Mickey Mouse... Nepotism... Coercion... Authorisation

The request was partially successful.

Dear Ms Pook,

Thank you for your response of 11 October 2010.

You wrote "Mr Lumb specifically asked about the claim Mr Redmond put in for reimbursement of the expenses he incurred on his study tour of Australia, and I told him Mr Karney authorised this. When I responded to your request in June, you asked who "authorised and cleared the payments" for Mr Redmond's tour. I took this to mean that you were asking who authorised Mr Redmond to make the trip at some expense to the Commission in the first place. I replied that the then members of the Commission authorised the trip, as proposed in the paper that was disclosed in response to a request made by Mr Byrne (CS/10/051), also
on 21 June."

I did indeed ask (in June) who authorised and cleared the payments. However, you only told me who authorised the expenditure and didn't tell me who cleared the payments.

In your answers you (conveniently) used the two very different meanings of the word authorised as suited how you wanted to answer rather than comprehensively -
1. Authorisation that is forward looking i.e. authorisation to spend public funds in the future and to claim reimbursement.
2. Authorisation that is backward looking i.e. authorisation of re-imbursement of funds that have already been spent.

Now that the above has finally been clarified -

Please forward details of all expense claim payments that were "authorised", as per interpretation 2 above of the word, by Nigel Karney for Tony Redmond in the financial year 2010.

Please note that the circular "system" in place for Tony Redmond's expense "wishes" and claims at the Commission For Local Government Administration is not allowed in Local Government!! A "system" in which Nigel Karney does both types of authorising and where there is no clear audit trail all the way through (i.e. where the checkers are checked, up or down) is totally Mickey Mouse and is wide open to nepotism, coercion and abuse, as is plainly evident here.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Meeks

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

ext. 4734

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Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Foi Officer would like to recall the message, "Freedom of Information request - Mickey Mouse... Nepotism... Coercion... Authorisation".
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

Dear Ms Meeks

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below received on 12 October. Before I can respond can you please provide some clarification of your request.

You ask for 'details of all expense claim payments that were
"authorised", as per interpretation 2 above of the word, by Nigel
Karney for Tony Redmond in the financial year 2010.'

The year 2010 is not a financial year - it is a calendar year. Financial years run from 1 April to 31 March. So are you asking about the financial year 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, or the financial year 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 so far?

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook (Ms)
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |

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Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Have you made a mistake over the year?

The then commission members authorised Tony Redmond's planned Australian trip base on Mr Karney's dodgy proposal in March 2005. Albeit it wasn't actually signed off until June 2010. Financial year 2004/5. Whilst Mr Redmond will have claimed expenses for the actual trip during the following financial year 2005/6.

Anne Hide left an annotation ()

If a member of the public can work out what information the requester wanted why can't Ms Pook. The requester may have quoted the wrong year but the information they requested is clear from the context.

Dear Ms Pook,

Apologies for being unclear. My error. The year I meant is this year, the financial year 2010 to 2011.

Yours sincerely,

jo meeks

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

I don't understand how the year 2010/11 has anything to do with the Australian trip that your FOI request was originally based on. More so since Mr Redmond is retiring during the year 2010/11 financial year and all expenses claimed for the Australian trip would have been during the 2005/6 financial year.

Hence my earlier comment.

From other FOI requests it can be ascertained that the Commission members authorised the Australian trip based on a proposal written by Mr Karney during March 2005 and that Mr Karney subsequently authorised Mr Redmond's expenses as a result of the trip during 2005/6 financial year.

How does 2010/11 fit in?

A Johnson left an annotation ()

May prove if the practice is still going on.

jo meeks left an annotation ()

I'll have to leave you pondering, I'm afraid, as the likelihood that Hilary Pook and/or a miscreant or two don't read this site by now seems to me to be remote.

Pauline Nunn left an annotation ()

From Ms Pook's and Mr Karney's responses to other FOI request and internal reviews it if clear that they read the annotations in addition to the information sent to them.

I set out to prove this with an annotation to one of my FOI requests. I pre-empted a section 41 defence to a future internal review.

As expected when they responded to the internal review they didn't use the section 41 defence using instead the more general public interest test.


