Details of Officers Expenses

caebrwyn made this Freedom of Information request to Carmarthenshire 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 refused by Carmarthenshire Council.

Dear Mr Tillman,

I understand that the total expenses claims by some senior officers of the Council are listed on the website.
Could you please provide me with a detailed breakdown of these, and additional expenses as listed below, to include; dates, amounts, purpose, purchases and any other relevant information. In respect of the Chief Executive, please also provide details for any fees/expenses recieved as Returning Officer/Acting Returning Officer, for all elections (Community Council, County Council, National Assembly for Wales and General Election).

Please provide the above information retrospectively for the past five years, up to today's date.

Please include the following officers;
Chief Executive
Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus and Policy)
Assistant Chief Executive (People Management and Performance)
Director of Education and Children's Services
Director of Resources
Director of Regeneration and Leisure
Director of Technical Services
Director of Social Care, Health and Housing
Head of Administration and Law
Head of Corporate Property
Head of Financial Services
Head of Planning
Head of European Policy and External Funding

Yours faithfully,

Jacqui Thompson

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mrs. Thompson

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 19th
December, 2011 and is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. We are therefore required to provide you with a response
within 20 working days, which will be on or before 18th January, 2011.

If we require any clarification or further details, we will contact you
as soon as possible - if this is the case, then the timescale for
response specified above may be subject to change.

In the meantime, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to
contact me, remembering to quote the reference number provided above in
any communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman

Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data

Adran y Prif Weithredwr

Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer

Chief Executive's Department

Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127

Allanol/External: 01267 224127

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Tillman,

You response is now a day late. Could you kindly let me know when you hope to respond.

Yours sincerely,

Jacqui Thompson

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mrs Thompson,

Thank you for your email.

I can assure you that your request is receiving attention and that we are working to provide you with a response as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Tillman,

Your response is now two weeks late, please let me know if there is a problem and when you are likely to respond.

Yours sincerely,

Jacqui Thompson

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mrs Thompson,

I refer to your request for information, which was received on 19th
December, 2011 and has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

The specific information you requested was as follows:

"I understand that the total expenses claims by some senior officers of
the Council are listed on the website. Could you please provide me with a
detailed breakdown of these, and additional expenses as listed below, to
include; dates, amounts,

purpose, purchases and any other relevant information.

In respect of the Chief Executive, please also provide details for any
fees/expenses recieved as Returning Officer/Acting Returning Officer, for
all elections (Community Council, County Council, National Assembly for
Wales and General Election).

    

Please provide the above information retrospectively for the past five
years, up to today's date.

    

Please include the following officers;

1. Chief Executive

2. Assistant Chief Executive (Customer Focus and Policy)

3. Assistant Chief Executive (People Management and Performance)

4. Director of Education and Children's Services

5. Director of Resources

6. Director of Regeneration and Leisure

7. Director of Technical Services

8. Director of Social Care, Health and Housing

9. Head of Administration and Law

10. Head of Corporate Property

11. Head of Financial Services

12. Head of Planning

13. Head of European Policy and External Funding"

We have given your request careful consideration and found that it is not
possible to comply with it in its present form.

Your request covers a five year period and there are thirteen officers
listed in your request. Of these, twelve officers have made expenses
claims, which are normally submitted monthly.

Twelve of the officers included in your request have also made use of an
electronic claim form, using the Council's Resourcelink system.  This
differs for each officer - some first made use of this in 2009, others in
2010 or 2011.

However, the majority of the claims submitted in the period covered by
your request are recorded manually on paper claim forms.  Once processed,
these claim forms are archived in batches of 50 for each month in employee
number order, but not by order of department.  Around 3 to 5 batches are
then placed in boxes which specify only the month and year of the claims. 
There are usually six boxes per month.   

