Public Realm contract Veolia

Waiting for an internal review by Brent Borough Council of their handling of this request.

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Brent Borough Council,

1. Has the Council reached a decision on Brent and Harrow PSC's request to address the procurement panel on the Public Realm contract?
2. What was the evidence base for the procurement panel's decision not to exercise its discretion to exclude Veolia after receiving and considering evidence from Brent and Harrow PSC on Veolia's alleged 'grave misconduct'?
3. Have the allegations about the company's 'grave misconduct' been put to Veolia? If so what was their response?
4. Has the Council taken counsel's further advice on the EU procurement issue? If so what was their advice?
5. According to the procurement timetable the second shortlisting should have taken place. Which companies are on the second shortlist?

Yours faithfully,

Liz Lindsay

Brent & Harrow PSC

FOI, Brent Borough Council

Thank you for your email. I am out of the office until 3 June.  FOI
requests should be sent during this period to [Brent Borough Council request email]

Theresa Duke, Brent Borough Council

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 1659021
====================================================

Dear Elizabeth Lindsay
 
I am writing to acknowledge the request for information that you submitted
on 31^st May and to apologise for the delay in so doing.
 
The request has been referred to our Procurement Service who I understand
hope to respond in the near future.

[Brent Borough Council request email]

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Theresa Duke, Brent Borough Council

5 Attachments

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 1659021
====================================================

Dear Ms Lindsay

Please find below, and attached, the Council’s responses to your recent
requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(“FOIA”).
 
Certain of your requests may relate to material that is exempt from
disclosure under ss.41-43 of FOIA. In relation to this material, the
Council will require a further short, reasonable period to complete the
public interest balancing test under FOIA: s.10(3), FOIA. The Council
anticipates writing to you by 4pm on 12 July 2013 to let you know the
outcome of the balancing test in respect of this material.
 
Proceeding to address each of your requests in turn:
 
1. Has the Council reached a decision on Brent and Harrow PSC's request to
address the procurement panel on the Public Realm contract?
 
Please see the statement that has been made publicly available on the
Council’s website at:
 
[1]http://www.brent.gov.uk/media/2876414/St...
 
(a printed copy of which is attached to this letter). The Council has
taken counsel’s advice and has not revisited the evaluation panel’s
decision.
 
2. What was the evidence base for the procurement panel's decision not to
exercise its discretion to exclude Veolia after receiving and considering
evidence from Brent and Harrow PSC on Veolia's alleged 'grave misconduct'?
 
A copy of the representations that were before the evaluation panel is
attached to this letter.
 
3. Have the allegations about the company's 'grave misconduct' been put to
Veolia? If so what was their response?
 
Allegations of “grave misconduct” were not put to Veolia prior to the
evaluation panel taking its decision. The Council does however hold some
material that may be relevant to this request . As indicated above, the
Council will conduct the public interest balancing test in respect of this
material and let you know the outcome in due course.
 
4. Has the Council taken counsel's further advice on the EU procurement
issue? If so what was their advice?
 
Please see the statement that has been made publicly available on the
Council’s website at:
 
[2]http://www.brent.gov.uk/media/2876414/St...
 
 (a printed copy of which is attached to this letter). The Council has
taken counsel’s advice and has not revisited the evaluation panel’s
decision.
  
5. According to the procurement timetable the second shortlisting should
have taken place. Which companies are on the second shortlist?
 
It is understood that the Council has already provided you with this
information. For your ease of reference, I can confirm that the
shortlisted bidders are:
 
·         Veolia ES (UK) Limited
·         Enterprise
·         Serco
 
 
We hope that this information is helpful.
Please note that the information provided may be subject to copyright and
you may require further permission from the Council to re-use it. If you
require further guidance please write to the IT Standards Manager (contact
details below).

