Distribution of correspondence concerning fraud allegations

The request was partially successful.

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended)

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

I would like NELC to disclose who or what department dealt with the correspondence below , sent on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM:

From: fFaudwAtch UK
To: peter.hanmer@nelincs
Cc: Tony.Maione@Nelincs ; rob.walsh@nelincs; Res - Customer Services
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2016 1:00 PM
Subject: False statement to defraud through council tax liability application

Dear Mr Hanmer

FALSE STATEMENT TO DEFRAUD THROUGH COUNCIL TAX LIABILITY APPLICATION

North East Lincolnshire Council is already aware through being alerted in a formal complaint regarding one of it's employees (Court Enforcement officer) committing a fraud offence against me.

In brief, the council made an application to Grimsby Magistrates' court to obtain a Council Tax liability order relating to Council Tax (2015/16). Payments were made in sufficient amount to meet the legal obligation to pay the sums set out on the demand notice and so my account was never in arrears.

The Council engineered a 'non-payment' scenario, by allocating monies to a disputed sum which related to a previous year's account that was under appeal to the High Court. That sum was suspended pending the court's decision which has yet to be concluded. The council allocate monies to the wrong account attributing that decision to believing that the sum was no longer being disputed because the appeal had been withdrawn. I have evidence to support that this claim (included in the witness statement) was untrue, not on account of it never being withdrawn (though it hasn't), but specifically because it is beyond all reasonable doubt that the council knew it had not been withdrawn. The council officer had therefore wilfully made a statement material in the proceeding, which he knew was not true.

The Corporate Feedback procedure was evidently not the appropriate avenue to have the criminal element of my complaint dealt with as the Council flatly refused to address it, asserting that the concerns raised fell outside the scope of the complaints process. The Chief Executive, Rob Walsh must be ultimately responsible as he is aware of the criminal allegations and has not, to my knowledge, acted on them. The letter accompanying the final response to the complaint signed by the Chief Executive contained the following statement (Ref: NEL/1172/1516):

"The enclosed investigating officer's report details the findings of this investigation which I consider has been correctly and fairly carried out in accordance with the Council's Feedback Policy."

I have since made enquiries into the Council’s policy on fraud and now aware of the approach it takes in dealing with these matters. I have accessed the relevant documents, whistleblowing policy, anti fraud framework and the fraud response plan etc. Given that my complaint alleged fraud and the council refused to address it, details should have been referred to the Audit, Risk, Insurance and Corporate Fraud team immediately in accordance with the 'Fraud Response Plan' (see relevant para below):

"Complaints officers should consider all allegations of irregularity that may be included in a complaint or comment and refer all cases to the Audit, Risk, Insurance and Corporate Fraud team immediately on receipt. Allegations of this nature should be treated through this policy rather than the corporate complaints procedure as the timetable for investigating and reporting on complaints does not apply to complaints of financial misconduct."

I assume the policy was not adhered to as I've not been notified of commencement of an investigation or whether the matter has been referred to the police. However, I suspect the council has not informed the police as my own contact with the force has led to no evidence that that is the case.

Though it is unlikely any action has been taken concerning this matter, I would like informing of what steps the council has taken, if in fact I have assumed wrongly.

In any event, please take this email as an instruction for an investigation to be carried out in accordance with the council's whistleblowing policy. For your information I have instituted proceedings pursuant to s.1 of the Magistrates' courts Act 1980 in this matter and a hearing is set for 29 April 2016 for the evidence to be considered by the court.

In addition, please find attached documents (listed below) which when accompanied by the council's witness statement and exhibit documents, re 30 October 2015 court hearing, will be all the evidence required. In accordance with the council's Fraud Response Plan I would expect, subject to legal constraints, that I'm informed about how the matter is being addressed.

ATTACHED DOCUMENTS

1. Perjury to Commit Fraud - 2 Dec 15 ( http://tinyurl.com/p233lzt )

2. 7 Nov 2015 – ocj-complaint-0913 (See from heading Annex A to C) https://www.scribd.com/doc/288873729/Jud...

3. Section 1 Magistrates court complaint - draft ( http://tinyurl.com/zoolbd6 )

Yours sincerely

fFaudwAtch UK

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

GRIMSBY AND CLEETHORPES
MAGISTRATES’ COURT

(Code 1940) Application to start a prosecution
(s1 Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980)

Listed: 26 April 2016

http://tinyurl.com/z4tzzzk Statement of Evidence

http://tinyurl.com/z7femxh Exhibit 1
http://tinyurl.com/hbaeqtz Exhibit 2
http://tinyurl.com/jafq4b8 Exhibit 3
http://tinyurl.com/z96y2af Exhibit 4
http://tinyurl.com/jb4xdew Exhibit 5
http://tinyurl.com/hwhnukz Exhibit 6
http://tinyurl.com/ha82mnb Exhibit 7
http://tinyurl.com/hkhk3gw Exhibit 8
http://tinyurl.com/jg8pkbq Exhibit 9
http://tinyurl.com/j53vgd6 Exhibit 10
http://tinyurl.com/z5hprmb Exhibit 11
http://tinyurl.com/hxqrwym Exhibit 12
http://tinyurl.com/j3dc338 Exhibit 13
http://tinyurl.com/h8vl4ft Exhibit 14
http://tinyurl.com/jy8krnr Exhibit 15
http://tinyurl.com/zzrb7xc Exhibit 16
http://tinyurl.com/z8hqq6o Exhibit 17
http://tinyurl.com/zhwygsd Exhibit 18
http://tinyurl.com/zvmoo8u Exhibit 19
http://tinyurl.com/h6cpyxw Exhibit 20
http://tinyurl.com/hzcss4z Exhibit 21

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

 

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information, which has been
allocated the reference number NEL/1953/1617.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing and
you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it will
take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you
of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving a response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:

[1]https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-infor....