Extracting all of the forms submitted by these officers for the entire
period covered by your request would therefore entail manually retrieving
these claim form batches and extracting the relevant information from
them.  It is difficult to provide a precise estimate as to how long this
would take, however, we have undertaken a sampling exercise and found that
it took 3 minutes to locate and retrieve the June 2009 claim form for one
of the 13 officers.  A further 2 to 5 minutes would then be spent on
extracting the information from each form, depending on how many items
have been claimed for.  Based on this, it would take at least 60 hours to
complete this work and comply fully with your request.

Under Section 12 of the Act, if a public authority estimates that the cost
of complying that with a request exceeds the appropriate limit, it is not
obliged to comply with the request. This limit is defined in The Freedom
of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004 as £450, which equates to 18 hours of work at the
standard rate specified in the Regulations of £25.00 per hour.

 

In calculating this limit, the time spent on the following can be taken
into account:

1. Determining whether the information is held;

2. Locating the information or a document containing it;

2. Retrieving the information or a document containing it, and

3. Extracting the information from a document containing it.

As such, complying with your request would exceed the cost limit as
explained above.

Therefore, as I am unable to comply in full with your request (as to do so
would exceed the appropriate limit), in accordance with Section 17 (5) of
the Act, I am therefore providing you with formal notice of this.

We normally invite the requester to refine their request or reduce its
scope as part of our obligation under the Act to provide advice and
assistance.  We could, for instance, supply the relevant information that
is recorded on our Resourcelink system.

Should you wish to discuss this further, or need assistance with this,
please do not hesitate to contact me on the email address above or if you
prefer, the telephone number provided below.

If you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled,
you can request a review by writing to:

The Head of Administration & Law

Carmarthenshire County Council

County Hall

Carmarthen

SA31 1JP

Email: [1][email address]

 

If you remain unhappy with the handling of your request or complaint, you
have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

There is no charge for making an appeal.

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw atodiadau yn gyfrinachol ac wedi'u bwriadu at
ddefnydd yr unigolyn y'u cyfeiriwyd ato/ati yn unig. Os derbyniwch y neges
hon trwy gamgymeriad, rhowch wybod i'r sawl a'i hanfonodd ar unwaith,
dilëwch y neges o'ch cyfrifiadur a dinistriwch unrhyw gopïau papur ohoni.
Ni ddylech ddangos yr e-bost i neb arall, na gweithredu ar sail y cynnwys.
Eiddo'r awdur yw unrhyw farn neu safbwyntiau a fynegir, ac nid ydynt o
reidrwydd yn cynrychioli safbwynt y Cyngor. Dylech wirio am firysau eich
hunan cyn agor unrhyw atodiad. Nid ydym yn derbyn unrhyw atebolrwydd am
golled neu niwed a all fod wedi'i achosi gan firysau meddalwedd neu drwy
ryng-gipio'r neges hon neu ymyrryd â hi.

 

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please notify the sender immediately, delete the message from your
computer and destroy any hard copies. The e-mail should not be disclosed
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expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those
of the Council. You should carry out your own virus check before opening
any attachment. We accept no liability for any loss or damage which may be
caused by software viruses or interception/interruption of this mail.

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Dear Carmarthenshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Carmarthenshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Details of Officers Expenses'.

1. Your response exceeded the 20 working day limit, given that my request was refused, this is unacceptable. Please review.

2. Please review your response relating to all the information I requested including the fees and expenses incurred by the Returning Officer. I find it unacceptable that you do not appear to know where much of this information is stored. Your explanation that the information is scattered around County Hall, including "in boxes", is not a sufficient reason to use the cost limit exemption.

The unwillingness and failure to supply this information displays a serious lack of transparency. I expect a full response.

Given that, in two previous responses, you failed to redact my full address, please ensure you do so this time. Please remember that this is a public site.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jacqui Thompson

Robert Edgecombe, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Madam,

 

 

I write with regard to your email of the 12^th February 2011 regarding the
above, receipt of which I acknowledge.

 

I will deal with your request within 20 working days, that is by the 12^th
March 2012.

