Employee Numbers 2006 - 2016

Darrell Sturmey made this Freedom of Information request to Bournemouth Borough 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 Bournemouth Borough Council.

Dear Bournemouth Borough Council,

I am conducting an investigation with respect to employment levels across Bournemouth Borough Council over the past 10 years 2006 to 2016 ending 5th April each year.

Please could you break down the numbers in lists to cover Full Time Employees, Part Time Employees, Temporary Employees, Contracted/Third Party Employees and Volunteers.

My request covers all Grades from the CEO down.

Yours faithfully,

Darrell Sturmey

Leah Dover, Bournemouth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sturmey,

Freedom of Information Request

I am writing to acknowledge your request for information received on the
3^rd December 2016.

 

We are dealing with your request and will be in contact with you again.

 

A response will be made within 20 working days, either supplying you with
the information which you have asked for, or explaining why we cannot
supply it. If we need any further clarification we will contact you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leah Dover

 

Access to Information Officer

Legal and Democratic

Tel:  01202 454622

Secure email address: [1][email address] (for public
sector bodies only if you are sending from a .gcsx, .pnn, or .gsi email
account)

[2]http://biz/PublishingImages/Bournemouth_...

P  Please consider the effect on the environment before printing this
email

 

 

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2. http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/

Leah Dover, Bournemouth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sturmey,

 

Information Request

 

Thank you for your information request received on the 3^rd December 2016.

 

The Council is not prepared to give you the information requested as it is
considered to be vexatious under the Freedom of Information Act. 

 

The Freedom of Information Act was designed to give individuals a greater
right of access to official information with the intention of making
public bodies more transparent and accountable.

 

Under section 14(1) of the Act, public authorities do not have to comply
with vexatious requests. Section 14(1) is designed to protect public
authorities by allowing them to refuse any requests which have the
potential to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption,
irritation or distress. Proportionality is a key consideration for a
public authority when deciding whether to refuse a request as vexatious.
The public authority must essentially consider whether the value of a
request outweighs the impact that the request would have on the public
authority’s resources in responding to it. Aspects that can be considered
in relation to this include the purpose and value of the information
requested, and the burden upon the public authority’s resources.

 

A public authority can also consider the context of the request and the
history of its relationship with the requester when this is relevant. A
commonly identified feature of vexatious requests is that they can emanate
from some sense of grievance or alleged wrong-doing on the part of the
authority.

 

Bournemouth Borough Council believes that your requests for information
under the Freedom of Information Act contain some of the typical key
features of a vexatious request, as identified by the Information
Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can find ICO guidance on vexatious
requests for organisations here:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

Your complaints regarding health and safety at the aviary were
comprehensively addressed through the 3 stages of the Council’s complaints
process.

 

Stage 1 of your complaint was dealt with by the Head of Community
Regeneration.

Stage 2 of your complaint was dealt with by the Director of Housing and
Communities

Stage 3 of your complaint was dealt with by the Executive Director of
Environment and Economy

 

Once the internal complaints process was exhausted you referred your
complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) who completed an
investigation. The LGO did not uphold your complaint as they saw no
evidence of fault by the Council in the way it responded to your concerns
about health and safety.

 

Whilst you have only submitted 3 Freedom of Information requests since the
6th December 2016, it is noted that these are intrinsically related to
your concerns regarding health and safety, volunteers and the aviary.
Previous to the FOI requests your concerns resulted in a significant
amount of correspondence and actions (spanning from October 2015 onwards)
in which no findings of inappropriate activity by the Council have been
identified. Taking previous correspondence between yourself and various
officers into account we believe that you will not be satisfied with any
response provided and will submit numerous follow up enquiries no matter
what information is supplied.

 

Taking into context your previous correspondence we consider these
requests to be a cumulative result of your general dissatisfaction with
our service, rather than using the Freedom of Information Act in the
spirit of what it was originally intended for. Further, the request has
the effect of harassing the Council (even though the language was not
hostile), as allegations of illegality and impropriety have been made at
the same time as the requests.

