ET Costs

V Gray made this Freedom of Information request to Coventry City 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 partially successful.

Dear Coventry City Council,

I would like to know how much the Council has spent outsourcing to either Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals for all Council Staff (including Teaching Staff). Any combination of those below, between 1st August 2000 and the 31 October 2010:

1) For constructive dismissal
2) Unfair dismissal
3) One (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act
4) Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
5) Any other Employment issues, I may have omitted.

Please name the Solicitors/Barristers that the Council have outsourced to: For example, 2010 Number Name.

I would request that you include VAT in the figures Please provide the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 – NUMBER HERE; 2007 – NUMBER HERE; 2008 – NUMBER HERE; 2010 – NUMBER HERE; etc, thus making it easier for one to read and to ensure there is no misunderstandings.

Please also send this information as "calendar years".
Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information such as names and addresses – only the total figures.

I would ask that you remember the statutory duty imposed upon public authorities by virtue of Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act to provide advice and assistance to requesters. If for any reason you are leaning toward rejecting any part of this request or if you plan to argue that it is unmanageable or unanswerable in any way then I would expect you to contact me promptly to find ways to answer this request to our mutual satisfaction.

Yours faithfully,

V Gray

Coventry City Council

Dear Mr V Gray,

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information Request - Case Number: 12253255

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which I received on 20/01/2011. Your request will be processed under the terms of the Act.

In line with the Freedom of Information Act we will respond to you within 20 working days of the date that we received your request. If there are any problems with this request that may delay in the dissemination of information, we will contact you immediately.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Officer

Please direct queries to:
Information Governance Team
Tel: 024 7683 3305
Fax: 024 7683 3395
[Coventry City Council request email]

www.coventry.gov.uk

**PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED E-MAIL**

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Coventry City Council,

Thank you for your prompt response, I look forward to receiving the correct information

Yours faithfully,

V Gray

Abel, Karen, Coventry City Council

Dear Mr Gray

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Extension

I am writing to advise you that the time limit for responding to your
request for information needs to be extended.

The Act allows us 20 working days to respond to your request from the date
of its receipt. However, it is occasionally necessary to extend the
statutory deadline, for example to consider the public interest in
disclosure where cases are particularly complex. On this occasion, the
Council needs to extend your request by a further 20 working days.

I hope to let you have a response by 8th March 2011, and will keep you
informed of any further delay. If you are not happy with the extension
please contact me on 02476 832867.

Please note that you have a right to make a complaint about the handling
of your request to the Council's Information Governance Team at:

Information Governance Team

Council House, Room 21a

Lower Ground Floor

Earl Street, Coventry.

CV1 5RR

[1][Coventry City Council request email]

Tel: 024 7683 3323

Yours sincerely

Karen Abel

Karen Abel

Administrative Officer

Finance & Legal Services Directorate

Coventry City Council

1st Floor Christchurch House

Greyfriars Lane

Coventry

CV1 2QL

Tel: 024 7683 2867

Fax: 024 7683 3770

www.coventry.gov.uk

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Karen Abel,

Please explain why you are requesting an extension of 20 days for basic clerical information? You are quoting "Extension." Without actually providing a valid reason. I would point out that councils twice the size of Coventry Council have already provided the correct information, without the need for an extension. Surely, you are not inferring that Coventry Council is so incompetent they cannot find basic financial information.

The information I requested is basic clerical research. I suggest you contact the director of Finance Chris West (on Coventry City Council website, states “Chris West is responsible for ensuring sound management of the Council's financial and legal affairs, and also the delivery of a range of front line and support services. These include: Maintaining adequate and effective internal audit.” Chris West can ask one of the clerical staff to run a report on the database and I am sure they will find the correct information, as all council financial procedures have to be adhered to.

One would also clarify that when one was referring to total cost thus was for each Solicitor/Barrister for each year’s work. I am not requesting information to be provided on a spreadsheet or any other office format, a word document will suffice.

I would ask that you remember the statutory duty imposed upon public authorities by virtue of Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act to provide advice and assistance to requesters.

