We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Jamie Mann please sign in and let everyone know.

LOBO loan borrowing, restructuring or refinancing

Jamie Mann made this Freedom of Information request to Aberdeen City Council as part of a batch sent to 32 authorities

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

We're waiting for Jamie Mann to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear Aberdeen City Council,

I'm interested in obtaining information regarding your council's LOBO loan borrowing and if/ how this borrowing has been restructured or refinanced by either the lending bank(s) or the council.

Please provide the following information/ loan parameters below in Microsoft XL format:

1) How much of your council's LOBO loan debt has been repaid and refinanced? Please list the LOBO loans that have been refinanced by counterparty, notional amount, original maturity and date of restructuring.

2) Please disclose the break cost paid to the bank counterparty for each loan restructuring and the discount rate used in each valuation.

3) Please disclose any additional PWLB borrowing undertaken to finance LOBO loan restructuring, including the maturities and coupon rates of new PWLB loans.

4) Please disclose the name of any third-party adviser used on the restructuring.

5) Please provide original, modified, and/or restructured loan contracts, including:

a) LOBOs converted into fixed rate loans

b) LOBOs/fixed rate loans converted into PWLB loans

c) LOBOs that have not been refinanced

6) Please provide the name of the broker used for each loan restructuring, and the relevant brokerage fee paid.

7) Please confirm whether your council have applied for any “statutory overrides” or “capitalisation requests” in relation to the accounting for LOBO loans in the council's annual accounts.

Please provide the:

a) Date/year

b) Subject/scope of each override

c) Result of each formal application for a statutory override

I'd appreciate it if you could acknowledge the above requests and inform me of the latest date of which you are required to answer my request by (20 days from the date of receipt).

Thanks for your help,

Jamie Mann

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your request for information, made under Section 1(1) of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA), and received on 13 February
2019.

 

We would like to ask you to clarify your request so that we can identify
and locate the information which you have requested. Under Section 1(3) of
the FOISA, we do not have to supply you with the requested information
until you have provided us with more detail in this respect.

 

3) Please disclose any additional PWLB borrowing undertaken to finance
LOBO loan restructuring, including the maturities and coupon rates of new
PWLB loans.

 

We would be extremely grateful if you could clarify what you mean by
‘PWLB’?

 

Clarifying these points will help us to be sure we are providing, where
possible, the information you are interested in.  Please note we will keep
your request on file for 20 working days whilst we await your
clarification.  It can often be helpful to discuss your request with a
member of our team who may be able to help you frame your request or
explain more about how ACC holds its information; if this is something you
feel may be helpful please do call us, and we will be happy to assist you.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Access to Information Officer

 

 

Grant Webster |Access to Information Officer

Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback
|Customer

Marischal College |Business Hub 17,  3^rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen
| AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[1]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi Grant,

PWLB stands for Public Works Loan Board.

More information can be found here:
https://www.dmo.gov.uk/responsibilities/...

Does this help?

Thanks,

Jamie Mann

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Information enquiry reference FOI-19-0267.

 

Many thanks for your recent clarification of your information request,
which we received on 13 February 2019. 

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 13 March 2019.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Salomeh Kheyri Rad

Access to Information Officer

 

[1]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 17 | 3^rd Floor | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your information request of 15 February 2019. Aberdeen City
Council (ACC) has completed the necessary search for the information
requested. Our response is now detailed below.

 

1) How much of your council's LOBO loan debt has been repaid and
refinanced?  Please list the LOBO loans that have been refinanced by
counterparty, notional amount, original maturity and date of
restructuring.

No principal repayment or refinancing has taken place with the Council’s
existing market loan debt.

 

2) Please disclose the break cost paid to the bank counterparty for each
loan restructuring and the discount rate used in each valuation.

Not applicable, please see our response above.

 

3) Please disclose any additional PWLB (Public Works Loan Board) borrowing
undertaken to finance LOBO loan restructuring, including the maturities
and coupon rates of new PWLB loans.

Not applicable, please see our response above.

 

4) Please disclose the name of any third-party adviser used on the
restructuring.

Not applicable, please see our response above.

 

5) Please provide original, modified, and/or restructured loan contracts,
including:

a) LOBOs converted into fixed rate loans

b) LOBOs/fixed rate loans converted into PWLB loans

c) LOBOs that have not been refinanced

ACC is unable to provide you with copies of the original loan contracts as
they are considered exempt from disclosure.

 

In order to comply with its obligations under the terms of Section 16 of
the FOISA, ACC hereby gives notice that we are refusing your request under
the terms of Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests - of the FOISA. In
making this decision ACC also considered the following points: FOISA
legislation entitles persons to request information not documentation and
as such, requests for copies of documentation fall out-with the scope of
the Act.

 

The information contained within these documents is exempt from release in
terms of Section 33(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002 in that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to,
prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person including a
Scottish public authority. The agreements are on-going contracts and, as
such, disclosure of the information contained within is likely to
substantially prejudice the interests of the Council.

