Support provided to people with No Recourse to Public Funds

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Bromley Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by (details)

Dear Bromley Borough Council,

Please provide the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I am seeking information about the support provided by the council to people who have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status, assigned to those subject to immigration control (e.g. those on temporary visas, those with a pending visa application, those who do not have any immigration status), which excludes them from mainstream welfare benefits and housing support. People with NRPF are entitled to support from Local Authorities in certain circumstances to avoid destitution, where there is a child in need, and / or because of complex health needs (under Children Act 1989, Care Act 2014 and / or Human Rights Act).

I am requesting data from two-time periods (January-June 2017 and January-June 2018). I am aware that in cases where gathering data to fully respond to a Freedom of Information request would exceed the allowable time limit or cost, authorities are not required to work up to these limits (that is, they are not required to partially respond and provide as much data as the limit allows). However, I ask that if providing data for both time periods will exceed the limit, that you please just provide data for the single time period January-June 2018, in accordance with Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 that states authorities have a duty to provide assistance to those making a request.

I suggest this FOI request is forwarded to the council’s dedicated NRPF Team, or if your council does not have a dedicated NRPF Team, to Children’s Services. Many thanks in advance for your assistance with this matter.

Please provide data for the following questions:

1. How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 did the council receive from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status in the following six-month periods:

a. January – June 2018
b. January – June 2017

2. How many Child in Need Assessments were conducted by the council in response to requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status in the following six-month periods:

a. January – June 2018
b. January – June 2017

3. How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status were granted (that is, the family went on to receive social services support) in the following six-month periods:

a. January – June 2018
b. January – June 2017

4. How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 from families where the parent had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status were refused for the following reasons, during the period January-June 2018:

a. The parents’ immigration status
b. The family was not ordinarily resident in the borough
c. The family was deemed not destitute / the child(ren) was not ‘in need’ under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

BromleyCorporateCustomerServices,

Thank you for your email, please be aware that any future FOI requests can
be requested on line via the following link:
www.bromley.gov.uk/FreedomofInformation

 

 

From: Anna Mulcahy [mailto:[FOI #530584 email]]
Sent: 06 November 2018 14:51
To: FOI requests at Bromley Borough Council
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Support provided to people with
No Recourse to Public Funds

 

Dear Bromley Borough Council,

Please provide the following information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

I am seeking information about the support provided by the council to
people who have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status, assigned to
those subject to immigration control (e.g. those on temporary visas, those
with a pending visa application, those who do not have any immigration
status), which excludes them from mainstream welfare benefits and housing
support. People with NRPF are entitled to support from Local Authorities
in certain circumstances to avoid destitution, where there is a child in
need, and / or because of complex health needs (under Children Act 1989,
Care Act 2014 and / or Human Rights Act).

I am requesting data from two-time periods (January-June 2017 and
January-June 2018). I am aware that in cases where gathering data to fully
respond to a Freedom of Information request would exceed the allowable
time limit or cost, authorities are not required to work up to these
limits (that is, they are not required to partially respond and provide as
much data as the limit allows). However, I ask that if providing data for
both time periods will exceed the limit, that you please just provide data
for the single time period January-June 2018, in accordance with Section
16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 that states authorities have a
duty to provide assistance to those making a request.

I suggest this FOI request is forwarded to the council’s dedicated NRPF
Team, or if your council does not have a dedicated NRPF Team, to
Children’s Services. Many thanks in advance for your assistance with this
matter.

Please provide data for the following questions:

1. How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
did the council receive from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse
to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status in the following six-month periods:

a. January – June 2018
b. January – June 2017

2. How many Child in Need Assessments were conducted by the council in
response to requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF)
status in the following six-month periods:

a. January – June 2018
b. January – June 2017

3. How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF)
status were granted (that is, the family went on to receive social
services support) in the following six-month periods:

a. January – June 2018
b. January – June 2017

4. How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
from families where the parent had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF)
status were refused for the following reasons, during the period
January-June 2018:

a. The parents’ immigration status
b. The family was not ordinarily resident in the borough
c. The family was deemed not destitute / the child(ren) was not ‘in need’
under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #530584 email]

Is [Bromley Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Bromley Borough Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

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[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
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Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

CYP Freedom of Information, Bromley Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Requester

 

Further to your recent FOI enquiry, having completed my enquiries, please
refer to your original email below for response(s) highlighted in blue.

