Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I see you are seeking a Senior Improvement Officer for your Manchester office (closing date 18 February 2020 and a salary of £39,979):

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...

A position requiring considerable abilities:

“Reporting to the Improvement manager you will be responsible for the delivery of improvement projects, development of policy, guidance, training, tools and facilitating end to end process mapping workshops. You will be expected to use workforce information, data and KPIs to establish success measures, trends and outcomes in relation to your own projects.

The successful candidate will have an in depth understanding of continuous improvement techniques and processes as well as a Working knowledge of data analysis and statistical methods.”

1. Please provide the names and positions of all senior staff earning £39,979 or more (excluding the names of clinical advisers).

2. Please provide details of all senior positions currently unfilled.

3. Please provide an organogram of the PHSO. If no such document exists, please provide details of all staffing information that such a document would normally include: the name of each department, the job titles of staff and the number of staff with each job title.

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s
(PHSO) Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team. This is to confirm
we have received your request.

If you have made a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or Environment Information Regulations 2004, we will
respond to your request within 20 working days in accordance with the
statutory time frames set out in both Acts.

If you have made a request for personal information held by the PHSO, your
request will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the provisions
of the Data Protection Act 2018 and will be responded to within one
calendar month in accordance with the statutory time frame set out in the
Act.

We may contact you before this time if we require further clarification or
if we need to extend the time required to complete your request.

For Subject Access Requests, we will send any personal information via
secure email, unless you instruct us differently. To access the
information on the email we send, you will need to sign up to our secure
email service. Details can be found on our website using the link below:
www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open...

If you require us to post your personal information to you instead you
will need to inform us of this and confirm your current address as soon as
possible.

Angharad Jackson
Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director Information Assurance
Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
PHSO CityGate
47-51 Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3HQ
[email address]

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear D Moore,

 

RE: Your information request: R0001134

 

I write in response to your email to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman (PHSO) 11 February 2020 requesting information under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

Request:

"Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

 

I see you are seeking a Senior Improvement Officer for your Manchester
office (closing date 18 February 2020 and a salary of  £39,979):

 

[1]https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...

 

A position requiring considerable abilities:

 

“Reporting to the Improvement manager you will be responsible for the
delivery of improvement projects, development of policy, guidance,
training, tools and facilitating end to end process mapping workshops. You
will be expected to use workforce information, data and KPIs to establish
success measures, trends and outcomes in relation to your own projects.

 

The successful candidate will have an in depth understanding of continuous
improvement techniques and processes as well as a Working knowledge of
data analysis and statistical methods.”

 

1.  Please provide the names and positions of all senior staff earning
£39,979 or more (excluding the names of clinical advisers).

 

2.  Please provide details of all senior positions currently unfilled.

 

3.  Please provide an organogram of the PHSO.  If no such document exists,
please provide details of all staffing information that such a document
would normally include: the name of each department, the job titles of
staff and the number of staff with each job title.

 

Response:

In response to question 1 and 3, we do not release names of members of
staff below Assistant Director level.  Disclosure of this information
would not be fair or lawful which would breach principle (a) of Article
5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Furthermore, the
conditions as set out in Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR are not met.
Accordingly, such information is exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 by virtue of section 40(3)(a)(i).

 

Providing you names of Assistant Directors at PHSO is also exempt under
Section 21 of the Act as it is reasonably accessible via other means. We
publish this information on our website. I have provided you with the link
below which shows this in a organogram.

 

[2]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

 

For question 2, we can confirm that all senior positions are filled.

 

If you believe we have made an error in the way I have processed your
information request, it is open to you to request an internal review. You
can do this by writing to us by post or by email to
[3][PHSO request email] . You will need to specify that the
nature of the issue is and we can consider the matter further. Beyond
that, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s
Office ([4]www.ico.org.uk ) or seek a judicial remedy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [5]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url...
2. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...
3. mailto:[PHSO request email]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'Names and positions of senior staff as at 11 February 2020'.

I am not satisfied with your response. You wrote:

"In response to question 1 and 3, we do not release names of members of staff below Assistant Director level.  Disclosure of this information would not be fair or lawful which would breach principle (a) of Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Furthermore, the conditions as set out in Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR are not met. Accordingly, such information is exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by virtue of section 40(3)(a)(i)."

It is my view that the post of Senior Improvement Officer strongly suggests that all PHSO staff earning £39,979 or more a year could properly be categorized as senior. That you have published the names of Assistant Directors (organogram showing their names as of 8th July 2019) is welcome news; however, I am inclined to think that your choice of who falls into the category of 'senior' is far too restrictive. For me to accept your reasoning I would first have to accept that the post of Senior Improvement Officer is not a 'senior' post. I don't.

My view may change when I find out the outcome of a related complaint currently being considered by the F-t T:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

As things stand, however, my firm view is that you are not entitled to withhold the names of all staff earning £39,979 or more who are neither Assistant Directors nor Clinical Advisors.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

ICO contacted.

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

Latest:

'I have written to the public authority today and have instructed it to issue you with a response to your internal review request. If you do not receive a response from the public authority within 20 working days, or if you do receive a response you are dissatisfied with, please bring this back to us for review.'

ICO is moving to a new case management system. The case reference number has been changed.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Information on the ICO's definition of senior staff as those earning at least £58,200 per annum:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Dear InformationRights,

The ICO contacted me about my complaint regarding this request in the following terms:

'I have written to the public authority today and have instructed it to issue you with a response to your internal review request. If you do not receive a response from the public authority within 20 working days, or if you do receive a response you are dissatisfied with, please bring this back to us for review.'

That was more than 20 working days ago.

