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Checks and Targets

Requested on
Mon 14th October, 2013
Reference
FOI 3465
Resolution
Information provided

Question

Under the Freedom of Information Act, we would like to request a response to the following questions and retrieve the required information:

Criminal Checks & Referencing
• Name & contact information of Lead Signatory
• How many countersignatories within the Council
• How many staff members are involved with processing criminal checks
• Are staff (all) subject to any additional referencing, if so what?
• Total volume of DBS/CRB checks completed in 2012
• Is the Council a Registered Body and/or Registered Umbrella Body?
• How often are CRB/DBS checks updated?
• Are applications processed on line or by paper?
• If online who is your supplier?
• If online how much administration fee is applied to each disclosure application
• If online please detail any additional costs incurred, eg licence fee, hosting, etc.
• Does the council currently host a HR software solution?
• The budget(s) assigned to CRB/DBS check are allocated to which department? If more than one please provide the approximate split.

Licences
• Please confirm the volume of personal licences granted in 2012
• Please confirm the volume of taxi licences granted in 2012

General
• Who is responsible for saving money within the Council?
• Name & contact information of Financial Director
• Name & contact information of the HR Director/Manager

Targets:
• Do the council set a percentage target to outsource services?
• If yes, is this currently being met?
• Are you under pressures to produce specific results or targets?
• Are there other areas or processes where capturing data electronically and pushing it between departments and customers and suppliers could improve performance and help you reach targets.

Answer

Criminal Checks & Referencing
•         Name & contact information of Lead Signatory  Adrian Le Cras -  Customer Service Centre Manager; adrian.le-cras@charnwood.gov.uk ; tel: 01509 634595
•         How many countersignatories within the Council 13 (including Lead Countersignatory)
•         How many staff members are involved with processing criminal checks 13 (including Lead Countersignatory)     
•         Are staff (all) subject to any additional referencing, if so what?  Depends on specific content of their role
•         Total volume of DBS/CRB checks completed in 2012 47 on-line and 188 paper applications
•         Is the Council a Registered Body and/or Registered Umbrella Body?  Registered Body
•         How often are CRB/DBS checks updated?  Every 3 years
•         Are applications processed on line or by paper?  Employee re-checks and checks on potential employees are on-line; Taxi Driver Licensing checks are paper-based
•         If online who is your supplier?  East Midlands Shared Services via Atlantic Data
•         If online how much administration fee is applied to each disclosure application This is commercially sensitive information – Please see exemption below
•         If online please detail any additional costs incurred, eg licence fee, hosting, etc. This is commercially sensitive information – Please see exemption below
•         Does the council currently host a HR software solution?  Yes, Trent
•         The budget(s) assigned to CRB/DBS check are allocated to which department?  If more than one please provide the approximate split.  Human Resources. (Taxi Driver DBS costs are paid for by the applicants at time of applying)

We have concluded that the information you requested regarding fees is exempt from disclosure under Section 43(2) of the Act and we will not, therefore, be able to supply it.  Section 43(2) of the Act covers information which would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the Council) if it was to disclose it. Disclosing information at this level of detail is likely to reveal details of the commercial way in which contractors operate and provide services in a competitive environment.

As Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption, we are also required to decide, on a case by case basis, whether the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in its disclosure.  The Information Commissioner has suggested that the factors that would weigh in favour of disclosure would include:

• Furthering the understanding and participation in the public debate of issues of the day.
• Promoting accountability and transparency by public authorities for decisions taken by them.
• Promoting accountability and transparency in the spending of public money.
• Allowing individuals, companies and other bodies to understand decisions made by public authorities affecting their lives.
• Bringing to light information affecting public health and safety.

Given the nature of the exemption in this case, it is our opinion that although point 3 three of these factors weigh in favour of the public interest in disclosing the information, they do not outweigh that in maintaining the exemption. It is clearly not in the public interest to reveal details of the financial position of a third party or of its operations in a way that is detrimental to its commercial interests.  For these reasons we are not able to supply the financial information requested.

Licences
• Please confirm the volume of personal licences granted in 2012
 Our system does not record the year in which licences were granted, however we have 1516 personal Licence holders
 
• Please confirm the volume of taxi licences granted in 2012 As above our system does not record the year in which licences were granted.  Drivers are issued a three year badge so not everyone is re-badged every year, however we have 165 Hackney Carriage Drivers and 293 private Hire Drivers currently

General
• Who is responsible for saving money within the Council? N/A not one officer is responsible for this.  The final responsibility lies with the Chief Executive
• Name & contact information of Financial Director Simon Jackson it the Strategic Director for Corporate Services and this covers both finance and HR
• Name & contact information of the HR Director/Manager  Adrian Ward is the Head of Strategic Services, under which HR falls

Targets:
• Do the council set a percentage target to outsource services? No
• If yes, is this currently being met? N/A
• Are you under pressures to produce specific results or targets? No
• Are there other areas or processes where capturing data electronically and pushing it between departments and customers and suppliers could improve performance and help you reach targets. Solutions already in place

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