Marketing & Advertising Agency work e.g. Mills Media

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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

Waiting for an internal review by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please provide all expenditure and costs for using external
Marketing and Advertising agencies across all departments for the current financial year. e.g. choice of Mills Media Group to create "What Really Matters" video starring Graham Burgess and Phil Davies.

Please provide information on the length of contract or project timescale the agencies have been employed on to undertake the work, including dates of commencement and completion.

Please provide a list of projects and a list of costs in association with each project awarded externally and identify the commissioning internal department.

Please provide details of the procurement process, the selection process, details of all competing applicants for each contract and job titles of officers overseeing bids and rewarding contracts,

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

I'm also concerned, given the climate of austerity, that the following link to the video has NEVER worked since I made this FoI request.

http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/cou...

Was a large sum of public money wasted on this or is there another link to the video?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon

 

Thank you for your request below, please see information Wirral Council
can provide in response to your queries below.

 

Please provide all expenditure and costs for using external Marketing and
Advertising agencies across all departments for the current financial
year. e.g. choice of Mills Media Group to create "What Really Matters"
video starring Graham Burgess and Phil Davies.

 

Wirral Council can respond Mills Media were commissioned following a
competitive procedure, which involved obtaining quotes from three local
companies, to produce a video related to the What Really Matters
consultation. This video was not intended primarily to promote the
project, but was rather designed to improve the accessibility of the
consultation.

 

The video consisted of the Chief Executive and Leader of the Council
explaining the process, which was followed by a number of staff explaining
the context of each question within the questionnaire, along with
instructions as to how the questionnaire could be completed. The
expenditure for this video was in the amount of £5722.

In addition Wirral Council can confirm no other funding was spent on
contracts such as this.

 

Please provide information on the length of contract or project timescale
the agencies have been employed on to undertake the work, including dates
of commencement and completion.

 

The contract was for this project only and does not cover further work
outside of this consultation

 

Please provide details of the procurement process, the selection process,
details of all competing applicants for each contract and job titles of
officers overseeing bids and rewarding contracts,

 

Wirral council can confirm its contract procedure rules of obtaining three
quotes were followed and the contract was awarded to Mills Media.   Wirral
council can confirm it does not provide details of unsuccessful bidders
however on this occasion we can confirm that they were two other local
companies.   

 

Wirral Council can confirm Corporate Planning Engagement and Communication
officers carried out the procurement procedure.

 

 

Thank you for your enquiry, I trust you find this information of
assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Wirral Council

 

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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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Marketing & Advertising Agency work e.g. Mills Media

As clearly requested, ALL departments for the current financial year.

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

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/101151...

To assist you with your internal review, and in light of the above Wirral Globe article, here are some further points which now need addressing:

1. In providing a total of £5,722, the council appear to have lied to the original request. The true figure was then shown to be higher because, despite your reply clearly stating:

"In addition Wirral Council can confirm no other funding was spent on contracts such as this"...

...it turned out that in reality the sum of £7,440 on further video work had not been declared. This makes a true total of £13,162.

2. I clearly requested figures and details for ALL council departments within this financial year, which appears to have been ignored. Please address this.

3. I also clearly asked for much greater detail:

"Please provide information on the length of contract or project
timescale the agencies have been employed on to undertake the work,
including dates of commencement and completion.

Please provide a list of projects and a list of costs in
association with each project awarded externally and identify the
commissioning internal department.

Please provide details of the procurement process, the selection
process, details of all competing applicants for each contract and
job titles of officers overseeing bids and rewarding contracts"

... which you again appear to have ignored.

When undertaking the review, please firstly acknowledge receipt of this and the previous email requesting a review. Please provide the name of the senior officer undertaking the review with contact details including email address and direct telephone number, in line with the following recent ICO Decision Notice:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/...

The above Decision Notice is a legal document and I would expect you to comply without any unreasonable delay or prevarication (you are soon to be the only UK council in the land to be monitored for timeliness by the ICO, commencing in January 2013),

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Arthur Hurworth left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Cardin,

At a time unprecidented cut backs in funding, I was shocked but not surprised by the answer given to you above and printed in the Wirral Globe that proves the answer given to you is a fabrication of the truth, are we just supposed to sit back and accept what we are told, that would be lovely if the Council were honest but as we are aware, this is far from the truth.

