Tower Hamlets grants funding – why the numbers don’t add up

Previously on Love Wapping…

If you couldn’t be bothered to read the previous two posts above (can’t blame you) here’s the context for this one.

Tower Hamlets council is under scrutiny because of allegations that it has not been entirely even handed in the way it distributes grants across the borough.

Last year Love Wapping became entangled in the dodgy dealings of the current administration and while the Wapping Mole was doing some digging he found two different responses to one Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The subject of the request? Grants to 'third sector' organisations. In plain English charities and not for profit organisations.

Moley got digging and after many months of gnawing away at the Tower Hamlets Payments to Suppliers over £500 data published by the council he has found something mighty odd.

Spot the difference

There is a massive difference between the amount the council stated they granted to third sector organisations in the FOI requests and the amount that can be identified in the Payments to Suppliers data.

Around £9,000,000 difference over three years.

Here’s the data, look for yourself.

Comparison of LBTH FOI response 9088 with Payments to Suppliers over £500 data.

Supplier / OrganisationFOI 9088 ResponseLBTH Payments to Suppliers over £500Difference
ADEEG COMMUNITY CENTRE £1,700£850£850
AGE CONCERN TOWER HAMLETS £5,046£892,014£886,968
ALPHA GROVE COMMUNITY TRUST £0£77,708£77,708
AMANI FOUNDATION £4,000£1,500£2,500
APASENTH £0£5,198,234£5,198,234
ARBOUR YOUTH CENTRE £8,611£99,315£90,704
ASSOCIATES OF COMMUNITY TRUST (UK) £4,950£13,111£8,161
BANGLADESH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION £39,667£143,164£103,497
BESIDE £2,310£155,486£153,176
BETAR BANGLA LTD £56,060£34,360£21,700
BETHNAL GREEN UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB £3,000£6,056£3,056
BIJOY YOUTH GROUP £2,000£17,233£15,233
BOUNDARY COMMUNITY SCHOOL £23,667£85,769£62,102
BOW BENGALI FORUM £4,700£7,945£3,245
BROMLEY BY BOW CENTRE £157,938£946,904£788,966
CAFE NIA £2,000£10,318£8,318
CALIBRE MINDS £3,000£1,000£2,000
CARDBOARD CITIZENS £3,000£7,475£4,475
CHILDREN EDUCATION GROUP £4,494£74,510£70,016
CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF TOWER HAMLETS £72,770£171,067£98,297
CHISENHALE ART PLACE £3,000£2,897£103
CHISENHALE DANCE SPACE £3,900£106,492£102,592
CITY GATEWAY £167,425£332,479£165,054
COMMON GROUND EAST £7,555£42,406£34,851
CONGREGATION OF JACOB SYNAGOGUE £3,000£16,500£13,500
COUNCIL OF MOSQUES £268,848£238,519£30,329
CULLODEN BANGLADESHI PARENTS ASSOCIATION £4,950£4,668£282
DARUL UMMAH CENTRE £6,150£17,070£10,920
Dorset Community Association £6,111£69,432£63,321
EARLY YEARS NETWORK TOWER HAMLETS £3,700£1,232,731£1,229,031
EAST END COMMUNITY SCHOOL £2,000£31,173£29,173
EAST LONDON CHINESE COMMUNITY CENTRE £2,000£19,207£17,207
FRIENDS OF TOWER HAMLETS CEMETERY PARK £0£171,536£171,536
Globe Bengali Mohila Shamity £3,777£13,760£9,983