 

We trust this completes your FOI enquiry which has now been closed.

 

Thank you for your request.

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

FOI Co-ordinator

Education, Care and Health Services

London Borough of Bromley

[1]www.bromley.gov.uk

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please note:

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities.  Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Sec
(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held.  The second duty at Sec (1)(b) is to disclose information
which is permitted to the public domain and that has been confirmed as
being held.  Where exemptions are relied upon s17 of FOIA requires that we
provide the requester with a notice which: a) states fact b) specifies
exemption(s) in question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be
apparent) why exemption applies.

 

Section 12 (1) of the Freedom of the Freedom of Information Act states
that a public authority is not obliged to:…. “comply with a request for
information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the
request would exceed the appropriate time limit of 18 hours of an officers
time to manually review records, retrieve and collate the data which we
are not obliged to do under the act if to do so would exceed the 18 hour
time limit.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your FOI request, you have
the right to ask for us to conduct an internal review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of our internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The information Commissioner can be contact on 0303 123 1113 or
01625 545 745.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

From: Anna Mulcahy [mailto:[FOI #530584 email]]

Sent: 06 November 2018 14:51

To: FOI requests at Bromley Borough Council

Subject: Freedom of Information request - Support provided to people with
No Recourse to Public Funds

 

Dear Bromley Borough Council,

 

Please provide the following information under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

 

I am seeking information about the support provided by the council to
people who have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status, assigned to
those subject to immigration control (e.g. those on temporary visas, those
with a pending visa application, those who do not have any immigration
status), which excludes them from mainstream welfare benefits and housing
support. People with NRPF are entitled to support from Local Authorities
in certain circumstances to avoid destitution, where there is a child in
need, and / or because of complex health needs (under Children Act 1989,
Care Act 2014 and / or Human Rights Act).

 

I am requesting data from two-time periods (January-June 2017 and
January-June 2018).

 

I am aware that in cases where gathering data to fully respond to a
Freedom of Information request would exceed the allowable time limit or
cost, authorities are not required to work up to these limits (that is,
they are not required to partially respond and provide as much data as the
limit allows).

 

However, I ask that if providing data for both time periods will exceed
the limit, that you please just provide data for the single time period
January-June 2018, in accordance with Section 16 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 that states authorities have a duty to provide
assistance to those making a request.

 

I suggest this FOI request is forwarded to the council’s dedicated NRPF
Team, or if your council does not have a dedicated NRPF Team, to
Children’s Services. Many thanks in advance for your assistance with this
matter.

 

Please provide data for the following questions:

 

1.         How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children
Act 1989 did the council receive from families where the parent(s) had ‘No
Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) status in the following six-month
periods:

 

(a)        January – June 2018

 

Response:        London Borough of Bromley (LBB) does not collect this
data. Also, referrals can have safeguarding concerns as a lead and NRPF
concerns are found during assessments.

 

(b)        January – June 2017

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data. Also, referrals can have
safeguarding concerns as a lead and NRPF concerns are found during
assessments.

 

 

2.         How many Child in Need Assessments were conducted by the
council in response to requests for support under Section 17 of the
Children Act 1989 from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to
Public Funds’ (NRPF) status in the following six-month periods:

 

(a)        January – June 2018

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.  Also, referrals can have
safeguarding concerns as a lead and NRPF concerns are found during
assessments.

 

(b)        January – June 2017

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.  Also, referrals can have
safeguarding concerns as a lead and NRPF concerns are found during
assessments.

 

 

3.         How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children
Act 1989 from families where the parent(s) had ‘No Recourse to Public
Funds’ (NRPF) status were granted (that is, the family went on to receive
social services support) in the following six-month periods:

 

(a)        January – June 2018

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.  Also, referrals can have
safeguarding concerns as a lead and NRPF concerns are found during
assessments.

 

(b)        January – June 2017

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.  Also, referrals can have
safeguarding concerns as a lead and NRPF concerns are found during
assessments.