If you are dissatisfied with the response or how the Council has handled
your request you can complain to the Council by writing to the following
address: IT Standards Manager at Brent Civic Centre, Floor 7, Engineers
Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ.  Telephone 020 8937 1402, e-mail
[3][Brent Borough Council request email].  It is the Council's policy to ensure that, where
practicable, your complaint is dealt with by someone who was not involved
in the original decision.  You also have a right of appeal about our
decision to the Information Commissioner, however, the Information
Commissioner will not normally consider an appeal until you have exhausted
your rights of redress and complaint to the Council. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted as follows:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF; Telephone: 01625 545 700,
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

As part of our commitment to improve our service to our customers we would
welcome any feedback on the way that we have dealt with your request.

Yours faithfully

Theresa Duke

Phone: 020 8937 1171
[email address]
 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.brent.gov.uk/media/2876414/St...
2. http://www.brent.gov.uk/media/2876414/St...
3. mailto:[Brent Borough Council request email]

Martin Francis left an annotation ()

Note that in answer to the question on the evidence base used to decide not to exclude Brent Council merely give the evidence provided by Liz Lindsay and not any counter evidence. There is therefore no information on how this was tested by the procurement panel.

The case for a Judicial Review appears strong.

Martin Francis left an annotation ()

Brent Council has not published two key documents sent to them making the case for Veolia's exclusion from the Public Realm contract.

They are:
The legal case to exclude Veolia http://sdrv.ms/12j0yzK
and further information on the Tovlan landfill site demonstrating Veolia's interest: http://sdrv.ms/12j0LTw

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Theresa Duke,
1You have not given reasons to counter legal arguments in our letter sent on the 23rd Jan. This letter was not attached by the Council in the FoI. The letter was sent prior to the submission of PQQ by Veolia on 31st Jan. http://sdrv.ms/12j0yzk
It appears you have ignored arguments for Veolia being a single entity and confirmation of ‘single entity’ by Richard Hunt (Veolia’s Executive Director Business Development , Projects and External Corporate affairs)
2. ‘A copy of the representations that were before the evaluation panel’ presenting our legal arguments is not attached. http://sdrv.ms/12j0yzk & http://sdrv.ms/12jOLTw
3. Allegations of ‘grave misconduct’ were not put to Veolia as requested
4. No evidence has been presented to counter arguments for allegations of grave misconduct based on ‘advice from an expert barrister’

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Theresa Duke,
1 Brent Council have not given reasons to counter legal arguments in our letter sent on the 23rd Jan. This letter had not been attached in the response to FoI request. This letter was sent prior to the submission of PQQ by Veolia on 31st Jan. http://sdrv.ms/12j0yzk
It appears Brent Council have ignored arguments for Veolia being a single entity and confirmation of ‘single entity’ by Richard Hunt (Veolia’s Executive Director Business Development , Projects and External Corporate affairs)
2. ‘A copy of the representations that were before the evaluation panel’ presenting our legal arguments is not attached. http://sdrv.ms/12j0yzk & http://sdrv.ms/12jOLTw
3. Allegations of ‘grave misconduct’ were not put to Veolia as requested
4. No evidence has been presented to counter arguments for allegations of grave misconduct based on ‘advice from an expert barrister’

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Theresa Duke, Brent Borough Council

6 Attachments

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 1659021
====================================================

 Dear Ms Lindsay,
 
I write with reference to your request for disclosure of documentation
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('FOIA') and to your further
email dated 2 July 2013.
 
The numbered points 1), 3) and 4) in your email dated 2 July appear to
fall outside the remit of the FOIA and I am not able to deal with these
matters as part of this FOIA process. 
 
 With regard to numbered point 2) in your email of 2 July, I am sorry if
you were unable to access the documents through the links provided. I am
attaching further copies of the representations that were put before the
panel.
 
Further to the Council's email of 28 June, the Council has now carried out
a public interest balancing test pursuant to s10(3) FOIA and has concluded
that the following information potentially falling under your request is
exempt from disclosure pursuant to s41-43 FOIA, namely:
 
Advice given to the panel considering submissions at the Pre-qualification
stage;
Advice from counsel relating to the EU procurement issue.
 
With regard to point 3) of your original request for information under the
FOIA, as indicated in the Council's response of 28 June, allegations of
'grave misconduct' were not put to Veolia prior to the evaluation panel
making its decision. The Council did however receive the following copy
letter from Veolia on 21  May 2013.
Please let me know if you are unable to open any of the documents.