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner defines ‘public
interest’ as that which is in the interest of the public not of interest
to the public and that is the definition of public interest which ACC has
followed when applying the public interest test to this exemption. It may
also be of interest to the public to know that sufficient monitoring of
the contracts, initially and on-going, is in place to mitigate any
financial risk as much as possible. This is outlined below.

 

Due to the tradable nature of these loans, it would not be in the
interests of ACC to make detailed information publicly available. The
loans are tradable by the lenders on the open market and contain an option
for the lender to increase the interest rate of the loan. The loan
agreement documents are drawn up by the financial institutions concerned
and the terms and conditions contained within these are commercially
sensitive due to the very nature of these loans. Publication of the
details of the terms and conditions of the LOBO loans would put the
Council at a ‘competitive disadvantage’ to other lenders which could
result in higher interest rates and increased costs to the Council, and
subsequently to public funds, which would not be in the public interest.

 

Revealing the fine print of these agreements, including the terms and the
interest rates would put ACC in a position of unnecessary, additional
risk. The risk would stem from requests for increases to the rates of
these LOBO loans following the publication of this information. Financial
institutions would be able to identify how much interest rate a local
authority is willing to agree to and adjust their rates accordingly. They
may also take the opportunity to ‘buy up’ the other loans and issue a
blanket request of increase. ACC’s position on these loans has always been
to repay if a request for rate increase was received. If this information
were to be released, this would clearly have significant financial risk to
ACC.

 

ACC also considers that the commercial interests of third parties, namely
the institutions providing the LOBO contracts would also be substantially
harmed by disclosure. Disclosure of terms and conditions in relation to
certain contracts may prejudice the future position of the relevant
organisations, particularly when negotiating contracts with other public
sector authorities.

 

Initially, these loans were approved by the Chief Officer - Finance and
reported to full Council. They are regularly monitored by the Treasury
Officer and reported to full Council. ACC take a very serious approach to
ensuring that appropriate scrutiny mechanisms are fully implemented into
all aspects of financial management. In conclusion, ACC considers that the
necessity of protecting the Council’s interests in retaining the agreement
at its current state outweighs the public interest in the requested
information being disclosed.

 

ACC considers that disclosure would not contribute to either ensuring
effective oversight of the expenditure of public funds or ensuring that
the public obtain value for money for public funds. The information
already published in relation to these contracts, along with the
monitoring mechanisms in place, as detailed above, satisfies the public
interest in ensuring value for money and the mitigation of foreseeable
financial risk.

 

6) Please provide the name of the broker used for each loan restructuring,
and the relevant brokerage fee paid.

Not applicable, please see our response above.

 

7) Please confirm whether your council have applied for any “statutory
overrides” or “capitalisation requests” in relation to the accounting for
LOBO loans in the council's annual accounts. Please provide the:

a) Date/year

b) Subject/scope of each override

c) Result of each formal application for a statutory override

Not applicable, please see our response above.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Access to Information Officer

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

ACC handled your request for information in accordance with the provisions
of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Please refer to the
attached PDF for more information about your rights under FOISA.

 

 

Grant Webster |Access to Information Officer

Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback
|Customer

Marischal College |Business Hub 17,  3^rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen
| AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[1]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi Grant,

Thank you for the information so far.

I would now like to ask for an internal review regarding the original LOBO loans contracts, so please could you pass this on to the person responsible for it.

With respect to refusal to provide copies of the original LOBO loan contracts, I refer you to the arguments in favour of disclosure made by the ICO regarding similar requests.

See for example:

ICO Decision Notice, Swansea
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
ICO Decision Notice, Cornwall
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
ICO Decision Notice, Kingston Upon Thames
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
ICO Decision Notice, Solihull
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

In particular, I would like to draw the council's attention to the following excerpt from the ICO Decision Notice relating to Cornwall Council's use of S43(2):

"Balance of the public interest

"31. The Commissioner has given due weighting to the commercial interests which the exemption is designed to protect. He acknowledges that, particularly at a time where there is significant public spending constraints, authorities should be able to engage in activities which promote the best use of limited monies without this being prejudiced by disclosure.

"32. However, by the same token, the Commissioner is mindful that the agreements in question relate to long term loans (40 years plus) for sums which exceed hundreds of million pounds and which bind the council to make substantial repayments. It is not the Commissioner’s role to determine whether the council has acted appropriately in its pursuance of LOBO loans but the need for the public to be reassured by being able to scrutinize relevant information, particularly when such large sums are involved, is a strong public interest factor.

"33. In relation to the proposed likely damage to the council’s commercial interests, the Commissioner considers that, whilst this is a genuine concern and carries some weight, it is too vaguely formulated in the face of the more concrete public interest in holding decision-making about vast public expenditure to account. He also considers that disclosure of the information when set against the difficulties envisaged by the council, would be more likely to improve competition amongst lenders and assist public authorities in securing more favourable borrowing rates.

