Author Topic: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?  (Read 273979 times)

0 Members and 5 Guests are viewing this topic.

Brandysnap

  • Guest
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1100 on: January 08, 2013, 09:44:09 AM »
Somehow I believe that anyone who thinks that the final chapter will end when the report is published is attempting to kid themselves into a sense of false hope.

In my opinion for some the book will be closed when the injustice done to the tax payers of Swindon is reconciled with a payment of £400,000 back into the council budget.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1101 on: January 08, 2013, 12:47:28 PM »
, you should expect to see Bluh & Co declare themselves 'exonerated', 'cleared' and 'vindicated' by the WiFi'asco inquiry conclusion. (regardless of whatever the conclusion actually says of course).  Bluhligans  never before let the facts get in the way of telling a good bullshit  :santa_grin:

The Vile Gentleman counsels patience....

Are you mixing your metaphors with the  Croft School Internal Inquiry   :santa_undecided:

Mixing metaphors?, well, I suppose the Modus Operandi used at Croft does fit the familiar pattern which has been bred by their own contempt for the public so... as the cap seems to fit quite snugly they can wear it when they reap the crops they've sown.

It's a bitter harvest.

Offline jennyb

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1813
  • Gender: Female
  • Kareen
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1102 on: January 08, 2013, 03:40:51 PM »
, you should expect to see Bluh & Co declare themselves 'exonerated', 'cleared' and 'vindicated' by the WiFi'asco inquiry conclusion. (regardless of whatever the conclusion actually says of course).  Bluhligans  never before let the facts get in the way of telling a good bullshit  :santa_grin:

The Vile Gentleman counsels patience....

Are you mixing your metaphors with the  Croft School Internal Inquiry   :santa_undecided:

Mixing metaphors?, well, I suppose the Modus Operandi used at Croft does fit the familiar pattern which has been bred by their own contempt for the public so... as the cap seems to fit quite snugly they can wear it when they reap the crops they've sown.

It's a bitter harvest.

Effective and successful organisations make decisions and judgements on data. That usually means that there is a wealth of detail supporting such decisions which can be questioned by shareholders/auditors.

Effective and successful organisations are not renowned for throwing hissy fits when such supporting detail is requested.

A local authority who dismisses those who question inconsistencies in data on which they purport to have made decisions give off a reek of autocracy which no pretence at democracy can mask.

Local Authorities who can dismiss the loss of £400k on bad decisions on poor or no data will continue to do so with even larger sums.  Just look at the Croft.

Is it any wonder that this LA is spending borrowed money as though it were going out of fashion?

Wifi monies must be explained.
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Des Morgan

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1103 on: January 12, 2013, 08:45:36 AM »
And so the cover up continues apace - In 2011 the Council commissioned a report from a very expensive firm of consultants, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to assist them making a decision on it future options in relation to Digital City UK Limited; as the Director of Finance so succinctly made clear.

This decision could hardly be the most difficult or intellectually demanding after all the Council was only a minority shareholder and its alleged involvement was only to loan the company £400,000. A sum considered trivial in the totality of the Council's budget spend and made on the basis of sound advice from officers who had the benefit of reviewing DCs business plans numbers one and two.

It was also the case that by the end of 2010 everyone, including the much deluded members who lacked the courage to speak out against the decision, knew the game was up. Even the directors of Digital City had conceded the business was not viable as a 'going concern' and declared as much in the forward to the accounts dated 31 December 2010.

The report cost £10,100 - some may say this is trivial compared to the Council's budget. Others may say its 50% of the grant they are proposing cutting from Threshold Housing. 

The Council now seeks to restrict the release of the report arguing a number of points to support its decision.

1. Commercial Interest The Council argues that ‘The report contains information relating to entities other than SBC including the financial information of Digital City UK Limited and the shareholdings of Avidity and aQovia. The conclusion of this argument is that the release of the report would prejudice the commercial interests of all the parties concerned, including the Council.

The fact is that Digital City is not trading and according to the Annual Accounts of the company, is not a ‘going concern’.

The accounts of Digital City are a matter of public record as is the shareholding of Avidity and aQovia. 

It is also the case that Avidity Consulting has ceased trading and has been wound up by Companies House.

