TWPTE Expenses

Mr Hedley made this Freedom of Information request to Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

The request was partially successful.

From: Mr Hedley

5 July 2010

Dear Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive,

Please provide me with the following information, under the Freedom
of Information Act. I require information on the following two
topics, for all Nexus staff, at at least management level.

1) Full details of allowances claimed (if applicable)
2) Full details of expenses reimbursed

In addition, please also provide me with a copy of your expenses
and hospitality policy.

Please feel free to remove individual names, but please ensure that
their job title remains.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Hedley

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From: Mr Hedley

5 July 2010

Dear Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive,

My apologies. I require this data for the following years: 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (to date).

Yours faithfully,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

7 July 2010

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your e-mails dated 5th July 2010 which has been forwarded
to me as the person in Nexus responsible for responding to FOI requests.

In order that I can assist with your request can you confirm exactly the
individuals who you require the information in respect of.In your e-mail
you say ''for all Nexus staff,at at least management level''.Do you
require information for 'all staff' employed within the organisation or
when you refer to 'management level' do you mean the Executive
Directors, over the period requested? If it is the former and you
require the information for all staff it is very likely that the FOI
'charging regime' will apply since it would be necessary to search the
manual records of 1,000 staff over the 5 year period requested.Please
clarify.

I look forward to hearing from you in order that your request may be
considered further.

Regards

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

7 July 2010

Dear Colin,

To clarify, I mean anyone employed at Nexus in a managerial
capacity.

However, I'm willing to accept this information for
Director-General level, and 5 managerial levels beneath, if the
cost of providing this would be lesser.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

7 July 2010

Dear Mr Hedley,

Thank you for your e-mail.

First of all it will be necessary to make the appropriate enquiries to
pull together the information as to the number of employees who fit into
the description of ''Director-General level, and 5 managerial levels
beneath'' over the five year period you have requested, and then work
out whether or not this will result in the 'cost regime'under FOI
legislation being triggered.

I would add that Nexus are perfectly happy to provide information under
the FOI but unfortunately your request is not specific enough (eg.'5
managerial levels') to enable the information to be readily available
and may even result in Nexus charging a cost which you may consider to
be prohibitive.

Please give me a ring if you wish to discuss this matter further.It may
be that a discussion could narrow down the information you require ,thus
making it more easily available to you.

Regards

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

7 July 2010

Dear Colin,

I'd be happy to accept this information for Executive and
Non-Executive Directors, i.e. the ones listed at
http://www.nexus.org.uk/node/69.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

12 July 2010

Dear Mr Hedley,

Thank you for your e-mail.

In respect of the period for which you seek information there have been
changes in the occupants of those positions and therefore rather than
list the amounts claimed by the individuals in the link I list below the
allowances/expenses claimed by all Nexus Directors (both Executive and
Non-Executive ) for the 5 year period you seek ;

2006/2007 25,062.49
2007/2008 29,764.12
2008/2009 21,621.91
2009/2010 33,536.59
2010/2011 2743.04

I would add that the list includes what Nexus would view as a wider
construction of the terms ''allowances/expenses'',for example
reimbursement for train fares to meet Ministers in London.

Regards
Colin

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

12 July 2010

Dear Colin,

Full details would typically be an itemised breakdown. The total
amount per year doesn't really provide me with what I need to know.

The output should be similar to every other public body who have
had a similar FOI. This is typically:

DATE OF CLAIM
CATEGORY
ITEM
AMOUNT
CLAIMANT
REASON FOR CLAIM (IF APPLICABLE)

Please advise.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

15 July 2010

Dear Mr Hedley,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Firstly,I would point out that Nexus is in fact a body corporate by
statute, Transport Act 1968, and is therefore unlike a public authority.

Having said that ,I note your request and as you are aware from previous
FOI requests you have made, Nexus have always been open and more than
willing to provide information requested,fully recognising its
obligations under the Act.

Having made enquiries I understand that all expense/allowance claims are
completed manually and to recover and search for 5 years worth of such
claim forms may take some time.