"34. In relation to the potential damage to the commercial interests of the lenders, the Commissioner is mindful that, beyond the somewhat generic arguments provided in support of the engagement of the exemption, no specific public interest arguments have been submitted.

"35. In terms of the relationship with the council, the Commissioner considers it very unlikely that lenders would wish to deny themselves access to potentially lucrative public sector lending agreements or, in the specific case of the council, would want to withdraw from a long term agreement.

"36. In relation to the benefits of disclosure to the lenders’ competitors and the resulting damage to the lenders’ ability to negotiate favourable rates, the Commissioner has not been provided with public interest arguments which specifically identify the severity of or extent of such prejudice. The Commissioner notes the complainant’s argument that negotiations and agreements would be predicated on existing market conditions and the specific state of the council’s accounts and requirements. The Commissioner is not persuaded that there is a significant public interest in maintaining the exemption to avert the disclosure of information which is unlikely to have significant or well defined ill-effects.

"37. In light of the above and, having weighed the relevant factors, the Commissioner considers that the public interest balance in this case is weighted towards disclosing the withheld information."

Unless your council can offer a more robust argument than Cornwall, Swansea, Solihull and Kingston Upon Thames Councils that the potential prejudice to the council's commercial interests outweigh the public interest in disclosure, then please can you lift this exemption and provide me with the information I originally requested?

Should the documents still be withheld, I will refer the decision to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Please also note that the majority of councils across the UK have provided the full un-redacted LOBO loan contracts.

Yours sincerely,

Jamie

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your request for a review, received on 8 March 2019, to
reconsider the information request FOI-19-0267 – LOBO Loans, on the basis
that Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests – was applied to your request
for original, modified, and/or restructured loan contracts, including
LOBOs converted into fixed rate loans, LOBOs/fixed rate loans converted
into PWLB loans and LOBOs that have not been refinanced

 

If required, a Review Panel will be convened by Aberdeen City Council
(ACC) to give a fair and impartial decision. The Review Panel will consist
of individuals who have not handled the original request and will consider
the matter afresh.

 

The outcome of the Review will be relayed to you on or before 5 April
2019.

 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries relating to
the review.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Grant Webster

On behalf of Review Panel Clerk

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for an internal
review, you can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information
Commissioner (OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision
unless you have been through the ACC’s review procedure. To make an
application to OSIC, please write or email OSIC at:

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

[1]www.itspublicknowledge.info

 

An application to OSIC must be made in writing within six months of
receipt of ACC’s Review Decision Notice. When applying to OSIC for a
decision you should give your name and address for correspondence. Please
note that OSIC will not be able to investigate if you have not used your
real name to make your information request. You must also specify:

 

● which request for information your requirement for review relates to

● the reason that you asked ACC to carry out a review of your request

● the reason why you are not satisfied with ACC's review outcome decision

 

The Commissioner will contact ACC and invite its comments on your
application. Thereafter (if no settlement has meantime been reached), the
Commissioner must reach a decision within 4 months of receiving your
application, or within such other period as is reasonable. You will
receive written notice of the outcome of the Commissioner’s decision.

 

Should you wish to appeal against the Scottish Information Commissioner's
decision, there is an appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law
only. Any such appeal must be made within 42 days after the date of the
decision has been issued.

 

 

 

Grant Webster |Access to Information Officer

Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback
|Customer

Marischal College |Business Hub 17,  3^rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen
| AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Derek Jamieson, Aberdeen City Council

2 Attachments

 

Dear Mr Mann

 

Thank you for your email of 8 March 2019 requesting that Aberdeen City
Council (ACC) review its handling of your request. I can now advise you
that we have undertaken an internal review of our decision and the
findings are set out below.

 

Review details

 

You requested that we review our decision based on the following:-

 

Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests

 

Review outcome

 

The Review Panel resolved to uphold the Council’s application of Section
33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests – of the FOISA.

 

However, in terms of Section 15 of FOISA and the duty to provide advice
and assistance, the Review Panel agreed that additional information be
provided to sign post that current budget information, including
information on Market loans (LOBO loans), is contained within the Council
Budget Meeting of Tuesday 5 March 2019. This can be viewed publicly on the
Council’s web site via this [1]link.

 

What happens next?

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for an internal
review, you can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information
Commissioner (OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision
unless you have been through the ACC’s review procedure. To make an
application to OSIC, please write or email OSIC at:

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info

 

An application to OSIC must be made in writing within six months of
receipt of ACC’s Review Decision Notice. When applying to OSIC for a
decision you should give your name and address for correspondence. Please
note that OSIC will not be able to investigate if you have not used your
real name to make your information request. You must also specify:

 

● which request for information your requirement for review relates to

● the reason that you asked ACC to carry out a review of your request

● the reason why you are not satisfied with ACC's review outcome decision

 

The Commissioner will contact ACC and invite its comments on your
application. Thereafter (if no settlement has meantime been reached), the
Commissioner must reach a decision within 4 months of receiving your
application, or within such other period as is reasonable. You will
receive written notice of the outcome of the Commissioner’s decision.

