Dear Hackney Borough Council,
Dear City of London Corporation,
I would like to request the following information:
A full breakdown of the council's pension fund holdings including those of the pooled vehicles/unit trusts:
1) The full details of what the Hackney Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or investment being held.
Ideally this information would be broken down into the different categories, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund holds.
2) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently invests in (this should be covered in the above question). This list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each company.
3) Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the Pension Fund holds.
4) I would like to receive this information in an unlocked excel sheet without protected cells (.xls). If you have to password protect the excel sheet, can you also provide the password to the excel sheet. When considering the request for this data in excel format, please refer to Innes v Information Commissioner  EWCA Civ 1086 (i), which allows a requestor to express a preference for communication by a particular means, specifically: "an applicant's right to choose to have information provided to him in electronic form extends to a right to choose the software format in which it is embodied." (ii)
I would like to receive the information in electronic format if possible. If one part of the request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need further clarification, please contact me by email.
As examples of the kind of information I would like, please see the information released in excel format by East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council:
East Sussex County Council:
West Sussex County Council:
Many public authorities release their contracts, minutes and other information of interactions with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public's interest. The public have an interest in knowing what the Pension Fund is investing in, the terms of contracts and the minutes of meeting with public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.
If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:
* When these confidentially agreements were agreed
* All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed
* The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements.
I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. I would also point to the Information Commissioner's guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: 'Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.'(ii)
Finally, within the law of confidence these is also a public interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly to charge its stakeholders.
I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive fees, and understand that under the act, I am entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.
(i) Innes v Information Commissioner  EWCA Civ 1086 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...
(ii) Section 11 FOIA and the Form of a Request https://panopticonblog.com/2014/08/01/se...
(ii) 'Freedom of Information Awareness Guidance 5: Commercial Interests' Office of the Information Commissioner, Page 10, https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
London Borough of Hackney logo
Dear Mr Jones,
FOI Ref: FOI17-0703-17054
Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request. Your reference
number is FOI17-0703-17054.
Your request will be responded to within 20 working days.
Information Management Team - FOI
The contents of this email are confidential to the intended recipient at
the email address to which it has been addressed. It may not be disclosed
to or used by anyone other than this addressee, nor may it be copied in
any way. If received in error, please contact Hackney Council,
www.hackney.gov.uk on 020 8356 3000 (out of hours - 020 8356 2300) quoting
the name of the sender and the addressee and then delete it from your
system. Please note that neither Hackney Council nor the sender accepts
any responsibility for viruses and it is your responsibility to scan the
email and attachments (if any). No contracts may be concluded on behalf of
Hackney Council by means of email communications.Please note that Hackney
Council reserves the right to monitor emails for the purpose of monitoring
or communications relevant to the Company’s business under the
Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception Of
Communications) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/2699) ("the Regulations") for
the following reasons: to investigate or detect the unauthorised use of
the systems, e.g. that this policy is being observed, that no
discriminatory or offensive content appears in emails; to maintain an
adequate level of security for our computer systems; to detect any
computer viruses; to check mailboxes of absent employees. To exercise its
right under the Regulations, Hackney Council must have made all reasonable
efforts to inform every person who may use the system that interception
may take place and this notice to you should be regarded as such
2. mailto:[email address]
Dear Hackney Borough Council,
Why did you fail to get back to me within the stated 20 days?
Dear Mr Jones,
We apologise for the great delay in responding to your request about pension fund holdings.
Attached is the response and a spreadsheet containing the data you have requested.
London Borough of Hackney
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