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Stuart May

2 February 2011

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

Following the appointment of Mr Jason Longhurst in approximately
July 2010, the Council’s Assistant Director of Planning, Transport
and Housing, he conducted a staff review and engaged the services
of a management consultant (whom was allegedly known to him
personally prior to his appointment).

Would the Council please provide the following information:

1. Name of consultant
2. Whether her appointment followed the Council’s procurement
procedures
3. Value of contract
4. Whether Council approval was granted in respect of the
appointment
5. Why it was necessary to engage a consultant to undertake this
review
6. Outcome of review

Yours faithfully,

David Earl

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

2 February 2011

Dear Mr Earl

I am pleased to acknowledge your request for information received on 02
February 2011, which has been allocated the reference number 20110205.

Your request has been passed to the relevant department for processing
and you can expect your response within the 20 working day limit. If it
will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will
inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving
the response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of
Information requests is available on our website at:
http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-and-de…
dom-of-information/

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or
assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Officer
North East Lincolnshire Council

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

21 February 2011

Dear Mr Earl

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act made on
February 2nd 2011, reference number 20110205.

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the
information you have requested.

1. The individual engaged to provide the interim services for the vacant
Strategic Manager Post was contracted through Lanarca.

2. The appointment of this individual complied in full with the Council’s
procedure for engaging interim service providers.

3. The contract was capped at £1,800 per week, and could be terminated by
North East Lincolnshire Council with one days notice.

4. The appointment was approved, as per current practice, by the
appropriate Executive Director.

5. The nature of the interim function sought was to undertake specific
duties of the Strategic Manager position until the post had been filled,
including supporting the recruitment and hand over process for the team
and manager now in place. The reason for the appointment of this
individual was, as is typically the case, because a vacancy existed that
we had been unsuccessful in filling through earlier recruitment
processes. The recent round of recruitment led to the filling of all
vacancies within this particular team.

6. As outlined in point 5 the individual was brought in to cover a
specific vacancy and not to carry out any specific review.

I trust this has answered your request in full.

If you are unhappy with the response you have received, you have the right
to request an internal review by the Council. If following this you are
still dissatisfied you may contact the Office of the Information
Commissioner. If you wish to request an internal review, please contact me
and I will make the necessary arrangements.

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Corporate Records and Information Manager
North East Lincolnshire Council

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Stuart May

22 February 2011

Dear PPD – FOI,

Your response is noted.

I hereby request an internal review.

The further issues which should be addressed are as follows:

What were the qualifications/ experience required for this interim
post?

What were the qualification and experience of the Interim
appointee?

Was the Interim appointee known personally to Mr Jason Longhurst
who it is understood made the appointment?

Were any other potential Interims considered or interviewed for
this Interim position?

What were the qualifications and experience of the other potential
Interims considered for this temporary position, if any were
considered?

Yours sincerely,

Stuart May

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

23 February 2011

Dear Mr May

I am pleased to acknowledge your further e-mail in relation to information request 20110205.

Your e-mail has requested an internal review and asked further questions of the Council.

As these are two separate elements, I will arrange for an internal review to be undertaken on the handling of your original request and pass the new questions to the relevant department for processing. You can expect a response to both the internal review and your further questions within 20 working day limit. If it will take us longer than 20 working days to respond to you, we will inform you of this and provide you with the expected date for receiving the response.

Further information about how we will deal with your Freedom of Information requests is available on our website at: http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/council-and-de…

Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or assistance quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Officer
North East Lincolnshire Council

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

24 February 2011

Dear Mr Earl/Mr May

An Internal Review has taken place following your request of 22nd February
2011, into North East Lincolnshire Council’s handling of your information
request 20110205.

Your request was received on 2nd February 2011 and asked 6 questions in
relation to the engagement of a ‘management consultant’ by the Council. A
response was sent to you on 21st February 2011 answering all of your
questions.

I have reviewed the handling of your request and I am satisfied that the
Council handled your request in a timely manner and in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act.

Your Internal Review request asked that the following issues be addressed

* What were the qualifications/ experience required for this interim
post?

* What were the qualification and experience of the Interim appointee?

* Was the Interim appointee known personally to Mr Jason Longhurst who
it is understood made the appointment?
* Were any other potential Interims considered or interviewed for this
Interim position?
* What were the qualifications and experience of the other potential
Interims considered for this temporary position, if any were
considered?

As these questions did not form part of your original request, I have
passed them to the relevant department to provide a response, which you
should receive within 20 working days.

I trust that the internal review has answered your query in full. If you
are not happy with my decision you may wish to contact the Information
Commissioner’s Office who will be able to undertake an independent review
of the handling of your request.

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone 08456 306060 or 01625 545745

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Corporate Records and Information Manager
North East Lincolnshire Council

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

22 March 2011

Dear Mr May

Thank you for your further request under the Freedom of
Information Act made on February 22nd 2011, reference number 20110205.

I wish to confirm that North East Lincolnshire Council holds the
information you have requested.