 

Should you wish to appeal against the Scottish Information Commissioner's
decision, there is an appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law
only. Any such appeal must be made within 42 days after the date of the
decision has been issued.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Derek Jamieson

Review Panel Clerk

 

 

 

[3]ACC_Crest_for Derek Jamieson | Committee Services Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Governance

Town House (1^st Floor) | Broad Street | Aberdeen |
AB10 1AQ

 

Direct Dial: 01224 523057

[4]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

Please note that I work variable hours on variable days

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. https://committees.aberdeencity.gov.uk/i...
2. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/
4. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi Derek,

Thanks for your response.

Please could you instead transcribe verbatim all the information contained within the contract/loan agreements?

Many thanks,

Jamie

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your request for information, made under Section 1(1) of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA), and received on 27 March
2019.

 

We would like to ask you to clarify your request so that we can identify
and locate the information which you have requested. Under Section 1(3) of
the FOISA, we do not have to supply you with the requested information
until you have provided us with more detail in this respect.

 

Please could you instead transcribe verbatim all the information contained
within the contract/loan agreements?

We would be extremely grateful if you could clarify what information
contained within the contract/loan agreements you are interested in?

 

To aid you in making your request, I would like to guide you to
information we have previously released in relation to these loans:

 

FOI-19-0004 – LOBO Loans

[1]https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/sites/de...

 

FOI-17-0379 – LOBO Loans

[2]https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/sites/de...

 

Clarifying these points will help us to be sure we are providing, where
possible, the information you are interested in.  Please note we will keep
your request on file for 20 working days whilst we await your
clarification.  It can often be helpful to discuss your request with a
member of our team who may be able to help you frame your request or
explain more about how ACC holds its information; if this is something you
feel may be helpful please do call us, and we will be happy to assist you.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Access to Information Officer

 

 

Grant Webster |Access to Information Officer

Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback
|Customer

Marischal College |Business Hub 17,  3^rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen
| AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[3]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/sites/de...
2. https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/sites/de...
3. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi Grant,

It would be much appreciated if you could outline details of your existing Lobo contracts within an excel spreadsheet document.

Please could you compile the information into the following columns, where possible, and any other additional columns you feel are necessary:

START DATE
MATURITY DATE
PRINCIPAL INITIAL INTEREST RATE
CURRENT INTEREST RATE
STEP UP DATE
ORIGINAL LENDER
CURRENT LENDER
CURRENT BALANCE
OPTION DATE
OPTION USED? (Yes/No)
STILL OUTSTANDING (Yes/No)

Yours sincerely,

Jamie Mann

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Information enquiry reference FOI-19-0450.

 

Thank you for your recent request for information, which we received on 1
April 2019.

 

The scheduled date for our response to your request for information is on
or before 30 April 2019.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries in the
meantime.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Access to Information Officer

 

 

Grant Webster |Access to Information Officer

Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback
|Customer

Marischal College |Business Hub 17,  3^rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen
| AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[1]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your information request of 1 April 2019. Aberdeen City
Council (ACC) has completed the necessary search for the information
requested. Our response is now detailed below.

 

It would be much appreciated if you could outline details of your existing
Lobo contracts within an excel spreadsheet document. Please could you
compile the information into the following columns, where possible, and
any other additional columns you feel are necessary:

The publication of details of each Market Loan, lender, interest rate and
sum outstanding, in the requested form, would put the Council at a
‘competitive disadvantage’. Lenders could use this information to assist
them to exercise their option to increase interest rates. Such an increase
in costs to the Council would not be in the public interest.  As far as
possible, the requested information is listed below.

 

a) START DATE

1) 15.05.2006

2), 3) & 4) 16.01.2004

5) & 6) 29.03.2005

7) 23.07.2007

8) 30.07.2007

9) 28.01.2008

 

b) MATURITY DATE

1) 15.05.2066

2), 3) & 4) 18.01.2049

5) & 6) 29.03.2055

7) 23.07.2077

8) 30.07.2077

9) 28.01.2078

 

c) PRINCIPAL INITIAL INTEREST RATE

d) CURRENT INTEREST RATE

e) STEP UP DATE             

The publication of details of the interest rates of the LOBO loans would
put the Council at a competitive disadvantage to other lenders, which
could result in higher interest rates and increased costs to the Council,
which would not be in the public interest. Therefore, ACC is unable to
provide you with information relating to the initial interest rate and
Stepped-up interest rate and step-up date where applicable as it is exempt
from disclosure. In order to comply with its obligations under the terms
of Section 16 of the FOISA, ACC hereby gives notice that we are refusing
your request under the terms of Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests -
of the FOISA.

 

In making this decision ACC considered the following points: The initial
interest rate and any stepped-up interest rates are exempt from release in
terms of Section 33(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002 in that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to,
prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person including a
Scottish public authority. The agreements are on-going contracts and, as
such, disclosure of this information is likely to substantially prejudice
the interests of the Council.