Please note that the information provided may be subject to copyright and
you may require further permission from the Council to re-use it. If you
require further guidance please write to the IT Standards Manager (contact
details below).

If you are dissatisfied with the response or how the Council has handled
your request you can complain to the Council by writing to the following
address: IT Standards Manager at Brent Civic Centre, Floor 7, Engineers
Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ.  Telephone 020 8937 1402, e-mail
[1][Brent Borough Council request email].  It is the Council's policy to ensure that, where
practicable, your complaint is dealt with by someone who was not involved
in the original decision.  You also have a right of appeal about our
decision to the Information Commissioner, however, the Information
Commissioner will not normally consider an appeal until you have exhausted
your rights of redress and complaint to the Council. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted as follows:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF; Telephone: 01625 545 700,
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

As part of our commitment to improve our service to our customers we would
welcome any feedback on the way that we have dealt with your request.

Yours faithfully

Theresa Duke

Phone: 020 8937 1171
[email address]
 

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and other lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Brent Borough Council request email]

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Theresa Duke,

1 TOVLAN LANDFILL OWNERSHIP Veolia UK’s letter to Brent Council claims that it sold its interest in Tovlan landfill. But the evidence from Who Profits LINK: http://www.whoprofits.org/content/confir...
indicates that they received confirmation from the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, in response to an application under the Freedom of Information Act, on 17th January 2013 that the Veolia subsidiary TMM is the sole owner and operator of the Tovlan landfill in the occupied West Bank — despite Veolia’s claims that it divested from the landfill in 2011. Brent Council does not appear to have checked the information provided by Brent and Harrow PSC on the 23rd March against Veolia’s claim.

Veolia appears therefore to have made a serious misrepresentation to Brent Council as part of the bid and tender process and so should be excluded for that reason. Also, if Veolia has made a misrepresentation on this matter it is reasonable for the Council to have serious doubts about the accuracy of other important representations it has made in the bid and tender process.

2. FURTHER NEW EVIDENCE OF VEOLIA’S GRAVE PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT The fines recently imposed by the Israeli Court (details below Appendix I) relate to offences by Veolia which the Council should reasonably consider as being 'grave professional misconduct'. (As Veolia is a single entity) Brent Council should therefore now disqualify Veolia from the bid and tender process forthwith.

If Brent Council does not exercise its discretion to exclude Veolia for the reasons stated above (as well as the other reasons which have been set out in previous correspondence) then the Council will have failed to properly exercise its (statutory) discretion, and will have unfairly favoured Veolia above other companies who are competing in the bid and tender. As such Brent Council is potentially exposing itself to legal challenge.

3. NANTERRE JUDGMENT – we reserve our position on this matter.

APPENDIX I

From Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.pr...

Israeli court fines Veolia waste management subsidiary NIS 1.5 million

TMM Integrated Recycling Industries, owned by the international environmental conglomerate Veolia Environnement, must pay the state an additional NIS 1.5 million fee for burying waste.

TMM Integrated Recycling Industries, owned by the international environmental conglomerate Veolia Environnement, must pay the state an additional NIS 1.5 million fee for burying waste. The Petah Tikva Magistrates Court handed down the ruling a few days ago in the company's appeal of a decision by the Environmental Protection Ministry to levy the fee.

The ministry required the additional fee after it found inconsistencies between the company's reports on the amount of waste it had handled – and for which it had to pay the fee - and the actual amounts it disposed of.

The decision came after the ministry checked the volume of materials arriving at the Tovlan landfill in the Jordan Valley, which TMM uses to bury waste.
The examination at the site included checking the garbage trucks and discovered that TMM was reporting part of the waste "remnants of sorting," which is the remaining waste that cannot be recycled after it has been sorted.

This category of "remainders" is charged a much lower landfill fee than materials which can be recycled - but are buried. In reality, TMM was burying mixed waste, part of which could be recycled, but not paying the full fee for such waste. The
ministry's comptroller examining the Tovlan site discovered that the amounts of this remaindered waste buried at the site grew greatly in 2007, while the amounts of mixed waste dropped significantly. And this was during a period when no new facilities for sorting or recycling the waste were opened - which could have been the only explanation for the large changes in the quantities involved.

