What was in the 11 A4 page witness statement of Surjit Tour (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?

What was in the 11 A4 page witness statement of Surjit Tour (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?                                               At the outset I will make four declarations of interests. 1) I am the Appellant in this case (EA/2016/0033). … Continue reading “What was in the 11 A4 page witness statement of Surjit Tour (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?”

What was in the 11 A4 page witness statement of Surjit Tour (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?

                                             

At the outset I will make four declarations of interests.

1) I am the Appellant in this case (EA/2016/0033).
2) My wife was my McKenzie Friend in case EA/2016/0033.
3) I made the original Freedom of Information request on the 29th March 2013.
4) I am referred to by name (Mr. Brace) in paragraphs 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14 and 15 of the witness statement of Surjit Tour.
5) My profession ("local press") is referred to in paragraph 27.

This continues from two earlier blog posts headlined What were the 6 A4 pages of partially redacted minutes of a Headteachers’/Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee meeting and the name of a LGA Associate Tutor that Wirral Council disclosed voluntarily in response to a First Tier-Tribunal (General Regulatory chamber) hearing (case number EA/2016/0033) about a Freedom of Information request first made in March 2013? and What was in the 5 A4 page witness statement of Andrew Roberts (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?.

Line breaks are indicated by a double horizontal line break. A picture of Surjit Tour at a public meeting of Wirral Council’s Coordinating Committee from the 15th June 2016 is below so people reading know who I’m referring to. I have included his signature, typed name and handwritten date at the end of the witness statement as an image.

Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer (Wirral Council)) at the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016
Surjit Tour (Monitoring Officer (Wirral Council)) at the Coordinating Committee held on 15th June 2016

Continue reading “What was in the 11 A4 page witness statement of Surjit Tour (Wirral Council) about a Freedom of Information request for the minutes of a meeting of the Headteachers’ and Teachers’ Joint Consultative Committee (EA/2016/0033)?”

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council admit disclosure of NI numbers, dates of birth & names of nearly 200 staff was a mistake

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council admit disclosure of NI numbers, dates of birth & names of nearly 200 staff was a mistake

EXCLUSIVE: Wirral Council admit disclosure of NI numbers, dates of birth & names of nearly 200 staff was a mistake

                                                                          

Surjit Tour (left) at a recent meeting of Wirral Council's Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee
Surjit Tour (left) at a recent meeting of Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee

The background to this story is that last year Wirral Council accidentally divulged to me around two hundred people’s names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, job titles and whether they were in the Merseyside Pension Fund (that Wirral Council administers) or not.

This is my response to Wirral Council (and ICO on this matter).

Dear Surjit Tour, Caroline Flint (ICO) and others,

Thank you Mr. Tour for your letter of 28th April 2015 (your reference ST/CG) and the email from ICO’s Caroline Flint dated 30th April 2015 (ICO case reference number RFA0568370). As both communications cover the same topic I am writing this joint response in reply.

I will deal first with an error in the response in the email from ICO. The first sentence in that email states “Thank you for raising your concern with us about Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s (Wirral MBC’s) handling of your personal data.”

None of the personal data that this matter relates to is about myself.

Moving to Mr. Tour’s letter of the 28th April 2015, paragraph 2 correctly states that I requested “eight lengthy contracts/leases” (one of which is the PFI contract with Wirral Schools Services Limited that this matter relates to).

Although not implicitly stated, it is implied that I was provided with eight lengthy contracts/leases and that this request “did impose a considerable strain on the officers”.

However four were not provided (the BAM Nuttall contract came into effect during the 2014/15 financial year, the development agreement (dated 9/1/2008) and bond (dated 6/10/2008) with Pochin Land and Development Limited (relating to the Birkenhead ASDA Compulsory Purchase Order) was refused and so was Wirral Council’s agreement with Neptune Developments with regards to the Birkenhead Masterplan proposals).

Two leases were provided (I would estimate each at being around 200 pages long). Two contracts were also provided (including the PFI contract) which are each around 500-1000 pages long. In the case of one of the leases (the New Brighton Marine Point lease) two entire copies of the lease were provided (when I only asked for one). As one of the two copies provided of that lease has a Land Registry official copy stamp on it (so presumably the copying was done by Land Registry) I would respectfully point out that the “considerable strain on the officers” referred to in your letter in making a second copy of that lease (then providing a second copy of that lease to myself with the Land Registry copy) was unnecessary.

In the last sentence of your letter you refer to Regulation 9 of the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011 which requires the documents to be made available for public inspection twenty working days before the date appointed by the auditor for local government electors to exercise their rights to either ask questions or make an objection.

For the 2013/14 audit, this date was the 18th August 2014. Therefore in order to comply with the regulations the documents should have been made available in the twenty working days leading up to the 18th August 2014 (which was the 21st July 2014 to the 15th August 2014).

As specified in your letter the PFI contract was available for inspection by myself on the 12th Sept