GOLDEN MOON YOUTH PROJECT £5,272£34,964£29,692
GRADUATE FORUM £113,909£97,617£16,292
Half Moon Young People's Theatre £2,000£25,167£23,167
IN THE PICTURE ORGANISATION £2,000£2,000£0
INDYMEDIA3 PRODUCTIONS £2,000£50,049£48,049
ISLAND ADVICE CENTRE £407,147£415,360£8,213
ISLAND COMMUNITY CRICKET CLUB £2,000£20,004£18,004
ISLAND NEIGHBOURHOOD PROJECT £3,000£1,500£1,500
Kipper Project £0£260,855£260,855
LEADERS IN COMMUNITY £2,000£34,054£32,054
LIMEHOUSE TOWN HALL CONSORTIUM TRUST £3,575£26,788£23,213
LONDON COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION £8,500£4,250£4,250
LONDON MUSLIM CENTRE £120,000£136,094£16,094
LONDON SOMALI ACTION FORUM £2,000£2,111£111
MAGIC ME £2,584£76,627£74,043
MIND IN TOWER HAMLETS £33,500£2,297,083£2,263,583
MUSLIM HERITAGE TRUST £2,500£1,250£1,250
Muslim Women's Collective £67,879£33,890£33,989
NEWARK YOUTH LONDON £3,000£112,769£109,769
OCEAN COMMUNITY FORUM £1,829£2,915£1,086
OCEAN SOMALI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION £304,542£751,945£447,403
OLD FORD HOUSING ASSOCIATION £128,394£1,179,159£1,050,765
OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST £87,639£266,338£178,699
Osmani Trust £0£630,704£630,704
OXFORD HOUSE IN BETHNAL GREEN £3,000£41,295£38,295
POETRY IN WOOD £6,750£261,497£254,747
POLLYANNA TRAINING THEATRE £2,000£2,350£350
POPLAR BANGLADESHI COMMUNITY PROJECT £4,980£38,332£33,352
POSITIVE EAST £1,200£364,910£363,710
RADICLE £2,000£173,572£171,572
RAGGED SCHOOL MUSEUM £2,012£14,569£12,557
RAINBOW FILM SOCIETY £2,000£4,260£2,260
Rainbow Hamlets £4,444£23,000£18,556
RICH MIX CULTURAL FOUNDATION £0£5,461£5,461
SHADOW YOUTH ALLIANCE £0£69,343£69,343
SHAHJALAL COMMUNITY CENTRE £0£6,008£6,008
SOMALI ACTION ON YOUTH CRIME £4,733£9,929£5,196
SOYTTEN SEN SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS £2,000£500£1,500
SPLASH £4,020£113,456£109,436
St Hilda's East Community Centre £15,000£512,322£497,322
St Matthias Conservation Trust LTD £833£3,971£3,138
STEPNEY COMMUNITY TRUST (FORMALLY ST MARY'S CENTRE) £53,679£4,083£49,596
STEPNEY HISTORICAL TRUST £2,000£1,000£1,000
STITCHES IN TIME £14,746£46,206£31,460
STREETS OF GROWTH £55,130£164,662£109,532
SWADHINATA TRUST £0£6,631£6,631
TEVIOT ACTION GROUP £2,100£3,050£950
THAMES GATEWAY FOUNDATION £52,500£7,060£45,440
Tower Hamlets Community Transport £63,592£22,165£41,427
TOWER HAMLETS CYCLING CLUB £2,000£20,140£18,140
TOWER HAMLETS LAW CENTRE £290,414£727,141£436,727
TOWER HAMLETS WOMEN'S FOOTBALL CLUB £2,000£1,000£1,000
TOYNBEE HALL £10,642£324,522£313,880
TREES FOR CITIES £67,650£158,352£90,702
VOLUNTEER CENTRE TOWER HAMLETS £35,949£386,782£350,833
WADAJIR SOMALI COMMUNITY £45,590£160,881£115,291
WAPPING BANGLADESH ASSOCIATION £26,281£99,460£73,179
Wapping Community Group £1,000£5,001£4,001
WOMEN'S ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK £2,800£50,698£47,898
YOUNG NEWS £1,000£7,802£6,802
Total£2,970,644£11,819,745£8,849,101
The original data from which this table was compiled can be found on the Tower Hamlets council website here  Payments to Suppliers over £500.

