Payments made to Councils for training.

watchingyou made this Freedom of Information request to Improvement and Development Agency for local government

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.

Dear Sir or Madam,
Please supply any information about any payments the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) have made to Bolton Council in relation to paying for any training of any of its officers, staff or Councillors.

If any payments were made please supply copies of the associated invoices.

If any payments were made for the costs of training please provide information about what type of training this was for and also the name of organisation that was going to provide the training.

Please supply the name of the person in who in their professional capacity authorised the payments.

Yours faithfully,

John Greenwood.

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 on Tuesday 22 September 2009. Please note that
the IDeA is not covered by the provisions of the Act, but we always try to
deal with such requests within the spirit of the legislation.

In response to your enquiry, the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA)
have not made payments to Bolton Council in relation to paying for any
training of its officers, staff or Councillors.

Regards

iHelp Enquiries

Improvement and Development Agency

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Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for replying so speedily however I think there may be a little misunderstanding. Could you please clarify if the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) have made any payments to any organisation to pay for the training of any of Bolton Councils, officers, staff or Councilors.

If any payments were made please supply copies of the associated
invoices.

If any payments were made for the costs of training please provide
information about what type of training this was for and also the
name of organisation that was going to provide the training.

Please supply the name of the person in who in their professional
capacity authorised the payments.

Yours faithfully,

John Greenwood.

Dear Sir or Madam,
This request is overdue a response and you have not given you a legal reason why you need extra time you should have replied to the request by 20 October 2009 and that time has now past.

As you have already said, "Please note that the
IDeA is not covered by the provisions of the Act, but we always try to deal with such requests within the spirit of the legislation". IT APPEARS THAT IN THIS INSTANCE YOU HAVE DECIDED NOT DEAL WITH MY APPLICATION WITHIN THE SPIRIT OF THE ACT.

I am now asking you to conduct an internal review in relation to the question and clarification I have already provided to you.

Yours faithfully,

John Greenwood.

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Greenwood

Further to your enquiry please find attached a list of organisations to
which the IDeA has made payments to pay for the training of any of Bolton
Councils, officers, staff or Councillors; the type of training this was
for; the name of organisation that provided the training; and the post
holders that authorised the payments.

We have not provided copies of the invoices as the cost of searching and
retrieval of these (estimated *25 per invoice), is too excessive to be
justified in this instance.

Kind Regards
iHelp Enquiries

Improvement and Development Agency

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Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for the information you have provided so far however your reason for not providing copies of the requested invoices does not fall within the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act you are claiming to work within. The following link provides information in relation the cost of compliance. As you will be able to see your estimate based against the information contained within the XL spreadsheet you have provided would indicate there is at a maximum only 13 invoices this then multiplied by your estimated cost of £25 per invoice then comes to only £325.00 which is below the prescribed amount that would allow you to claim exemption due to cost.

http://tinyurl.com/yllmq7m

With this in mind and your previous claim that you always try to deal with such requests within the spirit of the legislation please now supply the invoices as requested.

The appropriate limit
Section 12 of the FOIA provides an exemption from a public authority’s obligation to comply with a request for information where the cost of compliance is estimated to exceed the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit is the key concept concerning fees.
The Fees Regulations state that this cost limit is £600 for central government, legislative bodies and the armed forces (ie Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the FOIA) and £450 for all other public authorities.

Looking at the information you have so far provided it only amounts to meaningless nonsense, there are no dates, no amounts of money together with a multitude of misleading obfuscated data.

So in the meantime I would ask you to provide further information; as you will understand invoices, had they been provided, would have contained information such as the amount of money paid, the name of the persons who attended the training, the date of when the invoice was paid, who authorised the payments etc. Please provide this information.

Although you may be correct in that you don’t fall under the FoIA specifically your substantive claim that you do intend to deal with such requests within the spirit of the legislation is now under question.

Yours faithfully,

John Greenwood. www.watchingyou.info

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

Before providing any further information it would be helpful if we could
clarify exactly what information you are requesting in order that we can
best respond.

In your request sent on the 24th September you asked "if the Improvement
and Development Agency (IDeA) have made any payments to any organisation
to pay for the training of any of Bolton Councils, officers, staff or
Councillors".

We have provided training to councillors and staff of Bolton Council. In
the course of providing this training we have paid money to organisations
to develop and/or deliver that training on our behalf.

