Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Thank you for answering my last request regarding travel time deductions for carers who do not meet the contracted hours. I would now like some more info on the subject, you stated it was a "long standing agreement with trade unions". What unions are these? When was this agreement made? Is it within the contract of employees? Who at the council arranged this? And with whom at the trade unions was it agreed with? Was the plan put to the staff at the time? Does the council feel this agreement is fair even though it is down to the councils lack of work that means these contracts are not met?

Yours faithfully,

Marc Nicholson

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 30/07/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 427570 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 27/08/2019.

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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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Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

It has now passed the the 20 days and I am still waiting for a response. Please respond ASAP or I shall also be asking for an internal review as to why I have not had answers.

Yours faithfully,

Marc Nicholson

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 'Follow up to carers travel allowance deductions.'.

This was due to be answered by the 27/08/2019 and we are now at the 6/9/2019. I asked for the process to be done ASAP on the 30/08/2019 and still no reply.

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

Yours faithfully,

Marc Nicholson

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 427570 which was received on 30/07/2019.

Details of request: Thank you for answering my last request regarding travel time deductions for carers who do not meet the contracted hours. I would now like some more info on the subject, you stated it was a "long standing agreement with trade unions". What unions are these? When was this agreement made? Is it within the contract of employees? Who at the council arranged this? And with whom at the trade unions was it agreed with? Was the plan put to the staff at the time? Does the council feel this agreement is fair even though it is down to the councils lack of work that means these contracts are not met?

Response:

To give context to your follow up request, following agreement by the Senior Management Team of the Health and Social Care Partnership in December 2018 that there was a need for an in house service (the market share has already been reduced to 20% in house against 80% external provision) the current management team has been working to modernising the whole service including work pattern and payment review that will eliminate the current traveltime anomaly and provide the staff with better work life balance which at the present is very fragmented and consists of very long days for staff. We have made a commitment to staff that this exercise will be completed by the end of November.

Therefore, in accordance with Section 17(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Dumfries and Galloway Council can confirm that it does not hold the information as it is held by the Health and Social Care Partnership

They can be contacted through the following methods:

Freedom of Information Office
Integration Joint Board?s Office
c/o Mid North
Crichton Hall
Bankend Road
Dumfries
DG1 4TG
Phone: 01387 272752
Email: [email address]

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.

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Susan Murray left an annotation ()

The council has given details about future arrangements and not dealt with the FOI request, How unusual!

It could be the issue is who pays the carers? The council would be responsible for dealing with this request if they pay carers from council funds. The way your original question was made to the council suggests this is the case.

The response they have provided is total bullshit.

It seems that they are deliberately avoiding the FOI request which indicates they have something to hide. This council is in the habit of acting unlawfully, so pursue it further.

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for a formal review which was received on 06/11/2019 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 04/12/2019.

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

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,
The review request was sent on the 6th of September.
It is answers to my new FOI I am now seeking.

Yours faithfully,

Marc Nicholson

Susan Murray left an annotation ()

I don't know if you have seen this:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

I think we can take it that they cannot provide a statutory authority for their actions and that these deductions were unlawful.

It needs to be referred to HMRC.

FOI Responses, Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

Review Decision

Details of request: I once again write to you to ask why the council remove travel time payments from its carers who do not meet contracted hours?

You told me it was a long standing agreement with trade unions but when asked who with you could not answer and sent me to the health and social care team who told me that as they do not employ the carers it falls to the employer to answer these questions. (that's you). After telling you this information and asking once again just exactly what makes this legal you failed to answer that FOI and not just failed to answer the question but failed to even acknowledge it. I have a copy of a carers contract which has no mention of these deductions, the HR department has no idea why these deductions are made and the unions have never heard of such a thing.

The contract and your replys have been forwarded to my solicitor who also agrees these deductions are not legal, I currently have a Councillor also looking into this to find answers.

My next move will be court action which I'm sure you can appreciate will not only be for the member of staff who I am working for but will of course be picked up by every current serving and past members of caring staff who will look to claim the illegal deductions back from the council which I believe will total tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. So I recommend the council take on this matter with me either via here or in person so we can come to an agreement which suits both yourself and the person I represent.

So once again I ask can you provide proof to show this is legal?

Response:

Thank you for your email of 6 November 2019 requesting a review.

In accordance with Section 17(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Dumfries and Galloway Council can confirm that it does not hold the information

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 at www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/U...

or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS Telephone: 01334 464 610.

If you are unhappy with a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner, you may be able to take the matter to the courts or complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

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

Susan Murray left an annotation ()

It is clear that there is no lawful basis for these deductions. My request for DGC to provide the statutory authority for them, has, in effect, been refused by them. I suggest you pursue this by every means available to you. HMRC is the body which is responsible for unlawful deductions from pay by employers. Send details to them and get them to pursue it. The manner in which DGC has dealt with this reveals just what a tawdry, criminal, outfit they have become. It is a different story with the generous expenses paid to councillors and managers.

Marc Nicholson left an annotation ()

Susan if you think these replys are shocking you should see the ones I got direct from the council leader! Apparently I was threatening her when I said I was going to take it to the press!

Susan Murray left an annotation ()

This doesn't surprise me in the least. It demonstrates the manner in which the council treat people who stand up for themselves. They engage in abuse, bullying, threats and intimidation. Not only this but they seem wholly ignorant of Article 10 of the Human Rights Act which enacts the right to freedom of expression. Anyone who declines to be intimidated is then threatened with their Unacceptable Actions Policy, which is in itself a further threat. They are a bunch of crooks.

In the event you have a meeting with any of them, I recommend you record it, or have a witness.

The leader of the council is dishonest and corrupt, I have hard evidence of this.