 

Due to the tradable nature of these loans, it would not be in the
interests of ACC to make this information publicly available. The loans
are tradable by the lenders on the open market and contain an option for
the lender to increase the interest rate of the loan. The interest rates
are commercially sensitive due to the very nature of these loans.
Publication of them would put the Council at a ‘competitive disadvantage’
to other lenders which could result in higher interest rates and increased
costs to the Council, and subsequently to public funds, which would not be
in the public interest.

 

Revealing the rates would put ACC in a position of unnecessary, additional
risk. The risk would stem from requests for increases to the rates of
these LOBO loans following the publication of this information. Financial
institutions would be able to identify how much interest rate a local
authority is willing to agree to and adjust their rates accordingly.  They
may also take the opportunity to ‘buy up’ the other loans and issue a
blanket request of increase. ACC’s position on these loans has always been
to repay if a request for rate increase was received. If this information
were to be released, this would clearly have significant financial risk to
ACC.

 

ACC also considers that the commercial interests of third parties, namely
the institutions providing the LOBO contracts would also be substantially
harmed by disclosure. Disclosure of interest rates in relation to certain
loans may prejudice the future position of the relevant organisations,
particularly when negotiating loans with other public sector authorities.
ACC took out these loans in the years leading up to the ‘credit crunch’,
at a time when other interest rates were relatively high. In all cases,
these loans represent a considerable saving over the comparable PWLB
rates. A number of these loans were initiated during a large debt
restructuring exercise, at a substantial saving to the Council, whereas
the rest were offered at a substantial discount over the government (PWLB)
borrowing rates at that time, thus also at a substantial saving to the
Council.

 

Initially, these loans were approved by Head of Finance and reported to
full Council. They are regularly monitored by the Treasury Officer and
reported to full Council. ACC take a very serious approach to ensuring
that appropriate scrutiny mechanisms are fully implemented into all
aspects of financial management.

 

In conclusion, ACC considers that the necessity of protecting the
Council’s interests in retaining the agreement at its current state
outweighs the public interest in the requested information being
disclosed. ACC considers that disclosure would not contribute to either
ensuring effective oversight of the expenditure of public funds or
ensuring that the public obtain value for money for public funds. The
information already published in relation to these contracts, along with
the monitoring mechanisms in place, as detailed above, satisfies the
public interest in ensuring value for money and the mitigation of
foreseeable financial risk.

               

f) ORIGINAL LENDER      

The original lenders were - State Street Nominees Limited, Depfa Bank plc,
Dresdner Bank AG, Barclays Bank plc and Dexia Public Finance Bank.

 

g) CURRENT LENDER

The current lenders are – Erste Abwicklungsanstalt, FMS Wertmanagement
AoR, Just Retirement Limited, Barclays Bank plc and Dexia Public Finance
Bank.

               

h) CURRENT BALANCE  

£3m, £15m, £15m, £10.9m, £10m, £10m, £10m, £10m, £10m

 

i) OPTION DATE

1), 2) Every 2 years

3) & 4) Every 6 months

5), 6), 7) & 9) Call option withdrawn

8) Every 5 years

 

j) OPTION USED? (Yes/No)

No, in all cases.

 

k) STILL OUTSTANDING (Yes/No)

The Call Option has been withdrawn for four of our LOBO’s. The other five
are still in place.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

ACC handled your request for information in accordance with the provisions
of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Please refer to the
attached PDF for more information about your rights under FOISA.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Grant Webster

Access to Information Officer

 

 

Grant Webster |Access to Information Officer

Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback
|Customer

Marischal College |Business Hub 17,  3^rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen
| AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[1]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi Grant,

Many thanks for your response. Please can you provide the information in Microsoft Excel format?

The information is difficult to interpret in the format you have provided.

Thanks for your help,

Jamie

Hi Grant,

Please can you respond to the above? Please can you provide the above in spreadsheet format as originally requested?

I would also like to ask for an internal review regarding the original LOBO loans contracts, so please could you pass this on to the person responsible for it.

With respect to refusal to provide copies of the original LOBO loan contracts, I refer you to the arguments in favour of disclosure made by the ICO regarding similar requests.

See for example:

ICO Decision Notice, Swansea
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
ICO Decision Notice, Cornwall
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
ICO Decision Notice, Kingston Upon Thames
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
ICO Decision Notice, Solihull
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

In particular, I would like to draw the council's attention to the following excerpt from the ICO Decision Notice relating to Cornwall Council's use of S43(2):

"Balance of the public interest

"31. The Commissioner has given due weighting to the commercial interests which the exemption is designed to protect. He acknowledges that, particularly at a time where there is significant public spending constraints, authorities should be able to engage in activities which promote the best use of limited monies without this being prejudiced by disclosure.

"32. However, by the same token, the Commissioner is mindful that the agreements in question relate to long term loans (40 years plus) for sums which exceed hundreds of million pounds and which bind the council to make substantial repayments. It is not the Commissioner’s role to determine whether the council has acted appropriately in its pursuance of LOBO loans but the need for the public to be reassured by being able to scrutinize relevant information, particularly when such large sums are involved, is a strong public interest factor.

