Oxford City Council / ODS - Consequence of furloughed staff

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Oxford City Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Oxford City Council,

Oxford City Council and more specifically Oxford Direct Services (ODS) have furloughed hundreds of staff over the last 12 months or so.

As a result of ODS staff being furloughed have any third party contractors been hired to do the work of ODS staff who are on furlough?

If no third party contractors have been hired, then please outline the areas of work that have had to be neglected as a result of hundreds of staff not being able to do their job as a consequence of being on furlough.

Yours faithfully,

Gabrielle Russo

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Russo,

Oxford City Council – Reference: 10029

Thank you for your email below. Your request was received on 12th April 2021 and you will be sent a response within 20 working days (of receipt) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), subject to the information not being exempt or containing reference to a third party.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In particular they understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. Whilst the ICO can’t extend statutory timescales, they will not be penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting their usual approach during this extraordinary period.

Therefore while the Council will make every effort to comply with the Statutory Requirements you may experience understandable delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer

Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

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freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Russo,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference: 10029
 
Further to the acknowledgement below, I can respond to your Freedom of
Information Act 2000 request received on 12th  April 2021 as follows:
 
Oxford City Council and more specifically Oxford Direct Services (ODS) 
have furloughed hundreds of staff over the last 12 months or so.
As a result of ODS staff being furloughed have any third party contractors
been hired to do the work of ODS staff who are on furlough?
 
No
 
If no third party contractors have been hired, then please outline the
areas of work that have had  to be neglected as a result of hundreds of
staff not being able to do their job as a consequence of being on
furlough.
 
ODS has not been "neglecting" any work. ODS has only furloughed staff when
there was reduced requirement for staff due to restrictions imposed by
government, especially during lockdowns. Any service reductions have at
all times only ever been implemented after consultation with, and
agreement from, OCC. These were implemented to comply with Government
Covid rules and to ensure the safety of clients, staff and members of the
public. All essential services, such as refuse collection, health & safety
related work and emergency repairs,  have at all times been maintained.
 
If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [1][email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer, Oxford
City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS.  After
the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you may ask
the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may do this
by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [2][email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 
 

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Gabrielle Russo

Dear freedomofinformation,

You claim that no third party contractors were employed by Oxford Direct Services while employees were on furlough, so why did ODS make use of contract painters and fencing teams while their own staff were on furlough?

Yours sincerely,

Gabrielle Russo

Lorraine Cheshire,

6 Attachments

Good Afternoon Ms Russo

 

Following your previous FOI enquiry and your subsequent additional request
as follows:-

 

“You claim that no third party contractors were employed by Oxford Direct
Services while employees were on furlough, so why did ODS make use of
contract painters and fencing teams while their own staff were on
furlough?”

 

I would advise that these were externally procured works that were in
place prior to furlough where the contractors were contractually obliged
to deliver against. The works were not let to contractors as a result of
staff being furloughed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Kind regards

 

[1]cid:image003.png@01D5CADB.872DEC40  

Lorraine Cheshire | Customer Experience Manager

 

ODS | Horspath Road | Oxford OX4 2RH

[2][email address] | [3]www.odsgroup.co.uk

01865 252919 | 07825 365408

 

[4]cid:image002.png@01D5C6EC.68F0A300[5]cid:image003.png@01D5C6EC.68F0A300 [6]cid:image004.png@01D5C6EC.68F0A300 [7]cid:image005.png@01D5C6EC.68F0A300

 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.odsgroup.co.uk/
4. https://www.facebook.com/OxfordDirectSer...
5. https://www.linkedin.com/company/12053277
6. http://www.twitter.com/ODS_doinggood
7. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOFfsRq...

Gabrielle Russo

Dear Lorraine Cheshire,

Thank you for your response of 26 May 2021.

You wrote:

I would advise that these were externally procured works that were in
place prior to furlough where the contractors were contractually obliged
to deliver against. The works were not let to contractors as a result of
staff being furloughed.

1. Please provide the dates that contracts were awarded to the third party service providers that you refer to.

2. Why were contract fencing and painting teams able to work why Oxford Direct Service's own similarly skilled employees were on furlough?

Yours sincerely,

Gabrielle Russo

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Russo,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference: 10158
 
Thank you for your email. 
 
Question 1 is a new question that will be dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, received on 27th May 2021 and you will be sent a
response within 20 working days (of receipt) in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental Information Regulations
2004 (EIR), subject to the information not being exempt or containing
reference to a third party.
 
Question 2 will be dealt with directly by the department as this question
is not a valid request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it is
asking for an opinion/explanation not for recorded information held by the
Council.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 

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