Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Are We Family? (18/06/18)



Compare and contrast the 'second class' treatment of Glasgow's Cordia workers to the generosity extended to the City Council's outgoing director of finance - to allow Lynn Brown to access her pension early.

What do Glasgow's politicians - Councillors, MSPs and MPs - think about the City Council's behaviour?

  

Glasgow's Golden Goodbyes (17/06/18)



Glasgow City Council is due to answer my FOI Request early this week regarding the £120,000 'gifted' to its outgoing director of finance, Lynn Brown, which allowed Lynn to access her pension early.

Now I don't begrudge anyone accessing their pension early, but I think it is reasonable to ask how this decision was made because clearly someone had to recommend such a highly generous use of public funds.

Especially, when Lynn Brown was already a highly paid senior council official whose salary in 2016/17 was in the region of £161,000 which makes me wonder if the same treatment would have been extended to a council Home Carer, Classroom Assistant or School Cleaner? 

Yet again, the City Council failed to answer my original FOI Request which meant I had to submit a separate FOI Review Request which has wasted further time and effort for no good reason, and leads me to conclude that council officials are being deliberately obstructive and unhelpful.

If the Council does not respond with a straight answer on this occasion, I will raise an appeal with the independent Scottish Information Commissioner although this would make a mockery of the Council's policy of becoming a 'world leader' in terms of the openness and transparency of its decision-making procedures.  

So we shall see what happens because it's difficult to believe that senior council officials are acting in 'good faith' when one of their colleagues is handed a £120,000 'gift', yet the City Council refuses to answer my FOI request about the role of senior officials in the WPBR - on the grounds that it would cost more than £600 to answer.   

I plan to share this post with all Glasgow's Councillors, MSPs and MPs because if you ask me, it's high time the city's politicians took a more active interest in these matters  and in the conduct of the Council's senior officials. 

22 May 2018

Carole Forrest
Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council
Glasgow City Council


Dear Ms Forrest

FoI Review Request

I refer to my FOISA Request to the Council's chief executive Annemarie O'Donnell dated 20 April 2018, a copy of which is attached for easy reference.

In view of the Council's failure to respond within the time limits laid down by FOISA I would now like to initiate a formal Review Request.

I look forward to your response to my Review Request and would be grateful if you could reply to me by email at: markirvine@compuserve.com

Kind regards


Mark Irvine

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Irvine <markirvine@compuserve.com>
Sent: Fri, Apr 20, 2018 3:05 pm
Subject: Fwd: FOISA Request


20 April 2018

Annemarie O'Donnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow City Council


Dear Ms O'Donnell

FOISA Request

I refer to the letter below from John Dickson, Executive Compliance Officer, and would like to make the following request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. 

1) Please provide me the name and job title of the Council official who recommended that Glasgow City Council should pay £120,079 to compensate the Local Government Pension Scheme for allowing the Council's former executive Director of Finance, Lynn Brown, to access her pension benefits early?

2) Please provide me with the written explanation for this recommendation and the process by which the expenditure of this large sum of public money approved? 

3) Please confirm how long the former Executive Director of Finance would otherwise have had to wait to access her pension benefits, if it were not for this generous use of public funds? 

I look forward to your reply and would be grateful if you could respond to me by e-mail at: markirvine@compuserve.com
Kind regards



Mark Irvine