I submit it is extremely difficult to argue how the release of the PWC report could prejudice any of the parties referred to.

2. Public Interest The Council agrees that the default position should always be ‘to disclose’ and agrees with the view of the Information Commissioner that the presumption running through the Freedom Of Information Act is that openness is, in itself to be regarded as something that is in the public interest. 

The Council has obviously considered the fact that openness and transparency will enable the public to gain a better understanding of the relationship between Digital City and the Council. It dismisses this positive position by citing issues which may or may not arise in the writing and commissioning of further reports. However, such a view ignores the fact that the report was commissioned in 2011 at a point when Digital City was already in default with its interest payments, and when it was abundantly clear that the company could not fulfil the terms of its contract which was to provide a Borough wide Wi-Fi system. 

The Public Interest is compelling, not simply as a prurient exercise but to gain a greater knowledge of what appears to be a commercial decision based on half truths and inaccurate information which resulted in the Council loaning £400,000 of taxpayer money to what can only be described as a dodgy venture.

3. Information Provided in Confidence The Council claims that the content report is the ‘property’ of PWC even though the Council paid £10,100 for the report. The Council also claim they signed a contract which gives PWC ultimate control of who sees the report and whether any part or parts can be disclosed. It is quite amazing that the Council has agreed to such a clause.

4. Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs  The Council argues the report was prepared for the exclusive use of SBC and Digital City. It also argues that if the participants had known the content was to be made public they may have been less frank in the views and comments expressed. 

The Council acknowledges that the publication of the report might inhibit open discussion in future reports; while an interesting argument it has no basis in fact but is merely a supposition commonly used to suppress the release of information which might ‘embarrass’ the administration or officials within the administration. Section 36 was not meant to provide a ‘get out of jail’ card and protect the egos of officers or councillors. The Council’s attempt to hide behind this clause demonstrates exactly why the document should be made public.

The Council has released a large number of documents in to the public arena. However, it also still refuses to answer questions on the project. 

The Council claims this document was commissioned to assist the Council ‘on its future options in relation to Digital City’. The Council has never previously suggested this report was a joint venture with Digital City and has never claimed the PWC report was for the use of Digital City.

5. Personal Data within the meaning of the Data Protection Act  The Council argues that the report contains data relating to third parties who are not Council employees.  I suspect this all embracing catch all clause refers in a large part to the companies already referred to, Digital City and aQovia.

All in all, the Council is displaying the defensive mindset of a party which has been found out and is now wriggling furiously in an attempt to avoid facing the unpalatable truth. I suspect the PWC report contains some less than complementary opinions on the business rationale to forge a relationship with Digital City UK Limited; I also suspect it may have some scathing comments about the role of officers and members. In short this attempt to hide behind the legal fog, so splendidly articulated by the Borough Solicitor who has a penchant for such things, reveals so much about the hypocrisy of an administration which only recently claimed to understand how people felt, indeed the Leader of the Council actually said 

Quote
“We know people do not feel informed about where the money is spent, the issues concerned and how to influence decisions. I am passionate about facing these as openly and constructively as possible”



Offline makethem99

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 56
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1104 on: January 12, 2013, 09:52:00 AM »
You may be interested to know that the email below was sent this morning to SBC and The Adver:-

Hello

In 2011 the Council commissioned a report costing £10,100 from a firm of consultants, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to assist them making a decision on its’ future options in relation to Digital City UK Limited. The Council also state that they signed a contract when commissioning this report which gives PWC ultimate control of who sees the report and whether any part or parts can be disclosed.

Under the Freedom of Information Act could I request a copy of the contract that Swindon Borough Council agreed to when commissioning PWC to produce the report?

 

Many thanks

 

Charles


Offline oldtowner

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 162
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1105 on: January 12, 2013, 10:08:42 AM »
And since the contract is already neatly filed away they should be able to send you a copy by return post.

But be prepared for a long wait

And then the "we cant because".. < insert BS interpretation of law excuses> response

Offline Outoftowner

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1632
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1106 on: January 12, 2013, 11:15:47 AM »
To my mind the original investment in Digital City Ltd. was not very clever. Yes Officers had recommended it but the Members who agreed the deal knew that the CEO of Digital City had no track record in the subject and the CV of his co-director, from Aqovia, showed that he had only ever had jobs as student placements and therefore also had no track record. There was also the recommendation that Digital City Ltd should not be permitted more than £500 credit.
So step one = Not very Clever.

