Maidstone Borough Council Service Provider Partnership - Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits instructing outsourced solicitors for Debt and bankruptcy - personal signing in a trading name?

Lin Ball made this Freedom of Information request to Maidstone Borough Council

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Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Maidstone Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

Maidstone Borough Council Service Provider Partnership - Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits instructing outsourced solicitors for Debt and bankruptcy - personal signing in a trading name?

1.Provide the full names of the partners that created the Council partnership now called Mid Kent Services and list all changes of partners and the date of change.
2. The date that Revenues and Benefits shared service were granted the authority and who by to act on the Council’s behalf regarding Debt and bankruptcy - personal against individuals regarding council tax and to further delegate their authority to outsourced solicitors.
3.The name and title of the person authorised by the Council to delegate the powers granted to them and to enable them to further delegate that authority including powers relating to data protection to outsourced solicitors.
4.The name of the outsourced solicitor and the dates they were given delegated powers (instructed) on behalf of the Council as your agent and the position they hold within their practice. The name of the company if they are a director and the name of the partnership if they are a partner.
5. Clarify whether these outsourced agents instructed on behalf of the Council are authorised by Maidstone Borough Council directly or via delegation to your partnership agents Mid Kent Service Revenues and Benefits department.
6.Are any of your agents including outsourced solicitors or their further agents authorised by the Council to sign any documents on the Council’s behalf in a non legal way such as in a trading name.
7.Provide the name of the solicitors firm and who within the Council including agents Mid Kent Legal Services etc who have delegated any power to authorise any outside solicitors’ practice to further instruct any other legal entity to act for the Council in court matters or are their powers constrained to those employed within their own practice.
8.Who authorises your agents to sign and file documents into court and are they authorised to sign in a trading name rather than their legal name on any document sent out on your behalf.
9. Who is responsible within the Council for the work carried out by your agents. Both Mid Kent Services (a partnership) and outsourced solicitors are acting as the Council’s agents unless you state differently and clarify your relationship.
10.Please provide the delegation powers the Council relies on to represent the Council in these legal matters and to sign documents on the Council’s behalf and file legal documents into the courts.

Yours faithfully,

Lin Ball

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

Please acknowledge this FOIR put in on 14 Dec 2021.

Yours faithfully,

Lin Ball

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Lin Ball
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST
 
Ref: FOI/6227
 
Unfortunately we did not receive your request on 14 December, however I
have now been able to access your request via this link:
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m....
 
We will have a response ready for you within 20 working days.
 
After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the
information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For
details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s
website:
[2]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
 
If you have any queries about this email, please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Complaints & FOI Team
Information Governance
Corporate Insight, Communities and Governance
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [3][email address] w [4]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

This request is due by the 14.1.2022 and MBC has provided no proof that you did not receive it. Hopefully you can provide evidence to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Lin Ball

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Thank you for contacting the Information Governance Team at Maidstone
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Information Governance Team 

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Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ 

w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk 

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Lin Ball left an annotation ()

Maidstone Borough Council has been reported to the ICO.

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Date: 03/02/2022

Ref: FOI/6227

 

Dear Lin Ball

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

Under section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, I can confirm
that the Council does hold some of the information you have requested.

 

A copy of the information is attached.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and we will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your request, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted
the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Complaints & FOI Team

Information Governance

Corporate Insight, Communities and Governance

Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ

e [1][email address] w [2]www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

 

To access our digital services please visit
https://maidstone.gov.uk/service Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill
by email https//maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling We understand the importance
of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is
always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of
individuals are upheld. We are required to collect, use and hold personal
data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out
our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of
individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective
employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council,
our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies. To
view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed
please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection This email is
confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by
email immediately. Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is
prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot
be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council. Unless a purchase order is
attached this email is not a contract or an order. It is your
responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

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2. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/

Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

1. Maidstone Borough Council have not confirmed when they created this partnership or who with so it is impossible to reduce down a timescale until you confirm which partners created which services, on which dates.

Please clarify what you mean by permanent partners who are the non-permanent partners and for which services.

2. MBC have not confirmed who your partners are in the recent collaboration on 8 March 2016 or since it was first created in 2010, please also confirm the precise date that Maidstone Borough Council a partner in a shared service agreement delegated your authority to your service providers now called Mid Kent Services.

Neither did you provide any more information or copies of any agreements to provide any further clarification.

Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits are a department within Mid Kent Services. Are MBC saying that they do not delegate this work under the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992.

3. Thank you for confirming that Mid Kent Services Director is Stephen McGinnes and Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service is Zoe Kent and the Chief Executive Officer is Alison Broom and MBC’s Data Protection Officer is Angela Woodhouse and the Head of Legal Partnership is Claudette Valmond, but you have not provided clarification as to whether they are all employees of the partner Maidstone Borough Council or another council who is a partner. Or for any of the other officers listed.

Or where any Council partner obtained the authority to delegate their authority to your Mid Kent Services shared partnership officers.

Or where it states that if in fact the Council partners in this partnership do have the power to delegate their powers, as separate partners, to these partnership service provider officers or where it states they are authorised to further delegate any powers granted to them.

4. MBC is already aware of the outsourced solicitors you claim that Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits Shared Service have been delegated power to instruct.

All dates where MBC as a partner of this partnership has delegated power to Mrs Sheila Coburn Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits who has instructed solicitors in bankruptcy proceedings and other proceedings connected to council tax enforcement ( for all cases).

Please also confirm why both Zoe Kent and Sheila Coburn are both Heads of Revenues and Benefits yet only Zoe Kent has been listed under your answer to question 3.