WELL DONE for high lightening this blantant untruth and I hope the Information Commissioner comes down very on them.
I to have been misled on FOI requests which is at the ICO.

john hardaker left an annotation ()

Dear Paul yet again wirral council & its officers have been caught with their pants down & Graham Burgess has the the affront not to apologize to the moreton councilor who got to the true extent of the costs of the mills media video.
I have emailed Graham Burgess demanding that an apology be made & copied the email to Chris Blakeley & Geoff Green & whilst I have an acknowledgement from the latter councilors nothing as yet from Mr Burgess.
I also note the the 38 page investigation into Dave Greens antics has predictably come to the conclusion that " THERE IS NO CASE TO ANSWER" one of wirrals well known phrase or sayings & no doubt as he has been bragging at wallasey golf club he will turn up at the Clown hall in his Range Rover & behind closed doors be given a large wedge of ratepayers cash agreed yet again by the labour group to add to the £811,000.00 already paid out to the other idiots who have allegely sanctioned abuse & mismanagement & yet have walked away with the old wirralism" THERE IS NO CASE TO
ANSWER". I also believe there are fairy's at the bottom of the garden.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Here is a link to an article, setting out what I feel is the background and true motivation behind Wirral Council's very poor response times.

Notably, there are just 2 people dedicated to Freedom of Information and Data at this council (one professional and one admin assistant) - which says it all really.

http://easyvirtualassistance.wordpress.c...

john hardaker left an annotation ()

Dear Paul, ref the above can I suggest you go onto wirralleaks webpage & see my exchange of emails with Graham Burgess in which he point blank to refuse to councilor Bleakley How arrogant> Do you think it worth while passing it onto to the globe?

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

John,

Have read the emails. Thanks for your efforts. The pressure's building on this CEO now thanks to the public's pursuit of some sort of accountability - not to say a far greater degree of openness and transparency - in this and many other areas.
It may be worth ringing the Globe and they can update it all when there's a response to Councillor Blakeley's complaint in from the ICO.
The problem with the CEO digging his heels in is that apologising ultimately and properly becomes more and more difficult. A swift response in good faith is always the best option.
But are they capable of this kind of clear thinking - which could also be termed "Acting in the public interest"?
Cheers,

Arthur Hurworth left an annotation ()

Dear Paul,
There is a new Catchphrase that is being more and more used by the CEO, oppenness and transparancy, who does he think he is, a window sales man.
Good has to come from the front, ie, the CEO, but by his outright refusal to Apologise, shows what contempt he has for the rights & freedoms of people of Wirral.
Keep up the Great work.

john hardaker left an annotation ()

Hi Paul I have sent my exchange of emails sent to wirralleaks to Lee Marles at the globe to say whether he want to follow it up in the press, I will wait & see.

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Cardin,

 

Freedom of Information Request dated 10^th November 2012 (Marketing &
Advertising Agency work e.g. Mills Media)

 

Further to your e-mail of the 23^rd December 2012. I have been asked to
carry out an Internal Review of your Freedom of Information requested
dated 10^th November 2012 entitled Marketing & Advertising Agency work
e.g. Mills Media.

 

In carrying out the review I have taken into consideration the
following:

1 – Your request dated 10^th November 2012

2 – The response from Tracy O’Hare dated 10^th December 2012

3 – Your e-mail dated 14^th December 2012 requesting an Internal Review

4 – Your e-mail dated 23^rd December 2012

5 – The information available in order to answer your initial request

6 – I have also sort clarification where needed from the officers
involved in providing the information.