The ministry's representative found discrepancies in the reports on what was sent from the transfer stations for waste collection in Afula and Petah Tikva - and what was reported as arriving at the Tovlan landfill site. For example, on those days when the examiners arrived after notifying the company in advance, the composition of the garbage was very different than on those days when they arrived without giving advance notice.

Judge Oshrit Rothkopf rejected the claims of the appeal one after another.

As to TMM's claim that part of the waste at Tovlan was turned into compost at a nearby site, and there was no need to pay a fee on such waste, the judge ruled that TMM presented no documentation on any waste being transferred to such a compost site, and in any case that site was so small it was impossible to produce quality compost there that could then be sold.

The judge said it was amazing how the company was able to transform large quantities of waste into "sorting remnants" in a single day without any
additional manpower, overtime hours or additional shifts - and amazingly it
all happened as soon as the landfill fee was instituted.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Duke, Theresa, Brent Borough Council

For queries please contact 0208 937 1281  if the matter is urgent or email
[email address]

 

Theresa

 

 

 

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Brent Borough Council,

Could you please supply correspondence including letters, emails and minutes of meetings of all representations made concerning the Public Realm contract.

Yours faithfully,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Brent Borough Council,

Please find below further advice we have received regarding the statement from Veolia concerning the Nanterre Tribunal ruling:

Veolia wrote about the ruling of the Nanterre Tribunal that:
 there has been no breach of Articles 49 or 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
 there has been no breach of Articles 21 or 46 of the Hague Regulations of 1907
 there has been no violation of relevant provisions of the Hague Regulations, Hague Convention of Geneva Conventions
 Veolia has not been in breach of any ethical rules, codes of ethics or provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Versailles Appeals Court upheld the Nanterre Tribunal ruling that Veolia nor Alstom are violating international law in the case of the JLR.

1. Illegality of the JLR not addressed
The court did not rule on the illegality of the JLR. It did not address the strong legal argument that the Jerusalem light rail violates international law, having been designed by the Israeli authorities to serve the illegal settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, rather than to maintain normal public life or the infrastructure of the civilians living under Israeli occupation.
In a series of confusing, ambiguous and legally questionable statements, the judges “considered” that the occupying power should restore normal public activity in the occupied country, “recognizing” that “the introduction of a public means of transport” could be conducted by an occupying power. But the court failed to address whether the Jerusalem light rail does comply with the scope of such legal responsibilities on occupying powers.
However, there can be no doubt about the light rail’s role in Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. Already in 1980, the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) declared by way of a special law that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.” Further, on the occasion of the official Jerusalem light rail contract-signing ceremony on 17 July 2005, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated that the light rail would “sustain Jerusalem for eternity as the capital of the Jewish people, the united capital of the State of Israel.”
Under international law East Jerusalem is not part of Israel; it was forcibly occupied by Israel in 1967, and remains occupied territory to this day. The status of East Jerusalem as occupied territory has been repeatedly affirmed by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Court of Justice in its 2004 Advisory Opinion on Israel’s wall in the West Bank before construction on the light rail had started. UN bodies, UN officials and the EU have on numerous occasions called on Israel to end the occupation and to immediately halt its settlement expansion.
The Versailles judges failed to explicitly take into account that the light rail facilitates Israel’s settlement expansion and strengthens its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem — acts that have clearly and repeatedly been declared illegal by the unanimous consensus of the international community.
2. The Hague Regulations, Hague Convention of Geneva Conventions
The Versailles Court did confirm that international treaties such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations of 1907 apply to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem.
The Court ruled that, under French law, only states which signed the 1949 Geneva Conventions and 1907 Hague Regulations can be regarded as being bound to the treaty provisions.
It took a highly conservative position that, under French law, the provisions contained in international humanitarian law have no direct effect on private individuals and companies who are not a party to the conflict. Therefore, the Court found that Veolia was not bound by the Geneva Conventions and the 1907 Hague Regulations.
National courts in other countries have made different findings, declaring non-state actors, including companies, liable for violations of the Geneva Conventions.
No breach of ethical rules, codes of ethics or provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Versailles court ruling accepted the plea of Veolia that it was not bound by its own codes of ethics or the UN Global Compact. The compact’s first two principles state that businesses should support and respect the protection of international human rights within their spheres of influence, and make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses. The importance of the Global Compact was explicitly affirmed by UN Special Rapporteur Falk in his 2012 report on the activities of corporations in the occupied Palestinian territories.
But the Versailles court classed these principles as mere aspirations whose “implementation depends solely on corporations’ goodwill.” The Global Compact and the codes of ethics serve as frames of reference, stated the court, and “they merely contain recommendations and rules of conduct and do not create obligations or commitments to third parties who can demand compliance.” Therefore, the Court found Veolia did not breach ethical rules.
Furthermore, the Court ruled that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also not binding for companies.
The fact that Veolia hides behind the Versailles Court ruling reveals that, indeed, it does not take its principles seriously.

