Dear Ealing Borough Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what real estate assets the Ealing 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

foirequests, Ealing Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Samuel Hall,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST (ACKNOWLEDGEMENT)

 

Thank you for your request for information.

It has been allocated the reference number of 19/0170, please keep a
record of this number.

 

Requests can take up to 20 working days to complete. 

If we require some further clarification in order to complete your
request, we will contact you to inform you of information we require.

 

Yours sincerely,   

 

Kam Ubhi

Information Governance Officer

 

From: Samuel Hall <[FOI #548667 email]>
Sent: 29 January 2019 12:14
To: foirequests <[Ealing Borough Council request email]>
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Property holdings in Pension
Fund

 

Dear Ealing Borough Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what real estate assets the Ealing 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

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[1][FOI #548667 email]

Is [2][Ealing Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Ealing Borough Council? If so, please contact us
using this form:
[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

foirequests, Ealing Borough Council

4 Attachments

Dear Samuel Hall,

 

Please find attached our response to your recent request.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you can request
an internal review by email to: [1][Ealing Borough Council request email] (Please
include your request Reference number). 

 

Details of our complaints process can be found at:

[2]http://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200640/fre...

 

Your request for an internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of your receipt of this response. 

Any such request received after this time will only be considered at our
discretion.

 

If you remain dissatisfied by the outcome of the Internal Review you have
the right to submit your complaint to the Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

(01625) 545 700

 

[3]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

 

Kind Regards

 

Information Governance Team

Ealing Council

Freedom of Information

Perceval House

14-16 Uxbridge Road

London

W5 2HL

Tel: (020) 8825 8367

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Ealing Borough Council request email]
2. http://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/200640/fre...
3. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/