Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

I would like to request the following information:

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

Foi, Customer, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Samuel,

 

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000

Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Reference No: 2167265

 

Thank you for your recent request.

 

Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the application of
any exemptions. Where consideration is being given to exemptions the 20
working day timescale may be extended to a period considered reasonable
depending on the nature and circumstances of your request. In such cases
you will be notified and, where possible, a revised time-scale will be
indicated. In all cases we shall attempt to deal with your request at the
earliest opportunity.

 

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information requested where the request exceeds the statutory limit or
where disbursements exceed £10. In such cases you will be informed in
writing and your request will be suspended until we receive payment from
you or your request is modified and/or reduced.

 

Your request may require either full or partial transfer to another public
authority. You will be informed if your request is transferred.

 

If we are unable to provide you with the information requested we will
notify you of this together with the reason(s) why and details of how you
may appeal (if appropriate).

 

Please note that the directorate team may contact you for further
information where we believe that the request is not significantly clear
for us to respond fully.

 

 

Kind regards

Corporate Complaints, Casework and Information Governance Team

 

 

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Rahman, Davina, Lewisham Borough Council

1 Attachment

 Dear Samuel

 

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Thank you for your request for information held by London Borough of
Lewisham. I have included below a copy of your request, followed by the
Council’s response.

 

 

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

 

Please see table outlined in the document attached above.

 

 

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

 

 Please note for Q2 above, that this information is not held. We have
instead provided aggregated data in the document attached above.

 

We consider that the specific level of data you requested cannot be
retrieved by way of a reasonable search in the relevant electronic
database, we therefore, confirm that the requested information is not
held. The Information Commissioner’s Office offers guidance on determining
if information is held or not at the following link:

[1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

 

 

3)    Can you clearly specify the total value of all real estate
investments that the Pension Fund holds.

 

Please see document attached above.

 

 

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.

 

Please see the document attached above.

 

 

5) Please supply a copy of the Pension Scheme’s latest Statement of
Investment Principles and most recent Pension Fund Report & Accounts.

Please see the document attached above.

 

 

 

We hope you will find this information helpful.

 

You are free to use the information provided for your own purposes,
including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes
of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
requires the permission of the copyright holder. You may apply for
permission to re-use this information by submitting a request to
[2][email address]

 

You have a right of appeal against this response which you can exercise by
writing to: Information Governance – 1st floor Town Hall Chambers,
Catford, London. SE6 4RU. Or at: [3][email address]

 

This must be requested within 40 working days of the date of this
response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied after receiving this decision, you then also
have a further right of appeal, which you can make in writing, stating
your reasons to the regulating body, the Information Commissioner's
Office. Contact details:  [4]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ or 0303
123 1113 or Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

                           

Corporate Complaints and Information Governance

 

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