I would point out you have a legal obligation to provide the correct figures.

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

Abel, Karen, Coventry City Council

Dear Mr Gray

Thank you for your e-mail which is receiving attention. We will be in touch as soon as possible.

Regards

Karen Abel
 
 
Karen Abel
Administrative Officer
Finance & Legal Services Directorate
Coventry City Council
1st Floor Christchurch House
Greyfriars Lane
Coventry
CV1 2QL
 
Tel:  024 7683 2867
Fax: 024 7683 3770
 
www.coventry.gov.uk
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear Coventry City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Coventry City Council's handling of my FOI request 'ET Costs'.

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

The internal review should be an independent, impartial review based on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and associated case law. It is not an emotive proceeding where personal views or opinions on the requester are to be given any weight. It should be fair and objective and should there be any suggestion of anything to the contrary, be assured the matter will be taken before the Information Commissioner and if necessary the Information Tribunal.

I would remind you that by law you have a legal obligation to respond truthfully and not try to hide the Tribunal figures...be honest and open and prove you have nothing to hide.

Yours faithfully,

V Gray

Hadzic, Merima, Coventry City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Gray

See attached acknowledgement.

Regards
Merima

Merima Hadzic
Information Governance Assistant
Democratic Services,
Customer & Workforce Services,
Coventry City Council
Council House, Room 21a
Earl Street
Coventry, CV1 5RR

Telephone No: 024 7683 2565
Fax No: 024 7683 3395

www.coventry.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Hadzic, Merima,

I look forward to receiving the correct information.

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

Abel, Karen, Coventry City Council

Dear Ms Gray

Thank you for requesting information about spending on outsourcing to
either Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals, which
the Council received on 16^th January 2011. Your request has been
considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You have requested
the following information:

"I would like to know how much the Council has spent outsourcing to either
Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals for all Council
Staff (including Teaching Staff). Any combination of those below, between
1st August 2000 and the 31 October 2010:

1) For constructive dismissal

2) Unfair dismissal

3) One (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the
Protection from Harassment Act

4) Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

5) Any other Employment issues, I may have omitted.

    

Please name the Solicitors/Barristers that the Council have outsourced to:
For example, 2010 Number Name.

    

I would request that you include VAT in the figures Please provide the
figures in the following format e.g. 2006 - NUMBER HERE; 2007 - NUMBER
HERE; 2008 - NUMBER HERE; 2010 - NUMBER HERE; etc, thus making it easier
for one to read and to ensure there is no misunderstandings.

    

Please also send this information as "calendar years". "

Information relating to your request has been withheld from disclosure.
The exemption engaged is Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 200
(FOI).

Section 12 of the FOI exempts Public Authorities from providing
information where the estimated cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate
limit. Any estimate must be undertaken in accordance with the limits set
in fees regulations made under Section 12 (5) of the FOI.

These Fees Regulations (SI 2004/3244 Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations) allow for refusal
where the cost of compliance, for local authorities such as the Council,
would exceed £450. As a guide, staff time to identify and extract this
information is charged at a rate of £25 per hour.

In summary, the information requested is kept on individual legal files
only and not consolidated or searchable by use of any database systems.

There are approximately 200 cases. A manual check of each paper file would
need to be carried out. Once case and barrister or solicitor details were
located, payment details would need to be checked against the Council's
financial records and organised into the format you have specified. 
These checks would take at least ten minutes per file, an estimated total
of over 30 hours of staff time.