5. There are no solicitors listed on either the SRA or Law Society or FCA in the name J E Baring and Co as MBC’s is already fully aware and who appear to have no legal right to further instruct anyone to act on behalf of MBC or your partners. Or are you claiming that various version of a name will do whether legal or not, please clarify anywhere this is legal.

Please provide the correct name or it can only be presumed that MBC are either deliberately concealing this information because MKSL team must know this wrong and have a legal duty not to conceal information from both the courts and the public. Or is this the reason they prefer to outsource this work because they know it would illegal.

Why is MBC claiming that all officers acting under Mid Kent Services that is a service provider created by the council and your partners are employees of MBC when It appears that not all Mid Kent Services officers are employees of MBC.

Is Zoe Kent who you have listed as Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service with delegated authority, the employee of MBC or a employee of Swale Borough Council?

Does the partner MBC even have a collaboration agreement with Swale Borough Council for Mid Kent Revenues and Benefits and council tax enforcement?

Are you claiming all MKS staff are only MBC employees and not employees of other Councils within the partnership?

Please also confirm whether MBC are claiming that Sheila Coburn also Mid Kent Services Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service does not have delegated powers because you have failed to list her or was she deliberately excluded for some other reason.

6. Is no information available because MBC a partner who created MId Kent Services and their Revenues and Benefits department who are delegating council authority they do not appear to have and are further outsourcing power they do not also appear to have to outsourced solicitors who must use their proper legal name on documents.

Is this why the MBC will not provide their proper legal name because they are fully aware of this illegality.

Is Stephen McGinnes the Director of Mid Kent Services the partnership provider delegating his authority to both ladies as Mid Kent Heads of Revenues and Benefits Shared Services or just to one of them.

7. Are you saying it is not the Mid Kent Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service department that directly instructs outside solicitors but a different department of Mid Kent Services the Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership Team Claudette Valmond. Please clarify also what you mean by extension the MKS Director.

You have not provided from where the MKS Director obtains his authority to delegate any legal work on behalf of the Council partners that created the partnership or where it states the partner councils’ can delegate to a partnership service provider created merely by the CEO and Leaders of the Councils.

8. Thank you for confirming that neither the Councils or those within the Mid Kent Services the shared service providers bother to check the accuracy of outsourced solicitors who are being instructed by Mid Kent Services to act on your behalf and who merely rely on the hope that they may abide and be bound by professional obligations. Surely the individual Councils who created Mid Kent Services and both the revenues and benefits shared service and legal partnership must be duty bound and obligated for who Mid Kent Services instructs to carry out the Council DUTIES on the council’s. behalf .

9. Thank you for confirming that Mid Kent Services are not working as service providers and are not providing these services on behalf of more than one Council who have created a partnership called Mid Kent Services to carry out the duties of the Councils.

Please define your version of ‘agency’ because by definition they do in fact appear to be acting as agents carrying out the duties that belong and only belong to the individual Councils.

10. Thank you for confirming that the Councils within your partnership rely on secondary legislation only, please clarify why they are ignoring primary legislation and why MKLS would be involved with the collection and enforcement of council tax and where they obtain their enforcement authority from because you also say they do not require further powers until they delegate their authority to external agent solicitors.

Where are you stating the Head of Mid Kent Legal Partnership has received this power and for further delegation from to be able to grant powers that can only be granted to Councils and where can the following be found because you have failed to provide a link to 2.3. 15 sub section 9.

Yours sincerely,

Lin Ball

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Thank you for contacting the Information Governance Team at Maidstone
Borough Council.

 

This is an automated response to confirm that your e-mail has
been received. Your message will be assigned to a
member of the Information Governance Team. You receive an update
within two working days.  

 

Regards  

 

Information Governance Team 

Corporate Insight, Communities and Governance 

Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ 

w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk 

To access our digital services please visit
https://maidstone.gov.uk/service Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill
by email https//maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling We understand the importance
of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is
always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of
individuals are upheld. We are required to collect, use and hold personal
data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out
our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of
individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective
employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council,
our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies. To
view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed
please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection This email is
confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by
email immediately. Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is
prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot
be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council. Unless a purchase order is
attached this email is not a contract or an order. It is your
responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

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

Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

MBC provided partial answers to this FOIR on 3 February 2022 and clarification was sought the same day and your acknowledgement confirmed that an update would be provided within two working days.

Please provided the outstanding information requested because it is now 14 days.

Yours faithfully,

Lin Ball

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Thank you for contacting the Information Governance Team at Maidstone
Borough Council.

 

This is an automated response to confirm that your e-mail has
been received. Your message will be assigned to a
member of the Information Governance Team. You receive an update
within two working days.  

 

Regards  

 

Information Governance Team 

Corporate Insight, Communities and Governance 

Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ 

w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk 

To access our digital services please visit
https://maidstone.gov.uk/service Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill
by email https//maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling We understand the importance
of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is
always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of
individuals are upheld. We are required to collect, use and hold personal
data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out
our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of
individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective
employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council,
our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies. To
view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed
please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection This email is
confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by
email immediately. Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is
prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot
be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council. Unless a purchase order is
attached this email is not a contract or an order. It is your
responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

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

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear Lin Ball,

We are very sorry for the delay, we will respond to your email dated 03 February as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Team
Corporate Insight, Communities and Governance
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
w www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Date: 03/03/2022

Ref: FOI/6484

 

Dear Lin Ball

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

Please find Maidstone Borough Council’s response attached.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and we will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review.  Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your request, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted
the complaints procedure provided by the Council.  The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at:  The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Team

Corporate Insight, Communities and Governance

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ

w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

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