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

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fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

North East Lincolnshire Council obtained a liability order for non-payment of council tax and evidence is held that it lied to the court in a witness statement to do so. The summons costs awarded to the council were therefore obtained fraudulently.

Humberside police refused to investigate despite being provided concrete evidence. Then in an application for private prosecution concerning the police's negligence, Deputy District Judge, Nick Hayles, after considering the evidence stated spuriously that the application was vexatious and exercised discretion not to issue a summons for the purpose of bringing before the court the officer serving with Humberside police who had wrongly stated perjury was not a matter for the police.

When a member of the public is deemed to have committed an offence against the council (or its authority) it institutes a criminal prosecution. However, when it's a council officer committing perjury to defraud a member of the public, the police and court fall over themselves to protect the council officer from the justice system leaving the victim no other choice than to attempt a private prosecution.

For further details see below:

http://getoutofdebtfree.org/forum/viewto...

fFaudwAtch UK (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The Council's method, when dealing with these matters when the authority itself has committed the offence, seems to be the "bury your head" approach.

There has been no reply in almost three weeks. One would have expected to have had at least acknowledgement within a day or two.

PPD - FOI, North East Lincolnshire Council

Dear Mr Gilliatt

 

Thank you for your information request reference 1953_1617. I can confirm
that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the following information.

 

It would not be appropriate to discuss the specifics of any private
correspondence with the Council in response to an information request,
made under the Freedom Of Information Act.

 

To ensure Freedom of Information is effective both for applicants in
making requests and receiving the information they require, and the
Council in its use of resources for handling and responding to requests,
we would refer you to the Information Commissioner’s website which
provides guidance on how to make requests under the Freedom of Information
Act.

 

Link to the guidance on the Information Commissioner’s website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/offici...

 

The Information Commissioner’s website includes the following guidance on
what you should and should not do when making an information request:

 

What you should not do when making a request

 

·         Use offensive or threatening language.

·         Level unfounded accusations at North East Lincolnshire Council
or its staff.

·         Make personal attacks against employees.

·         Use FOI to reopen grievances which have already been fully
addressed by North East Lincolnshire Council, or subjected to independent
investigation with no evidence of wrongdoing being found.

·         Make assumptions about how North East Lincolnshire Council
organises its.

·         Bury your request in amongst lengthy correspondence on other
matters or underlying complaints.

·         Use requests as a way of ‘scoring points’ against North East
Lincolnshire Council.

·         Send ‘catch-all’ requests for information (such as ‘please
provide me with everything you hold about ‘x’) when you aren’t sure what
specific documents to ask for. If in doubt, try searching on
[2]www.nelincs.gov.uk or enquiring whether any indexes and file lists are
available. Alternatively, ask for some advice and assistance in framing
your request.

·         Submit frivolous or trivial requests; remember that processing
any information request involves some cost to the public purse.

·         Disrupt North East Lincolnshire Council by the sheer weight of
requests or the volume of information requested. Whether you are acting
alone or in concert with others, this is a clear misuse of the Act and an
abuse of your ‘right to know’.

·         Deliberately ‘fish’ for information by submitting very broad or
random requests in the hope it will catch something noteworthy or
otherwise useful. Requests should be directed towards obtaining
information on a particular issue, rather than relying on pot luck to see
if anything of interest is revealed.

·         Make repeat requests unless circumstances, or the information
itself, have changed to the extent that there are justifiable grounds to
ask for the information again.

 

When making your request you should

 

·         Include your name, address and other contact details in the
request.

·         Clearly state that you are making your request under the Freedom
of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations.

·         Be as specific as possible about the information you want rather
than asking general questions. Try to include details such as dates and
names whenever you can. It may also assist in identifying the information
if you explain the purpose behind your request.

·         Re-read your request to check for any wording which is unclear
or open to interpretation.

·         Use straightforward, polite language; avoid basing your request
or question on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints
or comments.

·         Give ample opportunity for any previous requests to be addressed
before submitting new ones.

·         Stay focused on the line of enquiry you are pursuing. Don’t let
your attention start to drift onto issues of minor relevance.

·         Think about whether making a request is the best way of
achieving what you want. If you have an underlying complaint then it may
be better to just take your complaint to the relevant ombudsman and let
them investigate.

·         Aim to be flexible if you are advised that the full request
cannot be met on cost grounds and you are asked to narrow it down. Try to
work with us to produce a streamlined version of the request which still
covers the core information that is most important to you.

 

If your request lacks a clear or serious purpose or if it is not focused
on acquiring recorded information held by the Council, then the Freedom of
Information is probably not an appropriate means through which to pursue
your concerns. You might do better to explore whether there are other more
suitable channels through which to take up your concerns.

 

We do consider this request to be potentially vexatious in nature with no
serious intention to obtain information held by North East Lincolnshire
Council and ask that you read and take account of the guidance above taken
from the Information Commissioners website. In particular you should note
the point as to “… whether making a request is the best way of achieving
what you want. If you have an underlying complaint then it may be better
to just take your complaint to the relevant ombudsman and let them
investigate.” The correspondence you refer to will be responded to as
appropriate.

 

If you believe that your request for information has not been handled in
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to
request an internal review by the Council. Please be clear about which
elements of the Council’s response or handling of the request you are
unhappy with, and would like the Council to address during the internal
review process.  If following this you are still dissatisfied you may
contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you wish to request
an internal review, please contact me and I will make the necessary
arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

 

Feedback Officer

 

 

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