Maidstone Borough Council not following the Seven Nolan Principles - Sheila Coburn, J E Baring & Co or Co Ltd , LPC Law Andrew Morrell etc

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman did not have the information requested.

Dear Local Government Ombudsmen,

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has directed me to your department.

Can you tell me if councils and their staff are following the Nolan Principles if they are continually farming out work to "middlemen" such as Maidstone Borough Council who are unfortunately vague when answering FOI requests and will not even confirm if it is J E Baring & Co or Co Ltd they have been paying.

How can a council who has it's own joint local legal services (Swale Borough Council ) allow a member of staff to instruct a London based firm of solicitors (hardly local to Maidstone and basically a middleman and without putting the work out to tender to local firms) to further instruct a second middleman (London Agency LPC Law ) who do not send its own staff but instead self employed advocates/solicitors agents just another third middlemen ?

Is this so that there is no connection to Maidstone Borough Council and why would the council also need to send the instructing member of staff along "informally" surely council staff should be able to trust who they are contracting work out to who should not need babysitting or are they just there to gloat?

Do you have any policy or law that confirms if this is following the seven Nolan Principles as it does not appear to be in the best interests of the public but in the best interests of the council staff who are now acting as Head of Revenues and Benefits ?

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Powell

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email. If you are making a request for information, you should get an acknowledgement from us within the next 2-3 days with a reference number and a date by which we will respond to your request. Please note, however, that this address is only for use in relation to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act and subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act. If your email is in relation to a new complaint please follow this link to a complaint form<http://www.lgo.org.uk/forms/ShowForm.asp...> or call 0300 061 0614 to speak to one of our Advisers, as the FOI Officer cannot deal with your complaint.

NOTICE - This message contains information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If you have received this message in error please advise us at once and do not make any use of the information.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Powell

I attach a letter in response to your request below.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

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Dear Foi Officer,

The Information Commissioners Office deals with non-compliance with FOI requests such as councils' and other public service bodies including the LGO refusing to answer FOI requests.

I have asked the LGO to provide all recorded information it holds on whether or not MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL can farm out council legal work to multipule middlemen and agency workers when it has its own in-house team and allow them send paid staff (Sheila Coburn )to attend court informally with outside middlemen that have already been paid to carry out the service on behalf of the council ?

It is quite obvious that the Nolan Principles are not being followed and that the council are abusing public funds to suit their own private agenda, especially when Sheila Coburn acting Head of Revenues and Benefits/Revenues Manager has farmed out this work without any tendering and given a reference on J E Baring & Co website.

How can we know that this work is not being farmed out to 'friends' etc ?

Where is the accountability when there is no direct link to the council ?

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Powell

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email. If you are making a request for information, you should get an acknowledgement from us within the next 2-3 days with a reference number and a date by which we will respond to your request. Please note, however, that this address is only for use in relation to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act and subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act. If your email is in relation to a new complaint please follow this link to a complaint form<http://www.lgo.org.uk/forms/ShowForm.asp...> or call 0300 061 0614 to speak to one of our Advisers, as the FOI Officer cannot deal with your complaint.

NOTICE - This message contains information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If you have received this message in error please advise us at once and do not make any use of the information.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Powell

I attach a letter in response to your message below.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Information & Records Manager | DL: 0330 403 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office |
www.lgo.org.uk |

show quoted sections

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