Similar has occurred on many other FOI requests and internal reviews by other people.

I think it is safe to assume that most people in the LGO offices have had more than a peek at What Do They Know FOI requests. Especially Redmond, Karney and Pook.

angela mayall left an annotation ()

So why do Anne Hide Trevor Nunn post so many annotations, then? Especially as some are entirely pointless and some are incorrect, which isn't at all helpful.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

I can only speak for myself and my wife. The reason I comment on many FOI requests to the CLAE?LGO is because I both submit FOI requests and blog about them. My wife, Pauline, except for the blog does the same. In addition, on a number of occasions I have been specifically asked by a requester to comment on their FOI request.

I am entitled to my opinion like anyone else and I am entitled to add annotations and comments to this site like anyone else. Please feel free to add an annotation or comment to any of my FOI requests or those of my wife's and ignore any of our annotations you don't agree with.


You will have to ask others what their motives are.

Anne Hide left an annotation ()

Why do I post annotations on the WDTK site?

'Annotations on WhatDoTheyKnow are to help people get the information they want, or to give them pointers to places they can go to help them act on it. We reserve the right to remove anything else.

Endless, political discussions are not allowed. Post a link to a suitable forum or campaign site elsewhere.'


Ask and you shall receive.

Anne Hide left an annotation ()

whoops forgot to add I use my initials on the forum ABH.

A Johnson left an annotation ()

I am the first person to submit a request to the LGO using the public WDTK website and have been using it for over two years.


I leave comments on other's FOI requests and expect others to comment on mine. Sometimes they are useful to me sometimes they aren't but could be to others so I simply ignore them or at least leave a constructive comment rather than trolling and flaming.

jo meeks left an annotation ()

My suspicion that ill-considered/inconsiderate annotations to my requests would affect the responses received has been confirmed by "Pauline" Nunn above, who says that the influencing of answers ".... has occurred on many other FOI requests and internal reviews by other people."

I agree wholeheartedly with Angela's reaction to "Pauline's" statement. However, not one of the annotations left after hers makes a single reference to the problem that is glaringly evident, so I'll have to ask some questions.

For what purpose did Trevor Nunn ask questions about my request above knowing that, if I answered, Pook, Karney and Redmond would read my response?

For what purpose did Trevor Nunn give false information to Mr Lumb (8th September) knowing that 1. Mr Lumb might act upon the "advice" 2. Pook would read it and the answer would be influenced?

Why the pretence that the problem will be solved if I ignore his annotations? I can ignore them as much as I like; it won't stop other people reading them.

Very strange.

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Firstly it is naive to believe that the LGO don't visit this site. It has been proven that they do time and time again, most recently by my wife.

Secondly your FOI request was clearly based on the events of 2005. I simply thought you had made a mistake when asking for information relating to this financial year, particularly since Mr Redmond will have gone half way through it. Hence my annotation.

If you ignored the annotation then no one would be any the wiser as to why you wanted information about 2010/11 would they?

The information I gave to Mr Lumb (8th September) was not false.

[You are only legally entitled to information held not copies of documents. Although is is often easier for them to send a copy of a document they don't have to.]

"The Act provides a right of access to information rather than copies of documents. However, a request for a copy of a document will generally be a valid request for all of the information contained within that document."

Therefore all they legally have to provide is the information contained within a document not a copy of the document.

Having said all that I will now refrain from annotating any more of your requests and ask others who were trying to help to do the same.

mr j garlits left an annotation ()


1. You know more than WDTK, the ICO and Defra combined
2. You are now in charge of who makes annotations
3. People who make requests must explain their requests to you but...
4. You can't or won't explain your annotations to them
5. You have reading or comprehension difficulties
6. When you mislead people you are "helping" them

Lol !

mr lumb left an annotation ()

A WDTK moderator had to intervene to correct the information left on my request by Trevor Nunn because it was wrong. Regardless of that he (Trevor Nunn) has written the same thing again above. To me this is distinctly odd.

Why is he so keen to mislead?

Is/was he helping Hilary Pook to avoid answering questions or was he trying to mess things up for other people? That's too weird, surely? Or what?

J Garlits has hit the nail on the head there.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Meeks

I attach a letter in response to the request below.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |

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