 

With all of the above in mind we have reason to believe that responding to
the current requests will impose a disproportionate burden on the
authority.

 

Please note, Section 17(6) of the Act allows the Council to not issue a
refusal notice to any further vexatious or repeated requests on the same
or similar topics.

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response you can ask for a review, which
will be dealt with through the Council’s complaints procedure. Details of
the complaints procedure can be found at:
[2]http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/ContactUs/...

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Council’s review you have
the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Contact details for the Information Commissioner can be found at:
[3]https://ico.org.uk/

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leah Dover

 

Access to Information Officer

Legal and Democratic

Tel:  01202 454622

Secure email address: [4][email address] (for public
sector bodies only if you are sending from a .gcsx, .pnn, or .gsi email
account)

[5]http://biz/PublishingImages/Bournemouth_...

P  Please consider the effect on the environment before printing this
email

 

 

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References

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1. https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
2. http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/ContactUs/...
3. https://ico.org.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/

Dear Leah Dover,

Thank you for your response and associated 'opinion' as cast across my three separate and unrelated FOI requests.

My FOI requests not only meet my requirements and entitlement but also serve the best interests of the public. I also confirm my requests are not vexatious as you have chosen to state.

That said I can appreciate that if Bournemouth Borough Council should feel exposed or embarrassed, then I can reason why the Council would attempt to deflect or manipulate matters.

Hence your identical response across 3 separate and unrelated FOI requests suggests a negative Council culture that does not respect the best interests of the Public. Certainly there really should be no place in any Council for such practitioners.

Please be assured that I seek no credit or reward should my FOI requests drive any necessary improvements across the Council as I see it as my DUTY.

Hence I look forward to a timely and positive response to my FOI requests in line of duty and indeed Law.

Yours sincerely,

Darrell Sturmey

Leah Dover, Bournemouth Borough Council

I am out of the office - I will respond to your email upon my return on
Wednesday 4th January 2017.

 

If your email is urgent please resend to
[email address]

 

 

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Leah Dover, Bournemouth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sturmey,

 

As previously advised in my response on the 29th December 2016 your
request has been considered vexatious under Section 14 (1) of the Freedom
of Information Act. Public authorities are not required to comply with
vexatious requests.

 

You are entitled to ask for a review, which would be dealt with through
the Council’s complaints procedure. The purpose of an Internal Review is
to assess how your Freedom of Information request was handled in the first
instance and to determine whether the original response provided met with
the requirements of the legislation. 

 

Details of the complaints procedure can be found at:
[1]http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/ContactUs/...

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leah Dover

 

Access to Information Officer

Legal and Democratic

Tel:  01202 454622

Secure email address: [2][email address] (for public
sector bodies only if you are sending from a .gcsx, .pnn, or .gsi email
account)

[3]http://biz/PublishingImages/Bournemouth_...

P  Please consider the effect on the environment before printing this
email

 

 

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References

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1. http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/ContactUs/...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/

Dear Leah Dover,

Thank you for your timely response, please accept my apology for my delayed response having just returned back to UK from holiday.

You have reiterated that in your 'opinion' that my FOI request is considered vexatious. Let me assure you that in my professional opinion that my FOI request is not vexatious.

That said I can fully appreciate why a Council should feel exposed with disclosing information that highlights shame and effectively brings itself into disrepute. Can you imagine a suspect criminal being questioned by the Police and to then play the vexatious card... No one should be above the Law and that includes Gov UK and the Local Authorities.

Therefore please can you confirm if it is your decision to play the vexatious card or have you been ordered to play it?

Once I have your timely response then I will progress matters accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Darrell Sturmey

Leah Dover, Bournemouth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sturmey,

 

I am aware that you are dissatisfied with the response however, for this
matter to be progressed further you need to request an Internal Review.

 

The purpose of an Internal Review is to assess how your Freedom of
Information request was handled in the first instance and to determine
whether the original response provided met with the requirements of the
legislation.  The Internal Review would be undertaken by a senior manager
who has not previously been engaged in answering the request.

