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Report of Melanie Dudley

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Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council,

Cabinet Member Richard Marshall wrote to me on 13th September, 2016:

"I'm being asked if you can tweet that the meet was cancelled tomorrow by Steve E because the report he was given about officers involvement re Wragge was a 'whitewash which he literally threw out'."

"It was Imelda that did the report."

He later clarified that by "Imelda" he meant former Assistant Chief Executive, Melanie Dudley.

Please forward an unredacted copy of:

(a) the original report which Cllr Eling took exception to; and

(b) a copy of each and every amended version of the revised report.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Saunders

Sandwell MBC, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Mr Julian Saunders
 
 
Your request for information has been passed to an investigating officer.
 
Your reference is FS-Case-59786530
 
 
Thank you
 
Sandwell MBC

Sandwell MBC, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Julian Saunders,
 
Information Request - FS-Case-59786530
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. In response to your
request I can confirm the following:
 
 
Dear Mr Saunders, Thank you for your Freedom of information request, in
which you asked for: “Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Cabinet
Member Richard Marshall wrote to me on 13th September, 2016: "I'm being
asked if you can tweet that the meet was cancelled tomorrow by Steve E
because the report he was given about officers involvement re Wragge was a
'whitewash which he literally threw out'." "It was Imelda that did the
report." He later clarified that by "Imelda" he meant former Assistant
Chief Executive, Melanie Dudley. Please forward an unredacted copy of: (a)
the original report which Cllr Eling took exception to; and (b) a copy of
each and every amended version of the revised report.” The Council is of
the opinion that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows Public
Bodies to refuse to disclose information if it is believed to be covered
by one of the exemptions as outlined in the FOIA. In this instance, the
Council believes that Section 30(1) of the FOIA (Investigations and
Proceedings conducted by Public Authorities) applies and as such the
Council will not be providing the information requested. The application
of S30(1) is subject to the public interest test. The Council is content
that the public interest in maintaining non-disclosure is met in so far as
people who have provided information that contributed to the report that
is then placed into the public domain, will, in all likelihood, refuse to
co-operate in future investigations. This will also have a negative impact
on future investigations carried out by the Local Authority, if people
know that the information provided will be disclosed.
 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
request, and should be addressed to:
 
Information Management Unit
Sandwell Council House
Freeth Street
Oldbury
West Midlands
B69 3DE
 
Email – [Sandwell Council request email]
 
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Sandwell MBC

Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Report of Melanie Dudley'.

It is not appropriate that SMBC continues to try and conceal information concerning the Wragge Report.

The Wragge Report was obtained at colossal expense to the taxpayer. Cllrs Eling and Marshall were determined to force disclosure of same into the public domain. Indeed they wrote to me on 18th January, 2017 asking me whether I had seen the disclosed report. When I replied in the affirmative they wrote "Good. we've had to force the release of this."

Mr Jan Britton decided to spend another huge tranche of taxpayers' money seeking the legal opinion of James Goudie QC who stated that the Wragge Report should be made public.

As in the original request, Cllrs Eling and Marshall specifically leaked the existence of the further report to me to put in the public domain. It is grossly inequitable for SMBC to force the public release of a report and then try and conceal further documentation related to it. The contents of the report are of substantial public interest as they relate directly to issues of poor governance within SMBC.

Cllrs Eling and Marshall said the subsequent report was a "whitewash" and caused Cllr Eling to arrange to take action against the then Assistant Chief Executive which resulted in her departure from the Council with a very large pay-off from the taxpayer. It is in the public interest to know what was in the "whitewash" report that caused such large expense to the taxpayer.

It would appear from what Cllrs Eling and Marshall said in writing that a meeting was cancelled because the Leader was displeased with the "whitewash" report and that he ordered another one to be prepared. It is clearly in the public interest to see the re-drafted report too as it was prepared with taxpayer funds by public servants and relates directly to issues of poor governance within the authority.

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,

Julian Saunders

Sandwell MBC, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Mr Julian Saunders
 
 
Your request for information has been passed to an investigating officer.
 
Your reference is FS-Case-63810300
 
 
Thank you
 
Sandwell MBC

Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council,

Further to my letter of 13th December, 2017 may I please now hear from you?

Yours faithfully,

Julian Saunders

Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council,

You have failed to deal with this matter within the statutory time limits and so I have referred this to the ICO.