"33. In relation to the proposed likely damage to the council’s commercial interests, the Commissioner considers that, whilst this is a genuine concern and carries some weight, it is too vaguely formulated in the face of the more concrete public interest in holding decision-making about vast public expenditure to account. He also considers that disclosure of the information when set against the difficulties envisaged by the council, would be more likely to improve competition amongst lenders and assist public authorities in securing more favourable borrowing rates.

"34. In relation to the potential damage to the commercial interests of the lenders, the Commissioner is mindful that, beyond the somewhat generic arguments provided in support of the engagement of the exemption, no specific public interest arguments have been submitted.

"35. In terms of the relationship with the council, the Commissioner considers it very unlikely that lenders would wish to deny themselves access to potentially lucrative public sector lending agreements or, in the specific case of the council, would want to withdraw from a long term agreement.

"36. In relation to the benefits of disclosure to the lenders’ competitors and the resulting damage to the lenders’ ability to negotiate favourable rates, the Commissioner has not been provided with public interest arguments which specifically identify the severity of or extent of such prejudice. The Commissioner notes the complainant’s argument that negotiations and agreements would be predicated on existing market conditions and the specific state of the council’s accounts and requirements. The Commissioner is not persuaded that there is a significant public interest in maintaining the exemption to avert the disclosure of information which is unlikely to have significant or well defined ill-effects.

"37. In light of the above and, having weighed the relevant factors, the Commissioner considers that the public interest balance in this case is weighted towards disclosing the withheld information."

Unless your council can offer a more robust argument than Cornwall, Swansea, Solihull and Kingston Upon Thames Councils that the potential prejudice to the council's commercial interests outweigh the public interest in disclosure, then please can you lift this exemption and provide me with the information I originally requested?

Should the documents still be withheld, I will refer the decision to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Please also note that the majority of councils across the UK have provided the full un-redacted LOBO loan contracts.

Yours sincerely,

Jamie

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 25 April 2019.

 

Please find enclosed the required information in an Excel format.

 

Hope this helps and please let us in case of any further details needed.

 

Kind regards

 

[1]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 17 | 3^rd Floor | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[2]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
2. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi,

Thanks for your response but the attached doc is is csv rather than an excel file. Please provide it in microsoft excel format.

Please can you also acknowledge my request internal review regarding the original LOBO loans contracts?

Many thanks,

Jamie Mann

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

Dear Mr Mann,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please note that we are advised by our IT department to send all spreadsheets in csv format. This is to avoid any hidden data within spreadsheets to be released which would then be a breach in Data Protection.

You should be able to open the document which we sent you in Microsoft excel and view the details, however, if you struggle, please let us know so we can find out how we can provide support and assistance.

In the meantime, your review request will be acknowledged shortly.

Kind regards

Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback |Customer
Marischal College | Business Hub 17 | 3rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AQ

Dial: 01224 522166
www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC | Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

show quoted sections

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

Thank you for your request for a review, received on 10 May 2019, to
reconsider the information request - FOI-19-0450 – LOBO Loans - on the
basis that you are not satisfied with the content of the response from
Aberdeen City Council (ACC). Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland)
Act 2002 (FOISA), if an applicant writes to ACC expressing dissatisfaction
with the way in which ACC has dealt with their request (this includes
enquiring about the status of a late response), ACC must treat this as a
formal request for review. The applicant does not need to specifically ask
for a review.

In accordance with the timescales set out in FOISA, you should receive a
review outcome on or before 10 June 2019. If a response to your
information request is provided on or before that date, this will be
deemed to be the review outcome. If ACC fails to provide you with a
response by that date, you can apply to the Office of the Scottish
Information Commissioner (OSIC) to make a decision. Please refer to the
Further Information section below.

I would also take this opportunity to advise you that you will have no
further opportunities to seek a review at local authority level after your
response has been provided, as FOISA allows applicants to have one review
only. If you receive your response and disagree with any aspect of it, you
should contact OSIC directly.

Yours sincerely,

Salomeh Kheyri Rad
On behalf of Review Panel Clerk

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for an internal
review, you can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information
Commissioner (OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision
unless you have been through the ACC’s review procedure. To make an
application to OSIC, please write or email OSIC at:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
[1]www.itspublicknowledge.info

An application to OSIC must be made in writing within six months of
receipt of ACC’s Review Decision Notice. When applying to OSIC for a
decision you should give your name and address for correspondence. Please
note that OSIC will not be able to investigate if you have not used your
real name to make your information request. You must also specify:

You must also specify:

● which request for information your requirement for review relates to
● the reason that you asked ACC to carry out a review of your request
● the reason why you are not satisfied with ACC's review outcome decision

The Commissioner will contact ACC and invite its comments on your
application. Thereafter (if no settlement has meantime been reached), the
Commissioner must reach a decision within 4 months of receiving your
application, or within such other period as is reasonable. You will
receive written notice of the outcome of the Commissioner’s decision.