You may wish to refine your request by narrowing its scope and/or by being
more specific about what information you particularly wish to obtain,
including any dates or period of time relevant to the information
required. We have a duty to advise and assist you in refining your request
under Section 16 of the Act so contact us if you need help in refining
your request

I trust you feel that our response meets your request. However if you are
dissatisfied you have a right to make a complaint about the handling of
your request, and you also have a right to make an appeal about the
outcome of your request - in the first instance this should be to the
Council's Information Governance Team at:

Council House, Lower Ground Floor,

Room 21a, Earl Street,

Coventry. CV1 5RR

[1][Coventry City Council request email]

If you are still dissatisfied, you have the right to apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely

Chris Faulkner

Chris Faulkner (Mrs)

Policy and Resources Manager

Finance and Legal Services Directorate

Coventry City Council

1st Floor, Christchurch House

Greyfriars Lane

Coventry CV1 2QL

Tel: 024 76833000

Fax: 024 76833770

[2]www.coventry.gov.uk

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Abel, Karen,

Please provide whatever information you can, given the resources that you have. I would point out you are legally obliged to provide the correct figures and names of Barristers/Solicitors and the total cost.

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

1 Attachment

Dear V Gray

In respect of your recent request for internal review, please find
attached the Council's response.

Yours sincerely

Iain Harrison
Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,
Democratic Services,
Customer & Workforce Services,
Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,
Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

Telephone No: 024 7683 3305
Fax No: 024 7683 3395

[1]www.coventry.gov.uk

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Harrison,

I am extremely concerned by your lack of response. The fact that you cannot provide financial information for even two years, gives the impression of either gross financial misconduct or fraud. Which one is it? As all financial records have to be adhered to and it is apparent from your response this is not the case. As a public
authority, you have to maintain financial records.

Please advise what happens when the auditors check the payments and you are unable to provide figures for two years?

Perhaps the fraud squad needs to be informed of your financial problems? After all, it is the Tax Payers of Coventry whose money you cannot locate.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

Dear Mr Harrison,

I am extremely concerned by your lack of response. The fact that you cannot provide financial information for even two years, gives the impression of either gross financial misconduct or fraud. Which one is it? As all financial records have to be adhered to and it is apparent from your response this is not the case. As a public
authority, you have to maintain financial records.

Please advise what happens when the auditors check the payments and you are unable to provide figures for two years?

Perhaps the fraud squad needs to be informed of your financial problems? After all, it is the Tax Payers of Coventry whose money you cannot locate.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

Dear V Gray

The Council has responded to your request and subsequently reviewed its decision, outlining further routes of appeal available to you.

The Council has nothing to add to its previous responses and considers the matter closed.

Yours sincerely

Iain Harrison
Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,
Democratic Services,
Customer & Workforce Services,
Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,
Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

Telephone No: 024 7683 3305
Fax No: 024 7683 3395

www.coventry.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Harrison

From your response, the words incompetent spring to mind. Incompetent: As you are incapable of adhering to legal procedures; by not responding within the correct time line, which you are legally obliged to have a response to the FOI request.
Ironic as on the 8 February 2011 K Abel requested an extension of 20 days...thus giving the impression Coventry Council was going to assist me with the request. Please explain, why did Coventry Council ask for an extension? Reviewing all correspondence it is abundantly clear; you did not intend to provide the correct information? On the 4 March 2011, K Abel stated the following: “You may wish to refine your request by narrowing its scope and/or by being more specific about what information you particularly wish to obtain, including any dates or period of time relevant to the information required. We have a duty to advise and assist you in refining your request under Section 16 of the Act so contact us if you need help in refining your request”. I duly responded to this request.

I feel as the Information Governance Officer maybe it would be advisable for you were to attend training/seminar on the concept of responding to the FOIA as I feel from your response you have not grasped the point of adhering to legal obligations. I have emailed your CEO, as I feel he should be aware of the incompetence of the legal team

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

V Gray left an annotation ()

Flag this messageFailed to adhere to the legal obligations concerning FOIASunday, 24 April, 2011 20:43From: "xxxxxxcom>: Martin Reevesxxxxxx
Dear Mr Reeves and Mr McNicholas

I apologise for having to contact you. I feel that your staff has failed to comprehend a Freedom of Information Request that I have submitted. I requested basic information, asking the following:

I would like to know how much the Council has spent outsourcing to
either Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals
for all Council Staff (including Teaching Staff). Any combination
of those below, between 1st August 2000 and the 31 October 2010:

1) For constructive dismissal
2) Unfair dismissal
3) One (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under
the Protection from Harassment Act
4) Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
5) Any other Employment issues, I may have omitted.

