UPDATED ~ Post ICO “vexatious” mauling – #WirralFail Council have coughed . No sign of ICO Decision Notice

11 11 13 vexed

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My FoI request, asking for information about former Chief Internal Auditor, David Garry, was not vexatious.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/departure_of_chief_internal_audi

More importantly, I, Paul Cardin, was not being “obsessive”, as deemed by a council solicitor – or whoever told her to say that.

I’ll tell you what; they tend to get rid of precisely the wrong people at Wirral Council don’t they?  But that’s how abuse festers isn’t it?  One or two ‘bad apples’ in positions of power, moral compass set to “gone west”, bigging each other up, employing their chumz, targeting and clearing out ‘troublemakers’, then scraping the barrel by treating their public as the ‘enemy’, to be engaged in battle, brought down and “crushed” by whatever means available…

…then before you know it, a reign of fear takes hold, the fish starts to rot, and the stench rises…  Haha.  Shouldn’t laugh though eh…?

Because this is deadly serious.

Today at least, here is a victory for common sense, and the legitimate and compelling public interest.  This is a line in the sand, however faint, however thin, but it’s still a form of reckoning.  They’ve been caught out bullying and abusing in the past, and now simply CAN’T be allowed to continue flexing those muscles…  over and over, with zero accountability.

One down, two to go

I rang the council today in an attempt to speak with the solicitor behind all this.  Her phone rang off without being answered.  I had a proposition for her.  I was going to ask her to withdraw the 2 x outstanding “vexatious” rebuttals that she’s lodged against a couple of my requests, very similar to this one…  both of which involve David Garry one way or another…

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/unscrutinised_machinations_permi

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/with_compromise_agreements_not_b

This would now be a practical move.  I was going to explore with her the notion that it’s highly unlikely she’ll prevail, let alone successfully land a glove on me…

I had a question for her:  how about giving up the ghost now, and not squandering any more of your expensive time, or our precious money, on a fruitless campaign of trying to save face against a lowly former lighting engineer colleague of yours?  OK, this Section 14 defeat may go down as a black mark against you, and a bit of a humiliation, but are you desperate to persist, and compound that?

I have sympathy for the exposed position she may find herself in, so I’ll continue to make time for her and try again on Monday.

Below are some much better scans of the ICO document.   All 13 pages.    Lucky for some.

When it’s up on the ICO website in about 2 weeks’ time, I’ll provide a handy link to it. **It took several months in the end due to an ‘error’.

The council have 35 days to respond and to either provide the information requested or give another reason for not doing so – or face an action under ‘contempt of court’.  Yes, that’s how this “Freedom of Information” Act works…  they still have scope to dust off another potential exemption and then run with it.  No matter that the request, and the first anniversary of its original submission arrives next week.

These things take time.

Here we go…

FS50491264 Cover pageFS50491264 001 FS50491264 002 FS50491264 003 FS50491264 004 FS50491264 005 FS50491264 006 FS50491264 007

FS50491264 008 FS50491264 009 FS50491264 010 FS50491264 011 FS50491264 012

UPDATE: 8th November 2013

So, in the end Wirral Council had to cough up, and here’s what they were hiding from us “beneath the Cloak of Vexation” that was draped across my shoulders for many uncomfortable months…

It’s the previously exempt report.  The bloke who exposed the small matter that Wirral Council had an alarmingly incompetent way of recording “compromise contracts” (or not, as it turned out) was encouraged to sign a compromise agreement HIMSELF… before taking voluntary severance and the customary large pay off.

ITEM 1

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/133826/response/448033/attach/html/3/Compromise%20Contract%201.pdf.html

Agenda Item 4

WIRRAL COUNCIL 
THE EMPLOYMENT AND APPOINTMENTS SUB COMMITEE 
20 SEPTEMBER 2012 
SUBJECT: 
COMPROMISE CONTRACT  
WARD/S AFFECTED: 
ALL 
REPORT OF: 
INTERIM DIRECTOR OF FINANCE 
KEY DECISION   
YES

£44,423 wasn’t a bad salary for working a ‘flexible retirement’, or 21.6 hours per week was it?  Can I be reading this right?  Or are they explaining the situation very badly once again?

Item 2

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/133826/response/448033/attach/html/4/APPENDIX1%20D%20Garry%20AGREED%20FINAL%201.pdf.html

Minute Annex C
Appendix One
The Employment and Appointments Sub Committee
Financial Information : Mr David Garry
Payment reason 
Value

Total paid across to Mr Garry: £46,584 – which we already knew…

Of course, I’ll now be considering whether to ask for an internal review of this response.  I’m not happy that the council are once again wheeling out section 40, which I believe is only appropriate to SOME of the items they quote in their defence.

