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LOBO Prepayment Report (Arlingclose Limited)

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

An invoice dated 28th February 2019 from Arlingclose Limited shows that Wirral Council paid "in respect of Treasury Consultancy Services" £6,000 for a "LOBO Prepayment report" (£5,000 + VAT).

This FOI request is for that LOBO Prepayment report and I also request that it is supplied in an electronic format.

I remind you of your duty under section 16 to provide advice and assistance to those making requests.

Yours faithfully,

John Brace

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Brace

 

We write further to your recent request for information in which you
asked:

 

An invoice dated 28th February 2019 from Arlingclose Limited shows that
Wirral Council paid "in respect of Treasury Consultancy Services" £6,000
for a "LOBO Prepayment report" (£5,000 + VAT).

 

This FOI request is for that LOBO Prepayment report and I also request
that it is supplied in an electronic format.

 

 

Your request for a copy of the report is refused under Section 43 (2) and
Section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is the Council’s
belief that the information you have requested is commercially sensitive
and that the commercial interests of both this Council and the third
party, namely Arlingclose Limited, would be substantially harmed by
disclosure.  The exemption at S43 is a qualified exemption which requires
us to consider the public interest in disclosing/not disclosing the
information sought.

 

Factors in favour of disclosing the requested  information

o The public interest in disclosure to promote transparency and
accountability of public authorities
o That public money is being used effectively

 

Factors in favour of withholding the requested information

o Disclosure would undermine the relationship between the Council and
its partnerships. There continues to be an active market in LOBO
repayments. Disclosure of sensitive commercial information would
impact on the 3^rd party by opening up its output/fees to its
competitors
o Disclosure would adversely affect the Council’s ability to obtain
confidential advice and would be to the Council’s detriment when
undertaking future LOBO transactions as this could influence discount
rates, premium costs and advisory fees

 

As we believe the commercial interest of both the Council and Arlingclose
Limited would be harmed, we have also sought the opinion of Arlingclose
Limited who confirms that it does not consent to disclosure on the basis
that its commercial interests would be damaged for the reasons set out
above.  The Council considers that the public interest in withholding the
information outweighs disclosure and that in all the circumstances, the
exemption under s43 (2) FOIA applies in this case.

The exemption at Section 41 FOIA also applies, Information provided in
confidence.  Disclosure of sensitive commercial information provided by
Arlingclose Ltd would constitute an actionable breach of confidence.  All
analysis, reports, calculations and advice provided by Arlingclose is
considered “Confidential Information” and under the terms of their
agreement with the Council, a clause on confidentiality is in place. 
Disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of  confidence.

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review of the refusal of the information requested.
Please direct any request for an internal review to
[1][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated to
an independent officer for review.

 

You also have the right to complain to the information Commissioner, if
you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any internal review, who can be
contacted at [2]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Wirral Council

Business Management - ICT

Treasury Building

Argyle Street

Birkenhead

Wirral

CH41 1AH

 

Tel: 0151 691 8201

[3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

 

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
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
2. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

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