We have identified 13 different programmes that Bolton councillors or
staff have participated in. A list of these has been provided to you on
the spreadsheet. The first two items on the list were training workshops
delivered exclusively to Bolton councillors. A payment was made to Susan
Derbyshire in each instance to co-facilitate the sessions. We have
searched our records and have not been able to locate copies of the two
invoices from Susan Derbyshire to the IDeA. We do know that each payment
was for £300.

All of the other programmes are generic programmes but we know that at
least one councillor or member of staff participated in each. The payments
made in relation to these programmes do not disaggregate to amounts
directly attributable to the individual Bolton participants.

If you are wanting to find out how much Bolton Council has paid to the
IDeA for training of their councillors or staff we can provide this to
you. Please confirm if this is the information you are requesting, or
clarify exactly what further information you require at this stage.

Regards

Kind Regards
iHelp Enquiries

Improvement and Development Agency

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Dear Sir or Madam,

The information I am requesting is the same information I asked for in my previous correspondence with you which is:-

Please provide copies of invoices the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) have made for any payments to any organisation to pay for the training of any of Bolton Councils, officers, staff or Councillors.

Thank you..

John Greenwwod.

Yours faithfully,

watchingyou

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

Thank you for your reply. We will go back through our records to provide
you with the information based on the instruction you have given. We will
endeavour to provide it to you by 17th December 2009 (20 working days from
the date of your reply).

Kind regards

iHelp Enquires
Improvement and Development Agency

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Improvement and Development Agency for local government

19 Attachments

Dear Mr. Greenwood

Further to our e-mail of 24 November please find attached a spreadsheet
and associated invoices in relation to your request for `any payments to
any organisations to pay for the training of any of Bolton Councils,
officers, staff or Councillors'.

The attached spreadsheet sets out the number of councillors and staff from
Bolton who have attended our national training programmes with copies of
invoices relating to these programmes. Please note that some personal data
has been removed from the invoices in line with the Data Protection Act
1998.

Please note the following:

1) Invoices for WORK communications and Gradweb as indicated in
our original spreadsheet are not provided because the services purchased
by the IDeA relate to the marketing and recruitment to the National
Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) and are not specific to Bolton.

2) The invoices for Warwick Business School are in respect of
academic fees and accommodation for study for the post graduate diploma
component of the NGDP. Please find attached copies of invoices which
relate to participants from Bolton after the date when the IDeA took over
responsibility for the programme from the Employers Organisation for Local
Government, the first of these being delivered on 26 July 2006:

a. Cohort 6 - Modules 3,4,5 and 6 with 2 trainees from Bolton

b. Cohort 9 - All 6 modules with 2 trainees from Bolton

3) Invoices relating to Cohort 6 Module 5 academic fees and
Cohort 6 Module 3 academic fees have not been retrieved; however a search
is underway to locate them. We will advise on progress by Friday 8^th
January 2010.

4) Invoices relating to the Future Leadership Programme are not
provided as the IDeA was not responsible for the programme at the time
when the delegates from Bolton attended the programme.

5) Invoices relating to the Academy for Executive Leadership
are attached.

6) Invoices relating to the Social Care Futures Programme are
attached.

7) Invoices relating to the Advanced Leadership Programme are
incomplete. We have had 10 delegates from Bolton take part in the
programme and invoices are attached for three of these programmes, each
with a participant from Bolton. We have are unable to locate the archived
files for the remaining 7 programmes, and hence for the 7 other delegates
from Bolton.

8) Invoices relating to the Leadership Academy Making Children
Matter programme and Black and Minority Ethnic Leadership Academy
Programme are attached.

Yours sincerely

iHelp Enquiries

Improvement and Development Agency

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by the intended recipient(s). If you have received this e-mail in error
please notify the sender immediately. You must not disclose, copy,
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and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the
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Dear Improvement and Development Agency for local government,

If the IDeA paid for items mentioned in section 4 of your response reprinted below, then I would ask you to provide the relevant invoices associated with it and also the dates when delegates from Bolton attended. If the IDeA did not pay for those programmes please state who did.

