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WBC DASS - Inaccurate payments to Care providers July - Aug - Sept

Pete Sheffield made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please disclose for the following time period July - Aug - Sept 2013.

1. The number of Care Providers which were not paid into the correct bank accounts due to a request for payment into another alternative account

2. The total amount paid into the incorrect accounts

3. The policy and procedure in place for authorising change of payment accounts for Care Providers

4. If any matters relating to a change of payment account for care providers have resulted in a referral to the police

Yours faithfully,

Pete Sheffield

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your enquiry below. 

 

The Council is unable to disclose the information requested in your
enquiry.  Information relating to inaccurate payments to Care providers
has been passed to the Police and the Council is undertaking an
investigation.  Because of this I consider this information to be exempt
under Section 30 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This exemption
is in relation to information held regarding Investigations or Proceedings
conducted by Public Authorities.

I have provided some additional detail on this exemption below:-

 

Section 30 - Investigations and Proceedings conducted by Public
Authorities.  The information requested is exempt if the Public Body is
under a duty to carry out an investigation or has a power to conduct
proceedings as described below.

 

The exemption is divided into two parts:-

Particular investigations or prosecutions - the first part covers
information which has at any time been held by a public authority for any
of the following purposes.

o Investigations into whether a person should be charged with an
offence.
o Investigations into whether a person charged with an offence is guilty
of it.
o Investigations which may lead the authority to initiate criminal
Proceedings.
o Criminal proceedings.

The phrase "at any time" means that information is exempt if it relates to
an ongoing, closed or abandoned investigation.  (This part of the
exemption does not apply to information which is thirty years old or more,
when it is classed as a historical record.)

 

In applying Section 30, I am also required to consider the public interest
test.  In doing so, I consider that the public interest in maintaining the
exemption contained in section 30, outweighs the public interest in
disclosure.

 I consider that it is in the public interest to safeguard the
investigatory process.  I further consider that an individual’s right of
access should not undermine an investigation and prosecution of criminal
matters, nor dissuade citizens from reporting wrongdoings.   It is also
not in the public interest to undermine the prosecution process and the
role of the criminal courts, as the bodies responsible for determining
guilt.  Were it is apparent that disclosure could prejudice the right to a
fair trial; it would not be in the public interest to release the
information at this time.

 

I am refusing your request under section 17 of The Freedom of Information
Act 2000.  You have the right to request an Internal Review of the refusal
to supply the information requested and you can do this by emailing
[1][email address] your request will then be allocated to
an independent Officer.

 

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the response to an Internal review then
you do also have the right to complain further to the Information
Commissioner, whose office is situated at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Fax: 01625 524510

[2]www.ico.gov.uk  [3]http://www.ico.gov.uk/

 

Kind Regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

[4][email address]

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 From: Pete Sheffield [mailto:[FOI #178052 email]]

Sent: 23 September 2013 03:08

To: InfoMgr, FinDMT

Subject: FOI 718428 - Pete Sheffield - DASS - Inaccurate payments to Care
providers July - Aug - Sept 2013

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please disclose for the following time period July - Aug - Sept 2013. 

1. The number of Care Providers which were not paid into the correct bank
accounts due to a request for payment into another alternative account

2. The total amount paid into the incorrect accounts

3. The policy and procedure in place for authorising change of payment
accounts for Care Providers

4. If any matters relating to a change of payment account for care
providers have resulted in a referral to the police

Yours faithfully,

Pete Sheffield

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. blocked::http://www.ico.gov.uk/
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4. mailto:[email address]

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'WBC DASS - Inaccurate payments to Care providers July - Aug - Sept'.

I am complaining that you have provided a blanket response to the Freedom of Information request.

Although it is very probable that Section 30 may apply regarding the information requested I would consider it does not apply to all of it.

You quote the public interest test, and I would consider that this does not apply to some of this request. I would also consider that due to the use of the public interest test within many exemptions in numerous FOI requests there is a theme that this exemption is often misapplied as per the numerous decision notices published by the ICO. I would consider that the council needs to reconsider its understanding of the public interest.

Please consider point 3:

The policy and procedure in place for authorising change of payment accounts for Care Providers

This would not be applicable as a policy or procedure to any part of section 30.

Please also consider point 4:

If any matters relating to a change of payment account for care providers have resulted in a referral to the police.

You state 'information relating to inaccurate payments to Care providers has been passed to the Police and the Council is undertaking an investigation.' But apply Section 30 to the whole request. This is contradictory, as you are refusing to answer my request regarding a referral to the police by saying you cannot confirm this part of the request claiming section 30 exemption due to it being passed to the police.

I consider that all points within the request should be dealt with individually rather than the whole request refused under section 30.

Yours faithfully,

Pete Sheffield

Dear Corrin, Jane,

Regarding the answer to my request could you please disclose which officer wrote the reply which was passed to you to reply to me?

Yours sincerely,

Pete Sheffield

nigel hobro left an annotation ()

Slipshod as ever. May I mention £217,000 paid to company at end of their contract whist investigation proceeding on their conduct of contract. Then well into investigation a further £33k and then when referred to external forensic investigators a further £66,000 paid regardless of the investigated companies refusal to co-operate.

This has been said before but is worthy of a re-tell!!

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon

 

Please find attached response to your internal review requested.

 

Thank you for your enquiry, kind regards

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to  be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free  to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research  you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for 
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, 
may involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Pete Sheffield please sign in and let everyone know.