Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead/Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund investments

Edward Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

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 Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or investment being held.

Ideally this information would be broken down into the different categories, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund holds.

2) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently invests in (this should be covered in the above question). This list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each company.

3) Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the Pension Fund holds.

4) I would like to receive this information in an unlocked excel sheet without protected cells (.xls). If you have to password protect the excel sheet, can you also provide the password to the excel sheet. When considering the request for this data in excel format, please refer to Innes v Information Commissioner [2014] EWCA Civ 1086 (i), which allows a requestor to express a preference for communication by a particular means, specifically: "an applicant's right to choose to have information provided to him in electronic form extends to a right to choose the software format in which it is embodied." (ii)

I would like to receive the information in electronic format if possible. If one part of the request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need further clarification, please contact me by email.

As examples of the kind of information I would like, please see the information released in excel format by East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council:

East Sussex County Council:

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

West Sussex County Council:

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

Many public authorities release their contracts, minutes and other information of interactions with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public's interest. The public have an interest in knowing what the Pension Fund is investing in, the terms of contracts and the minutes of meeting with public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:

* When these confidentially agreements were agreed
* All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed
* The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements.

I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. I would also point to the Information Commissioner's guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: 'Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.'(ii)

Finally, within the law of confidence these is also a public interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly to charge its stakeholders.

I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive fees, and understand that under the act, I am entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Jones

(i) Innes v Information Commissioner [2014] EWCA Civ 1086 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...
(ii) Section 11 FOIA and the Form of a Request https://panopticonblog.com/2014/08/01/se...
(ii) 'Freedom of Information Awareness Guidance 5: Commercial Interests' Office of the Information Commissioner, Page 10, https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

foi, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Dear Mr Jones
 
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your information request. It has
been allocated reference number FOI70501.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows for 20 working days to process
requests for information. This period expires on 22/6/2017.
 
Yours Sincerely
 
Angelica Popa
Information Governance Apprentice
Information Governance Team
Corporate & Community Services
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
St.Ives Road
Maidenhead
SL6 1RF
01628 685806
Website: [1]http://www.rbwm.gov.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @RBWM
Like us on Facebook
 
 
 

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foi, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

1 Attachment

For the attention of Mr Edward Jones

 

Dear Mr Jones

 

I am writing to respond to your information request FOI70501 the details
of which are as follows:

 

Request

 

1) The full details of what the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund
currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class
or investment being held.

 

Ideally this information would be broken down into the different
categories, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash
Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest
Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities
Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund
holds.

 

2) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently
invests in (this should be covered in the above question). This list
should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each
company.

 

3) Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the
Pension Fund holds.

 

4) I would like to receive this information in an unlocked excel sheet
without protected cells (.xls). If you have to password protect the excel
sheet, can you also provide the password to the excel sheet. When
considering the request for this data in excel format, please refer to
Innes v Information Commissioner [2014] EWCA Civ 1086 (i), which allows a
requestor to express a preference for communication by a particular means,
specifically: "an applicant's right to choose to have information provided
to him in electronic form extends to a right to choose the software format
in which it is embodied." (ii)

 

Response

 

Please refer to the attached.

 

 

If you are unhappy with the information we have provided in response to
your request please write to:

 

Information Governance Manager

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Town Hall, St Ives Road

Maidenhead

SL6 1RF

or send an e-mail to [1][RBWM request email]

 

Yours sincerely

 

Angelica Popa

Information Governance Apprentice

Corporate & Community Services

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

St.Ives Road

Maidenhead

SL6 1RF

01628 685806

 

 

Website: [2]http://www.rbwm.gov.uk

Follow us on Twitter: [3]@RBWM

Like us on [4]Facebook

 

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[RBWM request email]
2. http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/
3. http://twitter.com/rbwm
4. http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001yYr7w9vXM...
5. http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/