CPS £625K Payoff in 2009

The request was partially successful.

Dear Crown Prosecution Service,

I understand from an article in the Daily Mail recently (*) that a senior member of CPS staff was paid £623,000 in a ‘golden goodbye’ pay-off.

Please could you disclose to me

1) the amount paid to John Graham, former CPS Finance Director until 31 October 2009, on termination of his employment.
2) who authorised the payment (if any) to John Graham

many thanks
Yours faithfully,

P John

(*) www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2423946...

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

Dear P. John,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

Your request was received on 18th September 2013 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please note there is a twenty working day limit (from receipt of request) in which we are required to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The deadline for your request is 16th October 2013.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

Miss H Hardaker

Information Management Unit
Tel: 020 3357 0899
E-mail: [CPS request email]

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Dear CPS,

concerning my request 'CPS £625K Payoff in 2009', made 18 September 2013.... you are breaking the law.

Which is a sorry place for a 'law enforcement' organization to be.

Today is 17 October 2013, and as noted in your initial reply to my request, "The deadline for your request is 16th October 2013".

I asked you to disclose to me;

1) the amount paid to John Graham, former CPS Finance Director until 31 October 2009, on termination of his employment.
2) who authorised the payment (if any) to John Graham

If I don't receive the information requested in 24hrs, expect a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office seeking a Decision Notice/Enforcement Notice in my favour.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

P. John left an annotation ()

ICO complaint sent 18 October 2013.

Dear CPS,

concerning my request 'CPS £625K Payoff in 2009', made 18 September 2013.... you are, still, breaking the law.

It seems absurd that the CPS should need reminding that complying with requests under the FoIA is a legal obligation.

To quote the Information Commissioner; "Everyone in receipt of public funds has got to wake up and smell the coffee and realise that we have had five years of freedom of information now and that's the deal - you get the money and you're accountable."

Provide the information requested - an account for payments made by CPS to John Graham - immediately.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

P. John left an annotation ()

ICO Case Ref FS 50517426

Dear CPS,

concerning my request 'CPS £625K Payoff in 2009', made 18 September 2013.... another week has passed and you are, still, breaking the law.

Please can I draw your attention to the CPS Publication "Essential Guidance on Freedom of Information Act 2000".

That document states "the statutory right of access to information under the FoIA, enables a person to write to the CPS asking for information and to have that information communicated to them... The time limit for responding to a request for information is 20 working days."

Compliance with the FoIA is a legal obligation.

Provide the information requested - an account for payments made by CPS to John Graham - without any further illegal delay.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Dear CPS,

concerning my request 'CPS £625K Payoff in 2009', made 18 September 2013.... it is it now the 12 November and you are, still, breaking the law.

As noted in your acknowledgement, the "deadline for your request is 16th October 2013". Your response is therefore almost a *month overdue*.

Please can I draw your attention to section 10 (Time for compliance with request) of the Freedom of Information Act?

Also the ICO document "Time limits for compliance under the Freedom of Information Act (Section 10)".

"An authority will therefore need to both respond promptly and within 20 working days in order to comply with section 10(1).
Authorities should regard the 20 working day limit as a ‘long stop’, in other words the latest possible date on which they may issue a response."

You have not complied with section 1(1) or section 10 of the FoI act at all.

The CPS are breaking the law.

Please note this request is now the subject of a complaint to the ICO Enforcement team; case ref FS 50517426

regards
P John

Hello CPS,

another reminder; your response to my FoI request "CPS £625K Payoff in 2009" is now publicly listed as "long overdue" on the "What Do They Know?" web site.

It might help you to expedite disclosure of the requested information if I draw your attention to the ICO advice in the guidance note "When should salaries be disclosed?"

In that document the ICO state (among other criteria favouring disclosure);

"• More senior staff who are responsible for major policy and financial initiatives can expect greater scrutiny of their pay than more junior employees. It will nearly always be unfair to disclose the exact salaries of junior employees.
• There could be factors that weigh in favour of greater disclosure, such as legitimate concerns about corruption or mismanagement, or situations in which senior staff set their own or others’ pay"

The guidance note goes on to state;

"A. Should the individual expect their role to be subject to public scrutiny?
The level of salary itself is not the determining issue. Factors to consider include:
• how senior their role is, including their level of accountability and personal responsibility;
• whether they have a public profile or public-facing role; and,
• whether they are responsible for major policy decisions or expenditure of public funds"

A Finance Director is typically the most senior finance position in any organisation. A Finance Director would be expected to play a significant role in setting and approving salaries (including their own). They have a significant role to play in the decisions affecting expenditure of funds.

