Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please provide the correspondence between Wbc, Government internal Audit Agency, and Government HCA, the successor to NWDA regarding the Giaa investigation of wirralbizz/Wbc And NwDA handling of this project from spring 2009 to December 2012.

For to refresh your memory Wbc acknowledged the receipt of the draft Giaa report in March 2015, SOME 2.5 years ago

Yours faithfully,

nigel hobro

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hobro,

 

We write further to your freedom of information request.

 

The Council is currently working on your request however due to the nature
of your enquiries and the possibility of any necessary consideration of
the public interest test, the Council is therefore not in a position to
respond to your enquiry by 19 October 2017(the twentieth working day).

 

Further detail relating to this as follows:

 

Section 10(3)(b) of the Act states that if a public body is considering
the public interest test with a view to withholding the information
requested, it does not need to respond within the normal twenty working
day timeframe. 

 

Section 10(3) of the Act (‘Time for compliance with request’) states

 

If, and to the extent that— .

Section 1(1)(b) would not apply if the condition in section 2(2)(b) were
satisfied,

 

The public authority need not comply with section 1(1) (b) until such time
as is reasonable in the circumstances; but this subsection does not affect
the time by which any notice under section 17(1) must be given. 

 

Please see further detail on this ICO guidance at the following link
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

We aim to be able to issue you with a substantive reply by 1 November 2017

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management Officer

Business Services - Digital

Treasury Building

Cleveland Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

[2]Tel:0151 691 8397

[3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[4]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Intensive start up scheme aka BSU2'

You promised to answer this by 1st November 2017 to marshal your public interest arguments.

You have not responded.

Therefore I request an internal review. I fear this will end up with the Information Commissioner.
It is an highly significant issue whichmay act to disprove the Wbc defence of ISUS which it consistently maintained as largely successful regardless of Grant Thornton hundreds of pages of investigation and the draft audit report of the government auditors

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

Yours faithfully,

nigel hobro

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Hobro,

 

I refer to your email of 21 September, in which you made the following
request for information:-

 

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

 

Please provide the correspondence between Wbc, Government internal Audit
Agency, and Government HCA, the successor to NWDA regarding the Giaa
investigation of wirralbizz/Wbc And NwDA handling of this project from
spring 2009 to December 2012.

 

For to refresh your memory Wbc acknowledged the receipt of the draft Giaa
report in March 2015, SOME 2.5 years ago

 

Yours faithfully,

 

You requested an internal review on 1 November 2017, as the Council had
not responded to your request. I apologise for the delay in responding.
The Council needed to locate relevant information by carrying out a search
of its archives.

 

I consider that some of the information that you have requested is exempt
information under Section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“FOIA”). Section 41 provides that information is exempt information if it
was obtained by the public authority from any other person (including a
public authority), and the disclosure of the information to the public by
the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence
actionable by that or any other person. I have had regard to the test of
confidence set out by Judge Megarry in Coco v A.N Clark (Engineers)
Limited [1968] FSR 415 . I consider that the information has the necessary
quality of confidence obligation of confidence, and that the information
was communicated to the Council in circumstances that created such an
obligation and that disclosure of the information to a member of the
public would be an unauthorised use of the information, to the detriment
of the confider.

The information requested is more than trivial and not otherwise
accessible. I have had regard to the Information Commissioner’s guidance:
“Information provided in confidence” (section 41), 20170817, Version:1.1
Paragraph 40 of the guidance states that “Confidential information that
was only disseminated to a limited number of recipients can retain its
quality of confidence, provided that none of the recipients subsequently
released the material into the public domain themselves”

 

Section 41 is an absolute exemption, not subject to the public interest
test. I am refusing part of your request for information on the basis that
the exemption contained in section 41 of FOIA applies and that disclosure
to yourself as a member of the public would constitute a breach of
confidence actionable by the public authority that provided the
information.

 

Section 36(2)(c)

I also consider that the exemption contained in Section 36(2)(c) of FOIA
applies to that part of the  requested information which was created by
the Council and included in correspondence sent to the government
departments or agencies referred to in your request.

Section 36(2)(c) of FOIA provides that information to which this section
applies is exempt information, if in the reasonable opinion of a qualified
person, disclosure of the information would otherwise prejudice the
effective conduct of public affairs. I am the qualified person for this
purpose. I am required to give a reasonable opinion about the likelihood
of prejudice under Section 36 (2)(c) of FOIA. I have had regard to the
guidance issued by the Information Commissioner, ”Prejudice to the
effective conduct of public affairs(section 36) 20150319 Version 3.

 

Paragraph 53 of the guidance states,” Prejudice to the effective conduct
of public affairs could refer to an adverse effect on the public
authority’s ability to offer an effective public service or to meet its
wider objectives or purposes, but the effect does not have to be on the
authority in question; it could be an effect on other bodies or the wider
public sector. It may refer to the disruptive effects of disclosure, for
example the diversion of resources in managing the effect of disclosure.”

 

You refer to the “the draft Giaa report” in your request for information.
The Council has not received information that this report has been
finalised. Disclosure would be likely to hinder the ability of government
officials to consider any opinions expressed by third parties i.e. the
Council (and other third parties referred to in the draft report) away
from public scrutiny. I have given proper consideration to all relevant
matters including the effect of disclosure on both the Council and
government departments if correspondence about a draft report which has
not been finalised were to be put into the public domain. I have also been
provided with all relevant material. It is my reasonable opinion that if
the information contained in correspondence sent by the Council to
government departments  in connection with the draft report were to be
disclosed that this would prejudice the effective conduct of public
affairs.

 

Public Interest

Section 36 is a qualified exemption and therefore subject to a public
interest test.

