non-disclosure of the entities paid by Portsmouth City Council

D64 made this Freedom of Information request to Portsmouth City Council

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Dear Portsmouth City Council,

In your monthly "Payments to suppliers" publication, the most recent one, covering January 2021, there are 16 payments where the supplier names are not the names of the suppliers but are in fact the names of seven solicitors practices; I do not believe that the solicitors are the suppliers of "Repairs, alterations and maintenance of buildings".

The value of all these payments together is £1.46m.

Please can PCC provide the names of the Suppliers who have contracted with PCC rather than the names of their solicitors.

The names of the seven solicitor's practices are as follows:
Biscoes Solicitors
Chamberlains Solicitors
Churchers Solicitors LLP
Glanvilles LLP
Newbold Solicitors
Saulet Townsend LLP
Warner Goodman Solicitors

In the previous month (December 2020) similar payments amounted to £1.7m, and included a payment to Lloyds Bank for "Repairs, alterations and maintenance of buildings".

In November 2020 it was over £1.8m in similar payments. October 2020 was £1.4m.

In September the similar payments amounted to over £103m, but I suspect that there is a problem with the data for October, and the real number should be £1.03m.

This level of spend needs to be accurately reported. Perhaps the guidelines for which fields are published need to be revisited in order to improve the compliance of the reporting.

Yours faithfully,
Jerry Brown
D64

FOI, Portsmouth City Council

1 Attachment

 
 

Information Governance, Corporate Services
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone:    023 92 834385
                                               

                                                                       
 
Reference: FOI2021/0321
 
Dear Jerry Brown
 
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 10th March 2021.
 
Your request is being considered and, subject to the points made below,
you will receive the information requested as promptly as possible within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
 
If we need to obtain more information from you in order to understand what
information you require, we will contact you. If this is the case, the 20
days time limit will not commence until your request has been clarified.
 
The Act defines a number of exemptions that may prevent release of certain
information.  The City Council will consider whether any of these
exemptions apply and, where required by the Act, whether it is in the
public interest to release the information.  If we have to make a public
interest test, the 20 day time limit might be extended. We will inform you
if the time scale has to be extended and if any information is withheld
and of your rights of appeal.
 
The City Council would like to make you aware that disclosure of
information obtained through FOIA is a disclosure into the public domain.
 
The City Council’s standard approach is to provide the information in the
form in which we hold it.  If you require alternative formats, e.g. audio,
large print, etc. or a different language, please let me know and we will
provide it if reasonably practicable to do so. If your request is a
question and we do not hold the answer in recorded form we will try and
provide an answer where we are able unless it requires the creation of new
information.
 
There may be a fee payable for this information request and we will send
you a Fees Notice if this is the case. Any fee must be paid before the
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time limit.
 
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be used for the purposes of processing your request for information.
 
If you have any queries or concerns then please contact the Corporate
Information Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 92
834385, e-mail [1][email address].
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
                                                                                               
           
Wendy Burton
FOI Officer
 
 

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Dear FOI,

My request FOI2021/0321 is now overdue; it should have been answered by 9th April 2021.

Please can you answer the request or contact me to say why it has been delayed and when the answer will be provided.

Yours sincerely,
Jerry Brown
D64

FOI, Portsmouth City Council

Dear Jerry Brown

Thank you for your email.

I can confirm that a draft response has been sent to the Data Protection Officer and as soon as it has been approved then the response will be issued to you.

I have let her know that you are chasing this response.

With best wishes

Wendy Burton
FOI Officer

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FOI, Portsmouth City Council

1 Attachment

 
Information Governance, Corporate Services
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone:    023 92 834385
 
 
Our Ref: FOI2021/0321
 
Dear Jerry Brown
                                   
INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI2021/0321 - non-disclosure of the entities paid
by Portsmouth City Council
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 10th March 2021,
which was considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
 
In accordance with the Act, Portsmouth City Council confirms it holds the
information.
 
 
YOUR REQUEST:
 
In your monthly "Payments to suppliers" publication, the most recent one,
covering January 2021, there are 16 payments where the supplier names are
not the names of the suppliers but are in fact the names of seven
solicitors practices; I do not believe that the solicitors are the
suppliers of "Repairs, alterations and maintenance of buildings".

The value of all these payments together is £1.46m.

Please can PCC provide the names of the Suppliers who have contracted with
PCC rather than the names of their solicitors.

The names of the seven solicitor's practices are as follows:
Biscoes Solicitors
Chamberlains Solicitors
Churchers Solicitors LLP
Glanvilles LLP
Newbold Solicitors
Saulet Townsend LLP
Warner Goodman Solicitors

In the previous month (December 2020) similar payments amounted to £1.7m,
and included a payment to Lloyds Bank for "Repairs, alterations and
maintenance of buildings".

In November 2020 it was over £1.8m in similar payments. October 2020 was
£1.4m.

In September the similar payments amounted to over £103m, but I suspect
that there is a problem with the data for October, and the real number
should be £1.03m.

This level of spend needs to be accurately reported. Perhaps the
guidelines for which fields are published need to be revisited in order to
improve the compliance of the reporting.
 
OUR RESPONSE:
 
The published transparency report amounts mentioned in the FOI are for the
purchase of properties under the Replacement Homes capital scheme, made
via a solicitor therefore shows as the supplier name.

The budget for this scheme, of £20m per annum, is part of the Housing
Capital Programme approved by Council in February 2021.

We have investigated and can see the payments are for ex-council house
repurchases that have been made to solicitors. The property seller name
would have to be redacted as this would breach the privacy rules outlined
in the Transparency Guidance requiring us to omit personal data.
Publishing the solicitor name is as transparent as these transactions
allow.

The large amounts mentioned in the FOI for September were indeed an error
but was a formatting error due to the website formatting removing decimal
points, the figures were correct. This has now been corrected via the Web
team and can be downloaded again.
Under the Re- Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (SI
2015/1415) the supplied information may not be re-used without obtaining
the permission of Portsmouth City Council.
We trust that our response fulfils your request, however, you have the
right to appeal against this outcome or to complain about our treatment of
your request.  If you wish to do so, please set out in writing your
grounds of complaint and send to the Corporate Information Governance
Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square,
Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 92 834385, e-mail
[1][email address]. Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of
the complaints decision you may wish to follow the Portsmouth City
Council’s Compliments and Complaints procedure which can be found on the
Portsmouth City Council website or by contacting the Civic Offices.
 
Once these processes have been exhausted you have a further right of
appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
 
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
[2]https://ico.org.uk
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Helen Magri
Corporate Information Governance & 
& Data Protection Officer
 
Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square
Portsmouth
PO1 2BQ
 
T:  023 9283 4385
E:  [3][email address]
E:  [4][Portsmouth City Council request email]
[5]www.portsmouth.gov.uk
 
 
 

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