Clear as mud, huh? You can download the CSV containing this data here (6kb).

(It should be made clear that while the 9088 data covers from around September 2013 until some time in 2008 the Payments to Suppliers data only goes back as far as part of 2010. So to undertake a like with like comparison only overlapping dates have been compared, 2010-04-01 and  2013-10-01 to be exact.)

The request to the FOI request 9088 said £2,970,644, looking at the same organisations for the same period gives £11,819,745 which  is a difference of £8,849,101.

Like many things concerning Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s administration it is difficult to get to the truth of the matter of what was paid to who and why. Never mind when. Or where it ended up. Or what the cash was really used for.

Examination of the conflicting data published by Tower Hamlets would lead any reasonable person to suspect that there is a systematic and deliberate attempt to obscure the workings of the council’s grant funding process. Apart from a few insiders. Who they are I have no idea. And neither do you.

Which is not good because it’s your money.

And I don't believe for a second that the amounts stated above are accurate. Question is why?

Are your shoes wet?

The term ‘pots’ is often used by opposition councillors to describe the different places and routes by which third sector funding money is shifted around and allocated in the Tower Hamlets council administration.

Apparently the Mayor doesn’t like it when the pots term is used.

Do these ‘pots’ exist? And what is their purpose? Are they innocuous or a sign of something more malign at work in our borough?

I can’t give a definitive answer. I am just another resident who doesn’t like it when someone pisses all over my shoes and then tells me it is raining.

What I do know is that the council has an obligation to work in an open and transparent manner. And it is not.

To quote the Information Commissioner’s Office: 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:
  • public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and
  • members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
Here is a reminder of the wording on the Tower Hamlets council webpage where the original Payments to Supplier data resides:
“One of the benefits to the community in publishing this data is that it means that our spending will come under greater scrutiny by local people. We hope it will inform people about what we do, and encourage people to challenge how we spend money. It is your money and we welcome comments.”
After six months of research I believe the opposite of this statement is true and think the paragraph might be amended to read:
“The biggest hassle of working for a community is that we have to publish this data and local people will be cheeky enough to look at our spending.  This is not good as we don’t want any of the people of Tower Hamlets to know what we do and there is no way we are going to make it possible for the great unwashed to challenge how we spend money. We have to go through the motions to keep the DCLG happy and hope we don’t get rumbled and that’s it. It’s our money so sod off.”
  Here's a simple example of what I mean. And remember this data is supposed to be for anyone to examine and make sense of.

Grants and funding payments in Payments to Suppliers not in 9088

SupplierFOI Response 9088LBTH Payments to Suppliers over £500Difference
£1,228,246.00
ALPHA GROVE COMMUNITY TRUST£0.00£77,708.00£77,708.00
APASENTH£0.00£5,198,234.00£5,198,234.00
FRIENDS OF TOWER HAMLETS CEMETERY PARK£0.00£171,536.00£171,536.00
KIPPER PROJECT£0.00£260,855.00£260,855.00
OSMANI TRUST£0.00£630,704.00£630,704.00
RICH MIX CULTURAL FOUNDATION£0.00£5,461.00£5,461.00
SHADOW YOUTH ALLIANCE£0.00£69,343.00£69,343.00
SHAHJALAL COMMUNITY CENTRE£0.00£6,008.00£6,008.00
SWADHINATA TRUST£0.00£6,631.00£6,631.00
£6,426,480.00
And with APASENTH removed...
ALPHA GROVE COMMUNITY TRUST£0.00£77,708.00£77,708.00
FRIENDS OF TOWER HAMLETS CEMETERY PARK£0.00£171,536.00£171,536.00
KIPPER PROJECT£0.00£260,855.00£260,855.00
OSMANI TRUST£0.00£630,704.00£630,704.00
RICH MIX CULTURAL FOUNDATION£0.00£5,461.00£5,461.00
SHADOW YOUTH ALLIANCE£0.00£69,343.00£69,343.00
SHAHJALAL COMMUNITY CENTRE£0.00£6,008.00£6,008.00
SWADHINATA TRUST£0.00£6,631.00£6,631.00

Voluntary Associations and Expense Types

These numbers show organisations that were not in the FOI 9088 response but do have payments listed in the Payments to Suppliers data. The first part of the table includes payments for APASENTH, a long established (1984) provider of social and community services in East London, a significant amount of their work being providing social care. Without organisations like APASENTH the East End would grind to a halt. The reason that APASENTH is included is because among their many entries in the Payments to Suppliers data expense type description they have 'Voluntary Associations'. This category of expense type is the one that includes payments to Third Sector organisations. Trouble is that payments to APASENTH can also be found under a total of sixteen different 'expense types'. Here they are:
  1. Blk [sic] Contracts-Voluntary
  2. Books - 10171 - Description Required
  3. Children with Disabilities - Respite Care Residential
  4. Private Care Providers
  5. Social Care
  6. Social Care - Apasenth Short Breaks
  7. Social Care - Bengali Women's Short Breaks
  8. Social Care - Day Care
  9. Social Care - Homecare
  10. Social Care - Personal Budgets - Non-Trad Service
  11. Specl [sic] Care in the Home
  12. Third Party Payments - Other Establishments
  13. Third Party Payments - Payments to Schools
  14. Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations
  15. Voluntary Associations
  16. Voluntary Care Providers
Which is needed for a large organisation such as APASENTH for good financial control. It does lots of different things and so it makes sense that different expense types categories are defined. Trouble is that the 'Voluntary Association' expense type covers an awful lot of things. Including teeny weeny organisations and grant amounts.