 

 

4.         How many requests for support under Section 17 of the Children
Act 1989 from families where the parent had ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’
(NRPF) status were refused for the following reasons, during the period
January-June 2018:

 

(a)        The parents’ immigration status

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.

 

(b)        The family was not ordinarily resident in the borough

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.

 

(c)        The family was deemed not destitute / the child(ren) was not
‘in need’ under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

 

Response:        LBB does not collect this data.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Anna Mulcahy

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[FOI #530584 email]

Is [Bromley Borough Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Bromley Borough Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:

[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

Dear FOI Co-ordinator at Bromley Council,

I submitted an FOI request (reference number 530584) on the 6th November 2018. I received a response today (19th November 2018). Many thanks for responding promptly however unfortunately the response I received was misleading.

The FOI I submitted on the 6th November requested data on Bromley councils NRPF (No Recourse to Public Funds) caseload. That is: how many potentially destitute families and individuals with NRPF status has the council received referrals from, how many did they grant support for, how many were assessed etc. over specific time periods. I previously submitted an FOI on the 21st May 2018, asking for similar data on the NRPF caseload, although this request covered a different timeline.

Regarding the FOI I submitted in May, I was grateful to receive a response on the 21st June containing detailed data on the NRPF caseload of Bromley council. The response provided data on:
-the number of requests from families with NRPF that Bromley council received from December 2017-May 2018
-the number of requests from individuals with NRPF that Bromley council received from December 2017-May 2018
-the number of Child in Need assessments carried out for families with NRPF from December 2017-May 2018
-the number of Human Rights assessments carried out for families and/or individuals with NRPF from December 2017-May 2018
-the number of families and individuals with NRPF who were granted support by Bromley council from December 2017-May 2018
-the number of families with NRPF who had their request for support rejected by Bromley council on the basis that the family did not live in the borough from December 2017 - May 2018

As you can see, the data that Bromley council provided on its NRPF caseload in June 2018 was extensive and detailed, which I was very grateful for.

However, the response I received today for my request submitted on the 6th November 2018 contained a refusal to supply any of the requested data on the council's NRPF caseload on the basis that "LBB does not collect this data". To be clear, the FOI submitted on 6th November 2018 requested the same type of data that I requested in May 2018, for which I received a detailed response, but simply referred to a different time period (although there was slight time overlap in the time periods of the two FOIs).

I find the response that I received today that claimed Bromley council do not collect NRPF data extremely concerning. I am forced to conclude from this that either the council is being misleading in the response to this FOI, or that the data supplied in May was inaccurate. Given the specificity provided by the council in the response to the first FOI in May I find it difficult to imagine that this data was not based on a genuine date set held by the council.

As such, I am requesting that the council reassesses its refusal to provide me with a response for the FOI I submitted on 6th November 2018 in light of the fact that the evidence strongly suggests the council does in fact collect this data.

I request that you please confirm within the next four working days that the council will be providing a revised response to my FOI request, unless of course there is a legitimate reason for why the council had access to the data on its NRPF caseload just five months ago but now does not? If I do not receive a confirmation that this is happening within four working days I will request an internal review. If I do not receive an adequate response to my FOI request within 20 working days of the 6th November, with the data that the council has previously demonstrated it does collect, I will request an internal review.

Finally, I would be happy to share with you the response I received in May 2018 demonstrating the council does collect this data if that is of use to you.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Mulcahy

CYP Freedom of Information, Bromley Borough Council

Dear Ms Mulcahy

 

FOI 15325 Mulcahy – Freedom of Information Request

Subject:  Support Provided to People with No Recourse to Public Funds 
(Follow-up Enquiry)

 

Thank you very much for your follow-up enquiry, received yesterday.  We
can confirm that it has been passed on to the responding officers for
review and feedback and we will get back to you as soon as is possible
before the original statutory deadline for this FOI request.

 

With kind regards.

 

 

 

FOI Co-ordinator

Education, Care and Health Services

London Borough of Bromley

[1]www.bromley.gov.uk

 

 

show quoted sections

CYP Freedom of Information, Bromley Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Requester

 

Further to your recent follow-up FOI enquiry, having completed my
enquiries, please see response highlighted in blue below.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOI RESPONSE:

 

The information provided in May 2018 was requesting figures in the last
six months. At that time referrals and assessment requests were low which
meant we were able to look back over the last months.

Since May 2018, our referrals have rapidly increased. Also, there has been
an increase on cases going through ‘Referral & Assessment team’ where NRPF
is found to be a secondary concern, this is why we cannot states how many
assessments have been carried as some families are provided support some
months later when their case is in another team.

 

The new FOI has required figures for last year and early this year;
however, we do not record such data on how many families are assessed or
how many are refused – although, we do collect data on how many families
we were/are supporting at any time; however, this data was not requested.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

We trust this completes your FOI enquiry which has now been closed.

 

Thank you for your request.

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

FOI Co-ordinator

Education, Care and Health Services

London Borough of Bromley

[1]www.bromley.gov.uk

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please note:

Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) places two duties
on public authorities.  Unless exemptions apply, the first duty at Sec
(1)(a) is to confirm or deny whether the information specified in a
request is held.  The second duty at Sec (1)(b) is to disclose information
which is permitted to the public domain and that has been confirmed as
being held.  Where exemptions are relied upon s17 of FOIA requires that we
provide the requester with a notice which: a) states fact b) specifies
exemption(s) in question and c) states (if that would not otherwise be
apparent) why exemption applies.

 

Section 12 (1) of the Freedom of the Freedom of Information Act states
that a public authority is not obliged to:…. “comply with a request for
information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the
request would exceed the appropriate time limit of 18 hours of an officers
time to manually review records, retrieve and collate the data which we
are not obliged to do under the act if to do so would exceed the 18 hour
time limit.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your FOI request, you have
the right to ask for us to conduct an internal review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of our internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The information Commissioner can be contact on 0303 123 1113 or
01625 545 745.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Bromley Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Bromley Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Support provided to people with No Recourse to Public Funds'.

On the 6th November I submitted an FOI requesting data on the NRPF caseload of Bromley council. I requested data on:

- The number of referrals the council received from families with NRPF status, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

- The number of assessments conducted by the councils for families with NRPF status, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

- The number of referrals from families with NRPF that were granted by the council, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

Bromley denied my request for all of the data on the basis that "LBB does not collect this data".

On the 21st May 2018 I submitted an FOI request to LBB requesting data on the NRPF caseload of Bromley council. I requested data on, among other things, the following:

- The number of referrals the council received from families with NRPF status, from Dec 2017-May 2018

- The number of assessments conducted by the councils for families with NRPF status, from Dec 2017-May 2018

- The number of referrals from families with NRPF that were granted by the council, from Dec 2017-May 2018

In response to the FOI submitted in May 2018, LBB provided detailed data on these three points. The May response stated that LBB had received 18 referrals from families with NRPF, had conducted 15 assessments and had granted 2 of these families with NRPF support.

As you can see, there is a discrepancy with these responses. Both FOIs are requesting the same type of data and refer to time periods that overlap considerably. In May, LBB provided the data in detail. However, in November LBB claimed that this data was not collected.

I followed-up with LBB to request a clarification for this discrepancy, however their response was unsatisfactory. For this reason, I am requesting an internal review.

Below is the response from LBB (in quotations) to my request for them to clarify the discrepancy, with my comments (not in quotations) explaining why I felt the reason they provided was unsatisfactory.

LBB: "The information provided in May 2018 was requesting figures in the last six months. At that time referrals and assessment requests were low which meant we were able to look back over the last months. Since May 2018, our referrals have rapidly increased."

My response: In May 2018, LBB provided data from Dec 17-May 18, but in November 2018 refused to provide data ("because they do not collect it") from Jan-Jun 18. These time periods significantly overlap. The claim that an increase in caseload from May 2018 onwards prevented them from being able to access data from Jan-Jun 2018, when they had already provide data from Dec 2017-May, is plainly invalid. It seems extremely unlikely that LBB could access data from the time period Dec 2017-May 2018, but not Jan-June 2018. Furthermore, a rapid increase in caseload following May 2018 is not a legitimate reason to refuse to provide data that LBB provided previously and, moreover, data that referred mostly to time period preceding May 2018 so wouldn't have been largely affected by systems change post-May.

LBB: "Also, there has been an increase on cases going through ‘Referral & Assessment team’ where NRPF is found to be a secondary concern, this is why we cannot states how many assessments have been carried as some families are provided support some months later when their case is in another team."

My response: Here LBB has stated that there has been "an increase" in cases going through the 'Referral & Assessment team', which suggested that in the past, some cases did go through that system, although this is now increasing. While I accept that the NRPF Team may not have access to data on NRPF cases that went through a different team for reasons other than NRPF, this issue would have applied in May 2018, even if it applied to more cases now. Yet in May 2018 it did not prevent LBB providing data on cases that the NRPF Team did process at that time. An increase in cases where NRPF is a secondary concern is not a legitimate reason to refuse to provide data on cases that were processed by the NRPF Team (i.e. where NRPF is primary concern), as LBB presumably did in order to provide data in May 2018.

LBB: "The new FOI has required figures for last year and early this year; however, we do not record such data on how many families are assessed or how many are refused – although, we do collect data on how many families we were/are supporting at any time; however, this data was not requested."

My response: As mentioned, LBB demonstrated in May 2018 that they do collect data on the number of NRPF families that are assessed and the number refused (in May 2018, LBB wrote in response to my FOI that LBB had assessed 15 families, and refused 4 families on the basis that the family does not live in the borough, clearly demonstrating this type of data is recorded). Finally, a reasonable reader of my FOI request would accept that Question 3, which asked: 'how many requests for support from families with NRPF were granted from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017', is clearly seeking data on how many families LBB was supporting at a specific time. The final sentence in LBBs response was wilful ignorance.

Overall, LBBs response to the original FOI is plainly obstructive given that LBB was not able to provide a legitimate reason for why data that was previously available is no longer available.

I would like a review of both LBBs original response to the FOI, and the way LBB responded to my request for clarification, which did not address the points I had raised in my query or account for the original discrepancy.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

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

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

BromleyCorporateCustomerServices,

Thank you for your email, please be aware that any future FOI requests can
be requested on line via the following link:
www.bromley.gov.uk/FreedomofInformation

 

 

From: Anna Mulcahy [mailto:[FOI #530584 email]]
Sent: 06 December 2018 13:37
To: FOI requests at Bromley Borough Council
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Support
provided to people with No Recourse to Public Funds

 

Dear Bromley Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Bromley Borough Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Support provided to people with No Recourse to
Public Funds'.

On the 6th November I submitted an FOI requesting data on the NRPF
caseload of Bromley council. I requested data on:

- The number of referrals the council received from families with NRPF
status, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

- The number of assessments conducted by the councils for families with
NRPF status, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

- The number of referrals from families with NRPF that were granted by the
council, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

Bromley denied my request for all of the data on the basis that "LBB does
not collect this data".

On the 21st May 2018 I submitted an FOI request to LBB requesting data on
the NRPF caseload of Bromley council. I requested data on, among other
things, the following:

- The number of referrals the council received from families with NRPF
status, from Dec 2017-May 2018

- The number of assessments conducted by the councils for families with
NRPF status, from Dec 2017-May 2018

- The number of referrals from families with NRPF that were granted by the
council, from Dec 2017-May 2018

In response to the FOI submitted in May 2018, LBB provided detailed data
on these three points. The May response stated that LBB had received 18
referrals from families with NRPF, had conducted 15 assessments and had
granted 2 of these families with NRPF support.

As you can see, there is a discrepancy with these responses. Both FOIs are
requesting the same type of data and refer to time periods that overlap
considerably. In May, LBB provided the data in detail. However, in
November LBB claimed that this data was not collected.

I followed-up with LBB to request a clarification for this discrepancy,
however their response was unsatisfactory. For this reason, I am
requesting an internal review.

Below is the response from LBB (in quotations) to my request for them to
clarify the discrepancy, with my comments (not in quotations) explaining
why I felt the reason they provided was unsatisfactory.