 

Until you respond confirming that you are requesting an Internal Review no
further progress will be made.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leah Dover

 

Access to Information Officer

Legal and Democratic

Tel:  01202 454622

Secure email address: [1][email address] (for public
sector bodies only if you are sending from a .gcsx, .pnn, or .gsi email
account)

[2]http://biz/PublishingImages/Bournemouth_...

P  Please consider the effect on the environment before printing this
email

 

 

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2. http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/

Dear Bournemouth Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Bournemouth Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Employee Numbers 2006 - 2016'.

I made a straight forward FOI request to Bournemouth Borough Council as follows and which will be considered in light of my support to the Prime Ministers (Theresa May) Modern Employment Review.

"I am conducting an investigation with respect to employment levels across Bournemouth Borough Council over the past 10 years 2006 to 2016 ending 5th April each year. Please could you break down the numbers in lists to cover Full Time Employees, Part Time Employees, Temporary Employees, Contracted/Third Party Employees and Volunteers. My request covers all Grades from the CEO down."

Following this FOI request Leah Dover, Bournemouth Council Employee has stated the following:-
"The Council is not prepared to give you the information requested as it is considered to be vexatious under the Freedom of Information Act".

I can assure you that my FOI request is NOT vexatious and where it seems this is a disruptive attempt to avoid disclosing information that should be made Public. Furthermore it may be used to assist the Prime Minister in her work and to add credibility to the Modern Employment Review.

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

Yours faithfully,

Darrell Sturmey

Leah Dover, Bournemouth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sturmey,

 

Thank you for your response requesting an Internal Review of your request
‘Employee Numbers 2006 – 2016’.

 

The Internal Review will focus on the Council’s use of Section 14 (1) of
the Act across a number of your FOI requests and not just against
‘Employee Numbers 2006 – 2016’. The Internal Review will be undertaken by
the Service Director of Legal and Democratic Services who has not
previously been engaged in answering the requests.

 

As previously advised the purpose of an Internal Review is to assess how
your Freedom of Information requests were handled in the first instance
and to determine whether the original responses provided met with the
requirements of the legislation. 

 

Once the Internal Review has been completed we will either supply you with
the information which you originally asked for, or the Service Director
will explain why we are upholding the original decision to withhold the
information.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the Internal Review you have
the right to apply to the Information Commissioner’s Office. The
Commissioner is an independent regulator who has the power to direct us to
respond to your request differently, if she considers that we have not
complied with the legislation.

 

You can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at the following
address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leah Dover

 

Access to Information Officer

Legal and Democratic

Tel:  01202 454622

Secure email address: [1][email address] (for public
sector bodies only if you are sending from a .gcsx, .pnn, or .gsi email
account)

[2]http://biz/PublishingImages/Bournemouth_...

P  Please consider the effect on the environment before printing this
email

 

 

 

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References

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

Dear Leah Dover,

Thank you for confirming that this case is now pending an Internal Review.

I am mindful that you seem somewhat obsessed with claiming FOI requests to be vexatious which is somewhat alarming.

Please can I therefore further assure you that this is NOT a vexatious FOI and is undertaken in the true spirit of FOI's.

That said, I do appreciate that Councils may feel shamed or embarrassed as a result of having to disclose certain information. Indeed such requests could potentially route-out and expose corruption, neglect, incompetence or even utter contempt. Hence it reasons why some Councils may try and avert or divert FOI's as being vexatious.

That said, even if FOI's are exposing cultural shortcomings across Councils and where some may be particularly serious, it is very much a POSITIVE, COMMENDABLE and APPROPRIATE opportunity for corrective action to result as being the right thing to do.

Certainly the Public should NOT deserve anything less.

Furthermore, my FOI requests are sought where there is no vested interest or a conflict of interests on a personal basis. Hence my FOI requests are firmly in the spirit to which the Legislation promotes and aims to deliver - namely transparency.

Indeed that is also why Whistle-blower policies exist.

Yours sincerely,

Darrell Sturmey