A smaller big difference

So take out APASENTH from the table above and the difference from what the council said to what the council actually spent changes from £6,426,480 to £1,228,246. Both still big numbers. From my experience of wading through this data this is one example of how it is very difficult, if not impossible, to understand what the raw data published by Tower Hamlets council means. So it's useless. Is that the point? That nobody can make sense of any of this apart from Tower Hamlets council insiders? Here's another example for you. Another organisation that was not mentioned in the FOI 9088 response but is in the Payments to Suppliers payments is the Osmani Trust. I don't know much about the Osmani Trust to be honest by their website states that it 'offers a wide range of community, health and sporting initiatives tailored to the needs of the community' which all sounds good. The FOI response said the Osmani Trust had not been given any grants or funding but the Payments to Suppliers data said the Osmani Trust had been paid £630,704. Oh no - my mistake. The Osmani Trust is listed in the 9088 response. Here it is:

Osmani Trust payments stated in FOI 9088 response

NameProject TitleFundGrant AmountFinancial
Year
Osmani TrustEducation & Employment ProjectCommunity and Economic Engagement£8,8892012-2013
Osmani TrustAasha Conflict Mediation ProjectCorporate Match Funding£45,0002008-2009
Osmani TrustAasha Conflict Mediation ProjectCorporate Match Funding£45,0002009-2010
Osmani TrustAasha Conflict Mediation ProjectCorporate Match Funding£45,0002010-2011
Osmani TrustAasha Conflict Mediation ProjectCorporate Match Funding£33,7502011-2012
All good then. Isn't it? Let's ignore the first two entries for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 as we do not have Payments to Suppliers data for this time period. But what we should be able to do is find the entries for 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 which total £87,639. Let's have a look by searching for ANY payments to ANY supplier with the word 'Osmani' in it's name.

