Public exercise of inspection and objection rights under Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

Megan I Waugh made this Freedom of Information request to Bromsgrove District Council as part of a batch sent to 341 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Bromsgrove District Council,

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 provides members of the public with rights to inspect, within an annual inspection window, the council’s accounts and related documents. It also provides local electors with the right to object to an item of the accounts. Prior to the 2014 Act these same rights were enshrined in the Audit Commission Act 1998.

As a regular user of these rights, in my capacity as a local journalist, local elector, member of accountability campaigns and academic researcher I am interested in understanding the frequency and the way in which these rights are being used across the country.

The MHCLG have recently launched an independent inquiry into the quality of local authority audit (the Redmond Review). One of the questions in the recent call for views asks whether the “the inspection and objection regime allow local residents to hold their council to account in an effective manner?” whilst also acknowledging that data is not currently gathered at a national level on the citizen uses of these rights. I feel there is therefore a strong public interest in the timely disclosure of the information in this request.

Please provide the following information:

A. For all the objections you received between 2009 and 2019 (i.e. relating to financial years 2008/9 to 2018/19 inclusive) please provide the following information in an excel spreadsheet. Please use the list below as column headers and compile the data for each objection in a separate row.

1. Objection reference no.
2. Financial year the objection relates to
3. Subject/summary of the objection
4. Date objection was received
5. Did objector ask the auditor make a referral to the High Court?
6. Did objector ask the auditor to issue a Public Interest Report?
7. Was the objection accepted as valid?
8. If not, why?
9. Was a public interest report issued?
10. Was a referral made to the High Court?
11. If so, what was the High Court’s decision?
12. Were any other recommendations made or actions taken by the auditor under the powers set out in Section 24 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act?
13. Date objector was sent a final decision notice
14. How much was the council charged by the auditor to carry out work in relation to the objection?

B. For all the inspection requests you received between 2009 and 2019 (i.e. relating to financial years from 2008/9 to 2018/19 inclusive), please provide the following information in an excel spreadsheet. Please use the list below as column headers and compile the data for each inspection request in a separate row.

1. Inspection reference number
2. Financial year inspection request refers to
3. Date request for information received
4. Was the request accepted as valid?
5. If not, why?
6. Was request transferred to FOI?
7. If transferred to FOI, what was the justification for doing so?
8. Subject/summary of request as recorded
9. Which department(s) dealt with the information request?
10. Date the response and documents requested were sent to requester

Yours faithfully,

Megan I Waugh

foi BDC, Bromsgrove District Council

1 Attachment

Our Reference: 8070

 

Dear Megan,

 

Thank you for your recent request for information.

 

Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act.  We will respond by 24^th October 2019 at the latest.

 

Privacy Notice

 

The Council collects information, including personal information that you
provide about yourself and others, when you make a submission in relation
to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

 

The Council collects this information for the purpose of dealing with your
submission under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and in accordance
with the legislation; a request made under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 is not a valid request unless it is in writing and includes the
following information:

 

·         Enough of your real name to give anyone reading your request, a
reasonable indication of your identity.

·         Where you are an agent working on behalf of someone else, the
other party will be interpreted as being the requestor therefore their
details are required.

·         Valid address for correspondence (including postal or email).

·         A description of the information you require, which may include
details of someone else.

 

The term ‘in writing’ covers requests submitted by letter and electronic
form, including those sent via the internet through social networking
sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Where a social media site is used to
submit a request, the real name may be visible within the user profile. If
you make the request public by publishing it on a website, as opposed to
sending a private message to the authority’s account, then we will
consider it within the requester’s reasonable expectations that the
authority will also publish its response on the site. 

 

Under FOI legislation, we have to maintain a log of requests. This
information is retained for 6 years.  All other information associated
with your request, such as the request, our acknowledgement, consultation
with the department involved, and our subsequent response to you is
retained for 2 years.

 

The council will not disclose your personal information to external
entities. We will also take steps to limit the amount of personal
information about you, is disclosed as part of any consultation process
regarding your request.

 

If you do not provide the appropriate details required under the
legislation, the information cannot be provided.  Other rights are not
affected.  These can be found [1]here.

 

This information will not be shared/sold to any other service/organisation
unless we have a duty to do so under law. This data will not be
transferred outside of the EEA.

 

No decisions around this data are made by automated means.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

Julie Hemming-Smout

Information Support Officer, Bromsgrove District and Redditch Borough
Councils

 

Tel: (01527) 64252, extension 3871

Email: [2][email address]

 

Bromsgrove District Council Redditch Borough Council

Parkside, Town Hall,

Market Street, Walter Stranz Square,

Bromsgrove, Redditch,

Worcestershire B61 8DA Worcestershire B98 8AH

[3]www.bromsgrove.gov.uk [4]www.redditchbc.gov.uk

   

View our privacy notices via the following links –

Redditch:

[5]http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...