The advancement of the second tranche of money, against all advice, was frankly gross stupidity.
So step two = Gross Stupidity.

The total denial and obfuscation of what had gone on before was un-democratic.
So step three = Undemocratic.

The attempted cover up and the attempts to involve others in that cover up is possibly a criminal conspiracy.
So step four – A Possible Criminal Conspiracy.

The act of starting at “Not Very Clever” and ending up where there have been possible criminal actions show a complete lack of judgement and desperation on behalf of those perpetrating these events.
What's it all about?

Offline Richard Symonds

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4024
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1107 on: January 12, 2013, 02:37:57 PM »
Readers may interested to learn that I have finally had answers to my questions to Scrutiny of November 5th in a letter from Steve Jones the Committee Officer, written on December 20th but being devoid of a postcode not received until January 4th.  I apologize for the delay in writing it up!  (Please note this apology because we are never likely to receive one for the disgraceful waste of money that was Wi-fi!)

Dear Mr Symonds,

Questions at Scrutiny Committee - 5 November 2012

Regarding your questions at the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee meeting on 5th November on the topic of the finalised accounts of Digital City (UK) Ltd., the Chair indicated at the meeting that written responses should be provided in respect of the following two questions:

What financial penalties have been incurred by the late submission of the accounts?

When the accounts have been submitted to Companies House who will ultimately sustain the cost incurred by late submission?

The following information has now been received from the Council's Board Director, Board Director, Finance, revenues Benefits and Property in response to your questions:

The penalty for late submission of the 2010 accounts is £1,500 which is normally triggered when the accounts are filed.  Neither he (the Board Director) nor the auditor have seen formal notification of this.  In terms of the 2011 accounts, the penalty will be £750 if these accounts are filed before 31/12/12.  The Directors of the company have yet to agree who will pay these penalties.

I would also refer to your comments at last Monday's Scrutiny Committee meeting regarding the minutes and the record of members' debate of your eight public questions.  The Chair has asked that I advise you of the following guidance to Committee officers on the recording of public questions:

"That, subject to including the recording of any statement that a written response would be provided, the practice for the recording of public question at meeting be amended to more accurately reflect the (then) Standing Order 11((9) which requires the minutes of the meeting to record the name of the questioner, the subject matter and the name of the person replying only."

Yours Sincerely,

Steve Jones

Committee Officer

What do you reckon to all that lot then?  Rather a verbose way of answering I suggest but why did minutes not accurately reflect questions and answers as given previously?  Something to hide?

Filing fees £2250 and rising as I doubt they filed 2011 by the end of the year.

Incidentally has our Working Party got around to appointing a Chairman yet? 

If not they had better get a move on if they are going to report back to a special Scrutiny Committee Meeting this month January as agreed at their inception!!
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Des Morgan

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1108 on: January 18, 2013, 01:40:24 PM »
The administration is very keen to convince the public of Swindon that they are 'open and transparent' - it is indeed the watchword of the Leader and he has 'promised' (as only a politician can - with no intent of fulfilling the promise) to be more open and transparent.

Thus for the third time I asked the following question with regard to the accounts of Digital City

 ‘The accounts of Digital city UK Limited for the year ending 31 December 2010 were signed as being a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the company at that date.
 
One of the signatories was Councillor G Perkins, and his name was appended to the Digital City UK Limited balance sheet in that format.
 
In a request for further information on the account detail, Councillor Perkins was allegedly unable to answer a question as he did not know or have the detail supporting the four payment headings.
 
As a director of a company which simply failed to provide a service for which it received £400,000 of tax payers money, Councillor Perkins has a duty to know where money has been spent. Indeed the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales has made it quite clear that directors have a duty to know the detail of their accounts. To simply state that he did not have the detail simply confirms to me that he has failed to exercise due diligence in carrying out his duties as a director of Digital City UK Limited, but more specifically he has failed to act as the ostensible steward of the council’s investment.
 