Yours faithfully,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Theresa Duke, Brent Borough Council

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 1753311
====================================================

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your request for information received on 4 August 2013. We
aim to respond to your request within 20 working days. If for any reason
we are unable to meet this deadline we will keep you fully informed of the
reasons for this and let you know how long the delay will be. If there is
a fee to be paid before the information can be sent to you we will write
and tell you at the earliest opportunity what the fee will be.

Yours faithfully

Theresa Duke
Phone: 020 8937 1171
[email address]
 

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Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Theresa Duke,

I have not received any response to my request 'for correspondence including letters, emails,and minutes of meetings of all represntations made concerning the Public Realm Contract' . I requested this information on 4th August and expected a response by the 27th August.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Duke, Theresa, Brent Borough Council

Dear Elizabeth Lindsay

According to our system I am not due to response your query until the 3rd of September 2013.

Regards
Theresa Duke

Theresa Duke
Legal & Procurement 
4th Floor N Civic Centre

Tel: 020 8937 1171
07867186717
http://www.brent.gov.uk

This e-mail transmission is intended only for the use of the person(s) to whom it is addressed and may be privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.  If you are not the intended recipient please do not copy or convey this message to any other person but delete this message and notify us via e-mail to [email address].

It shall be understood by the recipient(s) that conclusions, opinion and other information contained in the above e-mail not relating to the official scope of business of London Borough of Brent shall be deemed not to have been given or endorsed by London Borough of Brent.

London Borough of Brent, Legal Services, Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 9HD, Tel:  020 8937 1292, Fax:  020 8937 1313

show quoted sections

Theresa Duke, Brent Borough Council

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 1753311
====================================================

 
 
Dear Ms Lindsay
 
I write with reference to your request “for correspondence including
letters, emails and minutes of meetings of all representations made
concerning the Public Realm Contract”.
 
It would appear that your request for “all representations” could
potentially cover almost all communication the Council has concerning the
Public Realm Contract tender process to date.  On this basis this would
involve locating, retrieving and extracting all correspondence both
internal and external since the tender process commenced.  The Council
estimates that the cost of complying with such request would exceed the
appropriate financial limit as defined in Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limits and Fees) Regulations 2004.  In accordance
with s12 Freedom of Information Act 2000 therefore, the Council is not
required to comply with your request for information. 
 
In order to enable the Council to comply with your request, can I suggest
that you re-submit your request on a more specific and narrower basis.
 
If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review within the next 40 working days by
writing to the FOI Officer at the London Borough of Brent. If, having
exhausted our review procedure, you remain dissatisfied with the handling
of your request or complaint, you will have a right to appeal to the
Information Commissioner at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF (telephone: 0303
123 1113; website [1]www.ico.gov.uk).

As part of our commitment to improve our service to our customers we would
welcome any feedback on the way that we have dealt with your request.

Yours faithfully

Theresa Duke
Phone: 020 8937 1171
[email address]
 

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Dear Duke, Theresa,

In order to narrow the task, please provide correspondence relating Veolia, its activities in Palestine and the Public Realm Contract.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth Lindsay

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dear Brent Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Brent Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Public Realm contract Veolia'.