Osmani Trust, Osmani Development Trust, Osmani School Payments 2010-2013

Expense TypePayment DateNet AmountSupplier Name
Total£797,332
Voluntary Associations2010-12-03£3,010OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2010-12-03£11,875OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2010-12-08£3,080OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2010-12-10£11,243OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-01-12£27,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-01-17£3,750OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
General Fees2011-01-24£5,625OSMANI TRUST
General Fees2011-01-24£1,495OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-01-24£13,000OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-02-14£10,360OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-02-16£11,875OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-02-23£1,400OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-02-23£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Miscellaneous2011-03-02£16,500OSMANI TRUST
Miscellaneous2011-03-02£16,500OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-03-09£1,000OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-03-11£1,320OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Payments to Schools2011-03-11£975OSMANI SCHOOL
Payments to Schools2011-03-11£975OSMANI SCHOOL
Voluntary Associations2011-03-16£1,275OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-03-16£1,118OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2011-03-25£15,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-03-28£11,875OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-03-28£2,263OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-03-28£1,290OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-04-04£600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-04-04£600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-04-13£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-04-13£800OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2011-04-15£15,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-04-15£7,150OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
SLA Services Received2011-04-15£15,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-04-15£7,150OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-05-06£800OSMANI TRUST
Audit Fees2011-05-20£2,264OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-05-23£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-05-23£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-06-17£12,930OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-06-20£800OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2011-07-27£4,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-07-29£1,600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-08-03£1,600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-09-23£3,750OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-09-28£3,750OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-10-10£1,042OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-10-10£1,000OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-10-31£9,200OSMANI DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-12-02£2,400OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-12-02£2,390OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-12-07£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-12-14£1,400OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2011-12-21£800OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2012-01-09£1,820OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-01-20£33,000OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-01-25£2,400OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-02-10£1,600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-02-17£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-02-17£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-02-22£12,749OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-02-29£3,750OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-02-29£3,750OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-02£600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-02£600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-07£4,500OSMANI TRUST
Meeting Expenses2012-03-09£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-21£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-21£7,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-21£600OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-03-21£15,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-21£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-21£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-23£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-03-30£13,143OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-04-03£800OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2012-05-21£3,000OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2012-05-21£1,500OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-05-28£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-05-30£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Training Expenses2012-07-13£700OSMANI TRUST
Training Expenses2012-07-13£700OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-18£1,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-27£1,784OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-27£3,420OSMANI TRUST
Curriculum Visits/Activities2012-07-27£5,269OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-27£1,800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-27£3,750OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-27£3,750OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-07-27£3,420OSMANI TRUST
Meeting Expenses2012-08-01£1,300OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-08-22£1,000OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-09-05£8,250OSMANI TRUST
Curriculum Visits/Activities2012-09-14£7,903OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-10-19£2,700OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-10-19£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-10-19£2,278OSMANI TRUST
F&E Hire/Rental General2012-10-24£800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-10-31£1,200OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-11-09£8,250OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2012-12-03£1,600OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-12-07£1,200OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-12-19£1,300OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-12-24£3,420OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2012-12-24£1,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-01-04£1,000OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2013-01-14£3,220OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2013-01-30£8,250OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2013-02-01£12,000OSMANI TRUST
Meeting Expenses2013-02-08-£2,600OSMANI TRUST
Meeting Expenses2013-02-08£1,300OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2013-02-13£8,250OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2013-02-15£2,800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-02-18£800OSMANI TRUST
Training Expenses2013-02-20£10,800OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-03-08£550OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2013-03-15£1,350OSMANI TRUST
SLA Services Received2013-03-20£2,400OSMANI TRUST
Other Contractors2013-03-20£6,111OSMANI TRUST
Other Contractors2013-03-20£8,333OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-03-20£2,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-03-20£2,000OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-03-20£8,889OSMANI TRUST
Voluntary Associations2013-03-22£8,888OSMANI TRUST
Hire Of Hall/Facilities2013-03-25£609OSMANI TRUST
Events & Exhibitions2013-03-25£2,824OSMANI TRUST
Events & Exhibitions2013-03-25£3,126OSMANI TRUST
Meeting Expenses2013-03-25£1,300OSMANI TRUST
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-04-29£1,200Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-04-29£1,200Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-04-29£8,888Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-04-29£1,200Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-04-29£1,200Osmani Development Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-05-09£2,083Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-05-17£8,333Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-05-28£780Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-05-28£800Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-05-28£8,888Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-05-28£6,111Osmani Development Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-05-29£910Osmani Development Trust
Subscriptions2013-05-31£8,250Osmani Development Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-06-12£600Osmani Development Trust
Room Hire2013-06-21£743Osmani Development Trust
Subscriptions2013-06-28£4,270Osmani Development Trust
Subscriptions2013-06-28£785Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-06-28£8,889Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-06-28£10,000Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Other Establishments2013-06-28£47,823Osmani Development Trust
Intercompany SLAs - SLA Services Received2013-06-28£3,000Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-06-28£1,600Osmani Development Trust
Intercompany SLAs - SLA Services Received2013-06-28£1,000Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-07-03£8,333Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-07-03£6,111Osmani Development Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-07-10£1,300Osmani Development Trust
Intercompany SLAs - SLA Services Received2013-07-17£1,000Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-07-19£1,200Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-07-19£1,088Osmani Development Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-07-19£1,987Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-07-22£2,415Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-08-07£8,250Osmani Development Trust
Childrens Act Section 23 - Commissioned Services2013-08-21£1,150Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-08-28£43,399Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-08-30£8,888Osmani Development Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-09-04£1,725Osmani Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-09-13£8,889Osmani Trust
Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations2013-09-25£2,400Osmani Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-09-25£3,202Osmani Trust
Leaving Care Financial Assistance - User Inv Y-Peoples Work2013-09-25£4,668Osmani Trust
Childrens Act Section 23 - Commissioned Services2013-09-25£2,300Osmani Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-09-27£1,080Osmani Trust
Meeting Expenses2013-09-27£1,490Osmani Trust
Leaving Care Financial Assistance - User Inv Y-Peoples Work2013-09-27£4,668Osmani Trust
Oops. £797,332 is a bit more than £87,639.  £709,693 by my arithmetic. What could account for that? As with APASENTH let's see how many 'expense types' are used to describe these payments.
  1. Audit Fees
  2. Childrens Act Section 23 - Commissioned Services
  3. Curriculum Visits/Activities
  4. Events & Exhibitions
  5. F&E Hire/Rental General
  6. General Fees
  7. Hire Of Hall/Facilities
  8. Intercompany SLAs - SLA Services Received
  9. Leaving Care Financial Assistance - User Inv Y-Peoples Work
  10. Meeting Expenses
  11. Miscellaneous
  12. Other Contractors
  13. Payments to Schools
  14. Room Hire
  15. SLA Services Received
  16. Subscriptions
  17. Third Party Payments - Other Establishments
  18. Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations
  19. Training Expenses
  20. Voluntary Associations
20. Of the 170 payments 82 were 'Voluntary Association' expense type, 24 were 'Third Party Payments - Voluntary Associations' and 15 'SLA Services Received' plus the other 17 categories. Again a large organisation with varying payments coming in from Tower Hamlets Council so all fair enough. But these payments are to three different suppliers, the Osmani Trust, Osmani Development Trust and Osmani School. Osmani Trust - same as Osmani Development Trust or different? Osmani School - same organisation as Osmani Trust / Osmani Development Trust or different? From the data published in the Payments to Supplier it is not possible to know. And here's another example of how all this is very confusing indeed.

