Dear Devon County Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what real estate assets the Devon Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each type of real estate asset or investment being held.

This information should be broken down into the different
categories, including:
- Listed Real Estate securities;
Unlisted/Private Real Estate Property Funds/vehicles, companies or CIS;
- Directly held properties ; and
- (listed/unlisted) Real Estate Debt Funds/vehicles.

In the case of any unlisted real estate vehicles or real estate debt vehicles, the domicile of the underlying assets should be included.

A full list of all the companies, vehicles, CIS etc in which the Pension Fund invests in or has an outstanding commitment to should be covered in the above question. This list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each company etc.

2) The current yields of the different investments the pension fund holds.

3) Can you clearly specify the total value of all real estate 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, please can you also provide the password to the excel
sheet.
5) Please supply a copy of the Pension Scheme’s latest Statement of Investment Principles and most recent Pension Fund Report & Accounts.
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.

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.'(i)

Finally, within the law of confidence there 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.

Yours faithfully,

Samuel Hall

access to information - mailbox, Devon County Council

Dear Mr Hall,

Freedom Of Information Request
Reference – 8289929

I am in receipt of your request for information which will be handled in accordance with your rights under the above legislation. Your request has been passed to the Information Governance team to deal with in accordance with the Council’s Environmental Information Regulations and Freedom of Information Request Handling Policy.

Under the above legislation, you are entitled to be informed as to whether or not Devon County Council holds the information you have requested, and if so to have this communicated to you within 20 working days. At times the Council may have to withhold certain information because an exemption from disclosure applies. If we feel that this should apply to any of the information you have requested, we will inform you of this fact (unless to do so would reveal information that would otherwise be exempt). We will also give you details of how you may appeal our decision.

The Council will endeavour to provide you with a response to your request as soon as possible but incidentally by no later than the 18th of February 2019.

Thank you again for contacting Devon County Council, I hope this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Assistant
Information Governance Team
01392 383000
Email: [Devon County Council request email]
Website: Devon County Council

Disclaimer: Emails and any attached or linked to documents from Devon County Council which contain personal or sensitive personal data about clients or employees, or sensitive business data, are confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by replying to the email, and then delete the email without forwarding, printing, copying, sharing or using it in any way. Personal data in any format should be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. Personal data we collect from you will be processed in accordance with this Privacy Notice. Devon County Council will take all reasonable steps to make emails secure and protect them from viruses but cannot accept liability for loss or damage caused by their transmission to a recipients device or network. Please follow your own organisations virus checking procedure before opening attachments. Links to publicly available information or to documents in a shared area will be sent where possible. Senders and recipients of email should be aware that under UK Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation the content of emails may have to be disclosed in response to a request so care should be taken in terms of content.

Your right to complain
If for any reason you are not satisfied with how your request has been handled, please write to Customer Relations Team, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD. Details about our Access to Information complaints procedure can be found at https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma.... If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

show quoted sections

access to information - mailbox, Devon County Council

2 Attachments

Dear Samuel Hall,

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information Request 8289929

 

We are in receipt of your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 dated 21 January 2019 and are pleased to provide
[1]Devon County Council’s response.

We hope this information is of assistance to you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Jenny Goodall

Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team

Room 120

County Hall

Exeter
EX2 4QD
Tel: 01392 383000 – Ask for Information Governance Team

Email: [2][Devon County Council request email]

 

Please note that Devon County Council now publishes most Freedom of
Information and Environmental Information Regulations request responses on
its publication scheme. Details of previous responses are available at
[3]https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma....
The council requests that members of the public make use of its disclosure
log search facility before making a Freedom of Information or
Environmental Information Regulations request, as it is possible that the
information sought, may have been disclosed in response to a prior
request.

Your right to complain
If for any reason you are not satisfied with how your request has been
handled, please write to Customer Relations Team, Room 120, County Hall,
Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD. Details about our Access to Information
complaints procedure can be found at
[4]https://new.devon.gov.uk/accesstoinforma....
  If your complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you
have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Re-use of information
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Use for Direct Marketing purposes is
prohibited. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
require the permission of the copyright holder. Most documents supplied by
Devon County Council will have been produced by local officials and will
be our copyright. If you would like to re-use any of the information which
has been supplied to you, please contact us. Information you receive which
is not subject to our copyright continues to be protected by the copyright
of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated. You
must ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any
information.

Disclaimer: Emails and any attached or linked to documents from Devon
County Council which contain personal or sensitive personal data about
clients or employees, or sensitive business data, are confidential. If you
are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by
replying to the email, and then delete the email without forwarding,
printing, copying, sharing or using it in any way. Personal data in any
format should be processed in accordance with the [5]General Data
Protection Regulations. Personal data we collect from you will be
processed in accordance with this [6]Privacy Notice. Devon County Council
will take all reasonable steps to make emails secure and protect them from
viruses but cannot accept liability for loss or damage caused by their
transmission to a recipients device or network. Please follow your own
organisations virus checking procedure before opening attachments. Links
to publicly available information or to documents in a shared area will be
sent where possible. Senders and recipients of email should be aware that
under UK Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation the
content of emails may have to be disclosed in response to a request so
care should be taken in terms of content.

 

 

 

 

References

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