Tinas freelance

Freelance blog

SPSO

Who are the SPSO?

Are they just another quango who protects public servants like Roy Kirk from being investigated?  Yes.

How much do they cost the Government?  We have asked the Treasury.

Below is the letter we sent them yesterday and await their reply within 14 days.

FOR SPSO

Dear Ms Agnew,

Your ref: 201802443

I am responding to your final decision on the points in order, although I know that the decision is final.

Comment “I should stress that the role of the review process is not to consider the merits of the complaints afresh (in other words to look at the same information all over again from the start). Rather, it is to assess the decision made against any new information (i.e. information that we were not aware of during our investigation) or where it can be shown that the decision was based on inaccurate information. In either case, it is for you to provide this information and the decision will only be changed where it is genuinely new and/or it can be shown that the information we used was wrong.”

Answer: I provided the evidence that Mr. Kirk did agree to set up the meeting, that was new evidence. If Kirsty Auld has not sent it to you, that is not my concern. I also provided evidence that I provided Mr. Kirk with the people whom he should contact. Why would I do that if he hadn’t agreed to organise the meeting? I won’t be sourcing it again, except to publish it on the web,

Comment: “In respect of your first ground, Ms Auld’s conclusion was that Mr Kirk’s e-mail to you of 20 March 2018 did not commit to organising a meeting. While you say that Ms Auld did not have relevant information to hand, in my view the further information you have sent does not show that Ms Auld’s position is the result of error, or lack of relevant information. “

Answer: I believe it does.

Comment “In respect of your second ground, I am unclear how the Council’s approach to the North Coast 500 is relevant to your complaint. I note you say “HIE funded this project which has had a negative effect on crofting communities” but you have not said why that is new evidence relevant to Ms Auld’s decision, or that her decision was based on error.”

Answer: I believe it does.

Comment: “ I also note you say you have evidence that there is no feasibility study or business plan within the public domain, but again you have not explained why or how that impacts on your dealings with the Council. You made reference to “copies” but say you are unable to share them. That is a matter for you. I have no locus to ask for information unless investigating a complaint, and your review request does not persuade me there are grounds for re-opening and investigating your complaint further. “

Answer: Then you do not understand that time = money. There is evidence available from THC that the NC500 has impacted on the road maintenance budget. I have it from THC FOI’s department. It is not my intention to send it to you. You will have to ask for it under FOIl

Question: “In light of the above, you have not provided information that meets the listed criteria. Accordingly, Ms Auld’s decision remains.

This is my full and final position on your complaint and our involvement in your case is now at an end. Should you wish to seek a further review of this decision, the option of judicial review is open to you. This is a court based process about which you would likely want to seek legal advice. “

Answer: Why should I spend money on a judicial review? This is a project which affects the whole of the North of Scotland.

1. I will ask for a Parliamentary review at Westminster (which will cost me my time and when I get it, will be sending you the bill for my time).

2. I will ask for a Parliamentary review at Holyrood (which will cost me my time and when I get it, will be sending you the bill for my time).

3. I will be recommending to Mr. Gove and the Treasury that they do not give further funds to the SRDP as needed by Mr. Duce. This is firmly placed at your door, and that of HIE.

4. I have already sent messages to Mr. Gove and Mrs. May. Ms Sturgeon was speaking to Mr. Gove about it last week. Are you going to undo all of Mr. Duce’s and Ms Sturgeon’s good work by protecting an employee who cannot even organise a simple meeting.

Please also answer the following:

1. Do you actually understand economics and business?

2. I would ask you what is the benefit for me, personally, in running this project? 

3. Why should I do it when I am blocked by a public body who cannot even organise a simple meeting. 

I have email the Highland Council regarding this and no doubt we will be discussing.. after all, they DO support the North Highland Way, respond to emails, do the consultancy report and the Access Officer is great.  SNH are also great. 

4. Can you explain WHY HIE will not support this important project, bearing in mind the funding is discretionary.  We are not asking for funding… simply set up a meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Tina Irving”

This in response to theirs

16 August 2018

“Our ref: 201802443

Dear Ms Irving

Your request for a review of the decision on your complaint about Highlands & Islands

Enterprise (HIE)

Thank you for your decision review request form which we received on 10 August 2018, and

the supporting emails. I understand that you are seeking a review of the decision reached by

Complaints Reviewer Kirsty Auld that your complaint about HIE would not be investigated

further.

You requested we review our decision on the following grounds:

1.

Ms Auld did not have to hand the e-mails showing that he reneged on the agreement he

made to organise a meeting with stakeholders.

2.

that there is no feasibility study or business plan within the public domain for the ‘North

Coast 500’.

I have carefully considered your request for a review, including the circumstances of your

case, Ms Auld’s decision-making and the points you made in support of your review request.

I was sorry to hear about the circumstances of your complaint and I appreciate this is a

matter about which you have serious and on-going concerns.

As you are aware, the grounds on which I can consider changing a decision reached are

limited. These are where you have:

readily available information showing that important evidence on which the decision

was based contains facts that are inaccurate

new and relevant information that affects the decision.

I should stress that the role of the review process is not to consider the merits of the

complaints afresh (in other words to look at the same information all over again from the

start). Rather, it is to assess the decision made against any new information (i.e. information

that we were not aware of during our investigation) or where it can be shown that the

decision was based on inaccurate information. In either case, it is for you to provide this

information and the decision will only be changed where it is genuinely new and/or it can be

shown that the information we used was wrong.

2

In respect of your first ground, Ms Auld’s conclusion was that Mr Kirk’s e-mail to you of 20

March 2018 did not commit to organising a meeting. While you say that Ms Auld did not

have relevant information to hand, in my view the further information you have sent does not

show that Ms Auld’s position is the result of error, or lack of relevant information.

In respect of your second ground, I am unclear how the Council’s approach to the North

Coast 500 is relevant to your complaint. I note you say “HIE funded this project which has

had a negative effect on crofting communities” but you have not said why that is new

evidence relevant to Ms Auld’s decision, or that her decision was based on error. I also note

you say you have evidence that there is no feasibility study or business plan within the public

domain, but again you have not explained why or how that impacts on your dealings with the

Council. You made reference to “copies” but say you are unable to share them. That is a

matter for you. I have no locus to ask for information unless investigating a complaint, and

your review request does not persuade me there are grounds for re-opening and

investigating your complaint further.

In light of the above, you have not provided information that meets the listed criteria.

Accordingly, Ms Auld’s decision remains.

This is my full and final position on your complaint and our involvement in your case is now at

an end. Should you wish to seek a further review of this decision, the option of judicial

review is open to you. This is a court based process about which you would likely want to

seek legal advice.

I appreciate that this is not the outcome you were hoping for and understand why you may

be disappointed. I hope, however, the fact that I have considered your complaints in detail,

and the additional information you provided gives you reassurance, although I have not

changed the outcome of your case.

Thank you for writing to me with your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Rosemary Agnew”

 

http://www.tinasfreelance.com

 

I asked why I should spend money on a judicial review?  The response was it was not their role to question the process.

I asked how this project would benefit me personally.. no response.

I have now started a separate blog for politics

 

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