Expert rejects "security" claim, in York council secrecy row

Expert rejects

Expert rejects "security" claim, in York council secrecy row

First published in News
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A NATIONAL expert has rubbished a claim that it would be a security risk to detail meetings attended by York's council chief executive.

Maurice Frankel, director of the national Campaign for Freedom of Information, said the claim by City of York Council director Ian Floyd was "implausible" and without basis.

Mr Floyd had cited security concerns following a ruling by the Information Commissioner's Office, which found City of York Council had wrongly refused seven Freedom of Information (FOI) requests by local resident Michael Hammill, by incorrectly deeming them "vexatious".

In a statement last Tuesday, Mr Floyd said the council had withheld details of meetings outside York attended by Kersten England between April and November 2013, partly due to concern for the "personal safety of a council employee". He confirmed by email to Mr Hammill and The Press that he meant the chief executive but said he did not mean Mr Hammill himself posed a threat.

He said the council was also concerned about the disclosure of commercially sensitive information and inappropriately sharing other people's personal information, although separate reasons had initially been given for the FOI request refusal.

Mr Frankel said it was plausible that future and routine travel plans may be withheld for security reasons, as had been ruled during the MPs' expenses scandal, but said it was implausible that publishing details of meetings already attended could constitute a security risk.

He said the council's response to seven FOI requests seemed "all over the place", and showed "a peculiar mix of understanding the Act and part-blindness to what the requests were asking for".

Comments (11)

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6:21pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

In a statement last Tuesday, Mr Floyd said the council had withheld details of meetings outside York attended by Kersten England between April and November 2013, partly due to concern for the "personal safety of a council employee". He confirmed by email to Mr Hammill and The Press that he meant the chief executive but said he did not mean Mr Hammill himself posed a threat.

As Mr Frankel said, it's implausible that publishing details of meetings already attended could constitute a security risk.

It seems obvious that the chief executive doesn't want York citizens to know where she has been?

I wonder why?

Well, the council have been ordered by ith ICO to answer Mr Hammill's FOI, so we will soon know why!

I can't wait to see how many away days have been spent on Nesta business?
[quote] In a statement last Tuesday, Mr Floyd said the council had withheld details of meetings outside York attended by Kersten England between April and November 2013, partly due to concern for the "personal safety of a council employee". He confirmed by email to Mr Hammill and The Press that he meant the chief executive but said he did not mean Mr Hammill himself posed a threat. [/quote] As Mr Frankel said, it's implausible that publishing details of meetings already attended could constitute a security risk. It seems obvious that the chief executive doesn't want York citizens to know where she has been? I wonder why? Well, the council have been ordered by ith ICO to answer Mr Hammill's FOI, so we will soon know why! I can't wait to see how many away days have been spent on Nesta business? Badgers Drift
  • Score: -80

7:28pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Jack Ham says...

If only annual appraisal documents were available via FOI!

Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Kersten England rates Ian Floyds performance.
If only annual appraisal documents were available via FOI! Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Kersten England rates Ian Floyds performance. Jack Ham
  • Score: -112

10:10pm Tue 22 Jul 14

gmsgop says...

Jack Ham wrote:
If only annual appraisal documents were available via FOI!

Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Kersten England rates Ian Floyds performance.
jack - I have got the ball rolling- I lodged an #FOI ON WHATDOTHEY KNOW on Chief officers performance and accountability.

It seems 'implausible' to me that all chief officer & head of department contracts, cVs performance targets & monitoring of those are not all on the council's website - giving citizens an opportunity to 'coproduce' their priorities and targets- and monitor of course.

About time those in West Office Towers realised they cannot just get us to do the grunt work for nothing whilst they spend on vanity projects, fancy trips & award themselves 'strategic' job titles & pay rises (at the top of course).

No, if the they want transformation & coproduction then our Kersten England & her top staff will need to become much more accountable and share the thinking & design not just the sweeping & cleaning which had budgets decimated to pay for their follies.

Gwen Swinburn
[quote][p][bold]Jack Ham[/bold] wrote: If only annual appraisal documents were available via FOI! Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Kersten England rates Ian Floyds performance.[/p][/quote]jack - I have got the ball rolling- I lodged an #FOI ON WHATDOTHEY KNOW on Chief officers performance and accountability. It seems 'implausible' to me that all chief officer & head of department contracts, cVs performance targets & monitoring of those are not all on the council's website - giving citizens an opportunity to 'coproduce' their priorities and targets- and monitor of course. About time those in West Office Towers realised they cannot just get us to do the grunt work for nothing whilst they spend on vanity projects, fancy trips & award themselves 'strategic' job titles & pay rises (at the top of course). No, if the they want transformation & coproduction then our Kersten England & her top staff will need to become much more accountable and share the thinking & design not just the sweeping & cleaning which had budgets decimated to pay for their follies. Gwen Swinburn gmsgop
  • Score: -58

7:29am Wed 23 Jul 14

Jack Ham says...

gmsgop wrote:
Jack Ham wrote:
If only annual appraisal documents were available via FOI!

Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Kersten England rates Ian Floyds performance.
jack - I have got the ball rolling- I lodged an #FOI ON WHATDOTHEY KNOW on Chief officers performance and accountability.

It seems 'implausible' to me that all chief officer & head of department contracts, cVs performance targets & monitoring of those are not all on the council's website - giving citizens an opportunity to 'coproduce' their priorities and targets- and monitor of course.

About time those in West Office Towers realised they cannot just get us to do the grunt work for nothing whilst they spend on vanity projects, fancy trips & award themselves 'strategic' job titles & pay rises (at the top of course).

No, if the they want transformation & coproduction then our Kersten England & her top staff will need to become much more accountable and share the thinking & design not just the sweeping & cleaning which had budgets decimated to pay for their follies.

Gwen Swinburn
Well said Gwen and great FOI!
[quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jack Ham[/bold] wrote: If only annual appraisal documents were available via FOI! Wouldn't it be fascinating to see how Kersten England rates Ian Floyds performance.[/p][/quote]jack - I have got the ball rolling- I lodged an #FOI ON WHATDOTHEY KNOW on Chief officers performance and accountability. It seems 'implausible' to me that all chief officer & head of department contracts, cVs performance targets & monitoring of those are not all on the council's website - giving citizens an opportunity to 'coproduce' their priorities and targets- and monitor of course. About time those in West Office Towers realised they cannot just get us to do the grunt work for nothing whilst they spend on vanity projects, fancy trips & award themselves 'strategic' job titles & pay rises (at the top of course). No, if the they want transformation & coproduction then our Kersten England & her top staff will need to become much more accountable and share the thinking & design not just the sweeping & cleaning which had budgets decimated to pay for their follies. Gwen Swinburn[/p][/quote]Well said Gwen and great FOI! Jack Ham
  • Score: -16

8:01am Wed 23 Jul 14

Kevin Turvey says...

It’s a well know tactic by government/councils for many years to use so called security as a ruse to hide embarrassing issue/costs to the public that actually finances it!

Just think Yes Minster and the explanation Humphrey Appleby gives to the official secrets act is designed just so, to cover up rather than protect!

It’s not like the chief executive of York Council actually has a secret life as a part time secret agent and her job at the council is deep cover.

Maybe we have it all wrong and York Council is actually a cover for a CIA Black operation with what objective?

Spend as much money as possible on non-essential services thereby getting the population used to being taxed for little or no return, instead spend it on non-essential services that the majority do not use to undermine public trust in democracy at a local level so a more oppressive regime is accepted higher up – on that front it is succeeding.

Maybe there is more to this than just satire?

Either way as usual York council coming up with baloney to hide the gravy train!

Change of regime at this council is well past due!
It’s a well know tactic by government/councils for many years to use so called security as a ruse to hide embarrassing issue/costs to the public that actually finances it! Just think Yes Minster and the explanation Humphrey Appleby gives to the official secrets act is designed just so, to cover up rather than protect! It’s not like the chief executive of York Council actually has a secret life as a part time secret agent and her job at the council is deep cover. Maybe we have it all wrong and York Council is actually a cover for a CIA Black operation with what objective? Spend as much money as possible on non-essential services thereby getting the population used to being taxed for little or no return, instead spend it on non-essential services that the majority do not use to undermine public trust in democracy at a local level so a more oppressive regime is accepted higher up – on that front it is succeeding. Maybe there is more to this than just satire? Either way as usual York council coming up with baloney to hide the gravy train! Change of regime at this council is well past due! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: -8

8:44am Wed 23 Jul 14

TheTruthHurts says...

Who does she think that she is..... The blooming Queen?
Who does she think that she is..... The blooming Queen? TheTruthHurts
  • Score: -15

8:57am Wed 23 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

Kevin Turvey wrote:
It’s a well know tactic by government/councils for many years to use so called security as a ruse to hide embarrassing issue/costs to the public that actually finances it! Just think Yes Minster and the explanation Humphrey Appleby gives to the official secrets act is designed just so, to cover up rather than protect! It’s not like the chief executive of York Council actually has a secret life as a part time secret agent and her job at the council is deep cover. Maybe we have it all wrong and York Council is actually a cover for a CIA Black operation with what objective? Spend as much money as possible on non-essential services thereby getting the population used to being taxed for little or no return, instead spend it on non-essential services that the majority do not use to undermine public trust in democracy at a local level so a more oppressive regime is accepted higher up – on that front it is succeeding. Maybe there is more to this than just satire? Either way as usual York council coming up with baloney to hide the gravy train! Change of regime at this council is well past due!
There is more to this, and the council do have something to hide - the truth!

There is an objective - devolution.