I will respond to you once again as soon as I have further information.

Regards

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

5 August 2010

Dear Mr Hedley,

I refer to our recent exchange of e-mails.

In order to respond to your application, it has been necessary to
manually pull together all expenses reimbursement submissions from
Directors, from various sources, to enable me to be in a position to
respond to the specific categories you outlined in your e-mail dated
12th July 2010. This is because we do not readily hold the information
in the categories you list.

In respect of financial year 2009/10, I now have copies of these
documents in order to enable me to respond to your query. However, this
process has already taken 14 hours of staff time and given what is still
necessary in terms of analysing this documentation and sourcing prior
year documentation, under the FOI guidelines, the charging regime under
the FOI Act will apply.

As you know from your previous FOI requests Nexus has a policy of
assisting in all FOI requests received and I am anxious to assist with
this particular request. I am therefore seeking clarification as to
whether you can be more specific as to your requirements in order that I
can assist you further, without the necessity to request payment of a
fee.

Regards

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

8 August 2010

Dear Colin,

The information that you have already retrieved for 2009/10 will be
sufficient for now.

However, as I'm sure you're aware, many public bodies have
undergone scrutiny for expenses claimed by their directors. Many
bodies now publish this information on their websites.

This being the case, it is rather alarming that Nexus don't have
this information in a 'readily available' state.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

14 August 2010

Dear Colin,

Could you please provide an update on this FOI request, urgently.

This is now 10 days overdue.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

16 August 2010

Dear Mr Hedley,

Thank you for your e-mail.I do not accept that the FOI request is
overdue,your request having only been clarified on 8th August 2010.

The information requested in your e-mail of that date will be provided
within the statutory time period.

Regards

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

23 August 2010

Dear Colin,

I highly disagree. I stated 'full details' initially, and you
provided me with nothing but a total by year. That's hardly full,
nor concise.

Please provide me with an urgent update, as this has been ongoing
for almost two months.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

30 August 2010

Dear Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive,

Another week has passed without the update I had requested
urgently.

Please provide me with an update by COB Tuesday.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

3 September 2010

Dear Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive,

20 working days have now passed, since your claimed 'start date' of
the 8th of August.

I expect an update with urgency by noon tomorrow.

If I haven't received an update by noon, please consider this
matter raised as a formal complaint with the Information
Commissioner.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

Mr Hedley left an annotation ( 6 September 2010)

Quote-marks Complaint raised with ICO - 06/09/2010

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

6 September 2010

Dear Mr Hedley,

I refer to your recent e-mails.

I have returned to the office today from annual leave and will provide a
substantive response as soon as possible.

Regards
Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

21 September 2010

Dear Freedom Info,

I'm hardly surprised to be chasing this request again, but another
12 working days have passed since your previous email.

Any chance of this request actually being handled?

Yours sincerely,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: Freedom Info
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

30 September 2010


Attachment FOI Expenses v6.xls
47K Download View as HTML


Dear Sir,

I refer to our previous correspondence and now enclose spreadsheet
containing details of Directors 'expenses' for the financial year
2009/10.

I have attempted to provide the information sticking as close to the
format as you requested in your e-mail dated 12th July 2010.

Whilst the provision of the information in this case would normally have
involved a charge within the FOI regime I confirm that on this occasion
Nexus is willing to waive any charge.

However, should you require further information in respect of this
request I reserve the right for Nexus to reconsider it's position before
supplying such information.

Regards

Colin Whittle
Head of Legal Services

Nexus, Nexus House, St. James' Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Tel. 0191 203 3239 / Fax. 0191 203 3304

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mr Hedley

5 October 2010

Dear Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Tyne and Wear
Passenger Transport Executive's handling of my FOI request 'TWPTE
Expenses'.

1) I'm extremely concerned about the unnecessary length of time
taken in handling this request. I do not accept the reason of
'annual leave' to be valid, as TWPTE have a legal obligation to
provide this information in a reasonable time frame. Public bodies
should be resourced to cover annual leave and such events.