Bromsgrove:

[6]http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/council/cor...

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
4. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/
5. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...
6. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/council/cor...
7. mailto:[email address]
8. mailto:[Bromsgrove District Council request email]

1 Attachment

Our Reference: 6130

 

Dear Megan,

 

Thank you for your recent request for information.

 

Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act.  We will respond by 24^th October 2019 at the latest.

 

Privacy Notice

 

The Council collects information, including personal information that you
provide about yourself and others, when you make a submission in relation
to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

 

The Council collects this information for the purpose of dealing with your
submission under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and in accordance
with the legislation; a request made under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 is not a valid request unless it is in writing and includes the
following information:

 

·         Enough of your real name to give anyone reading your request, a
reasonable indication of your identity.

·         Where you are an agent working on behalf of someone else, the
other party will be interpreted as being the requestor therefore their
details are required.

·         Valid address for correspondence (including postal or email).

·         A description of the information you require, which may include
details of someone else.

 

The term ‘in writing’ covers requests submitted by letter and electronic
form, including those sent via the internet through social networking
sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Where a social media site is used to
submit a request, the real name may be visible within the user profile. If
you make the request public by publishing it on a website, as opposed to
sending a private message to the authority’s account, then we will
consider it within the requester’s reasonable expectations that the
authority will also publish its response on the site. 

 

Under FOI legislation, we have to maintain a log of requests. This
information is retained for 6 years.  All other information associated
with your request, such as the request, our acknowledgement, consultation
with the department involved, and our subsequent response to you is
retained for 2 years.

 

The council will not disclose your personal information to external
entities. We will also take steps to limit the amount of personal
information about you, is disclosed as part of any consultation process
regarding your request.

 

If you do not provide the appropriate details required under the
legislation, the information cannot be provided.  Other rights are not
affected.  These can be found [1]here.

 

This information will not be shared/sold to any other service/organisation
unless we have a duty to do so under law. This data will not be
transferred outside of the EEA.

 

No decisions around this data are made by automated means.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

 

Julie Hemming-Smout

Information Support Officer, Bromsgrove District and Redditch Borough
Councils

 

Tel: (01527) 64252, extension 3871

Email: [2][email address]

 

Bromsgrove District Council Redditch Borough Council

Parkside, Town Hall,

Market Street, Walter Stranz Square,

Bromsgrove, Redditch,

Worcestershire B61 8DA Worcestershire B98 8AH

[3]www.bromsgrove.gov.uk [4]www.redditchbc.gov.uk

   

View our privacy notices via the following links –

Redditch:

[5]http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...

Bromsgrove:

[6]http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/council/cor...

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
4. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/
5. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...
6. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/council/cor...
7. mailto:[email address]
8. mailto:[Bromsgrove District Council request email]

foi BDC, Bromsgrove District Council

Our Reference: 8070

 

Dear Ms Waugh,

 

Thank you for your Information request. I can now offer you the following
information:

 

 

We have not received any objections or inspection requests for the period

 

 

 

I hope this resolves your enquiry and that you are satisfied with the
response. I apologise for the delay in responding, and for any
inconvenience caused.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled, you
have the right to request an internal review within 40 days of the date of
our response.

 

If you are still dissatisfied following a review by the Council, you have
the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. You can contact the
Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone 01625 545 700

[1]https://ico.org.uk/

 

Regards,

 

Nicola Brothwell

Mon - Information Management all day

Tues – Info Mgmt 9-1, Legal 1:30 – 5

Wed – Legal all day

Thurs - Tues – Info Mgmt 9-1:30, Legal 2:00 – 5

Fri - Tues – Info Mgmt 9-1, Legal 1:30 – 5

 

Information Support Officer, Business Development

Bromsgrove District & Redditch Borough Councils

Tel: 01527 881661

Email: [2][email address]

Bromsgrove District Council Redditch Borough Council

Parkside, Town Hall,

Market Street, Walter Stranz Square,

Bromsgrove, Redditch,

Worcestershire B61 8DA Worcestershire B98 8AH

[3]www.bromsgrove.gov.uk [4]www.redditchbc.gov.uk

   

View our privacy and fair processing notices –

Redditch:

[5]http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...

Bromsgrove:

[6]http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/council/cor...

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
4. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/
5. http://www.redditchbc.gov.uk/council/cor...
6. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/council/cor...
7. mailto:[email address]
8. mailto:[Bromsgrove District Council request email]