Should you wish to appeal against the Scottish Information Commissioner's
decision, there is an appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law
only. Any such appeal must be made within 42 days after the date of the
decision has been issued.

 

[2]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 17 | 3^rd Floor | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[3]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This e-mail (including any attachment to it) is
confidential, protected by copyright and may be privileged. The
information contained in it should be used for its intended purposes only.
If you receive this email in error, notify the sender by reply email,
delete the received email and do not make use of, disclose or copy it.
Whilst we take reasonable precautions to ensure that our emails are free
from viruses, we cannot be responsible for any viruses transmitted with
this email and recommend that you subject any incoming email to your own
virus checking procedures. Unless related to Council business, the
opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and they do not
necessarily constitute those of Aberdeen City Council. Unless we expressly
say otherwise in this email or its attachments, neither this email nor its
attachments create, form part of or vary any contractual or unilateral
obligation. Aberdeen City Council's incoming and outgoing email is subject
to regular monitoring.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/
3. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Hi Salomeh,

I tried to open the file in excel and it is quite difficult to interpret, including understanding which data falls under which titles. This is because all the data is in the same cell. It would much appreciated it you could provide this data in an easy to read format.

Yours sincerely,

Jamie Mann

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Hello Jamie,

Please find enclosed the required details in a word format. You can now copy and paste the details into an excel spreadsheet.

Hope the issue is sorted and please let us know in case of any problems.

Kind regards

Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team | Customer Feedback |Customer
Marischal College | Business Hub 17 | 3rd Floor | Broad Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AQ

Dial: 01224 522166
www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC | Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

show quoted sections

Many thanks for this Salomeh,

Yours sincerely,

Jamie Mann

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Thank you for your email of 10 May 2019 requesting that Aberdeen City
Council (ACC) review its handling of your request. I can now advise you
that we have undertaken an internal review of our decision and the
findings are set out below.

 

Review details

 

I would also like to ask for an internal review regarding the original
LOBO loans contracts, so please could you pass this on to the person
responsible for it.

 

With respect to refusal to provide copies of the original LOBO loan
contracts, I refer you to the arguments in favour of disclosure made by
the ICO regarding similar requests.

 

See for example:

 

ICO Decision Notice, Swansea

[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

ICO Decision Notice, Cornwall

[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

ICO Decision Notice, Kingston Upon Thames
[3]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

ICO Decision Notice, Solihull

[4]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

 

In particular, I would like to draw the council's attention to the
following excerpt from the ICO Decision Notice relating to Cornwall
Council's use of S43(2):

 

"Balance of the public interest

 

"31. The Commissioner has given due weighting to the commercial interests
which the exemption is designed to protect. He acknowledges that,
particularly at a time where there is significant public spending
constraints, authorities should be able to engage in activities which
promote the best use of limited monies without this being prejudiced by
disclosure.

 

"32. However, by the same token, the Commissioner is mindful that the
agreements in question relate to long term loans (40 years plus) for sums
which exceed hundreds of million pounds and which bind the council to make
substantial repayments. It is not the Commissioner’s role to determine
whether the council has acted appropriately in its pursuance of LOBO loans
but the need for the public to be reassured by being able to scrutinize
relevant information, particularly when such large sums are involved, is a
strong public interest factor.

 

"33. In relation to the proposed likely damage to the council’s commercial
interests, the Commissioner considers that, whilst this is a genuine
concern and carries some weight, it is too vaguely formulated in the face
of the more concrete public interest in holding decision-making about vast
public expenditure to account. He also considers that disclosure of the
information when set against the difficulties envisaged by the council,
would be more likely to improve competition amongst lenders and assist
public authorities in securing more favourable borrowing rates.

 

"34. In relation to the potential damage to the commercial interests of
the lenders, the Commissioner is mindful that, beyond the somewhat generic
arguments provided in support of the engagement of the exemption, no
specific public interest arguments have been submitted.

 

"35. In terms of the relationship with the council, the Commissioner
considers it very unlikely that lenders would wish to deny themselves
access to potentially lucrative public sector lending agreements or, in
the specific case of the council, would want to withdraw from a long term
agreement.

 

"36. In relation to the benefits of disclosure to the lenders’ competitors
and the resulting damage to the lenders’ ability to negotiate favourable
rates, the Commissioner has not been provided with public interest
arguments which specifically identify the severity of or extent of such
prejudice. The Commissioner notes the complainant’s argument that
negotiations and agreements would be predicated on existing market
conditions and the specific state of the council’s accounts and
requirements. The Commissioner is not persuaded that there is a
significant public interest in maintaining the exemption to avert the
disclosure of information which is unlikely to have significant or well
defined ill-effects.

 

"37. In light of the above and, having weighed the relevant factors, the
Commissioner considers that the public interest balance in this case is
weighted towards disclosing the withheld information."