I fully understand that you are currently operating in exceptional circumstances because of Covid-19. For this reason, I consider that the 20 working days should be extended to 35. If you think it should be extended further, please get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

D. Moore

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s
(PHSO) Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team. This is to confirm
we have received your request.

If you have made a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or Environment Information Regulations 2004, we will
respond to your request within 20 working days in accordance with the
statutory time frames set out in both Acts.

If you have made a request for personal information held by the PHSO, your
request will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the provisions
of the Data Protection Act 2018 and will be responded to within one
calendar month in accordance with the statutory time frame set out in the
Act.

We may contact you before this time if we require further clarification or
if we need to extend the time required to complete your request.

For Subject Access Requests, we will send any personal information via
secure email, unless you instruct us differently. To access the
information on the email we send, you will need to sign up to our secure
email service. Details can be found on our website using the link below:
www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/being-open...

If you require us to post your personal information to you instead you
will need to inform us of this and confirm your current address as soon as
possible.

Angharad Jackson
Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director Information Assurance
Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
PHSO CityGate
47-51 Mosley Street
Manchester
M2 3HQ
[email address]

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

I got in touch with the ICO about this, who in turn contacted the PHSO.

Covid-related delays.

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

The ICO has started a formal investigation into the matter.

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

The ICO contacted me yesterday to inform me that the ICO had completed its review and would be in touch with me.

The PHSO responded (unexpectedly) to my personal email account using Egress.

The PHSO has not changed its position, and I have today contacted the ICO to say that I still wish to pursue my complaint.

Here is a copy of the review:

'What I reviewed;

You said in your request for an internal review;

“It is my view that the post of Senior Improvement Officer strongly suggests that all PHSO staff earning £39,979 or more a year could properly be categorized as senior.   That you have published the names of Assistant Directors (organogram showing their names as of 8th July 2019) is welcome news; however, I am inclined to think that your choice of who falls into the category of 'senior' is far too restrictive.  For me to accept your reasoning I would first have to accept that the post of Senior Improvement Officer is not a 'senior' post.  I don't.”

I reviewed your comments against the ICO guidance in relation to the disclosure of employee personal data, in particular the section relating to ‘Senior employees’

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

I am able to confirm that the case officers interpretation of this guidance was correct. The position of ‘Senior’ as applied in the context of ‘Senior Improvements Officer’ does not have any responsibility for major policy decisions or the expenditure of public funds and would have no expectation of disclosure under FOI.

The title ‘Senior ‘ within the PHSO denotes a more experienced/more qualified post. For example- Improvements Officer/Senior Improvements Officer. Caseworker/Senior Caseworker. In much the same way as it is used in the ICO.

Therefore, I believe the Information rights officer correctly interpreted the legislation and the ICO guidance, and the exemption was correctly applied.

If you do not agree with the outcome of my review you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office at http://www.ico.org/ '

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

"The ICO contacted me yesterday to inform me that the ICO had completed its review and would be in touch with me."

Spot the error - the second "ICO" should read "PHSO".

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Details of jobs advertised on the PHSO website can be found in the comments here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

The jobs are also advertised on the Reed recruitment site. Two recent reviews by former PHSO caseworkers (Manchester) are available:

"Very challenging environment with no room for manoeuvre due to strict management/ policies in place. Policies not applied fairly across teams. No room for progression and no security of jobs given that you are shown the door fairly quickly if you are unable to perform to set targets (which is easily done as the work is demanding). Great colleagues though who made the role and time there worthwhile."

and;

"An every changing environment quite hard to keep up with all the changes. Very strict on staff and no understanding of work and life balance. Some staff and management but most don't have any experience of how to manage a team. Very focused on targets but need to realise they need quality not quantity. Staff want to make a difference but are restricted by policies."

https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Parliamenta...

Gadawodd D. Moore anodiad ()

I got back in touch with the ICO to express my dissatisfaction with the PHSO review. The caseworker responded promptly to inform me that they will be contacting the PHSO again.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

PACAC in their recent call for evidence are interested in PHSO staff management and training (deadline 30/10/20):

'As set out in its previous report, the Committee intends to consistently scrutinise the following matters and would welcome evidence relating to them:

• The PHSO’s casework performance, including performance against KPIs.

• Staff management and training.

• Value for Money

• Impact on other organisations.The Committee would also welcome evidence on the following subjects:

• The PHSO’s provision of reasonable adjustments to service users.

• The time taken for the PHSO to respond to correspondence, including Subject Access Requests and Freedom of Information requests.'

https://committees.parliament.uk/call-fo...

Two reviews on the Indeed recruitment website:

"Very challenging environment with no room for manoeuvre due to strict management/ policies in place. Policies not applied fairly across teams. No room for progression and no security of jobs given that you are shown the door fairly quickly if you are unable to perform to set targets (which is easily done as the work is demanding). Great colleagues though who made the role and time there worthwhile."

and;

"An every changing environment quite hard to keep up with all the changes. Very strict on staff and no understanding of work and life balance. Some staff and management but most don't have any experience of how to manage a team. Very focused on targets but need to realise they need quality not quantity. Staff want to make a difference but are restricted by policies."

https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Parliamenta...

The reviews on Glassdoor are generally bad too – two this year and four from 2019.

One recommends the place, one is neutral and four do not recommend it.

'Appalling management truly a circus of very dishonest leadership.' (July 2020)

'No opportunites for progression or development.' (January 2020)

'Run like a call centre.' (August 2019)

'When I left morale was extremely low due to the actions of senior management.' (August 2019)

'Worthy work and good people.' (May 2019)

'They focus only on the number of cases; quality or the correct decision or actions are still not paramount' ((January 2019).

https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Parl...

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()