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Property holdings in Pension Fund

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Dear Bradford City Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what real estate assets the 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

Freedom of Information, Bradford City Council

Thank you for submitting your request under the terms of the Freedom Of
Information Act and Environmental Information Regulation 2004. This matter
is now receiving our attention and we aim to have a response out to you
within the period of 20 working days allowed for disclosure.
If you have submitted your request under the Data Protection Act (Subject
Access Request) we aim to have a response to you within 1 month.

 

Bradford Council is registered with the Information Commissioners Office
(ICO) under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.  If you would
like further information please click on the following link:
[1]https://www.bradford.gov.uk/open-data/da...

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References

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1. https://www.bradford.gov.uk/open-data/da...

Catherine Hellard,

Dear Mr Hall

Re: Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI
Act).

 

Thank you for your enquiry which was received on 22^nd March 2019.  This
matter is now receiving our attention and we aim to have a response out to
you by 25^th April 2019, within the period of 20 working days allowed for
disclosure.

 

You will be informed in advance if there is a charge for supplying copies
of the information.  We will also provide an explanation if any
information is not released to you.  If the requested information contains
references to any third parties, we may need to consult with them before
deciding whether or not to release the information.

 

Should you have any queries regarding your request, please feel free to
email us at [1][Bradford City Council request email] quoting the reference no: FOI-Mar143.

 

Bradford Council is registered with the Information Commissioners Office
(ICO) under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018. The Council
takes its responsibilities under the Act very seriously.  To find out more
on how we handle your information, please click on the following link:
[2]https://www.bradford.gov.uk/privacy-notice

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Catherine Hellard

Freedom of Information Coordinator

West Yorkshire Pension Fund

Tel: 01274 434375

WYPF, PO Box 67, Bradford, BD1 1UP

 

West Yorkshire Pension Fund

Chief Executive's Department

 

Follow us on [3]Twitter and [4]Facebook   

 

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should be handled accordingly. If this email has been misdirected, please
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software viruses, any attachments to this email may nevertheless contain
viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to identify. You should
therefore carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any
documents. Bradford Council will not accept any liability for damage
caused by computer viruses emanating from any attachment or other document
supplied with this email. Emails may be subject to recording and / or
monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

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1. blocked::mailto:[Bradford City Council request email]
mailto:[Bradford City Council request email]
2. https://www.bradford.gov.uk/privacy-notice
3. blocked::http://www.twitter.com/wypf_lgps
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4. blocked::http://www.facebook.com/westyorkshirepen...
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Catherine Hellard,

 

Dear Mr Hall

 

 

I refer to your request dated 22nd March 2019 under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FoIA) asking us to supply investment information.

 

Q1. Under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are not
required to provide information in response to a request if it is already
reasonably accessible to you.  Some of the information you requested is
routinely published on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund  (WYPF) website and
is the latest audited information. This information can be found within
the Investment Portfolio, Private equity portfolio and the Report and
Accounts via the Investments home page.  For your convenience the link is
below:

 

[1]http://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Investment...

 

The investments on the website will be updated with additional information
and categorised in the next few weeks.  We are therefore applying Section
22 of the FoIA as this information is intended for future publication.

 

We are also applying exemption Section12 of the Act, as we estimate that
the cost of supplying the domicile of the underlying assets you have asked
for would exceed the appropriate limit of £450.  The appropriate limit has
been specified in regulations and for Local Government it is set at £450.
This equates to 18 hours of staff time at £25 per hour in determining
whether the Department holds the information, and locating, retrieving and
extracting the information.

 

 

Q2.  The current yields of the different investments the pension fund
holds.

 

We are applying the following exemptions:

 

Section12 as the cost of extracting the current yields for each of the
investments the Pension Fund holds would exceed the appropriate limit of
£450.

 

Section 43 (2) of the FoIA –

Under Commercial Interests as disclosure of the yields of unlisted/private
real estate and private equity would, or would be likely to; prejudice the
Council and the Fund managers with which it invests.  This exemption is
subject to a public interest test.

 

The Council has applied the public interest test and on balance,
determined that the greatest weigh should be given to withholding this
information as the release could:

 

Negatively impact the portfolio managers themselves and would impair the
Council’s ability to achieve the best investment outcomes for its
pensioners; and

 

Likely damage the strong relationship of trust which the Council has with
the Private investment funds and this in turn could potentially reduce the
Council’s investment opportunities and thereby it’s future returns.

 

 

Q3.The total value of all WYPF real estate investments can be found in the
annual report on the WYPF website.

 

Q4. Please see the link above for the information publically available.

 

Q5. For the Statement of Investment Principles please see the WYPF annual
reports & WYPF policy statements via the following links:

 

[2]https://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Publicati...

 

[3]https://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Publicati...

 

 

 

If you have any queries about this e-mail, please contact me and please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

In accordance with the FoIA, if you are not satisfied with the reply to
your request you can ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests
must be submitted within 40 working days by emailing us at
[4][Bradford City Council request email] or by writing to us at:

 

Information Governance Team, Bradford Metropolitan District, 1st Floor,
Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1HX.  

 

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review you
have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner who can be
contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545700   URL: [5]https://ico.org.uk/

Kind regards

 

Cath Hellard

Freedom of Information Coordinator

West Yorkshire Pension Fund

Tel: 01274 434375

WYPF, PO Box 67, Bradford, BD1 1UP

 

West Yorkshire Pension Fund

Chief Executive's Department

 

Follow us on [6]Twitter and [7]Facebook   

 

This email, and any attachments, may contain Protected or Restricted
information and is intended solely for the individual to whom it is
addressed. It may contain sensitive or protectively marked material and
should be handled accordingly. If this email has been misdirected, please
notify the author immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you
must not disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the
information contained in it or attached, and all copies must be deleted
immediately. Whilst we take reasonable steps to try to identify any
software viruses, any attachments to this email may nevertheless contain
viruses which our anti-virus software has failed to identify. You should
therefore carry out your own anti-virus checks before opening any
documents. Bradford Council will not accept any liability for damage
caused by computer viruses emanating from any attachment or other document
supplied with this email. Emails may be subject to recording and / or
monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Investment...
2. https://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Publicati...
3. https://www.wypf.org.uk/Member/Publicati...
4. mailto:[Bradford City Council request email]
5. https://ico.org.uk/
6. blocked::http://www.twitter.com/wypf_lgps
http://www.twitter.com/wypf_lgps
7. blocked::http://www.facebook.com/westyorkshirepen...
http://www.facebook.com/westyorkshirepen...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Samuel Hall please sign in and let everyone know.