I will await the rest of your response to my FoIR you have promised in due course, mindful of the fact that this FoIR was first made to you on 22 September 2009
*********************************************************.
4) Invoices relating to the Future Leadership Programme are
not provided as the IDeA was not responsible for the programme at the
time when the delegates from Bolton attended the programme.
*********************************************************

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Greenwood,

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

The IDeA have not paid for the training of Bolton employees as part of the
Future Leadership Programme. We believe 2 Bolton delegates attended before
the IDeA's involvement in the administration of this programme. This we
understand from OPM was during a period when Deloitte administered the
programme. After the period of the IDeA's administration of the programme,
1 Bolton delegate attended the programme. The administration for the
programme immediately prior to and following the IDeA's involvement in the
administration of the programme is OPM who can be contacted at:

OPM

252B Gray's Inn Road

London WC1X 8XG

Switchboard: 0845 055 3900

Main fax: 0845 055 1700

iHelp Enquires
Improvement & Development Agency

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Dear Improvement and Development Agency for local government,

Well you promised and again your promises are like water in the sand RE:- your previous promise:-

3) Invoices relating to Cohort 6 Module 5 academic fees and
Cohort 6 Module 3 academic fees have not been retrieved; however a
search is underway to locate them. We will advise on progress by Friday
8th January 2010.

It's now the 20th January and you have not provided what you said you would.
I would also remind you that you are supposed to supply the requested information within 20 working days and since this request was made on 22 September 2009 we are a long way off the 20 working days allowed.

Yours faithfully,

watchingyou

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

I would like to confirm receipt of your email. We will respond in full
shortly.

Regards

iHelp Enquires
Improvement & Development Agency

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Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood,

Thank you for your enquiry of 20th January relating to the 2 outstanding
invoices for warwick University. - I do apologise for the delay in
providing the information. As mentioned previously the invoices were
stored off-site and arrived in our offices only this week. We will
expedite your request and provide you with the invoices on Monday 25th
January.

Regards

iHelp Enquires
Improvement & Development Agency

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Improvement and Development Agency for local government

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Greenwood

Please find attached the 2 outstanding Warwick invoices (Cohort 6 Module 5
academic fees and Cohort 6 Module 3 academic fees)

Regards

iHelp Enquires
Improvement and Development Agency

This e-mail may include confidential information and is solely for the use
by the intended recipient(s). If you have received this e-mail in error
please notify the sender immediately. You must not disclose, copy,
distribute or retain any part of the email message or attachments. Views
and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the
organisation.

This email has been checked for known viruses and is believed to be virus
free.

Dear Improvement and Development Agency for local government,
Now that you say you have provided 'ALL' the requested information in relation to my FoIR.

You stated on 22 December 2009

"The IDeA have not paid for the training of Bolton employees as part of the Future Leadership Programme."

Please state which part of your supplied information relates to an answer given by Bolton council in response to an earlier FoIR sent to them in which said:-

[Ref. FS50259598]
In the course of responding to the appeal it has come to light that
another officer attended a Common Purpose course. Keith Davies, our
Director of Development and Regeneration, attended a Common Purpose
course in 2005. His place was paid for by the Improvement and
Development Agency, not by the Council, and so his name did not appear when we located the relevant invoices.

If you have not provided this information please state your reasons for not providing it.

Yours faithfully,
John Greenwood.
www.watchingyou.info

Dear Improvement and Development Agency for local government,
In relation to the above information which mentions Common Purpose will you please state which of the training courses you have provided information for so far relate to Common Purpose training.

Additionally please specifically state if the Bolton Councillors mentioned in your reply dated 13 November 2009 4th para attended Common Purpose related training.

Yours faithfully,

watchingyou

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

We have undergone a second exhaustive search of our records in relation
to Common Purpose courses, and nothing we hold relates to the IDeA
paying for a Common Purpose course for the named individual from Bolton
Council. We switched to an electronic invoicing system in 2008, and have
searched all hard copy invoices which are in our archives going back to
2001, plus all electronic invoices that are stored on our electronic
system. We have found no records that show that the IDeA paid for a
place for Mr Davies on a Common Purpose training course.

In relation to your second email of 9 February, none of the courses we
quoted in our response of 13 November 2009 were related to Common
Purpose training. The spreadsheet we released on 23 October explicitly
lists all these courses, and the companies who ran them. I hope this
helps.

