The recent appointment of the new CEO

clare made this Freedom of Information request to Ashfield 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 refused by Ashfield District Council.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like the following information:

1) the short listing matrix document, indicating the successful candidate re the above position.
2) the application forms for each of the candidates who were interviewed, indicating the successful candidate.
3) the Candidate Assessment forms and any other interview notes completed by each of the recruitment panel for each of the candidates who were interviewed, indicating the successful candidate.
4) any submissions or presentations made by all of the interviewed candidates, indicating the successful candidate.
5) a list of names of those who were on the interview panel
6) a list of any travel/reimbursements made to candidates to attend interview
7) cost of the external Assessment Centre to undertake tests

I look forward to your response within the legal time frame

Yours faithfully,

Ms Clare Reynolds

Dear Sir or Madam,

per the request for information sent, the post I referred to is the recently fill CEO position

Yours faithfully,

Clare

Dear Sir or Madam,

I placed a request for information on the 4th October re CEO recent appointment and to date have received no acknowledgement of receipt.

please could you confirm you have received and are dealing with it.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Reynolds

1 Attachment

Good afternoon,

Please find attached our formal acknowledgement of your request for
information

Thanks

Joanne Wright
Organisational Development Manager

__________________________________________________________________

Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the sender and do not
necessarily
represent those of Ashfield District Council unless otherwise specifically
stated.

Please note that Ashfield District Council reserves the right, subject to
compliance
with legislation, to monitor emails sent or received. Under the Freedom of
Information
Act 2000 and other relevant legislation, the contents may have to be
disclosed in
response to a request for information.

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Dear J.Wright,

By law, the authority should have answered promptly. You have not given me a legal reason that you need extra time , you are breaking the law by not replying by 30 October 2009.

I look forward to you explanation before I make a formal complaint

Yours sincerely,

Ms Reynolds

1 Attachment

Please find attached our formal reponse to your request. I apologise for
the delay

Thanks

Joanne Wright
Organisational Devt Manager
01623 457328

__________________________________________________________________

Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the sender and do not
necessarily
represent those of Ashfield District Council unless otherwise specifically
stated.

Please note that Ashfield District Council reserves the right, subject to
compliance
with legislation, to monitor emails sent or received. Under the Freedom of
Information
Act 2000 and other relevant legislation, the contents may have to be
disclosed in
response to a request for information.

Printing this email? Please think environmentally and only print when
essential. Thank you.

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Your Ref: REYNOLDSCLARE/041009/
CHIEFEXECUTIVE/SLF3
6th November 2009
Dear Mr Bott/ Ms J Wright (not sure which of you is dealing with this?)
If I was a member of the public who did not have someone to help me understand my rights, your response might have been accepted. But as I am employed by another council and asked a friend in my legal section for some assistance in how to make this request.
Therefore, in regards to you response, see below:
“The recruitment process was managed by the Local Government Association for the East Midlands. Their view, which has been confirmed with the Leicestershire County Council (who are their employers) and with our own legal team, is that the following items requested in questions 1 to 4 above are exempt under Section 40 : Personal information of the third party.”

I find it strange that you have consulted another Council and another public sector organisation for advice as it is Ashfield District Council that holds the information and your decision alone.

Plus I have to tell you that you have been incorrectly informed. The information that I requested in questions 1 to 4 are releasable, as the Information Commissioner, who it would have paid you consult instead of your so called professionals, has already ruled it should be.

My contact gave me this information in minutes, she said it was common knowledge that this ruling had been given, on top of that I find it laughable that Leicester County FOI experts didn’t know? Is your Information Governance expert incompetent?

See below:

Case Ref: FS50184888
Date: 12/01/2009
Public Authority: Leicester City Council
Summary: The complainant, who worked for the Council, applied for two internal vacancies, unsuccessfully. He requested some information about the recruitment process, including copies of the application forms submitted by the other applicants, suitably redacted as necessary. The Council refused the request for the application forms, on the grounds that the exemption at section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act applied. The Commissioner decided that the exemption at section 40(2) applied in respect of some of the application form information, but that it did not justify withholding the information in its entirety. He considered that some information about applicants’ experience and qualifications could be provided in an anonymised form, without breaching their rights under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Commissioner directed the Council to provide this information to the complainant, either by redacting the application forms so that all information from which a candidate could be identified was removed or by supplying brief summaries of applicants’ experience and qualifications.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 - Complaint Upheld , FOI 17 - Complaint Upheld , FOI 40 - Complaint Partly Upheld

Therefore under the Freedom of Information Act I request you undertake an Internal Review of your decision as a matter of urgency.

Which brings me onto your response to question 7; again you clearly do not understand the legislation you are legally expected to uphold.

You say:

“The cost of the External Assessment Centre is commercially sensitive information and
therefore also cannot be released under Section 43.”

Again I am told that this is clearly incorrect use of an exemption, Section 43, as follows

Please visit the Information Commissioners site, you will find it very useful.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

Read their best practice notes on applying exemptions:

Quote “Section 43 is a qualified exemption. That is, it is subject to the public interest test which is set out in section 2 of the Act. Where a public authority is satisfied that the information requested is a trade secret or that its release would prejudice someone’s commercial interests, it can only refuse to provide the information if it is satisfied that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. The bias is in favour of disclosure and there will be occasions where information is released even though it is a trade secret or is likely to prejudice someone’s commercial interest.”