The question was as follows relating to the accounts as submitted under your hand: 
 
1.   Under ‘cost of sales’ there are four headings titled
 
a. Product management/sales support       £31,500
b. Business intelligence                               £ 3,600
c. Customer service                                     £16,000
d. Billing Collections                                     £16,000
 
Question: Was any of this work undertaken by Mr Hunt or any member of Mr Hunt’s family and was any of the money paid to Mr Hunt or to any family member or company/organisation with which Mr Hunt had an association?
 
I would once again remind Councillor Perkins that he on record as saying  “I have no objection to people knowing where the £400,000 had been spent – at all”. Having made a public statement to this effect I would ask that he delivers on the assurance rather than attempt to avoid giving an answer. Unless a full answer is given he and the Council must be prepared to accept that it will always look as if you are attempting to avoid disclosure of some unsavoury issue’.

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Regeneration has replied

I acknowledge your latest request.  I utterly repudiate your insinuations in the last section.  At a time when Swindon needs to show that it is open for business, when the Council might want to consider partnerships with the private sector, this unsavoury personal attack on the Administration sends a clear message that you want to stop any such future arrangements.  I have provided you with more detail than the director of a private company would.  The details you require have no bearing on the future of investment in digital capacity in Swindon.

The broader facts for the people of Swindon remain unchanged.  As a consequence of the council’s loan to Digital City UK Ltd, we now have a £1.5M investment in 4g technology in Swindon by UK Broadband.  Through our strategic partnership with Capita, this will ensure that the loan principal is recovered as well as outstanding interest.  It will also deliver significant savings in IT costs to the people of Swindon and be a source of revenue.  I hope you will accept this and agree that it would be a better use of your time if this matter was now drawn to a close.

First, one has to ask why does Coun Perkins take such a defensive position? Why not simply answer the question, a straightforward yes or or not to the question would be okay.  If none of the £67k went to Rikki Hunt, his family of companies associated with him, why not say. After all it was Coun Perkins who said "I have no objection to people knowing where the £400,000 had been spent – at all”.

As for the claim that he has provided more information than a director of a private company would this led me to wonder about the stated position of Coun Perkins on the board of DC. Leaving aside the fact that he blurred the lines by signing the accounts as 'Councillor Perkins' - he has in the past sought to suggest he was little more than a humble representative and not a 'big cheese'

Still, for me the most amazing part of this response is what it doesn't say. He doesn't even attempt to answer the question but once agin seeks to suggest that a legitimate saving occasioned by Capita signing a deal with UKB (not SBC) can result in those savings being set against a debt.  I wonder if SBC would be happy to set off my savings suggestion (£6,500 spent on bottled water in 2011) against my Council Tax bill??

Offline Chris Watts

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 890
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1109 on: January 18, 2013, 02:22:56 PM »

In a request for further information on the account detail, Councillor Perkins was allegedly unable to answer a question as he did not know or have the detail supporting the four payment headings.
 
As a director of a company which simply failed to provide a service for which it received £400,000 of tax payers money, Councillor Perkins has a duty to know where money has been spent. Indeed the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales has made it quite clear that directors have a duty to know the detail of their accounts. To simply state that he did not have the detail simply confirms to me that he has failed to exercise due diligence in carrying out his duties as a director of Digital City UK Limited, but more specifically he has failed to act as the ostensible steward of the council’s investment.
 
The question was as follows relating to the accounts as submitted under your hand: 
 
1.   Under ‘cost of sales’ there are four headings titled
 
a. Product management/sales support       £31,500
b. Business intelligence                               £ 3,600
c. Customer service                                     £16,000
d. Billing Collections                                     £16,000
 
Question: Was any of this work undertaken by Mr Hunt or any member of Mr Hunt’s family and was any of the money paid to Mr Hunt or to any family member or company/organisation with which Mr Hunt had an association?
 
I would once again remind Councillor Perkins that he on record as saying  “I have no objection to people knowing where the £400,000 had been spent – at all”. Having made a public statement to this effect I would ask that he delivers on the assurance rather than attempt to avoid giving an answer. Unless a full answer is given he and the Council must be prepared to accept that it will always look as if you are attempting to avoid disclosure of some unsavoury issue’.

