NNDR Credits

C Pleasants made this Freedom of Information request to South Lanarkshire Council

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

The request was refused by South Lanarkshire Council.

Dear South Lanarkshire Council,

I am seeking to obtain an up to date report under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c.36). Could you please reply to me with the following report attached:

Unclaimed business rate credit balances.

I am aware that Billing Authorities hold on account sums of money that are due to be returned to ratepayers and for a variety of reasons have not been repaid.

I, therefore, request a breakdown of credit balances accrued since your earliest records, for the amounts owing to all incorporated companies within your authority's billing area, including the following information:

A. The legal name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rate credit balances remain payable
B. The value of overpayment in each case which remains unclaimed
C. The years(s) in which overpayment was made
D. The hereditament address
E. The legal name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rate credit balances have been written back on to the NDR account
F. The value of write back in each case which remains unclaimed
G. The years(s) in which the write back was made (if available)
H. The hereditament address that the write back relates to

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours faithfully,

C Pleasants

Murray, Shiela, South Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 8 April 2019.

 

We are dealing with your request.  We will issue a full response as soon
as possible but no later than 8 May 2019.  If you have requested that we
respond to you by mail, please allow time for postage.

 

 

Shiela Murray

Secretary to Head of Finance (Transactions)

Finance and Corporate Resources

South Lanarkshire Council

Floor 12, Almada Street

Hamilton ML3 0AA

Tel. 01698 454052

[1][email address]

[2]www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk

 

 

South Lanarkshire Council

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/

Rates, South Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam
 
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA)
Request for information
 
I refer to your information request received by the Council on 8 April
2019 in which you ask for the following information:
 

* I, therefore, request a breakdown of credit balances accrued since
your earliest records, for the amounts owing to all incorporated
companies within your authority's billing area, including the
following information:

 
A. The legal name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rate
credit balances remain payable
B. The value of overpayment in each case which remains unclaimed
C. The years(s) in which overpayment was made
D. The hereditament address
E. The legal name of each business in respect of which non-domestic rate
credit balances have been written back on to the NDR account
F. The value of write back in each case which remains unclaimed
G. The years(s) in which the write back was made (if available)
H. The hereditament address that the write back relates to
 
 
Holding the Information
 
The Council has searched its records and has located all of the
information that you have requested.
 
Response to Request
 
The Council is refusing your request because the information that you have
asked for is exempt from disclosure under FOISA.
 
The Council can withhold information where one or more exemptions listed
in the Act apply. The relevant exemptions are:
 

* The information is intended for future publication within 12 weeks
after the request for information has been made and in all
circumstances it is reasonable to hold back the information until the
date of publication (section 27(1) of FOISA) ^
* The information requested is otherwise accessible because the Council
or another public body makes it available through their Publication
Scheme (sections 25 (1) and (3) of FOISA

 
How the exemption applies to the information being withheld
 
The exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies in relation to credit
balances held on our system. This is because we have already decided to
publish credit balance information available at the date of your request,
and this information will be available within 12 weeks of your request,
during the week commencing 6 May 2019. However, previously published lists
of credit balances are currently available here:
[1]http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/...
 
The exemption under sections 25 (1) and (3) of FOISA applies in relation
to non domestic rates accounts where a credit has been written on to the
account. This is because we only process and publish these transactions
once a year in March and therefore the information you have requested has
already been published. This information can also be accessed using the
above link.
 
The Public Interest Test
 
However, in relation to some exemptions, the Council cannot withhold the
information merely because an exemption applies. It can only do so, if the
public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public
interest in disclosing the information. This is the “Public Interest Test”
and it applies in this case.
 
The Council has considered this test and have decided that the public
interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in
providing the information to the public.
 
This is how it reached its decision.
 
For disclosure
 
The Council considered the following public interest in favour of
disclosure:

* The Council recognises that there is a clear, general public interest
in providing access to information it holds

 
Against disclosure
 
The Council considered the following public interest in favour of
withholding the information:

* The cost of locating, retrieving and providing the requested
information to you is not an effective use of council funds when the
information will be available in the near future.

 
Conclusion
 
On balance, the Council considers that the credit balance information you
have requested will, if released to you now,  provide little additional
benefit to the public given that it is due to be published during the week
commencing 6 May 2019 and that you are not adversely affected by waiting
until this date to access the information. Therefore, it is unreasonable
to use public funds to providing this information to you at this time.
 
Request for review
 
We have an internal panel (the Review Panel) to deal with complaints from
people who are not happy about the way that we have handled their request.
Staff not involved in the original decision will handle any review.
 
If you want to complain, you can ask the Council to look at the way that
we have dealt with your request. It will consider whether we have dealt
with it correctly.  Please note that if you wish to complain, you must do
so by 4 July 2019. You must explain why you are not happy when requesting
a review.
 
Please note that the Council cannot look at any decisions taken by the
Council or actions of the Council or any of its employees or a service
provided by it that are not connected to the handling of your request for
information.
 
You should send your request for a review to:
        Mr. W. Dunn
        Information Compliance Manager
        Finance and Corporate Resources
        Floor 13
        Council Offices
Almada Street
Hamilton
ML3 0AA
 
Alternatively, you can request a review at
[2][email address].
 
Appeals to the Scottish Information Commissioner
 
If you are not happy with the outcome of the review, you can appeal to the
Scottish Information Commissioner.  The Commissioner will decide whether
the Council has dealt with your request properly. Please see the
Commissioner’s website at [3]www.itspublicknowledge.info for further
details.
Yours sincerely
 
Fraser Morrison
Revenues and Benefits Manager
Finance Services
Finance and Corporate Resources
South Lanarkshire Council
PO Box 3591, Glasgow, G73 9ED
Phone: 01698 527994
[4]www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk
 
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References

Visible links
1. http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/info/...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/
4. http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/