7 – I have referred to ‘The Guide to Freedom of Information’ Information
Commissioner’s Office (January, 2013)

 

Your Freedom of Information Request dated the 10^th November 2012 asked
for information on a number of areas, these comprised:-

o Please provide all expenditure and costs for using external
Marketing and Advertising agencies across all departments for the
current financial year. e.g. choice of Mills Media Group to create
"What Really Matters" video starring Graham Burgess and Phil Davies.
o Please provide information on the length of contract or project
timescale the agencies have been employed on to undertake the work,
including dates of commencement and completion.
o Please provide a list of projects and a list of costs in association
with each project awarded externally and identify the commissioning
internal department.
o Please provide details of the procurement process, the selection
process, details of all competing applicants for each contract and
job titles of officers overseeing bids and rewarding contracts

 

On the 10^th December 2012 you received the following answers to the
areas raised:-

·                                 Wirral Council can respond Mills Media
were commissioned following a competitive procedure, which involved
obtaining quotes from three local companies, to produce a video related
to the What Really Matters consultation. This video was not intended
primarily to promote the project, but was rather designed to improve the
accessibility of the consultation. The video consisted of the Chief
Executive and Leader of the Council explaining the process, which was
followed by a number of staff explaining the context of each question
within the questionnaire, along with instructions as to how the
questionnaire could be completed. The expenditure for this video was in
the amount of £5722. In addition Wirral Council can confirm no other
funding was spent on contracts such as this.

·                                 The contract was for this project only
and does not cover further work outside of this consultation

·                                 Wirral council can confirm its
contract procedure rules of obtaining three quotes were followed and the
contract was awarded to Mills Media. Wirral council can confirm it does
not provide details of unsuccessful bidders however on this occasion we
can confirm that they were two other local companies. Wirral Council can
confirm Corporate Planning Engagement and Communication officers carried
out the procurement procedure.

 

On the 14^th December 2012 you requested an Internal Review as the
response provided did not address ‘all departments for the current
financial year’. 

 

My Findings are as follows:

 

·         Clearly the Councils response dated the 10^th December 2012
provided an answer focused towards the very specific example you
provided in your question namely “choice of Mills Media Group to create
"What Really Matters" video starring Graham Burgess and Phil Davies”
rather than addressing the request in its entirety.

·         In order to provide an answer to your initial request I have
received information from our Finance Department which indicated that
over 1000 individual transactions have been made to external Marketing
and Advertising agencies across all departments for the current
financial year. These transactions relate to a number of activities
covering signage, brochures and advertising etc. In order to answer your
initial request each transaction would need to be investigated requiring
some manual work in order to link these to individual contracts or
projects. We have estimated that it would take on average 5 minutes to
locate each transaction and assign these to individual contract or
projects. Further work would also be necessary in order to identify the
procurement method used; those involved and would require a search in a
number of locations, as our Departments are based in separate buildings.
To elicit the information you have requested would take in excess of the
18.5 hour threshold allowed by the legislation. For more detail please
see below:-
“Where an authority is not obliged to comply with a request for
information because, under section 12(1) and regulations made under
section 12, the cost of complying would exceed the "appropriate limit"
(i.e. cost threshold) the authority should consider providing an
indication of what, if any, information could be provided within the
cost ceiling. The authority should also consider advising the applicant
that by reforming or re-focusing their request, information may be able
to be supplied for a lower, or no, fee.”
Perhaps you could review your original enquiry and look to reduce the
scope of it; this may be by selecting a specific company being
contracted by the Council or a specific department and resubmit.
Officers will then review the new enquiry for you. It is unfortunate
that this was not brought to your attention at an earlier point for
which I apologize on behalf of the Council and confirm that the Council
are reviewing its processes in dealing with Freedom of Information
matters.

I hope it will not be necessary but if you are still not satisfied with
the response from the Council you do also have the right to complain
further to the Information Commissioner, if you are dissatisfied with
the outcome of any internal review, whose office is situated at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Fax: 01625 524510 [1]www.ico.gov.uk [2]http://www.ico.gov.uk/

 

Regards,

 

Matthew Humble

Business & Performance Manager

Wirral Council

 

 

 

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Have just spoken to Matthew Humble who bizzarely insisted that my email of 23rd December (see above), where I modified and added to the internal review request had been "dealt with".

I'd raised the discrepancy of 7,440 pounds between the declared figure and the actual figure. This issue has been deliberately dodged - as anybody can see if you read the above.

Extremely frustrating, but at least I now have a clearer picture of why this council is currently the only one in the land being monitored by the ICO.

This is another one to be appealed at the ICO - and it will almost certainly progress to the First Tier Tribunal - unless the council explain where the 7,440 pounds went !

More on this issue here:

http://wirralinittogether.wordpress.com/...