“Information should be disclosed if the only likely harm would be embarrassment to the authority”

Obviously the information I am requesting is not a trade secret, however to apply this exemption you have to undertake a Public Interest Test, you make no reference to this whatsoever. You cannot blanket use a Qualified Exemption, my friend was quite certain of this. So please if you wish to refuse my request I need to see you reasons for refusal and in the case of question 7 a Public Interest Test.

You should already be providing information on the cost of the winning bids to tenders, this is no different, you have spent Public Money and the public have a right to see that you have spent it well.

Again I request you to revisit you decision and undertake an Internal Review as is the requirement of the Act.

Please note it is not for the public to be Freedom of Information experts so they can get the information we legally have a right of access to, it is the Public Authority who should facilitate a request openly, honestly and in a helpful manner, and you should know what you are talking about, you have clearly shown you do not.

Your actions so far have been inaccurate, misleading, incorrect and a breach of best practice and the law. I suggest you get your act in order.

Yours sincerely

Ms C Reynolds

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

For high profile public appointments such as this I think it would be excellent if at least part of the application form was open to the public. I think the public ought know who has applied, and a statement indicating how each candidates intend to approach the job ought be released.

Similarly a statement of the panel's reasons for making a particular appointment ought be given in public.

While I appreciate in this case there may be genuinely personal information, and information given in confidence to be considered I am surprised that redacted documents have not been offered. I am suggesting improving the appointment process to make clear up-front what will and will not be made public, and increasing the transparency of the selection process.

--

Richard Taylor
Cambridge
http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Dear Ms J.Wright,

FOI #19422 email

You have not to date acknowledged my request for an internal review.

If you fail to contact me in the next seven days I will take it that your are refusing to follow the procedure specified by UK law. I will then make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioners Office as is my right.

I hope this can be avoided and you take your responsibilities seriously.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Reynolds

Dear J.Wright,

Where is the outcome of your internal review?

This is past a joke, depending on your response to this letter determines whether a formal complaint is made to the Information Commissioner

Ms Reynolds

1 Attachment

Please see attached our response to your recent email.

Thanks

Joanne Wright
Organisational Devt Manager
01623 457328

__________________________________________________________________

Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the sender and do not
necessarily
represent those of Ashfield District Council unless otherwise specifically
stated.

Please note that Ashfield District Council reserves the right, subject to
compliance
with legislation, to monitor emails sent or received. Under the Freedom of
Information
Act 2000 and other relevant legislation, the contents may have to be
disclosed in
response to a request for information.

Printing this email? Please think environmentally and only print when
essential. Thank you.

[1]www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk/

Dear Ms Wright,

I asked my friend again who works for a local authority and with very little effort was provided with the following:

"The recommended period of time for completing an internal review is 20 working days or 40 days in exceptional cases. In no instance should the time taken to conduct a review exceed 40 working days.
The"

http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

a practice recommendation made by the Information Commissioner.

Yet again I have had to find out your legal duty for you, who appear to be totally unaware of your legal obligations.

I expect your response accordingly, and as requested copies of your internal procedure to be supplied.

Plus, your workload issues should not be passed on to the person making a request, that is a management issue to resolve is suggest you do so.

more a more disappointed,

Ms Reynolds

Max Torre left an annotation ()

I have been following several of the Ashfield threads on here and it seems to me that they have gone from an authority that was able to respond within the timescales and spirit of the legislation to one that does neither. Is this a sign of cost cuts or do they think the ICO are pussy cats and are willing to bet they will not going to act?

I think it's about time these sort of authorities are proved wrong, the FoIA is a law, laws have to be obeyed or the penalty paid.

Dear Ms Wright,

This becoming a farce, you plainly do not understand the legislation you are supposed to adhere to.

I am still awaiting the outcome of your internal review.

If I do not receive promptly as enough time has passed and I have provided you with ICO Decision Notices to follow I will forward on to the Commissioner for investigation.

Or should I pass on this blatant misuse of the legislation to the appropriate press or councillors?

Your last chance to get your act in order.

Yours very disappointed,

Ms Reynolds

1 Attachment

Please see attached our acknowledgement of your recent email.

Thanks

Joanne Wright
Organisational Devt Manager
01623 457328

__________________________________________________________________

Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the sender and do not
necessarily
represent those of Ashfield District Council unless otherwise specifically
stated.

Please note that Ashfield District Council reserves the right, subject to
compliance
with legislation, to monitor emails sent or received. Under the Freedom of
Information
Act 2000 and other relevant legislation, the contents may have to be
disclosed in
response to a request for information.

Printing this email? Please think environmentally and only print when
essential. Thank you.

[1]www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ashfield-dc.gov.uk/

Elisa Moulton left an annotation ()

I have been struggling getting access to information, in one case it taking 80 days so it looks like things have not been improved at all. It is disgraceful and I am sick of being lied to and fobbed off so I have reported the council to the ICO. Its time they woke up and realised they are not above the law!!!