Please name the Solicitors/Barristers that the Council have
outsourced to: For example, 2010 Number Name.

I would request that you include VAT in the figures Please provide
the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 – NUMBER HERE; 2007 –
NUMBER HERE; 2008 – NUMBER HERE; 2010 – NUMBER HERE; etc, thus
making it easier for one to read and to ensure there is no
misunderstandings.

Please also send this information as "calendar years".
Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information
such as names and addresses – only the total figures.

I would ask that you remember the statutory duty imposed upon
public authorities by virtue of Section 16 of the Freedom of
Information Act to provide advice and assistance to requesters. If
for any reason you are leaning toward rejecting any part of this
request or if you plan to argue that it is unmanageable or
unanswerable in any way then I would expect you to contact me
promptly to find ways to answer this request to our mutual
satisfaction.

The response from the Council was extremely disappointing. Other Councils have provided the correct information. I feel that Coventry Council are trying to conceal the names of the Solicitors/Barristers as they are failing to provide the correct information.

Could you please intervene and assist me with resolving the above issues. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/et...

Thank you for your time and pending assistance.

Kindest Regards

V Gray

V Gray left an annotation ()

From: xxxxx>
To: "Martin.Reeves>
Sent: Saturday, 21 January 2012, 17:20
Subject: Re: Failed to adhere to the legal obligations concerning FOIA

Dear Mr Reeves

I contacted you in April 2011 concerning the lack of response to a Freedom of Information Request. I am disappointed that you have failed to respond to my email and also concerned as a public official you appear to be ignoring the failings of your employees to adhere to the law. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/et...

I was re reading the response from one of your colleagues and I found it ironic that he claimed for basic clerical duties a council employee is on £25 an hour, given the current recession, the taxpayer of Coventry may be feel this a tad too much. May I suggest you advise a lower grade employee search for this information, and then you will be within the remit of £450 which Local Government are allocated to provide this information

I feel as the CEO you have a have duty of care towards the taxpayers of Coventry and also a legal obligation to remind your staff they cannot ignore Freedom of Information Requests.

I look forward to your intervention.

Yours sincerely

V Gray

Dear Coventry City Council

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Coventry City Council's handling of my FOI request 'ET Costs'.

Please explain why you have failed in your duty to provide the correct information? Therefore, if the information exists, you are required to disclose it unless an exemption applies. I am mindful that you have cited the ‘costs’ exemption, yet section 16 of the FOIA imposes upon you a duty to provide advice and assistance. Yet you have not done so.

You have done nothing to assist me in seeking to find a way that would help me obtain the information I am requesting.

May I suggest you request a lower grade employee search for this information,(NOT £25 FOR BASIC CLERICAL SERCH) and then you will be within the remit of £450 which Local Government are allocated to provide this information.

On the basis of the foregoing, I would ask that a review be carried out and that I be advised of the outcome of that review within the timescales deemed appropriate in the Information Commissioner’s recent guidance.

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

Yours faithfully,

V Gray

Dear Coventry City Council,

I am still awaiting a response to this request.