1 What were the qualifications/ experience required for this interim
post?

The qualifications and experience for the interim post were based on
elements of the Strategic Manager position, omitting the planning
responsibilities and staff management responsibilities which were covered
by another Council officer.

ATTRIBUTES ESSENTIAL DESIRABLE
Relevant Experience
Experience of working with Government offices and agencies on
policy and funding issues related to Transport, Planning and Housing.

* Proven track record gained within project management and/or service
delivery areas.

Education/Training/

Qualifications Recognised professional qualification in Planning/Town &
Country Planning, minimum MRTPI
Management qualification equivalent to degree level MBA / MSc in
Management
Secondary professional/post graduate qualification in relevant technical
discipline

2 What were the qualification and experience of the Interim
appointee?

The interim appointed met the qualifications and experience specified for
the post as detailed in the response to question 1

3 Was the Interim appointee known personally to Mr Jason Longhurst
who it is understood made the appointment?

The interim appointed was known in a business capacity by Mr Longhurst

4 Were any other potential Interims considered or interviewed for
this Interim position?

Yes – a number of other possible candidates were put forward for the
position, and the Council contacted Veredus, Capita Resourcing, Quantica
and SOLACE.  Telephone discussions were held with each agency, all of
whom conducted interviews with their proposed candidates.

5. What were the qualifications and experience of the other potential
Interims considered for this temporary position, if any were considered?

The qualifications and experience of the other potential interims were in
line with those detailed for the post, please see above.

If you are unhappy with the response you have received, you have the right
to request an internal review by the Council. If following this you are
still dissatisfied you may contact the Office of the Information
Commissioner. If you wish to request an internal review, please contact me
and I will make the necessary arrangements.

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Corporate Records and Information Manager
North East Lincolnshire Council

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Stuart May

23 March 2011

Dear North East Lincolnshire Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of North East
Lincolnshire Council’s handling of my FOI request ‘Procedures for
engaging consultants’.

I am informed that the person appointed was not suitably qualified
and that the information provided is incorrect and thus totally
misleading. Unless the matter investigated in a transparent manner,
it will be necessary to refer the matter to the Local Government
Ombudsman.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/pr…

Yours faithfully,

Stuart May

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

23 March 2011

Dear Mr May

Thank you for your email of 23 March 2011 requesting an internal review of
the response received for your Freedom of Information request 20110205.

This has been passed to the relevant department for processing.

Yours sincerely

Paul Ellis
Corporate Records and Information Manager
North East Lincolnshire Council

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Stuart May

23 March 2011

Dear PPD – FOI,

Your replies suggested that the post was filled ‘through’ a company
called Lanarca. In fact, can you confirm that the person appointed
was one of the Directors of Larnaca, who is not a Member of the
Royal Town Planning Institute.

It is noted that the post required MRTPI as an essential
qualification for this position. Can you please explain, therefore,
why Mr Jason Longhurst appointed Ms Mc Cormack, who is understood
not to have any planning qualifications. The Larnaca web site
states that she has worked in the private and public sectors – but
does not specify where and what capacity. Can you please explain
why it was considered appropriate to appoint such an Interim, when
she did not meet the minimum requirements of the post? More
importantly, why has the Council misled me in its response, by
stating that the post holder met all the requirements of the post?

Yours sincerely,

Stuart May

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PPD – FOI
North East Lincolnshire Council

1 April 2011

Dear Mr May,

Â

An internal review has taken place following your request of March 23rd
2011, into North East Lincolnshire Council’s handling of your information
request 20110205. The review has looked at both the handling of the
request and the specific comments included in your request for an internal
review and subsequent e-mail of March 23rd 2011.

Background

On February 2nd 2011, under the name David Earl, you submitted a request
to North East Lincolnshire Council via the `What do they know’ website for
confirmation of the arrangements for the engagement of an interim to cover
the vacant Strategic Manager post.

1. Name of consultant
2. Whether her appointment followed the Council’s procurement procedures
3. Value of contract
4. Whether Council approval was granted in respect of the appointment
5. Why it was necessary to engage a consultant to undertake this review
6. Outcome of review

North East Lincolnshire Council responded on February 21st 2011,
confirming that they held the information requested and provided the
following answers and your rights of appeal.

1. The individual engaged to provide the interim services for the vacant
Strategic Manager Post was contracted through Lanarca.

2. The appointment of this individual complied in full with the
Council’s procedure for engaging interim service providers.

3. The contract was capped at £1,800 per week, and could be
terminated by North East Lincolnshire Council with one days notice.

4. The appointment was approved, as per current practice, by the
appropriate Executive Director.

5. The nature of the interim function sought was to undertake specific
duties of the Strategic Manager position until the post had been filled,
including supporting the recruitment and hand over process for the team
and manager now in place. The reason for the appointment of this
individual was, as is typically the case, because a vacancy existed that
we had been unsuccessful in filling through earlier recruitment
processes. The recent round of recruitment led to the filling of all
vacancies within this particular team.

