Office Redecoration Costs

Richard Taylor made this Freedom of Information request to Arts Council England

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 successful.

Richard Taylor

Dear Arts Council of England,

Could you please release the amount spent by Arts Council England on Lothar Gotz's redecoration of their head office in Great Peter Street, London.

Regards,

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Tom Watson MP made this request via a Parliamentary question, it was not answered on the grounds of commercial confidentially:

http://www.parliament.uk/deposits/deposi...

Mr Watson tweeted wondering if an FOI request would have obtained the release of the information.

http://twitter.com/tom_watson/status/146...

(See also a previous blog post "WhatDoTheyKnow Beats Parliamentary Question" - http://www.mysociety.org/2009/11/28/what... )

Arts Council England

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your email dated 25 May 2010 requesting information on the
amount of money spent by the Arts Council on Lothar Gotz's redecoration of
Head Office.

In line with our normal procedures the Arts Council England (Arts Council)
will process your request in accordance with the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 (FOIA). This means that we are obliged to process this request
within 20 working days from the day of receipt. Consequently your request
will be dealt with no later than 24 June 2010.

Should you have any queries about this matter or anything else, please do
not hesitate to contact me on the number below.

Deborah Stephenson
Senior Officer, Freedom of Information
Arts Council England, National Office
Direct + 44 (0)207 973 5196
Fax + 44 (0)20 7973 6797
[email address]

www.artscouncil.org.uk

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Arts Council England

Dear Mr Taylor

Thank you for your recent request for information from the Arts Council. 
I can confirm that your request has been dealt with in line with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You requested the following information, which I am pleased to be able to
provide in full:

Could you please release the amount spent by Arts Council England on
Lothar Goetz's redecoration of their head office in Great Peter Street,
London.

The amount spent on the 2007/2008 redecoration of Head Office in Great
Peter Street was £116,232.00.  This figure includes materials and
labour.  Great Peter Street is 31,323sqft (net internal area) and is
split over 7 floors.

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have any further queries
about this request or about Freedom of Information, please do not hesitate
to contact me?

If you are unhappy with the response you have received to your information
request, you may ask for an internal review.  If you would like to do so,
please detail your concerns in writing and send them to:

Senior Manager, Information Management

Arts Council England

14 Great Peter Street

London

SW1P 3NQ

Or email to: [1][Arts Council of England request email]

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

Kind Regards

Deborah Stephenson

Senior Officer, Freedom of Information

Arts Council England, National Office

Direct + 44 (0)207 973 6844

Fax + 44 (0)20 7973 6797

[email address]

www.artscouncil.org.uk

show quoted sections

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The response to this request reveals that a FOI request can obtain information which has been denied to an MP asking a Parliamentary question.

The Cabinet Office's "Guidance to Officials on Drafting Answers to Parliamentary Questions" in essence says that PQ's ought be treated in much the same way as FOI requests.

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/parliame...

While I intentionally phrased my request slightly differently from Mr Watson - to pre-emptively avoid a rejection on the grounds of the amount paid to Lothar Gotz being considered personal information - I think it is clear that the information being sought by Mr Watson was that which has been released in response to this request.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Mr Watson has tweeted to say he will be drawing this to the attention of the Leader of the House Sir George Young.

http://twitter.com/tom_watson/status/161...

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

Link to Mr Watson's written questions and their answers on TheyWorkForYou:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=...

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

There is an article about this on the BBC Open Secrets blog. The BBC made a similar FOI request and obtained the fact Lothar Gotz was paid £13,500 but they were not told about the amount spent on expenses and materials.

Response to the BBC's FOI request on this subject (PDF):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/A...

BBC Open Secrets article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/2...