That being the case, ICO guidance strongly favours disclosure of the requested information.

Indeed the ICO offer the following example of a decision in favour of disclosure affecting the interim **Head of Finance** at Corby Borough Council;
"Example:
The Commissioner ruled that Corby Borough Council should disclose the exact total amount paid to an interim Head of Finance, following a critical report from the Audit Commission."

Please don't withhold the requested information a moment longer. You are currently, flagrantly, breaking the law.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

P. John left an annotation ()

Formal complaint submitted to CPS this morning, concerning failure of FoI Unit to respond to this FoI request, and failure to reply to subsequent correspondence.

P. John left an annotation ()

Complaint sent to constituency MP asking for Attorney General to obtain an explanation for the delay responding to this request.

Dear Freedom of Information Unit,

concerning my FoI request, 'CPS £625K Payoff in 2009', another week passes... and I have still not received your long overdue reply.

You are breaking the law.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Dear Crown Prosecution Service,

another week rolls by and I still have not received the information requested in my FoI ('CPS £625K Payoff in 2009').

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

I am particularly concerned for the welfare of Miss H Hardaker, who has not responded to any correspondence since 19 September. I am also frustrated that the requested information (which I am fully entitled to receive, and by law was due before 16th October 2013) has not materialized.

-= PLEASE NOTE YOU ARE CURRENTLY BREAKING THE LAW =-

According to the web site whatdotheyknow "By law, under all circumstances, Crown Prosecution Service should have responded by now".

As a result my request is the subject of complaints to the ICO, my Member of Parliament, and the CPS complaints handling process. But apparently that incentive to remediate is still insufficient motivation to expedite this request. What more should I do to ensure you meet your legal obligations under Freedom of Information?

I hope you will not delay a moment longer.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

Dear P. John,

 

I apologise for the delay in issuing the response to your request.

 

In the meantime I thought I would take this opportunity to make you aware
that some information regarding John Graham's compensation for loss of
office is already published in the CPS 2009-10 departmental remuneration
report. I provide the link below for ease of reference:

 

[1]http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/repor...

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Miss H Hardaker

Information Management Unit

 

 

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Dear Ms Hardaker,

many thanks for your delayed reply to my correspondence. I note you still have not provided the requested information.

While we are exchanging details of useful documents, could I draw your attention to;

- Section 10 (Time for compliance with request) of the Freedom of Information Act
- Section 77(1) (Offence of altering etc. records with intent to prevent disclosure) of the Freedom of Information Act

- The ICO document "Time limits for compliance under the Freedom of Information Act (Section 10)"

- The ICO guidance note "When should salaries be disclosed?"

- CPS Publication "Essential
Guidance on Freedom of Information Act 2000"

You are currently breaking the law. You are subject to a CPS internal complaint, a complaint to my MP (who has now contacted the Attorney General's office seeking an explanation), and a complaint to the ICO (ref 50517426).

In so doing, I hope I have convinced you that I will not allow you to continue to ignore this request or the law.

Please provide me with an explanation for the ongoing delay, and do not withhold the requested information a single moment longer.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Frederika Whitehead left an annotation ()

P John, would you mind saying who your MP is?

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

1 Attachment

Dear Mr John

 

Please see attached.

 

Regards

 

Mr P Willman

Information Management Unit

*********************************************************************+
This e-mail is private and is intended only for the addressee and any copy recipients.
If you are not an intended recipient, please advise the sender immediately by reply
e-mail and delete this message and any attachments without retaining a copy.

Activity and use of CPS Connect systems, the Government Secure Intranet, and the
Criminal Justice Extranet is monitored to secure their effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Communications using these systems will also be
monitored and may be recorded to secure effective operation and for other
lawful business purposes.
*********************************************************************

Dear Crown Prosecution Service,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Crown Prosecution Service's handling of my FOI request 'CPS £625K Payoff in 2009'.

I would like an explanation for the serial failure to respond to this request, and associated correspondence. You have broken the law. It is simply entirely unacceptable for the CPS (of all public sector organizations) to violate the law in this way.

