Expenditure on consultants.

Waiting for an internal review by Dumfries and Galloway Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Please provide the following information:

1) In each of the past 5 years (2015-2020) how much did Dumfries and Galloway Council pay to consultants it engaged to undertake work for whatever purpose?

2) Provide the names of the individuals, or firms, of consultants used on each occasion and a breakdown of sums paid to them individually.

3) State the nature of the work undertaken by each of the individuals, or firms, of consultants named in (2) above.

4) Was any of this work put out to tender, and, if so, how many bids were submitted in each instance?

Yours faithfully,

Archie Douglas

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 12/02/2020 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 465228 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 11/03/2020.

Please be aware that, in some circumstances, a fee may be payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you have requested. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued, which would need to be paid in order to progress your request.

If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 465228 which was received on 12/02/2020.

Details of request: 1) In each of the past 5 years (2015-2020) how much did Dumfries and Galloway Council pay to consultants it engaged to undertake work for whatever purpose?

2) Provide the names of the individuals, or firms, of consultants used on each occasion and a breakdown of sums paid to them individually.

3) State the nature of the work undertaken by each of the individuals, or firms, of consultants named in (2) above.

4) Was any of this work put out to tender, and, if so, how many bids were submitted in each instance?

Response:

Due to the number of transactions of approximately 3,283 in this case per ?data? worksheet it would take time to interrogate our system, find the relevant invoices; examine the invoices and record what the individual spend was in relation to.

3,283 x 10 minutes = 32,830 minutes

Dumfries and Galloway Council estimate that it would equate to equivalent of 547 hours at £15 per hour which would equate to over £8,000.

Therefore, in accordance with Section 12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 the Council is refusing the request as it would exceed the cost limit.

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Expenditure on consultants.'.

The contents of the response of 11 March 2020 have been noted, however it is difficult to see how you can refuse to provide any of the information requested. Given the database exists with details of payments to consultants, it would be a simple process to establish the information requested at items (1) (2) and (4). I acknowledge that information on the nature of the work undertaken might require further investigation but consider this would be easily extracted on any database that is satisfactory for audit and accountancy purposes. It is clear that you would be able to extract the information requested on the above items, assuming the database is satisfactory. I assume this would be inspected for audit purposes, so the information would need to be readily available for that.

In view of the ease at which information can be extracted from a database, on the balance of probabilities you would be able to provide some of the information at least. This would not take any great length of time as you suggest.

Could it be that Dumfries and Galloway Council declines to comply with the FOI Act for other reasons? It is a fact that there has been public concern at the use of consultants by the council and the costs of these are often extortionate. Is there something to hide?

I do not accept the grounds on which you have refused to supply all of the information requested.

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,

Archie Douglas

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for a formal review which was received on 12/03/2020 and is being dealt with. We will respond within 20 working days from the day after the request was received. A response to your request will be sent promptly, and in any event not later than 09/04/2020.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact [email address].

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy