Thanet District Council - overseas trips

Jenna Corderoy made this Freedom of Information request to Thanet District Council

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 partially successful.

Dear Thanet District Council,

This is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act and relates to overseas trips.

From 01 January 2016 to the day this request is processed, I would like to know the number of overseas trips council officials have taken in the course of conducting council business.

For each overseas trip, please provide the following information:

- The date and duration of the overseas trip, as well as the country/city that was visited
- The full name, title and position of the council official who went on the overseas trip
- The reason or reasons why the council official went on the overseas trip
- The cost of the overseas trip (please provide a breakdown of travel costs, accommodation costs and expenses)
- Please state whether the council met the costs of the overseas trip, or whether an individual, group, company, consortium, charity or another organisation met the costs.
- Please provide the full name of the individual, group, company, charity or organisation that met the costs. If it is a group or consortium, please state who or what composes the group or consortium.

I would like to receive the information electronically. If you feel that a substantive response to this request is not possible within a reasonable time frame, or the request is too broad or too vague, I would be grateful if you could contact me and provide assistance as to how I could refine the request.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Jenna Corderoy

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

Thank you for your request for official information and/or personal data.
This request is currently being reviewed under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and/or the subject access provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

We will provide a substantive response within any timely statutory
deadline.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable; if this is the case we will
let you know before proceeding to comply with your request.

  

Kind regards,

 

 

 

Information Governance Officer

Thanet District Council

Margate

CT9 1XZ

01843 577620

 

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Dear Sir or Madam,

Could I possibly have an update to my request? Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Jenna Corderoy

TDC FOI, Thanet District Council

Thank you for your request for official information and/or personal data.
This request is currently being reviewed under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and/or the subject access provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

We will provide a substantive response within any timely statutory
deadline.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable; if this is the case we will
let you know before proceeding to comply with your request.

  

Kind regards,

 

 

 

Information Governance Officer

Thanet District Council

Margate

CT9 1XZ

01843 577620

 

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TDC FOISupport, Thanet District Council

Dear Ms Corderoy,

I am writing to you today in connection with your request for information, dated 17 July 2017.

An authority can extend the time for compliance to allow it more time to respond to complex or voluminous requests, or in order to consider the balance of public interest, under s. 10(3).

TDC in this instance, unfortunately, requires the additional twenty working days to consider, among other things, the balance of the public interest test in this case. Our proposed reliance on section 36 – disclosure would prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs – requires a complex weighting exercise to be undertaken in order to determine whether any such disclosure ought to be made.

I move to apologise in this instance for the delay but look to assure you that a response is imminent and we will again contact you, in any event, by 18 August 2017.

Thank you for your continued patience; it is much appreciated.

Kind regards

Information Governance Officer
Thanet District Council
Margate
CT9 1XZ
01843 577620

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Calum Liddle, Thanet District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Corderoy,

 

Thank you for your request for official information under the provisions
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, dated 16 July 2017.

 

The freedom of information regime provides a right to information held by
a public authority at the time of a request and so, it follows, this
response relates to information held by Thanet District Council on 16 July
2017.

 

Thanet District Council moves to disclose the following information:

 

·         Council staff engaged in the four overseas trips, on official
local government business, between 01 January 2016 and 16 July 2017.

·         On each occasion, the trip was attended by the Director of
Operational Services, namely, Mr Gavin Waites alongside fellow Officers,
named below.

·         The costs associated with each trip, likewise, follows:

 

Trip Date Costs
No. Destination Who went Reason Cost met
from to travel accommodation expenses by
Gavin Waite
- Director
of
Operational
Services
Mike Humber
- Head of
Maritime
1 Commercially Commercially Commercially and Commercially 65.00 0.00 0.00 TDC
Sensitive Sensitive Sensitive Technical Sensitive
Services
Robert
Brown -
Harbour
Master and
Marine
Operations
Manager
Gavin Waite
- Director
of
Operational
Services Attend Trade
Mike Humber and Logistic
Munich, - Head of Show,
2 09-May-17 10-May-17 Germany Maritime namely, 243.27 432.45 93.24 TDC
and 'Transport
Technical Logistic'
Services
Robert
Hardy -
Port
Consultant
Gavin Waite
- Director
of
Operational
Commercially Commercially Commercially Services Commercially
3 Sensitive Sensitive Sensitive Mike Humber Sensitive 125.00 0.00 36.28 TDC
- Head of
Maritime
and
Technical
Services
Gavin Waite
- Director
of
Operational
Services
Mike Humber
Commercially Commercially Commercially - Head of Commercially
4 Sensitive Sensitive Sensitive Maritime Sensitive 1,151.69 199.68 135.07 TDC
and
Technical
Services
Robert
Hardy -
Port
Consultant

 

The Council, however, moves to refuse your request relying on the
appropriate exemptions afforded by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
TDC, to this extent, will not comply where you asked for:

 

- The reason or reasons why the council official went on the overseas trip

- The date and duration of the overseas trip, as well as the country/city
that was visited

 

Section 43(2) states that information is exempt if its disclosure would
likely prejudice this Council’s commercial interests. The Information
Commissioner accepts that a public authority, such as in this instance,
needs a safe space to develop ideas and proposals with, say, prospective
commercial partners and in the development of formulating commercial
decisions. TDC, to this extent, is refusing to disclose the reason for
travel. TDC also moves to refuse the date, duration and location as this
data provides enough information so to disclose the reason for travel,
too. The two cannot, in this instance, be separated.

 

The reasons for travel remain ‘live’. It is the view of TDC that the
overriding public interest, therefore, rests in protecting the safe
industrial and commercial space recognised by the information regulator.
This Council’s formulation of prospective commercial options and
decisions, for example, is a legitimate role for local government. The
formulation of commercial decisions is not to be disrupted, hampered or in
any other way coerced by way of premature disclosure which could, in no
uncertain terms in this instance I’d stress, cause harm. The Council is
satisfied that the disclosure in this instance would render TDC commercial
imperatives in a state otherwise far less effective when, say, negotiating
with possible commercial partners, among other things. The Council must
maintain, as custodians of the public purse, a strong hand in pursuing
commercial interests on behalf, mind, of the rate-payer at large.

 

TDC, bearing in mind the comparably limited and inexpensive travel
undertaken, sees no public interest in premature disclosure in this
instance. This exemption, to be clear, is not being applied in a blanket
fashion and is, in actual fact, only being applied in light of the reasons
for the travel, as requested, remaining ’live’. You will see, for example,
that travel item [2] has been complied with entirely. I trust this makes
sense.

 

I appreciate that this response is, perhaps, not the exhaustive response
you might otherwise have hoped for but I trust the explanation for
refusal, provided above, is at least helpful.

 

If you are, however, unhappy with the way in which your enquiry has been
dealt with you may ask for an internal review by submitting a request
within one month of the date of this response.  Your request should be
addressed to the Information Governance Manager, Thanet District Council,
PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ or by emailing
[1][email address]. You may in this instance, of course, otherwise reply
directly to myself.

 

If you remain dissatisfied after an internal review, you may appeal to the
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF.

 

If you’ve any questions or concerns in relation to this email please do
not hesitate to contact me. My number is below; happy to chat, of course.

 

Best,

 

 

 

 

Calum Liddle

Information Governance and Equality Manager

(Data Protection Officer and Deputy Senior Information Risk Officer)

Thanet District Council

 

Tel: 01843 577 631

Fax: 01843 290 906

Email: [2][email address]

 

[3]cid:image001.png@01D27171.2C5951E0

 

 

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