West Sussex Pension Fund Investments

Edward Jones made this Freedom of Information request to West Sussex County 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 successful.

Dear West Sussex County Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what the West Sussex County Council Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or investment being held.

Ideally this information would be broken down into the different categories, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund holds.

2) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund
currently invests in (this should be covered in the above
question). This list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each company.

I would like to receive the information in electronic format if possible. If one part of the request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need further clarification, please contact me by email.

Many public authorities release their contracts, minutes and other information of interactions with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public's interest. The public have an interest in knowing what the Pension Fund is investing in, the terms of contracts and the minutes of meeting with public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:

* When these confidentially agreements were agreed
* All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed
* The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements.

I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. I would also point to the Information Commissioner's guidance on accepting blanket commercial
confidentiality agreements: 'Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.'(i)

Finally, within the law of confidence these is also a public
interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly
to charge its stakeholders.

I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any
information or to charge excessive fees, and understand that under the act, I am entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Jones

(i) 'Freedom of Information Awareness Guidance 5: Commercial
Interests' Office of the Information
Commissioner, Page 10,
http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/...

Freedom of Information Act,

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Thank you for your enquiry, which has been forwarded to the appropriate
officers for a response.

 

Please note that following a decision by the Cabinet at a meeting on 4th
September 2012, FoI and EIR requests to West Sussex County Council and the
Council's responses may be published on the Council's website in a
suitably anonymised form. This is in addition to the individual response
to the requestor, and in line with the Council's commitment to
transparency and open data.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Dave Loveman

Customer Relations Team Manager

 

 

Freedom Of Information |  [1]West Sussex County Council | Location:
County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ
E-mail: [2][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

Nathan O'Brennan,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jones,

 

I write further to your Freedom of Information Request dated 21^st
November and apologise as I understand the 20 working days limit expired
yesterday.  Your request was in the following terms:

 

“I would like to request the following information:

 

1) The full details of what the West Sussex County Council Pension Fund
currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class
or investment being held.

 

Ideally this information would be broken down into the different
categories, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash
Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest
Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities
Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund
holds.

 

2) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently
invests in (this should be covered in the above question). This list
should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each
company.”

 

Please find attached a full list of investments as at the date of the
latest audited information.  For your reference, the Private Equity and
Property information is as at 30^th June 2013, all other investment data
is as at 30^th September 2013.

 

For your information also, completion of this request did exceed the
appropriate cost limit of £450 (calculated as 18 hours at £25 per hour).

 

The information supplied to you 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 the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.

 

Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC copyright continues
to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from
which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their
permission before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision under our complaints procedure. 
Please contact Paul Audu or the complaints section via our website.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints
procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: 

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire

SK9 5AF. 

 

 

Kind regards

 

Nathan

[1]Nathan O'Brennan | Assistant Accountant - Pensions & Projects, [2]West
Sussex County Council | Location: Room 140,West Wing, County Hall,
Chichester
Internal: 23384 | External: 03302 223384 | E-mail:
[3]nathan.o'[email address]

 

Think sustainably. Do you have to print? Can you double side? Do you need
colour?

 

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References

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