The council are preparing the groundfora new system of government, using digital disruptive democracy. £10m is to be spent in the next five years on what will in effect be a social media type website that gives every York citizen an account with the council. It is being sold (to us all) as a way of engaging with us, so we can tell the council what we want them to do. On the face of it, it seems a democratic thing to do, but, wait a minute..... If the council are operating in a secret do as they please manner, which has been the case, then do we really believe that this system will not be manipulated to suit their political ideology? I don't believe so.

Furthermore, when money is already tight, can the massive cost of this, with no clear benefit (to us and York), be justified? I don't think it can.

Another worry fact, is the involvement of certain dubious 'charities' think-tanks, and NGO's with York Council, all working on this plan. They are Nesta, who Kersten England is a trustee of, the Young Foundation, and futureGov. These all have something in common, are all singing from the same ideological song sheet, and if you look at their followers, it tells you.
I would urge York citizens to do their research on these organisations, the people running them, and what their objectives are? Ask questions, and make you mind up.

I found this talk by ex-naval officer, Brian Gerrish, on youtube helpful, as it mentions some of these 'organisations' and those involved....

http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=-3DmnovmB
IA
[quote][p][bold]Kevin Turvey[/bold] wrote: It’s a well know tactic by government/councils for many years to use so called security as a ruse to hide embarrassing issue/costs to the public that actually finances it! Just think Yes Minster and the explanation Humphrey Appleby gives to the official secrets act is designed just so, to cover up rather than protect! It’s not like the chief executive of York Council actually has a secret life as a part time secret agent and her job at the council is deep cover. Maybe we have it all wrong and York Council is actually a cover for a CIA Black operation with what objective? Spend as much money as possible on non-essential services thereby getting the population used to being taxed for little or no return, instead spend it on non-essential services that the majority do not use to undermine public trust in democracy at a local level so a more oppressive regime is accepted higher up – on that front it is succeeding. Maybe there is more to this than just satire? Either way as usual York council coming up with baloney to hide the gravy train! Change of regime at this council is well past due![/p][/quote]There is more to this, and the council do have something to hide - the truth! There is an objective - devolution. The council are preparing the groundfora new system of government, using digital disruptive democracy. £10m is to be spent in the next five years on what will in effect be a social media type website that gives every York citizen an account with the council. It is being sold (to us all) as a way of engaging with us, so we can tell the council what we want them to do. On the face of it, it seems a democratic thing to do, but, wait a minute..... If the council are operating in a secret do as they please manner, which has been the case, then do we really believe that this system will not be manipulated to suit their political ideology? I don't believe so. Furthermore, when money is already tight, can the massive cost of this, with no clear benefit (to us and York), be justified? I don't think it can. Another worry fact, is the involvement of certain dubious 'charities' think-tanks, and NGO's with York Council, all working on this plan. They are Nesta, who Kersten England is a trustee of, the Young Foundation, and futureGov. These all have something in common, are all singing from the same ideological song sheet, and if you look at their followers, it tells you. I would urge York citizens to do their research on these organisations, the people running them, and what their objectives are? Ask questions, and make you mind up. I found this talk by ex-naval officer, Brian Gerrish, on youtube helpful, as it mentions some of these 'organisations' and those involved.... http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=-3DmnovmB IA Badgers Drift
  • Score: -19

9:45am Wed 23 Jul 14

meme says...

This council don't want us to know what is going on. Its as simple as that
They believe they know best and will steer us into a brighter future whether we like it or not. who knows ...they may be right...but there is little sign of it so far in the secretive and autocratic peoples non-democratic republic of York
This council don't want us to know what is going on. Its as simple as that They believe they know best and will steer us into a brighter future whether we like it or not. who knows ...they may be right...but there is little sign of it so far in the secretive and autocratic peoples non-democratic republic of York meme
  • Score: -16

10:18am Wed 23 Jul 14

yorkbloke says...

... I wonder if Ms England has spent any (of our) time across the pond... I think I could be correct in my pondering (oh and Mr England...)
... I wonder if Ms England has spent any (of our) time across the pond... I think I could be correct in my pondering (oh and Mr England...) yorkbloke
  • Score: -14

1:18pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Badgers Drift says...

yorkbloke wrote:
... I wonder if Ms England has spent any (of our) time across the pond... I think I could be correct in my pondering (oh and Mr England...)
I've heard this rumour - isn't it another cover-up?

Maybe a council whistleblower will do the right thing......?
[quote][p][bold]yorkbloke[/bold] wrote: ... I wonder if Ms England has spent any (of our) time across the pond... I think I could be correct in my pondering (oh and Mr England...)[/p][/quote]I've heard this rumour - isn't it another cover-up? Maybe a council whistleblower will do the right thing......? Badgers Drift
  • Score: -21

7:29am Thu 24 Jul 14

piaggio1 says...

Hotel stays would make interesting reading.???
An i mean the one.s in york.!!!!
Sort of......
Hotel stays would make interesting reading.??? An i mean the one.s in york.!!!! Sort of...... piaggio1
  • Score: -16

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