Michael Breslin v Complaint by four chief officials of Argyll and Bute Council

Angus Files made this Freedom of Information request to Argyll and Bute Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The authority would like to / has responded by postal mail to this request.

Dear Argyll and Bute Council,

Could you please supply all of your costs in taking the above failed action against the Councillor Michael Breslin please.

Yours faithfully,
Angus Files

Administrator, Argyll and Bute Council

Dear Angus Files

Request for information: Freedom of Information request - Michael Breslin
v Complaint by four chief officials of Argyll and Bute Council

Thank you for your information request which we have logged as reference
argyllbuteir:6306.

It has been passed to the relevant service(s) for attention and you should
receive a response under either the Freedom of Information (Scot) Act 2002
or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 by 2016-11-17
00:00:00.

Please quote the reference number above in any correspondence you may have
with the Council in regard to this request.

Regards

FOI Officer

Jackson, Iain, Argyll and Bute Council

1 Attachment

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Files

 

It is not clear to me from the general nature of your request what
information it is you are looking for.

 

As such I would ask that you clarify the terms of your request to be more
specific about the cost information you are seeking.

 

I have to advise that the timescale for responding to your request will
revert to 20 working days from the date on which I receive your
clarification. I will of course try to provide you with any information
that falls within the terms of your clarified request promptly.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Iain Jackson [3]CSE Small (7)

Governance and Risk Manager

Argyll and Bute Council

Governance and Law

Kilmory

Lochgilphead

Argyll

PA31 8RT

Tel: 01546 604188

[mobile number]

 

E-mail: [1][email address]

 

[2]www.argyll-bute.gov.uk  'Realising our potential
together'

 

 

 

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Dear Jackson, Iain,

Thank you for your reply ,staffing costs, legal fees, out sourced and in-house.

Yours sincerely,

Angus Files

Jackson, Iain, Argyll and Bute Council

1 Attachment

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Files

 

Request for information:  Freedom of Information request - Michael Breslin
v Complaint by four chief officials of Argyll and Bute Council

Reference: argyllbuteir:6306.

 

I refer to your request for information which was dealt with in terms of
the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

 

1.       You asked if the Council could supply you with all of our costs
in taking the above failed action against the Councillor Michael Breslin,
you clarified your request to mean staffing costs, legal fees, out sourced
and in-house.

 

I have refused your request in terms of section 17 of FOISA, as it is
information ‘not held’ by the Council.

 

However, in line with the duty placed on the Council in terms of Section
15 of FOISA, I can advise that there was no cost to the Council in 
Officers  progressing this complaint to the Standards Commission.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request for information
has been dealt with you are entitled to request a review by writing to the
Executive Director Customer Services, Argyll and Bute Council, Kilmory,
Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8RT, or by email to [Argyll and Bute Council request email].

 

Your request for review must state your name and address for
correspondence, specify the request for information to which your request
for review relates and why you are dissatisfied with the response. 

 

You must make your request for review not later than 40 working days after
the expiry of the 20 working day period for response to your initial
request by the Council, or not later than 40 working days after the
receipt by you of the information provided, any fees notice issued or any
notification of refusal or partial refusal.

 

If you make an application for review and remain dissatisfied with the way
in which the review has been dealt with you are entitled to make an
application to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle,
Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS (Tel: 01334 464610) for a
further review.

 

You must make representation to the Scottish Information Commissioner no
later than 6 months after the date of receipt by you of the notice or
decision you are dissatisfied with or within 6 months of the expiry of the
period of 20 working days from receipt by the Council of your request for
review.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Iain Jackson [3]CSE Small (7)

Governance and Risk Manager

Argyll and Bute Council

Governance and Law

Kilmory

Lochgilphead

Argyll

PA31 8RT

Tel: 01546 604188

[mobile number]

 

E-mail: [1][email address]

 

[2]www.argyll-bute.gov.uk  'Realising our potential
together'

 

 

 

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Dear Argyll and Bute Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Argyll and Bute Council's handling of my FOI request 'Michael Breslin v Complaint by four chief officials of Argyll and Bute Council'.