 

Yours Faithfully

 

Robert Edgecombe

Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw atodiadau yn gyfrinachol ac wedi'u bwriadu at
ddefnydd yr unigolyn y'u cyfeiriwyd ato/ati yn unig. Mae'n bosib bod yr
e-bost hefyd yn cynnwys gwybodaeth gyfreithiol freintiedig. Os derbyniwch
y neges hon trwy gamgymeriad, rhowch wybod i'r sawl a'i hanfonodd ar
unwaith, dilëwch y neges o'ch cyfrifiadur a dinistriwch unrhyw gopïau
papur ohoni. Ni ddylech ddangos yr e-bost i unrhyw un arall, na gweithredu
ar sail y cynnwys. Eiddo'r awdur yw unrhyw farn neu safbwynt a fynegir, ac
nid ydynt o reidrwydd yn cynrychioli safbwynt y Cyngor. Dylech wirio am
firysau eich hunan cyn agor unrhyw atodiad. Nid ydym yn derbyn unrhyw
atebolrwydd am golled neu niwed a all fod wedi'i achosi gan firysau
meddalwedd neu trwy ryng-gipio r neges hon neu ymyrryd â hi. Ni fydd y
Cyngor yn derbyn dogfennau a gyflwynir yn y cyfeiriad e-bost hwn at
ddibenion cyfreithiol, oni chytunir ar hynny yn ysgrifenedig ymlaen llaw
gyda'r sawl sy'n eu hanfon.

This e-mail and any attachments are confidential and intended solely for
the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. This e-mail may also
contain legally privileged information. If received in error please notify
the sender immediately, delete the message from your computer and destroy
any hard copies. The e-mail should not be disclosed to any other person,
nor the contents acted upon. Any views or opinions expressed are those of
the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Council. You
should carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. We
accept no liability for any loss or damage which may be caused by software
viruses or interception/interruption of this mail. The Council will not
accept service of documents at this e-mail address for legal purposes,
unless agreed in advance in writing with the sender.

Robert Edgecombe, Carmarthenshire Council

1 Attachment

Mae'r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw atodiadau yn gyfrinachol ac wedi'u bwriadu at
ddefnydd yr unigolyn y'u cyfeiriwyd ato/ati yn unig. Mae'n bosib bod yr
e-bost hefyd yn cynnwys gwybodaeth gyfreithiol freintiedig. Os derbyniwch
y neges hon trwy gamgymeriad, rhowch wybod i'r sawl a'i hanfonodd ar
unwaith, dilëwch y neges o'ch cyfrifiadur a dinistriwch unrhyw gopïau
papur ohoni. Ni ddylech ddangos yr e-bost i unrhyw un arall, na gweithredu
ar sail y cynnwys. Eiddo'r awdur yw unrhyw farn neu safbwynt a fynegir, ac
nid ydynt o reidrwydd yn cynrychioli safbwynt y Cyngor. Dylech wirio am
firysau eich hunan cyn agor unrhyw atodiad. Nid ydym yn derbyn unrhyw
atebolrwydd am golled neu niwed a all fod wedi'i achosi gan firysau
meddalwedd neu trwy ryng-gipio r neges hon neu ymyrryd â hi. Ni fydd y
Cyngor yn derbyn dogfennau a gyflwynir yn y cyfeiriad e-bost hwn at
ddibenion cyfreithiol, oni chytunir ar hynny yn ysgrifenedig ymlaen llaw
gyda'r sawl sy'n eu hanfon.

This e-mail and any attachments are confidential and intended solely for
the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. This e-mail may also
contain legally privileged information. If received in error please notify
the sender immediately, delete the message from your computer and destroy
any hard copies. The e-mail should not be disclosed to any other person,
nor the contents acted upon. Any views or opinions expressed are those of
the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Council. You
should carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. We
accept no liability for any loss or damage which may be caused by software
viruses or interception/interruption of this mail. The Council will not
accept service of documents at this e-mail address for legal purposes,
unless agreed in advance in writing with the sender.

caebrwyn left an annotation ()

I have now reported Carmarthenshire Council's refusal under cost grounds, and the lateness of the response, to the Information Commissioner.

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