Secondly, I believe the information should and must be disclosed.

Please can I refer you to the ICO advice document "When should salaries be disclosed". In that document you will find the ICO state (among other criteria favouring disclosure);

"• More senior staff who are responsible for major policy and financial initiatives can expect greater scrutiny of their pay than more junior employees. It will nearly always be unfair to disclose the exact salaries of junior employees.
• There could be factors that weigh in favour of greater disclosure, such as legitimate concerns about corruption or mismanagement, or situations in which senior staff set their own or others’ pay"

The ICO offer the following example of a decision in favour of disclosure affecting the interim **Head of Finance** at Corby Borough Council;
"Example:
The Commissioner ruled that Corby Borough Council should disclose the exact total amount paid to an interim Head of Finance, following a critical report from the Audit Commission".

If the exact total payments made to the interim Head of Finance at Corby Borough Council can be disclosed following a critical report, I am certain the exact total payments made to the Finance Director for the Crown Prosecution Service can likewise be disclosed after critical reporting in the press and a compulsory redundancy.

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

Yours faithfully,

P. John

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

Dear Mr John

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST – INTERNAL REVIEW

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 22 December 2013, I apologise for the delay. Your email has been referred for an internal review and assigned to a Crown Prosecution Service official who was not involved with the original decision in relation to your FOI request (reference 4160).

We normally expect to complete internal reviews within 20 working days, although more complex cases may take longer. We will however endeavour to respond to you as quickly as practicable.

Yours sincerely,

Mr P Willman
Information Management Unit
Tel: 020 3357 0899
Fax: 020 3357 0229
E-mail: [CPS request email]
*********************************************************************+
This e-mail is private and is intended only for the addressee and any copy recipients.
If you are not an intended recipient, please advise the sender immediately by reply
e-mail and delete this message and any attachments without retaining a copy.

Activity and use of CPS Connect systems, the Government Secure Intranet, and the
Criminal Justice Extranet is monitored to secure their effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Communications using these systems will also be
monitored and may be recorded to secure effective operation and for other
lawful business purposes.
*********************************************************************

P. John left an annotation ()

Letter received from ICO senior case officer;

"I have written to CPS to clarify whether or not they wish to proceed to conduct the review you have requested and seek to resolve the matter with you directly - which FoIA entitles them to do. I have also asked CPS to explain the delay.

If CPS are content for us to investigate now, without internal review, my investigation will look at whether the CPS is entitled to rely on the exemption it has cited"

Dear Mr Willman,

just a gentle reminder that I am expecting you to complete your internal review of my FoI request ("CPS £625K Payoff in 2009") shortly.

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Freedom of Information Unit, Crown Prosecution Service

Dear Mr John

I apologise for the fact that you have not received a response to your internal review today. I have discussed this with the lawyer conducting the review and he is still considering the matter. I hope to be able to update you by the end of the week.

Regards

Mr P Willman
Information Management Unit

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Penhale Andrew, Crown Prosecution Service

1 Attachment

Please see the attached.

 

Andrew Penhale

Deputy Head | Central Fraud and Welfare Rural and Health Divisions | Crown
Prosecution Service |

4^th Floor | Sunlight House | Quay Street | Manchester | M3 3LU

DX: 744373 Manchester 53

[1][email address]

T: +44 (0)203 357 0493 (Short dial: 78 0493)

M: +44 (0)7749 646070

F: +44 (0)161 827 4870

 

[2]www.cps.gov.uk

Follow us on twitter @cpsuk

 

*********************************************************************+
This e-mail is private and is intended only for the addressee and any copy recipients.
If you are not an intended recipient, please advise the sender immediately by reply
e-mail and delete this message and any attachments without retaining a copy.

Activity and use of CPS Connect systems, the Government Secure Intranet, and the
Criminal Justice Extranet is monitored to secure their effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Communications using these systems will also be
monitored and may be recorded to secure effective operation and for other
lawful business purposes.
*********************************************************************

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.cps.gov.uk/

Ray left an annotation ()

"The Information Commissioner’s Office is currently monitoring the following authorities’ timeliness in responding to requests for information:

Cabinet Office
Crown Prosecution Service
Hackney Council

The monitoring period will run from 1 January to 31 March 2014."

http://ico.org.uk/news/latest_news/2014/...

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