The Cabinet Member for Culture and Regeneration has replied

I acknowledge your latest request.  I utterly repudiate your insinuations in the last section.  At a time when Swindon needs to show that it is open for business, when the Council might want to consider partnerships with the private sector, this unsavoury personal attack on the Administration sends a clear message that you want to stop any such future arrangements.  I have provided you with more detail than the director of a private company would.  The details you require have no bearing on the future of investment in digital capacity in Swindon.


Answered like a true United States Junior Senator from Wisconsin...
Good to see that there are some things left in this ever changing world that you can depend on  :santa_afro:
made up word of the day: Demagogueness


Small Print: Member of the Labour Party. GMB Accompanying Rep. IT consultant on sabatical.  Postings may contain political bias. If you have an adverse reaction please desist from reading. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Offline Terry Reynolds

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2718
  • Gender: Male
  • `13 years of lies lies, sleaze porn 10p fiascos, m
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1110 on: January 18, 2013, 03:00:31 PM »
Des, shouldnt you now remind Mr Perkins, that any company who even thought of working with the council, will get the same short shift as that reply, and I cant think of anybody who would do so, in any real terms.. Perhpas a query to the CEO also might get Mr Perkins in the right direction.. :santa_wink: :santa_wink:

Offline Des Morgan

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1111 on: January 18, 2013, 04:53:51 PM »
Quote
Perhaps a query to the CEO also might get Mr Perkins in the right direction

Sadly, I think the officer corps is  probably as culpable in the loss of the £400k as the politicians.

Quote
I hope you will accept this and agree that it would be a better use of your time if this matter was now drawn to a close.

I do love this - it's a way of saying, you can ask as many questions as you like, we will stonewall you until you go away

Offline oldtowner

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 162
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1112 on: January 18, 2013, 08:32:38 PM »
Quote
Perhaps a query to the CEO also might get Mr Perkins in the right direction

Sadly, I think the officer corps is  probably as culpable in the loss of the £400k as the politicians.

Quote
I hope you will accept this and agree that it would be a better use of your time if this matter was now drawn to a close.

I do love this - it's a way of saying, you can ask as many questions as you like, we will stonewall you until you go away

Des, are you doubting this administration's sincerity when it self declares itself to be open and transparent?

As previously noted in another thread this administration is as open and transparent as a sealed vacuum flask at the bottom of a 1000 ft mineshaft

Offline Richard Symonds

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4024
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1113 on: January 22, 2013, 10:10:30 AM »
I attended the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee last night January 21st and asked the following questions with the answers notated in Red

1.   Who is the Chairman of the Wi-fi ‘Working Party’?

Des Moffatt

2.   I am grateful to the Council’s Board Director, Finance, Revenues, Benefits, and Property for his     answer to my question on November 5th 2012 on ‘What financial penalties have been incurred by the late submission of the Accounts?’  Mr Steve Jones wrote on his behalf to advise me that the penalties by late submission of the 2010 Accounts would be £1,500 and £750 for submission of 2011 Accounts if made by the 31st December 2012. 

a.   Can you please tell me if the 2011 Accounts were filed by 31st December 2012 and if not what is the latest cumulative cost of late filing to include the existing figure of £2,250.

Written answer

I also asked on November 5th 2012. ’Who will ultimately sustain the cost incurred by late submission’ to which the Director replied ‘The Directors of the company have yet to agree who will pay the penalties.’

b.   Have the Directors met and what decision did they take as to the paying of these fines?

Written answer

3.   A few years ago a considerable amount of money was invested in electronic voting for Swindon.  I believe this was called Wi-Max system and more recently more money was expended in upgrading it.  Did any part of that system become used for the UK Broadband Wi-fi?

Written answer to be received from the Borough Solicitor because it was admitted that part of it was used by UK Broadband

My comments:

1.  Unless I am wrong when the 'working party' was constituted it was agreed at the November 5th meeting that it was to be formed from four Councillors two Labour and two Conservative with a non voting Chairman.  I did not ask but have they changed this or otherwise Des will not be able to vote, being one of the two Labour members who were appointed in December?

2a & 2b  No surprises there, but just who is expected to pay for these fines?  The Directors or the people of Swindon who loaned the money in the first place?  We have yet to find out but we all know the answer or do we?

