Expressions of interest for UASC specialist authorities

Cassidy, J made this Freedom of Information request to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Further to the recent article 'Child asylum seeker specialist council plan remains stalled' available online at:

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

can you please provide me with copies of any minutes, handouts or presentations provided at any meetings or workshops your authority has been represented on with the UKBA on the matter of "key reforms to services for child asylum seekers" (1) over the last six months.

Please also provide me with copies of any minutes, handouts or presentations you hold that relate to a set of regional meetings/forums/workshops your authority was requested to attend or be represented at (2), although these meetings were planned for October 2008 I understand they actually took place in November 2008. (3)

Please provide any information you hold that suggest why the "key reforms to services for child asylum seekers" will not take place until at least 2010.

"Solihull chief executive Mark Rogers told
Community Care this week he did not expect
the scheme to be fully implemented until
April 2010" (4)

Please also provide full details of how or whether your local authority is planning to or already is "piloting" some of the "key reforms to services for child asylum seekers". Please specifically confirm or deny whether your local authority is involved in such "piloting".

"..he did not expect the scheme to be
fully implemented until April 2010,
following a period of piloting." (5)

Please confirm of deny whether your local authority has been formally or informally requested to provide 'Expressions of Interest' or make "Bids" made in connection with acting in any as a "specialist authority" for these "key reforms to services for child asylum seekers" . Please provide copies of any of these 'Expressions of Interest' or "Bids", whether or not they have been finalised or sent to the UKBA, as requested by them end of January 2009 deadline. (6)

Yours faithfully,

Cassidy, J

Notes:

(1) Planning better outcomes and support for unaccompanied asylum seeking children - a consultation
http://ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/siteconten...

(2) Asylum-seeking children plan could face delay
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

(3) Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) Reform Programme
UKBA also ran regional UASC Reform events in November.
http://www.refugeeaccess.info/uploads/y&...

and

Letter to Chief Executives of Local Authorities and Directors of Children’s Services Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) – New Dates For Regional Workshops
The dates for the rearranged workshops are as follows:-
Region Date Time Location Midlands 6 November 14.00 to 17.00 Birmingham North East 11 November 14.00 to 17.00 Newcastle South West and Wales 12 November 14.00 to 17.00 Cardiff North West 13 November 14.00 to 17.00 Manchester Yorkshire and Humberside 18 November 14.00 to 17.00 Leeds
UKBA

(4) Asylum-seeking children plan could face delay
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

(5) Asylum-seeking children plan could face delay
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

(6) YHRMP policy update – December 2008
Local Authorities are in the process of developing their bids while UKBA is looking at how they can alleviate some of their concerns. Expressions of interest for UASC specialist authorities are due by January 2009.
http://www.refugeeaccess.info/uploads/y&...

Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC), Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear J Cassidy

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1277

Thank you for your request for information about "key reforms to child
asylum seekers", which we received on 16 March 2009.

I am dealing with your request under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Subject to any exemptions under the Act I aim to
reply in line with the statutory deadline i.e. by no later than 16 March
2009.

There may be a fee payable for information. If so, any fee must be paid
before the information can be released and the 20 working day time limit
for responding will be suspended until we receive the payment. If this is
the case with your request I will let you know.

Further advice on the Freedom of Information Act is available from the
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
[1]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Commissioning Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email [2][email address]

Website: [3]http://www.solihull.gov.uk

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.solihull.gov.uk/

Dear Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC),

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1277

Please provide the requested information, via email in electronic format, in the original MS Word or plain text format if available, or alternatively in PDF format, only if MS Word or plain text formats are not available. If you only have paper (hard copy)copies please provide a Digital Photo Copier Scanned version in PDF
format.

Yours sincerely,

Cassidy, J

Dear Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC),

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1277

"I am dealing with your request under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Subject to any exemptions under the Act I aim to reply in line with the statutory deadline i.e. by no later than 16 March 2009."

Please advise when the requests will be sent?

Yours sincerely,

Cassidy, J

Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC), Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear J Cassidy

Re: Freedom of Information request – Ref 1277

I am writing further to your email below which we received today.

You are seeking information about reforms relating to child asylum seekers and whether we have made or been asked to submit an Expression of Interest.

Under the Freedom of Information Act public authorities have a duty to confirm or deny if they hold any information requested. The Act also gives rights of access to information; however this duty to disclose information is qualified by certain exemptions e.g. commercial interests, legal and professional privilege etc.

I can therefore confirm that Solihull MBC do hold information about reforms relating to child asylum seekers. However as other bodies have an interest in this we need to ask their views to help us decide if all of the information can be disclosed in full or if any information needs to be withheld under an exemption.

Gathering opinions from other bodies and the need to consider if any exemptions apply will obviously take some time. Unfortunately this means that we were not able to meet the deadline of 16 March, for which we apologise.

We will try to supply the information by 23 March.

In the meantime I can confirm that Solihull MBC has not put forward a formal written Expression of Interest to UKBA.

I hope that the delay will not inconvenience you too much. Your patience in this matter is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill
Information Governance Assistant
Commissioning Division
Tel: 0121 704 6169
Email [email address]
Website: http://www.solihull.gov.uk

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Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC), Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

9 Attachments

Dear J Cassidy

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1277

I am writing further to your request for information about "key reforms to
services for child asylum seekers", which we received on 16 March 2009.

Please find our response to your specific questions below.

