Mar 26 2014

Harrow Council Goes into Lockdown Over FOI Requests

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council supplied, under the Freedom of Information Act, copies of the corporate credit card statements for some of it’s employees, in this particular case, a Mr Roger Rickman and a Ms Carol Yarde. An extract over the last 12 months showed some interesting transactions:

11/03/2013 Roger Rickman IMPECCABLE 65.95
24/06/2013 Roger Rickman ROGERS 9.60
15/07/2013 Roger Rickman CURRYS 19.98
15/07/2013 Roger Rickman COWES CO-OP 21.94
15/07/2013 Roger Rickman CURRYS 19.98

11/03/2013 Carol Yarde Amazon EU 145.01
11/03/2013 Carol Yarde Amazon EU 37.72
04/03/2013 Carol Yarde MY DISTANCE LEARNING 195.50
18/03/2013 Carol Yarde Amazon EU 58.72
22/04/2013 Carol Yarde Amazon *Mktplce EU-UK 712.50
30/04/2013 Carol Yarde Amazon *Mktplce EU-UK 14.18
01/07/2013 Carol Yarde VIRGIN MONEY GIVING 200.00
02/10/2013 Carol Yarde ISTOCK *INTERNATIONAL 92.23
02/12/2013 Carol Yarde FGW ON TRAIN SALES 48.50
20/01/2014 Carol Yarde THE COLLEGE OF SOCIAL 20.00

We wondered why Harrow’s senior officers were spending resident’s money on the Isle of Wight, on Amazon and for on-train Sales (surely not a nice bottle of wine, Carol?) So we asked if the Council could “…provide copies of any supporting paperwork for each of the following transactions.”

Alas, no. They tell us: “Please note that, under the Freedom Of Information Act, you are only entitled to information, but not documents.”

Anybody else smell something fishy going on here? Doesn’t it seem a little odd that someone is spending over £700 on Amazon’s Marketplace? Or does it indicate a lack of financial controls?

And what did Eric Pickles say about Armchair Auditors? Ah, here it is: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants to mobilise an army of armchair auditors as he opens up the Department for Communities and Local Government’s books to public scrutiny.

Updated: Cllr Paul Osborn, Communications, Performance and Resources Portfolio Holder,  commented “I have instructed officers to review the FoI response and have made it clear I expect the Council to be transparent in any response. I am also looking into the transactions. “

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  1. King David

    Speak to Halls got Balls plz Paul..

  2. Susan Hall

    I assure you Hall is on the case.

  3. j p hobbs

    Currys ? could that be Edwina ? Nahh surely not . ooops !!!

  4. Smarty

    Susan Hall needs to open her eyes and see what is actually going on behind closed doors, I think it’s disgusting what they are doing with some staff, they only look after them self’s,They seem to forget Harrow Council belongs to the public,which is public funds, the so called managers making decisions.Open all council departments to the public i say all would be revealed.

  5. Smarty

    It’s very easy to be in the limelight and take the glory but what does SH really do?

  6. Harrow Dude

    Add it all up and it still equates to less than the money Susie is said to have taken from Children Services.
    How about we investigate that or does no one have the balls?

  7. Susan Hall

    Instead of making accusations perhaps you can tell us all what money you are referring to, because I am not aware of any.

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