 

Factors in favour of disclosure

·         transparency concerning the activities of public authorities.

 

 

Factors in favour of maintaining the exemption

·         the severe prejudice that would be caused to the Council if
correspondence concerning its response to a draft report were to be
disclosed to a member of the public.

·         make it more likely that a public authority would be unwilling
to correspond with government departments if correspondence about a draft
report were to be disclosed to a member of the public prior to a report
being finalised.

 

I consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs
the public interest in disclosure.

 

I am therefore refusing your request for information on the basis that the
exemptions contained in Section 36(2)(c) and Section 41 of FOIA.

 

You have the right to ask for an internal review,  which should be sent to
[1][Wirral Borough Council request email].You also have the right to complain to
the Information Commissioner , but would be expected to seek an internal
review first. The address is the Information Commissioner’s Office is:-

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel -0303 123 113

[2]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely and sent on behalf of  

 

Philip McCourt

Interim Director: Law and Governance

Monitoring Officer

 

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Business Services

Law and Governance

Town Hall

Brighton Street

Wallasey

Wirral

CH44 8ED

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Intensive start up scheme aka BSU2'.

I cannot see why the effective conduct of public affairs can be prejudiced by the admission of failure by the authority
The mantra of lessons to learn one hears repeatedly from wbc can only be reinforced if the errors and remedies are public ised. The indeed that is why public enquiries are held in public on disasters.

Please reconsider your exemption. You may At the very least please answer the question as follows

Does the correspondence refer to a claw back of European money?

If it does what is the quantum of claw back proposed?

If the claw back was proposed and rebutted what reason does it give not to levy a claw back?

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

Yours faithfully,

nigel hobro

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Hobro,

 

Thank you for your email dated 24^th March 2018 in which you asked for an
Internal review of the handling of your FOI enquiry ref number 1220970. 
You also asked an additional 3 questions which I have listed below:-

 

Does the correspondence refer to a claw back of European money?

If it does what is the quantum of claw back proposed?

If the claw back was proposed and rebutted what reason does it give not to
levy a claw back?

 

As the Reviewing Officer I have looked at the history of your request and
also given consideration to the three new questions you pose.  My response
below cover both the Internal Review you requested and you should take the
contents to include my response to the 3 additional questions you asked.

 

The Original response from Mr. McCourt considered that “…. some of the
information that you have requested is exempt information under Section 41
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”). Section 41 provides that
information is exempt information if it was obtained by the public
authority from any other person (including a public authority), and the
disclosure of the information to the public by the public authority
holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or
any other person…..”

 

Mr. McCourt also clarified his reasoning by giving considerable detail of
the test of confidence set out by Judge Megarry in Coco v A.N Clark
(Engineers) Limited [1968] FSR 415 .

In addition the original reply explained that regard had been given to The
Information Commissioner’s (ICO) guidance: “Information provided in
confidence” (section 41), 20170817, Version:1.1   I do not intend to
reiterate this clarification and reasoning again in this reply but I have
given due regard to both the test of confidence and the ICO guidance.

As the reviewing officer I concur with the original response you were
given and believe the Council can seek to rely on Section 41.  The
exemption contained within Section 41 is an absolute exemption and not
subject to the public interest test.

 

As the Reviewing Officer and the Qualified Person in relation to placing
reliance on Section 36 of The Freedom of Information Act, I have examined
Mr. McCourt’s decision to exempt the part of your request which related to
information created by Wirral Council.  This information was included in
correspondence sent to Government Departments/Agencies which you have
mentioned within your request.  I agree that the Council may place
reliance on the exemption contained in Section 36(2)(c) of FOIA.  I make
that decision as the Qualified Person and it is my reasonable opinion that
disclosure of this information would prejudice the effective conduct of
public affairs.  I refer again to the fact that Mr. McCourt gave both a
comprehensive and detailed explanation and also explained the ICO guidance
he had taken note of, in reaching this decision.  I believe this to be a
robust and correct decision and concur in full with the reasoning and
application of the exemption contained within Section 36(2)(c).

 

In relation to the draft report itself; disclose of this information would
I believe be likely to hinder the ability of Government Officers to
consider opinions expressed by 3^rd parties such as Wirral Council and
others referenced in that report.  I have reviewed the materials in
question and my reasonable opinion is that if the information about a
draft report, sent in correspondence by ourselves to Government Officers
were disclosed into the public domain then this would prejudice the
effective conduct of public affairs.  As the Qualified Person I must give
consideration to the Public Interest Test when seeking to place reliance
on Section 36.  I have considered the Public Interest Test and agree that
Mr. McCourt has clearly and correctly detailed the factors in favour and
against disclosure.  I reiterate these factors below and do not believe
there is any reason to add or detract from the original factors stated:-

 

Factors in favour of disclosure  - Transparency concerning the activities
of public authorities.

 

Factors in favour of maintaining the exemption - Severe prejudice that
would be caused to the Council if correspondence concerning its response
to a draft report were to be disclosed to a member of the public; make it
more likely that a public authority would be unwilling to correspond with
government departments if correspondence about a draft report were to be
disclosed to a member of the public prior to a report being finalised.

 

I concur with the original response that the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

 

I uphold the decision that your request should be refused and my
reasonable opinion is that the Council can rely on the exemptions
contained within Section 36(2)(c) and Section 41 of The Freedom of
Information Act 2000. If you are dissatisfied with this response you have
the right to complain to the Information Commissioner 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely and sent on behalf of  

 

Paul Satoor  

Director of Corporate Resources and Reform

Transformation Office

Wirral Council

Wallasey Town Hall

Brighton Street

Wallasey

Wirral

CH44 8ED

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
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If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

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