But as usual, it’s been another blanket response from Wirral, where virtually everything visible is swept up, lock, stock and barrel, and hurried out of sight, away from public view.

UPDATE   31st December 2013

Despite being formulated and written almost two months ago, the above ICO Decision Notice has still not appeared on the ICO website.   Although I’ve recieved around a dozen of these in the past, this is the first time such a delay has occurred.  I’ll be ringing them in the New Year.

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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11 Responses to UPDATED ~ Post ICO “vexatious” mauling – #WirralFail Council have coughed . No sign of ICO Decision Notice

  1. Pingback: POWER BOY PIP & THE POLLYANNA PRINCIPLE * | Wirralleaks

  2. Bravo . Wirral will not become Atlantic City (Boardwalk Empire)

  3. Alan M Dransfield says:

    Paul
    Well done and it would appear the ICO are learning from their mistakes.
    I am still awaitng a hearing date from the Court of Appeal on my GIA/3037/2011 case v the ICO and Devon County Council.
    Keep up the good works

  4. Alan M Dransfield says:

    The ICO are now using my case GIA3037/2011 in FAVOUR of Non Vexatious Decision.
    I still consider they are wrong to use my case eiether in favour or overuling a vexatious complaint because that case is still under appeal.
    The ICO appear to be shooting themselevs in BOTH feet.

  5. Alan M Dransfield says:

    I would argue the the ICO have failed their duty of care and legal obligation with their recent publication of their NEW Vexatious Guidelines documents (137 pages ) which makes multile reference to my GIA/3037/2011.
    At the time of publication of their NEW guidelines the ICO knew or should have known that the GIA/3037/2011 was under appeal to the Court of Appeal.

    I am delighted for you on your latest non vexatious ICO decision and it is a victory for all the FOIA campaigners out there.
    Well done Paul.

  6. John Fletcher says:

    I wonder if you’d be willing to share how many requests have you made to Wirral in the last 24 months?
    Next time, if you really want the information, drop the angry tone. And for godsake don’t phone the poor woman with your “proposition” – which appears little more than a harassing call to get her to change other Section 14 refusals.

    • How many requests does the Act permit me John?
      Does the Act debar an angry tone? Don’t remember reading that, neither that successful requests are conditional on the requester not being angry.
      Who says I’ve been unsuccessful in getting the information?
      Don’t you have it in you to recognise and acknowledge a successful requester when you see one, John?

      • John Fletcher says:

        I don’t regard you as a successful requester – I see someone who has got a problem with the Council and uses FOI simply to continue your dispute, as reflected by the tone and frequency of your requests. In my opinion you are wasting taxpayers money – and the support of serial timewaster Alan Dransfield should give you a clue as to that fact.

  7. I’m not alone…

    Thousands of people have a problem with Wirral Council, John, the majority of whom not surprisingly live on Wirral and have become prey to the unchecked abuse, malpractice, concealment, minimisation, cowardice, thievery and everyday cruelty – the issues you prefer to gloss over and pretend don’t exist (for whatever private reason of your own).

    Time to check the lay of the land mate. It’s cause and effect. Two lots of ICO monitoring, one recent undertaking for the CEO… and apparently, nothing learned. That’s where I come in, and people like Mr Dransfield. We prefer to fight back, not lie back and be walked over. Simples.

    Oh, and if you’re trying to make incisive comments, you’re falling at the first fence. I’ve made 400+ FoI requests. 400+ of these were made of other councils, not Wirral. What does that tell you, John?

    Any other crazed propositions you want shooting down? And… do you have anything to declare that you’re not telling us perhaps? Your IP address returns a leafy suburb of Wilmslow, home of the ICO. Probably a coincidence, but hmmmm, eh John? Hmmmm.

    You also have a namesake who’s a solicitor based in nearby Hale. It’s not YOU is it? Haha. Dear oh dear.

  8. Alan M Dransfield says:

    Well done Paul , another victory for the limitless man against the giants of corruption. This was the first time a PA have lost a decision whilst relying on my GIA/3037/ .
    Iwod argue the Wiral PA were in contempt of court similar to the other 40 PA Nationwide who have relied on the Dransfield case.

  9. simon says:

    Well done Paul. I find it interesting that the terms ‘vexatious’ and ‘obsessive’ have been used by Wirral with regards to FOI request. We have encountered the same terminology when attempting to obtain information from Keighley Town Council. Makes you wonder what is being discussed at these NALC meetings and whether it is all about issues which are in the Public’s Best Interests.

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