Kind Regards

iHelp Enquiries
Improvement and Development Agency

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Dear Improvement and Development Agency for local government, I have received further information from Bolton Council which does suggest that you have paid for a council officer (Keith Davis) to attend a ‘Common Purpose’ training program. This information seems to be irreconcilable with your previous information provided to me under the Freedom of Information Act.

Bolton council allege that you acquired two places on the 20:20 programme and that the IDeA met the cost of that event which was £4,850.00.

Apparently the application was dealt with by Liz Cole at the IDeA email [email address] sometime around 21st April 2006. I further understand that Judi Billing, Head of Programmes, Leadership at the IDEA also dealt with this.

From the information provided by Bolton Council Keith Davis attended as one of 2 places that were termed a sponsored development opportunity on the ‘Common Purpose’ 20 20 course. Could you please send clarification of who sponsored the course for Keith Davis and please send an unredacted copy of the invoice for his place on that course.

Please find a copy of your letter to Bolton Council printed below.

Yours faithfully,
John Greenwood
watchingyou

********************************************
Your letter to Bolton Council is now printed below.
********************************************

To: ALP graduates

20 March 2006

Dear ALP graduate

Special sponsored development opportunity exclusively for graduates of the Advanced Leadership Programme

I’m pleased to let you know that the IDeA has acquired two places on the prestigious 20:20 programme for senior executives and leaders, for graduates of the ALP.

The £4,850 cost of attending the five-day programme, based at the Latimer Conference Centre in Buckinghamshire, will be met by the IDeA. There will be two programmes running this year: 12 – 16 June 2006 and 13 – 17 November 2006.

20:20 brings together leaders from the public and private sectors to examine the drivers that will change society over the next 20 years and how these will affect them, their organisations and the wider community.

It has two central themes: governance and wealth creation, which are explored through guest speakers, case studies, visits, debate and team-based exercises.
20:20 is an intense, demanding and challenging programme and I am confident that, as a senior manager and graduate of the ALP, you would find it stimulating rewarding and beneficial to your work.

If you would like to apply for one of the two places, please write and tells us in no more than 500 words how you and your council would benefit from this programme. You should also give an indication of which programme you would like to be considered for and provide your contact details on the application. (I strongly recommend that, if at all possible, you opt for both programmes as opposed to just one).

The closing date for applications is 21st April 2006 – please send your application to Liz Cole at the IDeA or email [email address]. A panel from the IDeA’s leadership team will assess applications, and you will be advised of the outcome by 28th April 2006.

For more information about 20:20, please visit their website at www.commonpurpose.org.uk.

I look forward to receiving your applications in due course.

Yours sincerely

Pp Maxine Tomlinson
Programme Manager (Leadership)

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood

I would like to confirm receipt of your email.

Regards

iHelp Enquires
Improvement and Development Agency

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Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Thank you for your further request for information made under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 on Monday 14 June 2010. We will endeavour to
respond to your enquiry within 20 working days of your email.

ihelp

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Dear Improvement and Development Agency for local government,
Please do not treat my follow up reply and further information above as a different Freedom of Information Request to my original Freedom of Information Request made on 22 September 2009.

The above reply is simply pointing out irreconcilable differences between the information you have previously provided in relation to my earlier FoIR and the information contained within a different FoIR received from Bolton Council.

What I want you to do is to confirm or deny in the light of the new information from Bolton Council which I have now provided to you if the information you did originally provide was true and correct.

Yours faithfully,
John Greenwood.

watchingyou

Improvement and Development Agency for local government

Dear Mr Greenwood,

We have undergone a third exhaustive search of our records in relation to
Common Purpose courses, taking into account the letter you have received
from Bolton, and we still cannot find any documents, invoices, or emails,
which mention the IDeA paying for a Common Purpose course for any of
Bolton Council's officers, staff or Councillors. Any emails around the
time in 2006 when the course was being finalised have been deleted by
staff. IDeA colleagues recall that some places on Common Purpose training
courses were donated by Common Purpose around this time, which the Bolton
Council officer may have attended, but the IDeA holds no documents,
invoices or emails to state this, nor can anyone recall if this is what
happened in this case.

Since July 2009, a new system was introduced by the IDeA for email
management and retention, where all emails received are archived for ten
years. I hope this helps.

iHelp
Local Government Improvement and Development

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Barry Moss, Sr. left an annotation ()

Oops it seems they neglected to include the True or False statement you wanted