In response to a FOI request Wirral Council pulls a rabbit out of a hat and the invoice mysteriously disappears!
Above is a picture of a magician with the famous white rabbit out of a magician’s hat trick. First the hat is empty, then the magician makes the white rabbit appear out of nowhere.
Wirral Council seem to be wanting to pull a similar magic trick when it comes to this FOI request. Let’s just recap what Wirral Council have stated so far.
On the 21st April 2015 Wirral Council refused this FOI request for the fees notes (note plural) on the basis of legal professional privilege (you can read the full text of that refusal here).
On the 11th June 2015 Wirral Council at internal review refused this FOI request for the fees notes (note plural) on the basis of commercial interests (you can read the full text of that refusal here). At internal review Wirral Council stated "The original
responder considered the contents of the fees notes".
On the 27th October the Information Commissioner’s Office issued decision notice FS50585536 which required Wirral Council to produce the fees notes within 35 days.
On the 24th November Wirral Council produced one of the two which you can read about in Why did Wirral Council spend £48,384 on a London-based barrister in benefits battle with landlord?.
The fee note for the £2,700 invoice, which they have been claiming for the past nearly nine months has been carefully considered by its officers when refusing this request (twice) has conveniently and somewhat mysteriously vanished.
Yes like the reverse trick of the white rabbit appearing out of nowhere and just when it would be contempt of court not to produce it, it vanishes!
Of course the observant among you will have long witnessed the "magic and miracles" that goes on at Wirral Council by its employees.
ED: 1/12/15 9:49 Just for clarity, here is the invoice this refers to which quite clearly states "See fee note attached for description of work".
I will finish with this clip of Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes, Prime Minister. Wirral Council’s responses to FOI requests will be discussed by councillors on Thursday evening, in response to this Lib Dem motion.
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