2) I also have a concern about the validity of the data. 121 of the
204 records are listed as 'Unattributed' in the name column. No
explanation has been given for these records. As the 'Unattributed'
records count for over 1/3 of the total sum (£13,256.83 of
£33,536.59), this is highly unacceptable.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr Hedley

Link to this

From: John D Fenwick
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

13 October 2010

Dear Sir,

Your e-mail dated 5th October 2010 (22.16) has been forwarded to me in
light of your request for a review of the Executive’s handling of your
FOI request ‘TWPTE expenses’.

I confirm that I have appointed Michael Hunt, Administration Manager at
Nexus to review the handling of the request and have requested that he
undertakes his review and reports to you with his findings within 7 days
from yesterdays date, namely, 19th October 2010.

Yours faithfully,

John Fenwick
Director of Finance and Resources,
Nexus (Tyne & Wear PTE)
St James Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Michael Hunt
Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive

19 October 2010

Dear Sir,

I refer to your email dated 5 October 2010 requesting an internal
review of your FOI request 'TWPTE Expenses'.

I can confirm I have carried out a full review of the FOI request
and how it was handled internally by Nexus.

With regard to this particular request I have addressed the two
concerns you have raised:-

1. The length of time to respond to your request was greater than
expected and caused you concern.

I have noted that clarification was sought by Nexus on a number of
occasions as the information you requested was not readily
available nor in the required format you requested. Following
correspondence between yourself and Mr Colin Whittle I note the
request was deemed as being clarified on 8 August 2010. I would
then expect a response to be sent to you within the statutory time
limit of 20 working days. By my calculations this should have been
by 6 September 2010. However due to annual leave this deadline was
not met and I accept your concern in regard to the fact that this
information should have been supplied within timescales required.

On behalf of Nexus I would like to apologise for this and I can
confirm that suitable measures have now been implemented to ensure
that during periods of annual leave or other absence that adequate
resource is available for dealing with such requests. In this
regard I accept your statement that 'Public Bodies should be
resourced to cover annual leave and such events'.

2. You raised concern that 121 of the 204 records supplied in the
response of 30 September 2010 are classed as 'Unattributed'.

I have noted that following an exchange of correspondence between
yourself and Mr Whittle that it was outlined that Nexus does not
have the required information readily available in the categories
or the format you requested. Mr Whittle confirmed on 15 July 2010
that all expense/allowance claims are completed manually and to
provide the information may take some time. This was further
confirmed by Mr Whittle on 5 August 2010 who informed you that 14
hours of staff time had already been taken to produce the
information you required for 2009/10 and that further time would be
required to analyse this information and to source documentation
for the prior years. It was outlined that because of this the FOI
charging regime would be applied. I have noted that on 8 August
2010 you advised Mr Whittle that the information 'already retrieved
for 2009/10 would be sufficient for now'. From my discussions with
Mr Whittle it was considered that you were unwilling to pay for the
further analysis and sourcing of documentation to take place.
During my review I can inform you that I have arrived at the same
conclusion as Mr Whittle.

The information you were therefore provided with on 30 September
2010 was the information that had been produced without the FOI
charging regime being imposed, but in the format held by Nexus
rather than the format you required. Further work would have been
necessary to attribute these items and to provide the information
in the format and categories you originally requested and the said
charging regime would have been applied.

In conclusion I therefore believe that Nexus did all that was
possible to ensure your request was responded to in the appropriate
manner whilst accepting the information finally provided was
outside of the statutory timescales.

It was explained at the outset of this process that the information
requested was not readily available in either the format or the
categories you required and would take some time to provide. Nexus
has a policy to assist in all FOI requests and indeed sought
clarification on your request on a number of occasions to help
facilitate a satisfactory response.

Although you raised concern with the information you received I am
satisfied that Nexus have been willing to provide further analysis
in relation to your request but that the FOI charging regime would
be applied.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Hunt Administration Manager Nexus St James Boulevard,
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4AX

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