Please consider this as a review.
My request has been, misinterpreted and misrepresented, I would request a review as follows.
1. Public interest is paramount in this request for financial information. It is an attempt by me, to establish how tax payers money has been spent and how much? My public Request has been unjustly refused.
2. I disagree with Argyll And Bute Councils (ABC) Interpretation of my request and at no time for instance did I ever use the word “progressing” this is ABC terminology, and what it means in context to my complaint is completely ambivalent to intent and could mean- anything .Furthermore by using it (progressing); it clearly attempts to throw my request of at a tangent, and put an entirely different meaning to my request rendering my request meaningless.
I was clear in my request - I said r.e. Council costs ” to mean staffing costs, legal fees, out sourced and in-house”. Let me be clear, this means all, ABC, costs pertaining to the failed Councillor Breslin complaint and action in totality. Even the cost of a stamp when used from the outset would be kept by anyone undertaking this failed legal action. They, would make sure that they could and can account for all costs. One would think that if a scenario comes along at the Council, that`s un-normal, un –budgeted .not ring fenced for, somebody somewhere if not the complainers themselves would have to keep for future transparency all costs? But to narrow it down to one heading and possibly omitting costings, could be wrong and misguided.
3. I also disagree with ABC`s Interpretation of my request. I intentionally and specifically never narrowed my meaning to only, the “Standards Commission” by stating this it could be seen to mean only costs pertaining only to a “Standards Commission” costing heading. Under such a heading ABC might not include other costs incurred in the whole Breslin complaint? I am asking simply, ABC costs involving the whole Councillor Breslin complaint and also involving the Standards Commission. For example, the initial complaint against Councillor Breslin had at least 100 pages and it would have included researched and collated ABC backed evidence. No doubt, involved in this at least 4 council employees compiled this. Are the public seriously meant to believe that this massive 100 page complaint researched and collated with evidence, cost nothing? I find this an incredible position and a ludicrous statement emanating from my FOIR.
3. No records of costs seemingly are available. I am then meant to assume that everyone involved lawyers etc , worked at ABC, Pro-Bono, or from the goodness of their hearts? I am meant to believe that they all seemingly relinquished the extortionate wages the tax payer have to pay them Pro-Bono? Surely not? When at, one and the same time Councillor Breslin, was made aware of costs, possibly being re-charged to him if his defence failed. How can that be so, they know costs -then they don’t know costs? Is it simply because the Council have failed and are now attempting to hide massive costs when it is now legally apparent that no re-charge can be imposed on Councillor Breslin? This could simply be, an attempt to hide gross incompetence at the very highest of Council levels.
4. I believe that ABC are withholding more information than they wish to disclose. It appears obvious to me, that the Councillor Breslin complaint was nothing more than a hastily ill- conceived personal vindictive witch-hunt by the complainers, guised under an official Council complaint. This modus would have in theory covered any kickbacks, legal and financial against the complainers, and seeing what has now happened the case failed miserably, and the cost is as the 2nd plan not to be picked up by Breslin but , ultimately the Tax payer. The Council must and do indeed know costs, or at the very least indicative costs, of what this failed complaint has cost. The costs alone for the investigating officers must be available, the costs for out sourced legal assistance must be available, the costs for representation at Edinburgh must be available, the costs for any overnight stays by i.e. legal representation at Edinburgh must be available- I could go on, and on, listing the costs, anyone could. But I am told there aren’t any costs. No it was all done Pro-Bono or from the goodness of the ABC staff and out sourced staff, or so I am meant to believe. The officers, administration and councillors do have a duty of care when spending tax payer’s money. It appears this has not by any measure or manner of means, been met. The Council imply, no records whatsoever are available? And we are meant to believe, the money clock was never switched on? Yet, Council Tax payers, are sent Council Bills for “grand totals” amounting to pennies? Ultimately with the threat of court action hangs, if not paid .If this is indeed the case and no costing records are available then gross financial mishandling has taken place, misuse of public funding, and double standards are in operation without a shadow of doubt. Your reply to my FOIR confirms this.
I look forward to your reply.

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

Yours faithfully,

Angus Files

Sinclair, David (Risk Management Assistant), Argyll and Bute Council

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Dear Mr Files,

 

Thank you for your e-mail below. I have created a review file which I have
passed to the Reviewing Officer, you should receive a response by 15^th
December 2016.

 

If I can be of any further assistance in the meantime please feel free to
contact me

 

Regards,

 

[1]David Signature

 

 

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mills, susan, Argyll and Bute Council

1 Attachment

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Files

 

Section 20 review: argyllbuteir:6306

Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA)

 

I refer to your email of 17 November in which you requested a review of
how we dealt with your information request dated 20 October 2016. I have
noted that the response was sent within the 20 working day statutory
timescale on 16 November.

 

I am content that the response was appropriate in that the information
requested was information ‘not held’ by the Council.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the review has been dealt
with you are entitled to make an application to the Scottish Information
Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS
(Tel: 01334 464610) for a review.

 

You must make representation to the Scottish Information Commissioner no
later than 6 months after the date of receipt by you of the notice or
decision you are dissatisfied with or within 6 months of the expiry of the
period of 20 working days from receipt by the Council of your request for
review.

 

If you make an application for a further review to the Scottish
Information Commissioner and remain dissatisfied by the decision then you
may appeal on a point of law to the Court of Session.

 

Yours sincerely 

 

 

Charles Reppke  

Head of Governance and Law 

[1]Charles

 

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