A few weeks back I got some general ledger details from UEA and we discovered, among other things, that UEA had made a big payment to Norfolk Police Authority. The police authority is the body that oversees the constabulary, which I thought was rather odd.
I therefore put in an FOI asking them for a copy of the invoice plus any related correspondence. The immediate response was slightly strange in that I was passed straight on to Norfolk Constabulary's FOI department. At the time I assumed that Norfolk Police Authority and the Constabulary itself must share financial ledgers. I thought nothing else of it.
However, today the response has come back.
In the context of a request under the Freedom of Information Act being for information not
documents, as you have detailed above, you are already in possession of the invoice information between Norfolk Police Authority and the University of East Anglia. Please see below an explanatory statement regarding this payment. No contract exists in relation to this work.
Whilst conducting their investigation into the access to and downloading of data from the
computers at the University of East Anglia, the Major Investigation Team engaged the services of a company with the ability to forensically examine the computer system. The University made their own decision to engage that company to review the security of their system and carry out work on their behalf. The company completed the work and invoiced Norfolk Constabulary for all of the work undertaken, and UEA reimbursed Norfolk Constabulary for the work that had been completed at their request.
So, they are not letting me see the actual invoice and they are not saying anything at all about the related correspondence.
The story about this representing a recharge for computer forensics is strange too. We have seen in the UEA disclosure some costs for computer forensics, although only £5k or so.
Does this make anyone else a bit uncomfortable?