Payments to Osmani Trust 20 March 2013

DirectorateServiceDivisionResponsible UnitExpense TypePayment DateTransaction NumberNet AmountSupplier Name
£29,733
Communities & LocalitiesChildren & Education ServicesServices to Young PeopleY&C Mainstream GrantsOther Contractors2013-03-206050363£6,111OSMANI TRUST
Communities & LocalitiesChildren & Education ServicesServices to Young PeopleY&C Mainstream GrantsOther Contractors2013-03-206050340£8,333OSMANI TRUST
Communities & LocalitiesChildren & Education ServicesServices to Young PeoplePositive Activities Young PpleVoluntary Associations2013-03-206048672£2,000OSMANI TRUST
Communities & LocalitiesChildren & Education ServicesServices to Young PeoplePositive Activities Young PpleVoluntary Associations2013-03-206048670£2,000OSMANI TRUST
Communities & LocalitiesChildren & Education ServicesServices to Young PeopleConnexions General FundSLA Services Received2013-03-206048634£2,400OSMANI TRUST
Childrens ServicesChildren & Education ServicesOther Childrens & Family ServsVol Sector Grants-C&FVoluntary Associations2013-03-206049778£8,889OSMANI TRUST
On 20th March 2013 the Osmani Trust was paid £29,733 by Tower Hamlets council. In six different transactions. The date is an indicator that this might be a case of the council paying the Osmani Trust money before the end of the financial year. But there is something else confusing here. This shows the full transaction listings extracted from the Tower Hamlets data. Look at the column headings from left to right. This effectively shows the paths that £29,733 took on 20th March 2013 through the council system before it was paid to this particular supplier. The funds were originally sourced from the ‘Communities and Localities’ and the ‘Childrens Services’ Directorates all through the ‘Children and Education’ Service then through the ‘Services to Young People’ and “Other Children & Family Services’ Divisions then through the ‘Y & C Mainstream Grants’, ‘Positive Activities Young People’, ‘Connexions General Fund’ and ‘Voluntary Sector Grants – C&F’ Responsible Units and was categorised under three Expense Types, ‘Other Contractors, ‘Voluntary Associations’ and ‘SLA Services Received’. Just one day. No judgement is made on if these payments to the Osmani Trust were paid correctly, the point is that it is very difficult to work out what has been paid. This is not open data. One thing does seem wrong though. In none of the 170 payments listed do the terms ‘Aasha Conflict Mediation Project’ or ‘Corporate Match Funding’,  ‘Education & Employment Project’ or  ‘Community and Economic Engagement’ appear. These are the Project Titles and Funds detailed in the 9088 document.

Osmani Trust in Summary

  • £709,693 disparity between grants / funding stated in FOI 9088 and stated in Payments to Suppliers
  • Four payment records in FOI 9088 compared to 170 in Payments to Suppliers
  • Not possible to match payments stated in FOI 9088 to any transaction in Payments to Suppliers.
  • Osmani Trust is the only organisation mentioned in FOI 9088, Payments to Suppliers list the Osmani Trust, Osmani Development Trust and Osmani School
  • 20 different Expense Types in Payments to Suppliers
  • £29,733 paid on 20th March 2013 through several different Tower Hamlets 'channels' to Osmani Trust
And this is just one organisation of many. Apologies to the Osmani Trust for choosing to put them in the spotlight, no particular reason for this choice other than you being listed in the original FOI 9088 document.

Inside the Maze

Over the next few weeks – months even because there is so much weird stuff going on – the entire Love Wapping team and the Wapping Mole shall make an attempt to explain what has going on to the residents of Tower Hamlets. A definitive answer cannot be promised. But a guided tour of the council’s third sector funding maze will be given. All sorts of things may be hidden inside. Which may well be the point. Notes:
  1. This is being published in the first week of May 2014 with the local, mayoral and European elections only a few weeks away. This is not deliberate timing. Simple fact is that back in November 2013 not even the Wapping Mole could have guessed how long his digging would take.
  2. This research and analysis has been undertaken completely independently without any funding from any organisation. It has no connection with any other investigations into Tower Hamlets council either by the authorities or other sections of the media.
Notice: Files contain public sector information are licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0. This material is Open Data