 

Unless your council can offer a more robust argument than Cornwall,
Swansea, Solihull and Kingston Upon Thames Councils that the potential
prejudice to the council's commercial interests outweigh the public
interest in disclosure, then please can you lift this exemption and
provide me with the information I originally requested?

 

Should the documents still be withheld, I will refer the decision to the
Scottish Information Commissioner.

 

Please also note that the majority of councils across the UK have provided
the full un-redacted LOBO loan contracts.

 

Review outcome

 

In accordance with Section 21(4)(c) of FOISA, please find below the
response to your information request, which comprises the Review Outcome:

 

We have carefully reviewed the cases you highlighted above and determined
that they do not support your review, therefore, the Council resolve to
uphold the earlier application of Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests
– of the FOISA.

 

We would also like to draw your attention to our previous response to your
review request ref: REV-19-0267 – dated 26 March 2019, where the Review
Panel upheld the application of Section 33(1)(b) – Commercial Interests –
of the FOISA  in relation to providing the copies of original loan
contracts.

 

As explained in our response, ACC considers that the necessity of
protecting the Council’s interests in retaining the agreement at its
current state outweighs the public interest in the requested information
being disclosed. ACC considers that disclosure would not contribute to
either ensuring effective oversight of the expenditure of public funds or
ensuring that the public obtain value for money for public funds. The
information already published in relation to these contracts, along with
the monitoring mechanisms in place, as detailed above, satisfies the
public interest in ensuring value for money and the mitigation of
foreseeable financial risk.

 

Please note that in terms of Section 15 of FOISA and the duty to provide
advice and assistance, you can view the additional information regarding
that current budget information, including information on Market loans
(LOBO loans), through the Council Budget Meeting held on Tuesday 5 March
2019. This can be viewed publicly on the Council’s web site via this
[5]link.

 

What happens next?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request for an internal
review, you can apply directly to the Office of the Scottish Information
Commissioner (OSIC) for a decision. Generally, OSIC cannot make a decision
unless you have been through the ACC’s review procedure. To make an
application to OSIC, please write or email OSIC at:

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

[6]www.itspublicknowledge.info

 

An application to OSIC must be made in writing within six months of
receipt of ACC’s Review Decision Notice. When applying to OSIC for a
decision you should give your name and address for correspondence. Please
note that OSIC will not be able to investigate if you have not used your
real name to make your information request. You must also specify:

 

● which request for information your requirement for review relates to

● the reason that you asked ACC to carry out a review of your request

● the reason why you are not satisfied with ACC's review outcome decision

 

The Commissioner will contact ACC and invite its comments on your
application. Thereafter (if no settlement has meantime been reached), the
Commissioner must reach a decision within 4 months of receiving your
application, or within such other period as is reasonable. You will
receive written notice of the outcome of the Commissioner’s decision.

 

Should you wish to appeal against the Scottish Information Commissioner's
decision, there is an appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law
only. Any such appeal must be made within 42 days after the date of the
decision has been issued.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Salomeh Kheyri Rad

On behalf of Review Panel Clerk

 

[7]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 17 | 3^rd Floor | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AQ

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[8]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
Facebook.com/AberdeenCC

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
2. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
3. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
5. https://committees.aberdeencity.gov.uk/i...
6. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/
8. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/

Foi Enquiries, Aberdeen City Council

10 Attachments

Dear Mr Mann,

 

Following the outcome of the Scottish Information Commissioner decision,
please find enclosed copies of the LOBO loans contracts.

 

Please note that we redacted third party names and personal details, as
well as the names of ACC Officers who are below Chief Officer level as it
is exempt from disclosure.  In order to comply with its obligations under
the terms of Section 16 of the FOISA, we hereby give notice that we are
refusing this part of your request under the terms of Section 38(1)(b) in
conjunction with Section 38(2A)(a) – Personal Information - of the FOISA.

 

We are of the opinion that Section 38(1)(b) applies to the information
specified above as the information in question is personal information
relating to living individuals, of which the applicant is not the data
subject. 

 

We are of the opinion that Section 38(2A)(a) applies, as we consider that
disclosure of this information would be a breach of the ‘lawfulness,
fairness and transparency’ principle.  These individuals have not
consented to the disclosure of information that could allow them to be
identified, and we do not consider that they would expect us to release
this information about them into the public domain under the FOISA.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDLING OF YOUR REQUEST

 

We handled your request for information in accordance with the provisions
of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Please refer to
[1]FOISA reviews & appeals and [2]Your Data for more information about
your rights under FOISA.

 

We hope this helps with your request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[3]ACC_Crest_for Salomeh Kheyri Rad | Access to Information Officer
mac email
Aberdeen City Council | Access to Information Team |
Customer Feedback |Customer

Marischal College | Business Hub 6 | 1^st Floor  | Broad
Street | Aberdeen | AB10 1AB

 

Dial: 01224 522166

[4]www.aberdeencity.gov.uk | Twitter: @AberdeenCC |
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Received with thanks,

Yours sincerely,

Jamie Mann

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