Yours faithfully,

V Gray

Dear Coventry City Council

I feel I must respond to your letter dated the 28 March 2011.
You stated: "In relation to your email of 09th February 2011, the Council has a duty to advise and assist requesters and endeavours to do so.
On that basis, I would confirm that the Council endeavoured to provide you with a full response and informed you that to do so would entail a delay, as explained in the extension email correspondence sent to you on 08th February 2011.
In relation to your email of 23rd February 2011, I note that your request for an internal review of the handling of your request was received before a final response was issued.
I can confirm that in its response issued on 04th March 2011, the Council explained that the applicable Fees Regulations (SI 2004/3244 Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations) allow requests to be refused where the cost of complying with them would exceed £450. It explained that staff time to identify and extract this information is charged at a rate of £25 per hour.
In conclusion
I would like to apologise for any confusion caused by any previous responses, but would nevertheless assert that the Council endeavoured to provide you with a full response. It also informed you of the likely delay in a response being provided, with an estimated time for completion.
On issue of its final response, it explained that to comply with your request would exceed the statutory cost of compliance and the appropriate exemption was cited. It has also advised you to consider refining your request to make it more manageable.
The Council notes that you have submitted a revised request by email on 21st March 2011 in which you ask:
"Please provide whatever information you can, given the resources
that you have. I would point out you are legally obliged to provide
the correct figures and names of Barristers/Solicitors and the
total cost".
The Council however remains of the view that given the way its information is organised, the situation remains the same with regard to the application of Section 12. This concludes the Council's response in this matter."

My response: “We are in a recession and I feel that the concept of a member of staff on a salary in excess of £48000 per year combing through files (which is what a £25 per hour salary equates to), when the task could be just as easily done by a temp on the National Minimum Wage is a joke. The Council Tax Payers of Coventry would be pleased to know how you spend their Council Tax. Your suggestion that to search through the files over several years is slightly puzzling as one would imagine each file would have a section dealing with Tribunals. If the files are manual
files held in what the Data Protection Act refers to as a "Manual relevant structured filing system, one would expect it would take at most a minute to extract a file from a cabinet, open it, turn up
the Tribunal tab and glance at the sheet and scribble a note if the file refers to Tribunal and put it back again. The "relevant cost limit" from Section 12 is £450 or two and a half days work. By those figures, one would expect you to be able to review 1000 files in that time.

Please provide the information I originally requested in January 2011 using someone who is not on £25 an hour. No more excuses and please remember you are public employee so politeness and not excuses should be the order of the day.

I look forward to receiving the correct information.

Yours faithfully

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

1 Attachment

Dear V Gray

The Council conducted an internal review and responded to you via this matter previously. I attach a copy of the Council's response to you, dated 28th April 2011.

Another copy of this was sent to your personal email address by the Chief Executives Office on 25th January 2012, in response to a direct query from you.

The attached response outlined the Council's position and further routes of appeal. Nothing has changed.

Yours sincerely

Iain Harrison
Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,
Democratic Services,
Customer & Workforce Services,
Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,
Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

Telephone No: 024 7683 3305
Fax No: 024 7683 3395

www.coventry.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Harrison

I have received no private correspondence from Coventry Council.

Under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act, please could you advise me (as per the duty imposed by Section 16) on what information you can supply on the budget of £450? Maybe you could ask a clerk/administrator on £10 an hour to locate the information rather than £25 an hour.
Please advise on the best way forward so that you can provide value for money on expenditure and therefore provide the information I have requested. I suggest you start from 2010 and work backwards.

Please remember Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act requires you to offer advice and assistance.

I would point out you have a legal obligation to provide the correct figures.

Thank you for your assistance

Yours sincerely,

V Gray

Coventry City Council

 

Dear Ms Gray,

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information Request Ref 20042942

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 which I received on 08/02/2012 00:00.  Your request
will be processed under the terms of the Act.

In line with the Act we will respond to you within 20 working days of the
date that we received your request.  If there are any problems with this
request that may delay the dissemination of information, we will contact
you immediately.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Officer

Please direct queries to:

Information Governance Team

Tel: 024 7683 3305

Fax: 024 7683 3395

[1][Coventry City Council request email]

[2]www.coventry.gov.uk

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Coventry City Council

I look forward to receiving the correct information.

Yours faithfully

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mrs Gray

 

Please find attached the Council's response to your most recent request
for information.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Iain Harrison

Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,

Democratic Services, 
Customer & Workforce Services,

Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,

Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

 

Telephone No: 024 7683 3305

Fax No:          024 7683 3395

 

[1]www.coventry.gov.uk 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Harrison

You have failed to adhere to the statutory duty imposed upon public authorities by virtue of Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act to provide advice and assistance to requesters.