LBB: "The information provided in May 2018 was requesting figures in the
last six months. At that time referrals and assessment requests were low
which meant we were able to look back over the last months. Since May
2018, our referrals have rapidly increased."

My response: In May 2018, LBB provided data from Dec 17-May 18, but in
November 2018 refused to provide data ("because they do not collect it")
from Jan-Jun 18. These time periods significantly overlap. The claim that
an increase in caseload from May 2018 onwards prevented them from being
able to access data from Jan-Jun 2018, when they had already provide data
from Dec 2017-May, is plainly invalid. It seems extremely unlikely that
LBB could access data from the time period Dec 2017-May 2018, but not
Jan-June 2018. Furthermore, a rapid increase in caseload following May
2018 is not a legitimate reason to refuse to provide data that LBB
provided previously and, moreover, data that referred mostly to time
period preceding May 2018 so wouldn't have been largely affected by
systems change post-May.

LBB: "Also, there has been an increase on cases going through ‘Referral &
Assessment team’ where NRPF is found to be a secondary concern, this is
why we cannot states how many assessments have been carried as some
families are provided support some months later when their case is in
another team."

My response: Here LBB has stated that there has been "an increase" in
cases going through the 'Referral & Assessment team', which suggested that
in the past, some cases did go through that system, although this is now
increasing. While I accept that the NRPF Team may not have access to data
on NRPF cases that went through a different team for reasons other than
NRPF, this issue would have applied in May 2018, even if it applied to
more cases now. Yet in May 2018 it did not prevent LBB providing data on
cases that the NRPF Team did process at that time. An increase in cases
where NRPF is a secondary concern is not a legitimate reason to refuse to
provide data on cases that were processed by the NRPF Team (i.e. where
NRPF is primary concern), as LBB presumably did in order to provide data
in May 2018.

LBB: "The new FOI has required figures for last year and early this year;
however, we do not record such data on how many families are assessed or
how many are refused – although, we do collect data on how many families
we were/are supporting at any time; however, this data was not requested."

My response: As mentioned, LBB demonstrated in May 2018 that they do
collect data on the number of NRPF families that are assessed and the
number refused (in May 2018, LBB wrote in response to my FOI that LBB had
assessed 15 families, and refused 4 families on the basis that the family
does not live in the borough, clearly demonstrating this type of data is
recorded). Finally, a reasonable reader of my FOI request would accept
that Question 3, which asked: 'how many requests for support from families
with NRPF were granted from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017', is clearly
seeking data on how many families LBB was supporting at a specific time.
The final sentence in LBBs response was wilful ignorance.

Overall, LBBs response to the original FOI is plainly obstructive given
that LBB was not able to provide a legitimate reason for why data that was
previously available is no longer available.

I would like a review of both LBBs original response to the FOI, and the
way LBB responded to my request for clarification, which did not address
the points I had raised in my query or account for the original
discrepancy.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

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

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

-------------------------------------------------------------------
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show quoted sections

BromleyCorporateCustomerServices,

Good Morning

 

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to Corporate Complaints
to look into.

 

 

Yours Sincerely

Tracey

Customer Service Advisor 

Customer Service Centre

Phone: 020 8464 3333

Web: [1]www.bromley.gov.uk

Please be aware issues can also be reported online using the following
link [2]http://www.bromley.gov.uk/report

Help us to improve our service:  [3]www.bromley.gov.uk/HowDidWeDo

 

 

 

From: Anna Mulcahy [mailto:[FOI #530584 email]]
Sent: 06 December 2018 13:37
To: FOI requests at Bromley Borough Council
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Support
provided to people with No Recourse to Public Funds

 

Dear Bromley Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Bromley Borough Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Support provided to people with No Recourse to
Public Funds'.

On the 6th November I submitted an FOI requesting data on the NRPF
caseload of Bromley council. I requested data on:

- The number of referrals the council received from families with NRPF
status, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

- The number of assessments conducted by the councils for families with
NRPF status, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

- The number of referrals from families with NRPF that were granted by the
council, from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017

Bromley denied my request for all of the data on the basis that "LBB does
not collect this data".

