Report of Melanie Dudley

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

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

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