I have made a formal complaint to the ICC concerning your blatantly disregard to the Legislation of the FOIA.

I would point out NO COUNCIL IS ABOVE THE LAW.

Yours sincerely

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

Thank you for your email. I am out-of-office until 10th April.

 

If you have any Freedom of Information or other Information Governance
queries please contact the team on x3323

 

Thank you

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Gray

 

Following discussions with the Information Commissioners Office, the
Council will work up to the appropriate limit defined in the Fees
Regulations (SI 2004/3244 Freedom of Information and Data Protection
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations) in order to retrieve information
in respect of your request.

 

The Council proposes to have a response ready for you by 29th June 2012.

Yours sincerely

 

Iain Harrison

Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,

Democratic Services, 
Customer & Workforce Services,

Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,

Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

 

Telephone No: 024 7683 3305

Fax No:          024 7683 3395

 

[1]www.coventry.gov.uk 

 

For facts and figures about Coventry, look at the following:

 

[2]http://www.facts-about-coventry.com/

 

[3]THINK_PRIVACY001 - small

[4]http://insite.coventry.gov.uk/infogov

 

 

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Iain Harrison

I look forward to receiving the correct information.

Yours sincerely

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

Dear V Gray

Following discussions with the Information Commissioners Office, the Council has worked up to the appropriate limit defined in the Fees Regulations (SI 2004/3244 Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations) in order to retrieve information in respect of your request.

You requested the following information;

"I would like to know how much the Council has spent outsourcing to either Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals for all Council Staff (including Teaching Staff). Any combination of those below, between 1st August 2000 and the 31 October 2010:

1) For constructive dismissal
2) Unfair dismissal
3) One (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act
4) Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
5) Any other Employment issues, I may have omitted.
Please name the Solicitors/Barristers that the Council have outsourced to: For example, 2010 Number Name.

I would request that you include VAT in the figures Please provide
the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 – NUMBER HERE; 2007 –
NUMBER HERE; 2008 – NUMBER HERE; 2010 – NUMBER HERE; etc, thus making it easier for one to read and to ensure there is no misunderstandings.

Please also send this information as "calendar years".

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information such as names and addresses – only the total figures"

Working to the appropriate cost limits, the Council has reviewed records from the following financial periods:

Apr 10 - Oct 10
Apr 09 - Mar 10
Apr 08 - Mar 09

From these, it has ascertained that relevant Payments only occurred during Calendar year 2008.

These were:

Type Legal Representative Amount Type of case

Barrister Marc Brown £2275 Age Discrimination
Barrister Lorna Findlay £7750 Race Discrimination
Barrister Andrew Glennie £1625 Disability Discrimination

Thus the answer to your questions 1-5, in terms of amounts paid for this period and types of case involved would be as follows:

1. None
2. None
3. £11,650
4. None
5. None identified

If you are still dissatisfied, The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

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

Yours sincerely

Iain Harrison
Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,
Democratic Services, 
Customer & Workforce Services,
Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,
Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR
 
Telephone No: 024 7683 3305
Fax No:          024 7683 3395
 
www.coventry.gov.uk 

For facts and figures about Coventry, look at the following:

http://www.facts-about-coventry.com/

http://insite.coventry.gov.uk/infogov

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Harrison

Thank you for providing the correct information. Could you please clarify there were no legal proceedings instigated against the council between April 10 – 31 October 10 April 09 - March 10. For any of the issues I have raised?

It is a pity I had to make a formal complaint to the ICO before you actually supplied the correct information.

Yours sincerely

V Gray

Coventry City Council

 

Dear Ms Gray,

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information Request Ref 20064994

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 which I received on 23/07/2012 00:00.  Your request
will be processed under the terms of the Act.