Further to the recent article 'Child asylum seeker specialist council plan
remains stalled' available online at:

[1]http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...
can you please provide me with copies of any minutes, handouts or
presentations provided at any meetings or workshops your authority has
been represented on with the UKBA on the matter of "key reforms to
services for child asylum seekers" (1) over the last six months.

We have nothing relating to this for this period.

Please also provide me with copies of any minutes, handouts or
presentations you hold that relate to a set of regional
meetings/forums/workshops your authority was requested to attend or be
represented at (2), although these meetings were planned for October 2008
I understand they actually took place in November 2008. (3)

Please see the attached emails, Draft revised UASC Reform Steering Group
TorR and UASC Reform Steering Group 22 October 08 action points.
(Although the date mentioned is 22 October 2008 I confirm that the date of
the actual meeting was 6 November 2008.)

We have also included other attachments about what emerged from the
discussion, the Post Working Group PDF and the Post 18 group paper Word
document. There is previous guidance which is in already in the public
domain, transitions.pdf and the LA Guidance PDF, but for your convenience
we have attached these as well.

Please provide any information you hold that suggest why the "key reforms
to services for child asylum seekers" will not take place until at least
2010.

"Solihull chief executive Mark Rogers told Community Care this week he did
not expect the scheme to be fully implemented until April 2010" (4)

Please see the attached PDF called FW-UASC Reform steering group and sub
groups (post-18 and `front end' issues).

However the information upon which Mark Rogers principally made this
assessment was the result of a telephone conversation (with a colleague at
the LGA).

Please also provide full details of how or whether your local authority is
planning to or already is "piloting" some of the "key reforms to services
for child asylum seekers". Please specifically confirm or deny whether
your local authority is involved in such "piloting".

"he did not expect the scheme to be fully implemented until April 2010,
following a period of piloting." (5)

Presently, because there is no steer from UKBA, Solihull has no plans in
place for piloting any aspect of the reform programme. The Council has
previously expressed an interest in undertaking (with UKBA and any other
local Councils willing to participate) a modelling exercise, as a
precursor to a decision about piloting, to understand the likely
effectiveness of the proposed reforms.

Please confirm or deny whether your local authority has been formally or
informally requested to provide 'Expressions of Interest' or make "Bids"
made in connection with acting as a "specialist authority" for these "key
reforms to services for child asylum seekers" . Please provide copies of
any of these 'Expressions of Interest' or "Bids", whether or not they have
been finalised or sent to the UKBA, as requested by the end of January
2009 deadline. (6)

UKBA has asked Solihull to consider becoming a specialist authority and,
as indicated above, we have stated that this Council would be willing to
examine the implications of this through a modelling exercise, prior to a
decision about piloting. There is not, therefore, a formal Expression of
Interest, nor a Bid, as I stated in my previous email dated 17 March 2009.

I hope that the information that I have provided is to your satisfaction.
You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. Information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public
will require the permission of Solihull MBC as the copyright owner.

If you are unhappy with the service that you have received in relation to
your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our
decision you should write to Andrew Shipway Corporate Information
Governance Manager, PO Box 18, Council House, Solihull, West Midlands B91
9QS or email [2][Solihull Borough Council request email] by 20 April 2009. I enclose a
copy of the Complaints and Appeals procedure that gives further details.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review or complaint, you
may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a
decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision until you have
exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
[3]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Commissioning Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email [4][email address]

Website: [5]http://www.solihull.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...
2. mailto:[Solihull Borough Council request email]
3. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.solihull.gov.uk/

Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Solihull Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Expressions of interest for UASC specialist authorities'.

You do not appear to have answered any of the information requests relating to the following section of extract from my original 16 February 2009 request:

Extract:

Please provide any information you hold that suggest why the "key reforms to services for child asylum seekers" will not take place until at least 2010.

"Solihull chief executive Mark Rogers told Community Care this week he did not expect the scheme to be fully implemented until April 2010"

Please also provide full details of how or whether your local authority is planning to or already is "piloting" some of the "key reforms to services for child asylum seekers". Please specifically confirm or deny whether your local authority is involved in such
"piloting".

"..he did not expect the scheme to be fully implemented until April 2010, following a period of piloting."

Quoted reference:

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/...

------

Most of these specific information requests, contained in these extracts, seem to have been simply ignored.

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

Please ensure that any of your general correspondence, acknowledgements or holding letters etc are included or cut-and-pasted into the body of the email messages, using plain text, rather than as attachments. As this will mean your correspondence is much easier to access, read and respond to.

Accessibility:

When providing any information disclosures please provide it in the original unrestricted format such as:

a. MS Word .doc or Rich Text Text .rtf format or equivalent

b. Plain text .txt format

c.Spreadsheets in MS Excel .xls format or equivalent

d.Presentations in MS Powerpoint .ppt format or equivalent

or converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), ONLY if none of the above formats are available

if you only have a paper version (hard copy) available, please provide a Digital Photo Copier Scanned version in PDF format.

Please ensure any electronic disclosures are absolutely free of any Document Restrictions and Encryption or Passwords, as this is likely to render them less usable on a general basis and more specifically, inaccessible to Assistive Technology.

Providing correspondence and disclosed information via these means will also help ensure that text based information is accessible for use with a Screen Reader or a Magnifier for none text based information.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_reader>

Yours sincerely,

Cassidy, J

Dear Sir or Madam,

Apologies, this Internal Review is not required.

Yours sincerely,

Cassidy, J