On the 21st May 2018 I submitted an FOI request to LBB requesting data on
the NRPF caseload of Bromley council. I requested data on, among other
things, the following:

- The number of referrals the council received from families with NRPF
status, from Dec 2017-May 2018

- The number of assessments conducted by the councils for families with
NRPF status, from Dec 2017-May 2018

- The number of referrals from families with NRPF that were granted by the
council, from Dec 2017-May 2018

In response to the FOI submitted in May 2018, LBB provided detailed data
on these three points. The May response stated that LBB had received 18
referrals from families with NRPF, had conducted 15 assessments and had
granted 2 of these families with NRPF support.

As you can see, there is a discrepancy with these responses. Both FOIs are
requesting the same type of data and refer to time periods that overlap
considerably. In May, LBB provided the data in detail. However, in
November LBB claimed that this data was not collected.

I followed-up with LBB to request a clarification for this discrepancy,
however their response was unsatisfactory. For this reason, I am
requesting an internal review.

Below is the response from LBB (in quotations) to my request for them to
clarify the discrepancy, with my comments (not in quotations) explaining
why I felt the reason they provided was unsatisfactory.

LBB: "The information provided in May 2018 was requesting figures in the
last six months. At that time referrals and assessment requests were low
which meant we were able to look back over the last months. Since May
2018, our referrals have rapidly increased."

My response: In May 2018, LBB provided data from Dec 17-May 18, but in
November 2018 refused to provide data ("because they do not collect it")
from Jan-Jun 18. These time periods significantly overlap. The claim that
an increase in caseload from May 2018 onwards prevented them from being
able to access data from Jan-Jun 2018, when they had already provide data
from Dec 2017-May, is plainly invalid. It seems extremely unlikely that
LBB could access data from the time period Dec 2017-May 2018, but not
Jan-June 2018. Furthermore, a rapid increase in caseload following May
2018 is not a legitimate reason to refuse to provide data that LBB
provided previously and, moreover, data that referred mostly to time
period preceding May 2018 so wouldn't have been largely affected by
systems change post-May.

LBB: "Also, there has been an increase on cases going through ‘Referral &
Assessment team’ where NRPF is found to be a secondary concern, this is
why we cannot states how many assessments have been carried as some
families are provided support some months later when their case is in
another team."

My response: Here LBB has stated that there has been "an increase" in
cases going through the 'Referral & Assessment team', which suggested that
in the past, some cases did go through that system, although this is now
increasing. While I accept that the NRPF Team may not have access to data
on NRPF cases that went through a different team for reasons other than
NRPF, this issue would have applied in May 2018, even if it applied to
more cases now. Yet in May 2018 it did not prevent LBB providing data on
cases that the NRPF Team did process at that time. An increase in cases
where NRPF is a secondary concern is not a legitimate reason to refuse to
provide data on cases that were processed by the NRPF Team (i.e. where
NRPF is primary concern), as LBB presumably did in order to provide data
in May 2018.

LBB: "The new FOI has required figures for last year and early this year;
however, we do not record such data on how many families are assessed or
how many are refused – although, we do collect data on how many families
we were/are supporting at any time; however, this data was not requested."

My response: As mentioned, LBB demonstrated in May 2018 that they do
collect data on the number of NRPF families that are assessed and the
number refused (in May 2018, LBB wrote in response to my FOI that LBB had
assessed 15 families, and refused 4 families on the basis that the family
does not live in the borough, clearly demonstrating this type of data is
recorded). Finally, a reasonable reader of my FOI request would accept
that Question 3, which asked: 'how many requests for support from families
with NRPF were granted from Jan-June 2018 and Jan-June 2017', is clearly
seeking data on how many families LBB was supporting at a specific time.
The final sentence in LBBs response was wilful ignorance.

Overall, LBBs response to the original FOI is plainly obstructive given
that LBB was not able to provide a legitimate reason for why data that was
previously available is no longer available.

I would like a review of both LBBs original response to the FOI, and the
way LBB responded to my request for clarification, which did not address
the points I had raised in my query or account for the original
discrepancy.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

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

Yours faithfully,

Anna Mulcahy

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #530584 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

show quoted sections

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