Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: BREAKING NEWS >> >>> Information Commissioner tells East Devon District Council to publish documentation
... the question is whether the District Council will want to repeat its expensive appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (or, FTT) - which is what happened over another FOI request back in August 2014:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: FOI request goes to tribunal: detailed report of proceedings
A regular complaint from District Councillors is how much officer time FOI requests take:
Futures Forum: The Freedom of Information Act and East Devon >>> the story continues
And how much all of this costs:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the cost of FOI requests
Indeed, a recent FOI asked the District Council how much it had spent on contesting cases - much of which would have been spent on the relocation project:
EDDC SPENDS MORE THAN £ 700,000 ON EXTERNAL LEGAL ADVICE IN 3 YEARS
23 OCT 2016
Summary of request
I would like to know the amount of money the department spent on the services of external law firms and barristers for each of the last three years (years ending March 31). If this is not possible within the restrictions of the Freedom of Information Act, two years of data will suffice.
Summary of response
2013/14 Legal fees including barristers £285,075.61
2014/15 Legal fees including barristers £353,060.78
2015/16 Legal fees including barristers £79,053.34
Freedom of Information published requests - East Devon
EDDC spends more than £ 700,000 on external legal advice in 3 years | East Devon Watch
The only problem is that the Council might well decide to spend more time and money contesting these latest Decision Notices.
A correspondent asks:
Whether or not the District Council needs to be asked about their continuing secrecy over the Knowle.
And whether they are going to fritter away even more on legal fees trying to avoid being transparent and to avoid being held accountable like they did on the previous appeal / FTT which contributed to the £700k legal costs during that period.
After the whole Complaint / Appeal / FTT process played out and they were forced to publish the documents, it turned out that there was nothing controversial worth hiding – so what a waste of public money fighting it.
So what is it this time – something damaging that they feel they have to keep secret or just another attempt to avoid transparency and fritter away public money? (heads they lose, tails they lose)
East Devon District Council - view and make Freedom of Information requests - WhatDoTheyKnow