3.  This question raised a smile and a groan about the electronic elections in 2007, but it was interesting to note that the Borough Solicitor has undertaken to answer this one!

It was interesting to note that the sole member of the administration present was the leader who was there to present his appreciation of the last six months as per the Agenda, no officers either and just three members of the public including myself.

and one final point, as for the Committee, super sub Stan Pajak was there to replace a yet again absent Dave Wood someone whom I have never seen at any of these meetings.  Is this substitution to become permanent?
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 10109
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1114 on: January 22, 2013, 10:29:45 AM »

3.   A few years ago a considerable amount of money was invested in electronic voting for Swindon.  I believe this was called Wi-Max system and more recently more money was expended in upgrading it.  Did any part of that system become used for the UK Broadband Wi-fi?

Written answer to be received from the Borough Solicitor because it was admitted that part of it was used by UK Broadband

Funny that.  :azn:

But one has to ask why the Borough Solicitor is going to answer?

Perhaps Mr Taylor will answer you in his capacity as monitoring officer to explain why a publicly funded WiMax system, (intended to enable electronic voting), has recently had another substantial wedge of public money spent on it prior to its *possibly* being handed over to at least one, perhaps two, privately owned companies. 

I take it there was no further explanation of how the unpaid and unrecovered loan to Digital City will be 'accounted' for? :popcorn:
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 11:34:28 AM by Geoff Reid »

Offline makethem99

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 56
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1115 on: February 11, 2013, 06:03:50 PM »
You may be interested to know that the email below was sent this morning to SBC and The Adver:-

Hello

In 2011 the Council commissioned a report costing £10,100 from a firm of consultants, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to assist them making a decision on its’ future options in relation to Digital City UK Limited. The Council also state that they signed a contract when commissioning this report which gives PWC ultimate control of who sees the report and whether any part or parts can be disclosed.

Under the Freedom of Information Act could I request a copy of the contract that Swindon Borough Council agreed to when commissioning PWC to produce the report?

 

Many thanks

 

Charles

Response is attached. The answer by law to the FOI had to arrive on the 11th February 2013. It came at 1740!!!!

Offline jennyb

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1813
  • Gender: Female
  • Kareen
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1116 on: February 11, 2013, 06:26:43 PM »
You may be interested to know that the email below was sent this morning to SBC and The Adver:-

Hello

In 2011 the Council commissioned a report costing £10,100 from a firm of consultants, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to assist them making a decision on its’ future options in relation to Digital City UK Limited. The Council also state that they signed a contract when commissioning this report which gives PWC ultimate control of who sees the report and whether any part or parts can be disclosed.

Under the Freedom of Information Act could I request a copy of the contract that Swindon Borough Council agreed to when commissioning PWC to produce the report?

 

Many thanks

 

Charles

Response is attached. The answer by law to the FOI had to arrive on the 11th February 2013. It came at 1740!!!!

I have also experienced this practice by SBC.

It is merely a delaying tactic.

If used as common practice I wonder what the Information Commissioner might think of it?

After all, aren't the public entitled to know how public money has been spent?
It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Outoftowner

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1632
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1117 on: February 19, 2013, 11:23:28 AM »
I cannot remember if I have mentioned it before but on the 29th of January 2013, Digital City (UK) filed a "First Gazette" with Companies House.

Normally this is followed three month later by a "Second Gazette" and then the company is dissolved.

It looks like Digital City will be dissolved without the further cost of the 2012 accounts being another financial burden on the Swindon taxpayer. Small mercy but as it hasn't been trading (ever!) it should be no problem.

This means that at the end of April 2013, Digital City (UK) will no longer exist and it will no longer owe anyone any money.
What's it all about?

Offline Terry Reynolds

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2718
  • Gender: Male
  • `13 years of lies lies, sleaze porn 10p fiascos, m
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1118 on: February 19, 2013, 01:10:25 PM »
Does that mean, then, that the £400 k is now lost for all time??.

ph1lc

  • Guest
Re: Is Final Chapter In wi-fi 'Saga' Near?
« Reply #1119 on: February 19, 2013, 05:56:27 PM »
YES.