It seems that SMBC have deliberately let the Standards Complaint against Cllr Marshall lapse so that it cannot proceed after May 3rd. Accordingly there is no reason at all why you shouldn't now answer this Request forthwith.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Saunders

Sandwell MBC, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Julian Saunders,
 
Information Request - FS-Case-63810300
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. In response to your
request I can confirm the following:
 
 
Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Cabinet Member Richard
Marshall wrote to me on 13th September, 2016: "I'm being asked if you can
tweet that the meet was cancelled tomorrow by Steve E because the report
he was given about officers involvement re Wragge was a 'whitewash which
he literally threw out'." "It was Imelda that did the report." He later
clarified that by "Imelda" he meant former Assistant Chief Executive,
Melanie Dudley. Please forward an unredacted copy of: (a) the original
report which Cllr Eling took exception to; and (b) a copy of each and
every amended version of the revised report. Yours faithfully, In regard
to (a); I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by
the Authority, however we believe that S30(1) of the FOIA applies and that
the report was produced as a result of an investigation undertaken by the
Council and as such is covered by S30(1). In applying Section 30(1) a
Public Interest Test is required. I believe that while Councils, as all
public bodies, are required to be open and transparent, there remain times
when information collected during internal investigations are not placed
in the public domain. By disclosing internal investigations the Council
believes that this would prejudice future investigations as people will be
less willing to provide information if they knew it would be disclosed
into a public forum. Further, the information within the reports contain
personal information relating to officers of the Council. The FoIA allows
the Authority to refuse to disclose information if it considers it to be
personal information. The Council considers that the information requested
also falls under S40 of the FoIA, and therefore will not be disclosed. In
regard to (b); I can confirm that no amendments were made to the report.
 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
request, and should be addressed to:
 
Information Management Unit
Sandwell Council House
Freeth Street
Oldbury
West Midlands
B69 3DE
 
Email – [Sandwell Council request email]
 
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Sandwell MBC
For your information residents can now use their MySandwell account to log
many Sandwell Council requests online, including reporting missed
collections; fly tipping and pot holes. Residents can also check their
council tax balance on MyAccounts and find ‘MyNearest’ on their
personalised homepage. For information please go
to [1]www.sandwell.gov.uk/mysandwell.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/mysandwell

Julian Saunders

Dear Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council,

There has been colossal misuse of public money here relating to the Wragge Report and then the decision to remove Ms Dudley from post. It is clearly in the public interest here that the facts are put in the public domain.

The report or reports were funded by the taxpayer and the public have the right to see the original and the amendment(s).

Yours faithfully,

Julian Saunders

Sandwell MBC, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Mr Julian Saunders
 
 
Your request for information has been passed to an investigating officer.
 
Your reference is FS-Case-81388715
 
 
Thank you
 
Sandwell MBC
For your information residents can now use their MySandwell account to log
many Sandwell Council requests online, including reporting missed
collections; fly tipping and pot holes. Residents can also check their
council tax balance on MyAccounts and find ‘MyNearest’ on their
personalised homepage. For information please go
to [1]www.sandwell.gov.uk/mysandwell.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/mysandwell

Sandwell MBC, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Julian Saunders,
 
Information Request - FS-Case-81388715
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. In response to your
request I can confirm the following:
 
 
You have submitted a request to review the council's response to your
initial FoI request. There has been colossal misuse of public money here
relating to the Wragge Report and then the decision to remove Ms Dudley
from post. It is clearly in the public interest here that the facts are
put in the public domain. The report or reports were funded by the
taxpayer and the public have the right to see the original and the
amendment(s). Response In our initial response to you we quoted S30(1) of
the Freedom of Information Act 1998. I have reviewed your request and our
response. It is my opinion that the application of S30(1) was correct and
therefore I uphold the application of S30(1) and the Local Authority will
not be disclosing the information you have requested. In regard to part b
of your request, where the local authority stated that no amendments were
made to the report. Following further investigations, I would like to take
this opportunity to provide further clarification. There are no other
versions of the report available however I understand that some minor
amendments were made, and these amendments (which did not affect the
substance of the report) were made to the source document.
 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
request, and should be addressed to:
 
Information Management Unit
Sandwell Council House
Freeth Street
Oldbury
West Midlands
B69 3DE
 
Email – [Sandwell Council request email]
 
If you are not content with the outcome of an internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
 
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Sandwell MBC
For your information residents can now use their MySandwell account to log
many Sandwell Council requests online, including reporting missed
collections; fly tipping and pot holes. Residents can also check their
council tax balance on MyAccounts and find ‘MyNearest’ on their
personalised homepage. For information please go
to [1]www.sandwell.gov.uk/mysandwell.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/mysandwell

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

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