Supplier costs

Andrew Montford made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Children, Schools and Families

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.

Andrew Montford

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am interested in the amounts paid to third parties by DCSF. My hope is to receive an electronic breakdown of amounts paid (a) through the department's purchase ledger by supplier and (b) in grants, by grantee.

Notes:
1. I would like the information in electronic format. This should avoid any printing cost issues.
2. In order to avoid your having to collate information from peripheral systems, I am willing to accept information only from your main system (I would like you to advise which system this is). By main system I mean the system that handles the largest part of the department's expenditure. If grants and supplier payments are made through separate systems, then I would like you to choose the main system for each.
3. The information I require for each supplier/grantee is: Name, postcode, amount paid.
4. I would like the information to cover the year 2008/9. I would accept 2007/8 figures if this is not possible.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Montford

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Mr Montford,

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible (where a response is required). For information, the
departmental standard for correspondence received is that responses
should be sent within 15 working days or 20 working days if you are
requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0052133

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Andrew Montford

Dear Sir or Madam,

A couple of thoughts have occurred to me by way of clarification.

Firstly, I would like to receive the information in a format which allows me to further process the data - i.e a spreadsheet or a text file, but NOT a pdf.

Secondly, I would prefer the basis to be invoiced/awarded, rather than cash paid, although the alternative is acceptable.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Montford

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Mr Montford,

I refer to your request received on 11^th June 2009 under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 for an electronic breakdown of amounts paid by the
Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to third parties
during 2008-09. I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 ("the Act").

The Department annually makes over one hundred and thirty thousand
separate payments. The cost threshold will not fully apply in this case;
however, you will appreciate that identifying and considering each payment
to decide if any exemptions apply, will take a considerable time and
resource. It is also not possible to distinguish individual grant payments
from other types of financial transactions without breaching the
disproportionate cost limit. Therefore we will not be able to comply
within the 20 working day deadline, but we will release the data for
commercial suppliers and grants as soon as is practicable.

If you were to make a new request for a narrower category of information
or limit the scope of the enquiry such as payments to contractors only,
or a narrower time period, it may allow us to provide the data sooner,
although I cannot guarantee that this will be the case.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote our reference number 2009/0052133 in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to me within two calendar months of the date of this
letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints/review
procedure.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Whittaker

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING DIVISION
[1]www.dcsf.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0052133.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/

Andrew Montford

Dear Kate

Thanks for your reply, on which I have a few questions.

Firstly, you say that the cost limits will not fully apply. Reading between the lines of the rest of your email though, am I right in thinking that there will be no charge, but it may just take a bit longer than normal? If so, what is your estimate of how long it will take?

Regarding the substance of the query, if grants go through the purchase ledger anyway, that's OK with me. For the moment, a total spend (including grants) per third party would be fine.

I'm not sure what you are referring to about needing to check for exemptions on particular items of expenditure. I'm not asking for particular items of expenditure, just a total per third party. This should be a simple query straight through the purchase ledger. I can't see that any of the likely exemptions (e.g. commercial confidentiality) would apply when the expenditure is subsumed within a total. I'm interested to know if you see this differently.

Thanks again for your reply.

Kind regards

Andrew Montford

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Mr Montford

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number
2009/0061643.

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Many thanks for your email requesting clarification of my previous reply
to your Freedom of Information request.

DCSF does not operate a purchase ledger. All payments to commercial
suppliers, grants, staff and private citizens are made via the same
Accounts Payable system. We have been able to extract some personal data
electronically, however, before we can release the information to you the
data has to be validated manually so as to ensure no information relating
to staff members or private citizens has been included.

We are currently working through this data and aim to have this ready for
release to you by Friday 17th July.

I hope this clarifies the position,

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0061643.

Department for Children, Schools and Families
[1]http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/index.htm

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/index.htm

Andrew Montford

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thanks again for the prompt reply.

When removing this information, could you please simply overwrite the supplier name with the words "Staff" or "Sole trader" as appropriate, leaving the supplier number and amount paid intact. This will mean that the report total is unaffected. I would prefer you to leave the postcode too, but I'm guessing this will not be possible.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Montford

Department for Children, Schools and Families

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Montford,
I refer to your request received on 11^th June 2009 under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 for an electronic breakdown of amounts paid by the
Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to third parties
during 2008-09. I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 ("the Act").

We have now completed our search of the department's Accounts Payable
system. I refer you to previous emails of the 7^th and 9^th July 2009, in
which I stated that although we are able to supply the information you
require, we are unable to provide it in the exact format you requested. A
spreadsheet with the information is attached which we hope you will find
helpful.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote our reference number 2009/0052133 in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to me within two calendar months of the date of this
letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints/review
procedure.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Whittaker

Financial Group

Area F1A

Castle View House

East Lane

Runcorn

Cheshire

WA7 2GJ

[1][email address]

01928 794592

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0061643.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Andrew Montford

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thanks very much for this. Could you please clarify a couple of points

1. What is the basis of accounting - invoices accrued or cash paid?
2. Could you please confirm that only individual suppliers have been removed (i.e. partnerships are retained).

In addition, I asked that individual suppliers be left in, but with their names and postcodes redacted. Could you please supply this missing data.

Thanks

Andrew Montford

Department for Children, Schools and Families

Dear Andrew

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number
2009/0064743.

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0870 0002288
www.dcsf.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Department for Children, Schools and Families

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Montford,

Thank you for your email of the 17 July 2009 requesting clarification of the data we provided in response to your Freedom of
Information request.

The financial data we have provided is the amount of money each supplier, as listed on the spreadsheet, has received from
DCSF during the financial year 2008-2009. To the best of my knowledge and belief only individual's details were redacted
from the list. At your request I have added another sheet to the original spreadsheet with the amount paid to those
individuals during the financial year 2008-09.

I hope this clarifies the position,

regards

............................................................................................................................

Kate Whittaker

Finance Group

Area 1a Castle View House

Tel: 01928 794592
[1][email address]

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2009/0064743.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://[email address]/
http://[email address]/