6. As outlined in point 5 the individual was brought in to cover a
specific vacancy and not to carry out any specific review.

You responded on February 22^nd 2011, this time under the name Stuart May,
asking for an internal review of the handling of your request and
submitting five further questions you wished to be addressed, which are
detailed below.

1. What were the qualifications/ experience required for this
interim post?

2. What were the qualification and experience of the Interim
appointee?

3. Was the Interim appointee known personally to Mr Jason Longhurst
who it is understood made the appointment?

4. Were any other potential Interims considered or interviewed for
this Interim position?

5. What were the qualifications and experience of the other
potential Interims considered for this temporary position, if any were
considered?

An internal review was carried out and a response sent on February 24^th
2011, which found that your request had been handled in a timely manner
and in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. You were provided
with your rights of appeal and informed that your further five questions
would be responded to in due course.

On March 22^nd 2011, you were provided with the following response to the
additional five questions asked on February 22^nd 2011.

1 What were the qualifications/ experience required for this interim
post?

The qualifications and experience for the interim post were based on
elements of the Strategic Manager position, omitting the planning
responsibilities and staff management responsibilities which were covered
by another Council officer.

ATTRIBUTES ESSENTIAL DESIRABLE
Relevant Experience
Experience of working with Government offices and agencies on
policy and funding issues related to Transport, Planning and Housing.

* Proven track record gained within project management and/or service
delivery areas.

Education/Training/

Qualifications Recognised professional qualification in Planning/Town &
Country Planning, minimum MRTPI
Management qualification equivalent to degree level MBA / MSc in
Management
Secondary professional/post graduate qualification in relevant technical
discipline

2 What were the qualification and experience of the Interim
appointee?

The interim appointed met the qualifications and experience specified for
the post as detailed in the response to question 1

3 Was the Interim appointee known personally to Mr Jason Longhurst
who it is understood made the appointment?

The interim appointed was known in a business capacity by Mr Longhurst

4 Were any other potential Interims considered or interviewed for
this Interim position?

Yes – a number of other possible candidates were put forward for the
position, and the Council contacted Veredus, Capita Resourcing, Quantica
and SOLACE.  Telephone discussions were held with each agency, all of
whom conducted interviews with their proposed candidates.

5. What were the qualifications and experience of the other potential
Interims considered for this temporary position, if any were considered?

The qualifications and experience of the other potential interims were in
line with those detailed for the post, please see above.

Review
Â

I have considered the responses provided to you, and conclude that North
East Lincolnshire Council has meet it responsibilities under the Freedom
of Information Act in the handling of your requests, namely

. To inform you whether or not the information is held by the
Council;
. To response to the request in a timely manner;
. To provide you with the information we can disclose in response
to your request; and
. To provide you with your rights of appeal.

In relation to your comments concerning whether the person appointed was
suitably qualified and that the information provided to you is incorrect
and thus totally misleading, I have considered the responses you have
received. You specify that the person appointed to this role was required
to have a recognised professional qualification in Planning/Town & Country
Planning, minimum MRTPI. I would refer you to the Council’s response of
March 22^nd 2011, which confirmed that `the qualifications and experience
for the interim post were based on elements of the Strategic Manager
position, omitting the planning responsibilities and staff management
responsibilities which were covered by another Council officer’. I am
therefore satisfied that any person appointed to this interim role would
not require the minimum planning qualifications you refer to in your
correspondence. Following further investigation I can confirm that the
person appointed to the post was appropriately qualified to undertake that
role, and that you have received a full response to your request. I
therefore do not uphold your complaint.

Additional Question

In response to the additional question you raised on March 23^rd 2011,
following your request for an internal review I can confirm that the
person appointed to the role is a Director of Larnaca.

Summary

I am satisfied that North East Lincolnshire Council has handled your
request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act in terms of
timeliness, confirming that the information is held, providing you with
that information and your rights of appeal. I therefore do not uphold your
complaint that the information provided to you was either incorrect or
misleading.

I trust that the internal review has answered your query in full, however
if you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request or
are dissatisfied with the decision of the internal review you have the
right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office for an independent
review. The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 08456 306060 or 01625 545745

Yours sincerely on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council

Marc Cole
Executive Director of Regeneration

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George Cant left an annotation (1 April 2011)

outstanding Stuart well spotted.

so the person that filled this post is

1. On approx 100 k a year.
2. Is known to ********* in a business nature
3. Is one of the directors of the employment co that the council asked to provide staff from.

and

quote

“3 Was the Interim appointee known personally to Mr Jason Longhurst who it is understood made the appointment?

The interim appointed was known in a business capacity by Mr Longhurst

4 Were any other potential Interims considered or interviewed for this Interim position?

Yes – a number of other possible candidates were put forward for the position, and the Council contacted Veredus, Capita Resourcing, Quantica and SOLACE. Telephone discussions were held with each agency, all of whom conducted interviews with their proposed candidates.

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