Redacted internal Audit & Officer Declarations of Interest

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, City of York Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear City of York Council,

In December 2017, on the Audit and Governance Committee agenda, the Internal audit company (Veritau Limited) submitted its usual Fraud and Counter Fraud Report. In particular, the subject of this request, the Internal Audit of the City of York’s fees and charges. The final report had been completed on October 17th.

Evidence

Agenda front Sheet -

http://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/g...

Internal Audit on Fees and charges

http://democracy.york.gov.uk/documents/s...

To understand if proper governance arrangements had been in place, I request access to the recorded information held by City of York Council and Veritau Limited in regard to the following three matters:

1. The s151 Officer is responsible for the fees and charges in general, policies and collection. He is also a director of the private company Veritau Limited that conducts the audits. The role of Mr Floyd in the debate at the Audit & Governance Committee on 6 December 2017 was unclear to members of the public, i.e. if he was representing CYC as s151 officer, deputy Chief Executive and Corporate Director of Customer and Corporate Services or director of Veritau Limited. This conflict of interest had not been declared at the meeting to members of the committee or members of the public. To my knowledge this interest has never been declared at any meeting regarding Veritau Limited.

Please provide

a) all declarations of interests of Mr Floyd regarding Veritau Limited and the relevant recorded declaration in the minutes

b) the relevant CYC policies that regulate declarations of interests of officers during meetings

c) All correspondence between any councillor, CYC management and the internal and external auditors regarding Mr Floyd’s continued reticence in declaring his interest in these and similar matters.

2. The agenda had a redacted item on it, but there was no decision taken by members to exclude press or public from the meeting or from selected information.

a) Could you provide the relevant CYC policies that excludes the Audit & Governance Committee from having a standard item to exclude press and public.

b) As no decision by councillors was recorded on the day, could you provide the information as to who took, and when, the decision to redact and publish the redacted report.

c) Could you provide the relevant rules of procedures and policies that exempt the Audit and Governance Committee from taking the decisions to exclude press and public in public during or at the beginning of its meetings?

d) Could you also provide the relevant CYC Guidelines for staff members on how to redact information for public disclosure and advise if there is a central logging system and or authorised officer responsible to ensure consistency in redaction and redaction processes across committees?

e) As members have shown recently, it is they who decide if redacted reports are to be discussed in open and indeed published. Please therefore provide all correspondence addressing this issue from and between Councillors, Democratic, legal and statutory officers.

3. The specific audit has an entirely redacted section regarding one particular fee charged. Because there was no statutory exclusion of press and public, members of the public remain in the dark not only as to what the sensitive fee is, but also ask why it needed to be redacted in its entirety. Given the continued manner by CYC and the internal auditors to redact as much as possible rather than as much as is necessary, it was surprising this was permitted. Consequently, may I ask for the following regarding this audit:

a) The emails and dates on which both the redacted and unredacted Audit was sent to Councillors

b) All correspondence between every Councillor and internal auditors, particularly Max and Officers on this audit, that addressed both the content and the publication of this audit. It is most concerning that even the particular fee at the centre of this redacted audit was withheld, as well as all the actions. Again, this refers back to CYC suppressing this information, for reasons we are unaware (corruption, fraud, overcharging?)

c) Please provide an unredacted version of the audit making quite sure every page is presented.

d) Finally, as the fees and charges actions over the other 5 matters were supposed to be resolved by last February (hence this is now a historical matter as interpreted by management) please provide details of these fees and charges and how they have been justified, the new methodologies and adjusted to address the auditor’s concerns.

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your email. Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

For information:

* The timescale for responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) requests is up to 20 working days. We will contact you promptly if we need you to clarify your request or an extension to complete a public interest test.

o The timescale for responding to requests for a review, for FOIA or EIR responses, is up to 20 working days. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

* The timescale for responding to your rights in relation to personal data eg: subject access to records (SAR) request, is up to 1 month. We will contact you promptly if we require further information from you, or an extension.

o The timescale for responding to requests for a review, of responses to your rights regarding personal data, is up to 1 month. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Or email: [email address]<mailto:[email address]> (please include your telephone number in your email)

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Help protect the environment! - please don't print this email unless you really need to.

show quoted sections

Dear City of York Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of City of York Council's handling of my FOI request 'Redacted internal Audit & Officer Declarations of Interest'.

I have had no response to this foi, which is not in accordance with legislation. Please address your legal obligations .

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your email. Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

For information:

* The timescale for responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) requests is up to 20 working days. We will contact you promptly if we need you to clarify your request or an extension to complete a public interest test.

o The timescale for responding to requests for a review, for FOIA or EIR responses, is up to 20 working days. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

* The timescale for responding to your rights in relation to personal data eg: subject access to records (SAR) request, is up to 1 month. We will contact you promptly if we require further information from you, or an extension.

o The timescale for responding to requests for a review, of responses to your rights regarding personal data, is up to 1 month. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Or email: [email address]<mailto:[email address]> (please include your telephone number in your email)

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Help protect the environment! - please don't print this email unless you really need to.

show quoted sections

Dear [email address],
Pl note that I misread, the reply is due on the 7th December, I look forward to seeing a full response by then.

Yours sincerely,

Gwen Swinburn

Dear City of York Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews. You have not replied to this email which is clearly on the public interest. You have ignored it perhaps erroneously trying to dispatch it as ‘vexatious’.
This is a serious public interest equest addressing matters including the conduct of City of York meetings, who has authority to decide if a paper is to be withheld in whole or in part ( clue, it’s the Members) and other issues.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

foi@york.gov.uk, City of York Council

Thank you for your email. Please note this is an automatically generated receipt to let you know we have received your email.

For information:

* The timescale for responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) requests is up to 20 working days. We will contact you promptly if we need you to clarify your request or an extension to complete a public interest test.

o The timescale for responding to requests for a review, for FOIA or EIR responses, is up to 20 working days. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

* The timescale for responding to your rights in relation to personal data eg: subject access to records (SAR) request, is up to 1 month. We will contact you promptly if we require further information from you, or an extension.

o The timescale for responding to requests for a review, of responses to your rights regarding personal data, is up to 1 month. You are also able to contact the Information Commissioner, contact details below:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Or email: [email address]<mailto:[email address]> (please include your telephone number in your email)

Regards
Customer Feedback Team

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Help protect the environment! - please don't print this email unless you really need to.

show quoted sections

Gwen Swinburn left an annotation ()

I have sent this to the ICO copied to Mary Weastell and key Councillors

Dear Ico

Please be advised that CYC has ignored this request they have given no reason. Considering this is the same officer who was the subject of a public interest report, and the staff who ignore my Fois are his direct reports and were also subject of the public interest report this is very serious.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

https://twitter.com/gswinburn/status/108...

Regards

Gwen Swinburn left an annotation ()

Ico case reference FS50811732

Gwen Swinburn left an annotation ()

Ico in your deliberations please be advised of this Yorkshire Post article explaining how the Council in York is able to raise charges from the ‘wealthy’ citizens of York. https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opi...

The fact that they are withholding even the title of one of the charges for risk of reputational damage should strengthen my case in the public interest.ot looks as if they are making so much profit that the S151 thinks the profiteering would cause outrage, the fees that immediately come to mind are car parking charges and less well known, the outrageous charges for registering wedding venues.