I requested correspondence relating to Veolia, its activities in Palestine and the Public Realm Contract.

My request narrows search considerably. Previous request considered too broad. I would have expected a reply before the decision being made late September/early October!!!

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Elizabeth Lindsay

FOI, Brent Borough Council

Dear Ms Lindsay

We are sorry for the delay in answering your request. I have asked the relevant departments to respond to your request as soon as possible.

Quite separately we will initiate an Internal Review into why no response has been sent to date.

The timetable for responding to Internal Reviews is 20 working days from complaint, although this can be extended to 40 wd where the issues are complex. Where practicable the review will be undertaken by a senior manager who has not involved in handling the request.

Regards

Stephen Williams

for Brent ITU

Brent Civic Centre
Engineers Way
Wembley HA9 0FJ

020 8937 1426

show quoted sections

Theresa Duke, Brent Borough Council

Brent Council - INFORMATION REQUEST

Our Reference: 1753311
====================================================

Dear Sir/Madam

I write in response to your e.mail of 9th September 2013 in which you make
the following request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
 
 
'please provide correspondence relating Veolia, its activities in
Palestine and the Public Realm Contract'.
 
 
In so far as the Council holds information which involves all three
aspects of your enquiry such information is set out in correspondence
involving the Council’s lawyers and their clients. This information is
legally privileged and is exempt information under Section 42 FOIA and as
such your request for this information is declined.
 
 
The details of the legal provisions are set out below
 
 
Section 42 Legal professional privilege
 
(1)     Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional
privilege or, in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications could be
maintained in legal proceedings is exempt information.
 
There are two categories of LPP: litigation privilege and legal advice
privilege. A communication is protected by legal advice privilege if it is
made confidentially between a client and his lawyer and for the dominant
purpose of seeking or giving legal advice or assistance
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office Guidance Note on S 42 provides
 
 LPP is intended to provide confidentiality between professional legal
advisers and clients to ensure openness between them and safeguard access
to fully informed, realistic and frank legal advice, including potential
weaknesses and counter-arguments. This in turn ensures the administration
of justice. LPP belongs to the client, and material protected by LPP
cannot ordinarily be revealed without the consent of the client, even to a
court.
 
The information you seek falls within legal advice privilege.
 
The public interest test applies to Section 42. The Council’s view is that
the public interest in non-disclosure outweighs the public interest in
disclosure. In reaching that decision the Council has considered the
Information Commissioner’s Guidance on the public interest test regarding
this provision of the Act:
 
‘’The general public interest inherent in the exemption will always be
strong due to the importance of the principle behind LPP: safeguarding
openness in all communications between client and lawyer to ensure access
to full and frank legal advice, which in turn is fundamental to the
administration of justice. The Tribunal recognised this in Bellamy v
Information Commissioner (EA/2005/0023; 4 April 2006), where it said:
“there is a strong element of public interest inbuilt into the privilege
itself. At least equally strong countervailing considerations would need
to be adduced to override that inbuilt public interest”.
 
The point in favour of disclosure is transparency of Council activities.
However, the arguments in favour of non-disclosure are the general public
importance of the principle behind the LPP and the need for clients to be
able to seek and obtain full and frank legal advice on matters.
 
If you are dissatisfied with the response or how the Council has handled
your request you can complain to the Council by writing to the following
address: IT Standards Manager at Brent Civic Centre, Floor 7, Engineers
Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ.  Telephone 020 8937 1402   e-mail
[1][Brent Borough Council request email]. It is the Council’s policy to ensure that, where
practicable, your complaint is dealt with by someone who was not involved
in the original decision.  You also have a right of appeal about our
decision to the Information Commissioner, however, the Information
Commissioner will not normally consider an appeal until you have exhausted
your rights of redress and complaint to the Council. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted as follows:
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF. Telephone:   01625 545 700,
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk
As part of our commitment to improve our service to our customers we would
welcome any feedback on the way that we have dealt with your request.

Yours faithfully

Theresa Duke
Phone: 020 8937 1171
[email address]
 

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communications read in order to secure effective operation of the system
and other lawful purposes.

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1. mailto:[Brent Borough Council request email]

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