but the history of Haringey blatantly ignoring or refusing FOI requests is disheartening.

Pietikainen Sirkku, Haringey Borough Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt,

 

Internal Review regarding Freedom of Information request reference
Lbh/5486516

 

Thank you for email received on 8 August 2016.

 

Your request for an Internal Review has been logged with the reference
LBH/5573216. Please quote this reference number on any further
correspondence.

 

We will now review the response you have been sent to the above request
and I aim to let you know the outcome of our investigation by 6 September
2016. If I need longer, I will write to let you know the reason and when
you can expect a full reply.

 

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sirkku Pietikäinen

Information Governance Officer

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2552

[1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

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Pietikainen Sirkku, Haringey Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Gilliatt,

 

Please see attached the response to your FOI complaint/internal review.

 

Regards,

 

 

Sirkku Pietikäinen

Information Governance Officer

 

Haringey Council

River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ

 

T. 020 8489 2552

[1][email address]

 

[2]www.haringey.gov.uk

[3]twitter@haringeycouncil

[4]facebook.com/haringeycouncil

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

RESPONSE:

Please note that the Freedom of Information Act gives people the right to access information that public authorities hold. We are under no obligation to create information to respond to a FOI request and while you may feel that the FOI Act gives you the right to put questions to us, this is not actually the case.

The Act does not give people a right to be given answers to questions that they would like to put to a public authority if this would mean creating new information or would involve giving opinion or judgement that is not already recorded.

We have responded to your requests comprehensively and constructively, however, due to the volume of your correspondence we will need to consider the costs of complying with any future FOI requests from you on this topic.

You have submitted six FOI requests this year as well as a number of follow-up queries on the same topic.

I do not doubt your quest to understand how the cost of Council Tax collection has been calculated is sincere, however, your inquiries are becoming burdensome and demanding a disproportionate commitment of staff time.

Section 13 of the Freedom of Information Act allows a public authority to charge for providing the information where the costs of complying with the request exceed a certain limit, which has been set £450.

Please note that when calculating the costs of responding to an FOI request, public authorities may take into account other requests made by the same person about the same matter and also any requests from other people where the requests are clearly connected.

I hope that you are satisfied with my response to your complaint.

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Complaint to Information Commissioner's Office for Haringey Council's mishandling of this freedom of information request.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF

12 September 2016

Dear Sir/Madam

RE: INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF FOI REQUEST TO HARINGEY COUNCIL – REF NUMBER: LBH-5486516

I made a freedom of information request to Haringey Borough Council (‘HBC’). The details can be found on the “what do they know” website at the following address:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
“Council Tax Summons (£130.77) - Grant Thornton case”

BACKGROUND

A response had been obtained to a previous request (LBH/5462316) made to HBC asking for a spreadsheet showing its calculation of cost per case of issuing a Council Tax summons referred to in the judgment of Nicolson v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2016] EWHC 710 (Admin) and which was supplied to Grant Thornton for the purposes of those proceedings.

On the following day (13 July 2016) HBC was asked to clarify the response in relation to some of the figures contained in the breakdown. In response HBC stated that a new request would need submitting.

Details of the request can be found on the “what do they know” website at the following address:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

FOI REQUEST – 13 JULY 2016

The Council was asked the following:

“The breakdown would be meaningless to auditor Grant Thornton as an item of evidence required by law to be satisfied how the figure was arrived at, and what "costs" it represents to determine whether the costs were reasonably incurred and even more meaningless to the judge.

I would like information disclosing to justify the figures.

How has the figure £4.16 million been arrived at as the Cost of Council Tax collection. Please note that the figure stated in the CIPFA Benchmarking Club Council Tax 2014 is less than half that amount [ http://tinyurl.com/guwycyf ].

What further information does the council hold to support the figure £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction (i.e. what is it?)

What further information does the council hold to support the percentages (60%, 80%, 80%, 60%) of Enforcement costs, direct costs, indirect costs and overheads respectively. "

RESPONSE – 5 AUGUST 2016

A document was disclosed which elaborated on the information provided in the breakdown supplied in the previous request (LBH/5462316), though apparently none related to the £4.16 million sum differing so widely from the official CIPFA figure nor information supporting the figure £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction.

REQUEST FOR INTERNAL REVIEW – 8 AUGUST 2016

LBC was asked again for the elements that it apparently failed to consider, as follows:

I would like the following to justify the amounts which doesn't appear to have been included in the response. If I am mistaken and the information can be derived from the breakdown, please provide clarification in context of the figures.

“How has the figure £4.16 million been arrived at as the Cost of Council Tax collection. Please note that the figure stated in the CIPFA Benchmarking Club Council Tax 2014 is less than half that amount.

What further information does the council hold to support the figure £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction (i.e. what is it? “

RESPONSE TO INTERNAL REVIEW – 6 SEPTEMBER 2016

HBC’s findings of the review were that it had provided all information that it held on the topic and satisfied that its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act had been discharged.

CONTENTION

It is unlikely that HBC would not hold the information that would answer why the £4.16 million sum as the Cost of Council Tax collection was more than twice the Revenue outturn figure quoted in the CIPFA document, as would being unable to disclose information that explained the £0.774 million attributable to (CTR) Council Tax Reduction.

Yours sincerely

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The case has now been allocated to the Lead Case Officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate. (14 October 2016)

Dorothy Matricks (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I marked this request as partially successful because although the requester doesn't seem to have received everything that was asked for I would say Sirkku Pietikäinen, Information Governance Officer, is pretty adamant that nothing further is going to be disclosed, unless the Information Commissioner says so.

Fyodor Dostoevsky (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The Information Commissioner's 'Decision Notice': (FS50650752)
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

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