In line with the Act we will respond to you within 20 working days of the
date that we received your request.  If there are any problems with this
request that may delay the dissemination of information, we will contact
you immediately.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Officer

Please direct queries to:

Information Governance Team

Tel: 024 7683 3305

Fax: 024 7683 3395

[1][Coventry City Council request email]

[2]www.coventry.gov.uk

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Horsley, Steve, Coventry City Council

Dear Mrs Gray 

Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Thank you for requesting information about l20egal proceedings instigated
against the Council, which the Council received on 23 July12. Your request
has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

You have requested the following information:   

 

Could you please clarify there were no legal proceedings instigated
against the council between April 10 – 31 October 10 April 09 - March 10.
For any of the issues I have raised?

     

In respect of the issues raised in your various requests regarding cases
relating to employment matters, including (but not limited to)
constructive dismissal, discrimination and whistle-blowing, My enquiries
confirm that between April 2010 – 31 October 2010, 7 matters were
instigated and between April 2009 - March 2010, 12 matters were
instigated.

 

Please note that most of the information that you request is owned by the
Coventry City Council and subject to copyright protection. Under the
Re-Use of Public Sector Information 2005 Regulations you are free to use
this information for your own use or for the purposes of news reporting.
However, any other type of re-use under the Regulations, for example;
publication of the information or circulation to the public, will require
permission of the copyright owner and may be subject to terms and
conditions. For documents where the copyright does not belong to Coventry
City Council you will need to apply separately to the copyright holder.

 

If you wish to apply to reuse the information you have requested or have
any other issues relating to this request please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

I hope you feel that our response meets your request.  However if you are
dissatisfied you have a right to make a complaint about the handling of
your request, and you also have a right to make an appeal about the
outcome of your request – in the first instance this should be to the
Council's Information Governance Team at:

 

Information Governance Team,

Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,

Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

[1][Coventry City Council request email]

 

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint and/or
appeal under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you have the right to
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours sincerely

 

Steve

 

 

Steve Horsley

Legal Services Manager

Legal Services

4th Floor Christchurch House

Greyfriars Lane

Coventry

CV1 2QL

 

Tel: 024 7683 3121

Fax: 024 7683 2527

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Horsley

I would point out that I submitted the following request on the 20 January 2011:

"I would like to know how much the Council has spent outsourcing to either Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals for all Council Staff (including Teaching Staff). Any combination of those below, between 1st August 2000 and the 31 October 2010:

1) For constructive dismissal
2) Unfair dismissal
3) One (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act
4) Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
5) Any other Employment issues, I may have omitted.
Please name the Solicitors/Barristers that the Council have outsourced to: For example, 2010 Number Name.

I would request that you include VAT in the figures Please provide
the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 – NUMBER HERE; 2007 –
NUMBER HERE; 2008 – NUMBER HERE; 2010 – NUMBER HERE; etc, thus making it easier for one to read and to ensure there is no misunderstandings.

Please also send this information as "calendar years".

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information such as names and addresses – only the total figures"
_____________________________________________

After the intervention of the ICO you then submitted the following information:

Dear V Gray

Following discussions with the Information Commissioners Office, the Council has worked up to the appropriate limit defined in the Fees Regulations (SI 2004/3244 Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations) in order to retrieve information in respect of your request.

You requested the following information;

"I would like to know how much the Council has spent outsourcing to either Barristers Chambers or Solicitors at Employment Tribunals for all Council Staff (including Teaching Staff). Any combination of those below, between 1st August 2000 and the 31 October 2010:

1) For constructive dismissal
2) Unfair dismissal
3) One (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act
4) Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
5) Any other Employment issues, I may have omitted.
Please name the Solicitors/Barristers that the Council have outsourced to: For example, 2010 Number Name.

I would request that you include VAT in the figures Please provide
the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 – NUMBER HERE; 2007 –
NUMBER HERE; 2008 – NUMBER HERE; 2010 – NUMBER HERE; etc, thus making it easier for one to read and to ensure there is no misunderstandings.

Please also send this information as "calendar years".

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information such as names and addresses – only the total figures"

Working to the appropriate cost limits, the Council has reviewed records from the following financial periods:

Apr 10 - Oct 10
Apr 09 - Mar 10
Apr 08 - Mar 09

From these, it has ascertained that relevant Payments only occurred during Calendar year 2008.

