Total number, and total value, of commercial rates refunds

Waiting for an internal review by Westminster City Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Westminster City Council,

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, could you please provide me
with the following information on commercial rates refunds issued by the
authority for each of the latest five financial years (e.g. if the latest available data
are from 2016, then please provide data for years between 2011 and 2016):

- The total number, and total value, of all commercial rates refunds issued by the authority
- The total number, and total value, of these refunds which have been found to be claimed fraudulently;
- Of the refunds found to be fraudulent:
o The total number, and total value, paid out before discovery that the claim was fraudulent;
o The total number, and total value, where the refund was refused because of discovery that the claim was fraudulent;
o The total number, and total value, committed by owners or tenants of the property concerned;
o The total number, and total value, committed by those completely unassociated with the property concerned;
- Of the fraudulent refunds committed by those unassociated with the property concerned:
o The total number, and total value, of refunds claimed due to rates revaluations;
o The total number, and total value, of refunds claimed due to property vacancy;

The authority has already stated that it believes vacant properties are a risk
for the commission of rates fraud, and it is in the public interest to know to
what extent that risk is validated by the actual data.

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

Westminster City Council

Information request
Our reference: 7078336

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Dear Mr Chait
 
Thank you for contacting Westminster City Council's Information Management
Team. 

Your query will be allocated for response, and someone will contact you
within 5 working days to confirm the details of your request and whether
it is subject to a fee. 

Please see the Westminster City Council website for further information on
Data Protection policies
- [1]http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/c...

Kindest regards, 
 
Information Management Team
Westminster City Council
5 Strand
London
WC2N 5HR
[email address]
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

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Westminster City Council

Information request
Our reference: 7078336

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Dear Mr Chait
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 19 March
2018.
 
Request summary
In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, could you please
provide me with the following information on commercial rates refunds
issued by the authority for each of the latest five financial years (e.g.
if the latest available data are from 2016, then please provide data for
years between 2011 and 2016):

- The total number, and total value, of all commercial rates refunds
issued by the authority

- The total number, and total value, of these refunds which have been
found to be claimed fraudulently;

- Of the refunds found to be fraudulent:

o The total number, and total value, paid out before discovery that the
claim was fraudulent;

o The total number, and total value, where the refund was refused because
of discovery that the claim was fraudulent;

o The total number, and total value, committed by owners or tenants of the
property concerned;

o The total number, and total value, committed by those completely
unassociated with the property concerned;

- Of the fraudulent refunds committed by those unassociated with the
property concerned:

o The total number, and total value, of refunds claimed due to rates
revaluations;

o The total number, and total value, of refunds claimed due to property
vacancy;

The authority has already stated that it believes vacant properties are a
risk

for the commission of rates fraud, and it is in the public interest to
know to

what extent that risk is validated by the actual data.
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000and we aim to send a response by 18 April 2018.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000may restrict the release of some or all
of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment and
if any exemptionsapply to some or all of the information then we might not
provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is the case
and advise you of your rights to request an internal review and to
complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
Yours sincerely
 
Information Management Team
Westminster City Council
Information Services
Tel: 0207 641 3921
Email: [1][Westminster City Council request email]
Web: [2]www.westminster.gov.uk
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Westminster City Council request email]
2. file:///tmp/www.westminster.gov.uk

Dear Westminster City Council,

You have yet to respond to my FOI request of 18 March. You were required to have responded by yesterday, 19 April, but I have yet to receive the data requested.

Please could you respond as quickly as possible.

The full correspondence is here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

Dear Westminster City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Total number, and total value, of commercial rates refunds'.

On 19 March 2018, I requested the following information in terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, regarding commercial rates refunds issued by the authority for each of the latest five financial years (e.g. if the latest available data are from 2016, then please provide data for years between 2011 and 2016):

- The total number, and total value, of all commercial rates refunds issued by the authority
- The total number, and total value, of these refunds which have been found to be claimed fraudulently;
- Of the refunds found to be fraudulent:
o The total number, and total value, paid out before discovery that the claim was fraudulent;
o The total number, and total value, where the refund was refused because of discovery that the claim was fraudulent;
o The total number, and total value, committed by owners or tenants of the property concerned;
o The total number, and total value, committed by those completely unassociated with the property concerned;
- Of the fraudulent refunds committed by those unassociated with the property concerned:
o The total number, and total value, of refunds claimed due to rates revaluations;
o The total number, and total value, of refunds claimed due to property vacancy;

The authority has already stated that it believes vacant properties are a risk
for the commission of rates fraud, and it is in the public interest to know to
what extent that risk is validated by the actual data.

This has not been responded to within the statutory time period and I request an urgent review and answer to my request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

Dear Westminster City Council,

It has been some two months since I requested an internal review on my Freedom of Information request (your reference 7078336). You have failed to respond to my original request, and failed to respond to a request for internal review.

I have now referred this matter to ICO for their review.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

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