22 May 2015 – 600.2014-15 – Freedom of information request – Payments to NYPA members
Please can you confirm:
- How much was paid to County Councillor Jane Kenyon-Miller for mobile telephone charges and mobile telephone rental during her tenure as a member of your predecessor organisation the North Yorkshiie Police Authority.
- County Councillor Kenyon-Miller was a member of the Police Authority in her capacity as a North Yorkshire County Councillor and this formed part of her duties as a North Yorkshire County Councillor. Please confirm the legal justification for paying this allowance. Given that she should have used a mobile telephone or blackberry provided by North Yorkshire County Council, which she would have had to pay for the calls with her North Yorkshire County Council allowance for mobile telephone calls.
- The names of any other member of the Police Authority that had a similar allowance or payments for use of a Police Authority mobile telephone.
- Why Councillor Kenyon-Miller has not been asked to repay the amounts she received, in the same way that Chief Constable Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Briggs were asked to repay their allowances received form the Police Authority.
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted within the North Yorkshire Police Finance Department, which also serves the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. I can confirm that the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire holds some of the information you have requested.
I am not obliged to provide you with a response to your request pursuant to Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).
Section 12(1) applies to questions one and three of your request, as the cost of locating the information relevant to your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of identifying and extracting any relevant information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.
Current recording systems hold information going back to the 2009-10 financial year. Before this time Police Authority member’s telephone costs were not recorded separately, and so in order to extract relevant information we would be required to manually read through every member expenses claim to identify those which were telephone bills. To do this would further require cross referencing paper invoice files and payroll records to identify those which were repaid. The collation of all of this information would therefore exceed the 18 hour cost limit.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire processes requests in accordance with guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which advises public authorities that once one part of a request exceeds the appropriate limit no remaining parts should be answered. This is so as not to deny a requestor the right to express a preference as to which part or parts they may wish to receive (Paragraph 32 at: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1199/costs_of_compliance_exceeds_appropriate_limit.pdf.
Pursuant to Section 17(5) of the Freedom of Information Act this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.
Please note that the systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. It should be noted therefore that this force’s response to your request should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.
Pursuant to Section 16 of the Act I am required to offer you advice and assistance with regarding to refining your request to within the ‘appropriate limit’ (time/cost limit). I can advise you that we may be able to supply information relating to Ms Kenyon’s telephone expenses for the period back to the 2009-10 financial year. Questions two and four of your request are not valid requests, as they do not ask for recorded information, but rather opinion. If you wish to discuss this please do not hesitate to contact me.