These were:

Type Legal Representative Amount Type of case

Barrister Marc Brown £2275 Age Discrimination
Barrister Lorna Findlay £7750 Race Discrimination
Barrister Andrew Glennie £1625 Disability Discrimination

Thus the answer to your questions 1-5, in terms of amounts paid for this period and types of case involved would be as follows:

1. None
2. None
3. £11,650
4. None
5. None identified

If you are still dissatisfied, The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

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

Yours sincerely

Iain Harrison
Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,
Democratic Services,
Customer & Workforce Services,
Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,
Council House,
Earl Street
_______________________________________________

I then requested on the 23 July 2012. In plain English have you provided me with all the information pertaining to this request??? In other words you have not accidently omitted any information? Copy below of request:

Dear Mr Harrison

Thank you for providing the correct information. Could you please
clarify there were no legal proceedings instigated against the
council between April 10 – 31 October 10 April 09 - March 10. For
any of the issues I have raised?

It is a pity I had to make a formal complaint to the ICO before you
actually supplied the correct information.

Yours sincerely

V Gray
_________________________________________________
You then responded on the 26 July 2012:
Coventry City Council

26 July 2012

Dear Ms Gray,

Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information Request Ref 20064994

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 which I received on 23/07/2012 00:00. Your request
will be processed under the terms of the Act.

In line with the Act we will respond to you within 20 working days of the
date that we received your request. If there are any problems with this
request that may delay the dissemination of information, we will contact
you immediately.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Officer
_______________________________________________

I really can't comprehend why are you deliberately being so obtrusive. A simple yes we have provided all the information for the timescale you have requested and told the truth would suffice. If you have not provided all the information then that would explain the actions of Coventry City Council.

I would also point out as you have stated this is a new request. You are well over the twenty days’ time limit for responding. As I requested the information on the 23 July 2012 and it is now the 23 July 2012. Obviously Coventry City Council appears to be above the law as you continually seem to fail to adhere to the procedures of the FOIA.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

V Gray

Horsley, Steve, Coventry City Council

I am now out of the office - returning on 23 August 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections

Dear Coventry City Council

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Coventry City Council's handling of my FOI request 'ET Costs'.

Over 20 days late responding to a simple yes or no question.

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

Yours faithfully

V Gray

Harrison, Iain, Coventry City Council

1 Attachment

Dear V Gray

 

In respect of the Council's recent response, the Council took the view
that your request for information made on 23rd July 2012  was in fact a
different question and therefore a new request.

 

This was logged according under a new reference (20064994).

 

The reason for this is that your first questions were about outsourcing
employment tribunal work. The Council responded accordingly in that
matter.

 

However, a question regarding the number of cases (as opposed to the
number outsourced to barristers/external solicitors) is different.

 

The Council consulted with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
regarding this approach and the ICO agreed that the way the enquiry has
been worded made this a new request for information and agreed that the
Council may respond in the normal way and within the statutory deadline.

 

The Council duly responded to you on 9th August (within the 20 working day
deadline) answering your questions.

 

If you are still dissatisfied, you have the right to apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can
be contacted at:

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

 

Yours sincerely

 

Iain Harrison

Information Governance Officer,
Information Governance Team,

Democratic Services, 
Customer & Workforce Services,

Coventry City Council
Room 21a, Lower Ground Floor,

Council House,
Earl Street
Coventry. CV1 5RR

 

Telephone No: 024 7683 3305

Fax No:          024 7683 3395

 

[1]www.coventry.gov.uk 

 

For facts and figures about Coventry, look at the following:

 

[2]http://www.facts-about-coventry.com/

 

[3]THINK_PRIVACY001 - small

[4]http://insite.coventry.gov.uk/infogov

 

 

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are
intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you have received this
e-mail in error, you are requested to contact the sender

All e-mails are monitored by Coventry City Council IT Security, using
M@ilMeter and Star Filtering Services.

The views contained in this e-mail are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Coventry City Council.

show quoted sections