PPS Assistant Director John Rea - Martin Mc Gartland kidnapping case
Dear Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland,
Please supply me with all recorded information you hold under FOIA 2000 concerning following;
1. What rules are in place within PPS concerning their corresponding and replying to letters and emails from victims of crime. Is it standard practice for PPS to ignore correspondence for months on end?
2. Please supply all information you hold concerning any press statements, releases by PPS concerning the subject of victims complaints concerning delays by PPS and also complaints by victims relating to claims that PPS are not supplying victims with enough information on their cases/s.
3. Please supply full details, including outcome, on the number of complaints made by victims against PPS. Please include details of how many complaints have been upheld.
I would like the information regarding 2 and 3 above to cover the past 2 years.
Mr Martin McGartland
[FOI #121286 email]
18^th July 2012
Our Ref: 12/041
Your Ref: LB/LD/MD/E21/287
I refer to your email of 7^th July 2012 in which you ask several questions
about the processing of complaints and correspondence within the PPS. This
request has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act creates rights of access for any person
making a request for information to a public authority. The rights of
access are twofold. First, to be informed by the public authority if it
holds information of the description specified in the request, and if that
is the case, secondly, to be provided with that information. These rights
are subject to important limitations, which are designed to achieve a
proper balance between the right to know and considerations of law and
policy in the broader public interest.
Specifically you had asked:-
1. What rules are in place within PPS concerning their
corresponding and replying to letters and emails from victims of crime. Is
it standard practice for PPS to ignore correspondence for months on end?
The PPS aims to deal promptly with correspondence from members of the
public and will strive to ensure that all receive a reply within 20
working days. Similar targets are in published in respect of complaints
from service users and responses to requests under the Freedom of
Information Act. It should be noted that the timeliness of all
correspondence is not monitored centrally, however performance in respect
of FoI requests and complaints can be provided if required.
Where it is not possible to provide a full response to correspondence, it
would be normal practice to issue a holding reply.
With regard to complaints from Victims and Witnesses the timescales are
set out in the PPS’s Complaints Procedure which can be found on the PPS
website. The PPS will acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 5 working
days and will normally seek to make a full response within 20 working
If it is not possible to make a full response within 20 days, the
complainant should be informed why the response has been delayed and given
a revised target date for a full response. Normally this will be the
responsibility of the investigating officer.
2. Please supply all information you hold concerning any press
statements, releases by PPS concerning the subject of victims complaints
concerning delays by PPS and also complaints by victims relating to claims
that PPS are not supplying victims with enough information on their
The PPS has not made any press statements or releases on these
specific matters. Full details of the press notices released by
the Service are available via the PPS website. The current Victim and
Witness Policy / PPS Code for Prosecutors are also available on the
site. In terms of Section 17 of the Act the information requested is not
3. Please supply full details, including outcome, on the number of
complaints made by victims against PPS. Please include details of how many
complaints have been upheld.
Please find attached the PPS Annual Reports for 2010/11 and 2011/12 which
contain this information. These reports are available on the PPS website.
The report for 2011/12 records 62 complaints, of these 21 were from
victims. The report for 2010/11 records 60 complaints, of these 21 were
If you are dissatisfied in any way with the handling of your request, you
have the right to request a review in accordance with our review
procedure. In the event that you require a review to be undertaken, you
can do so by writing to the Assistant Director (Policy), Public
Prosecution Service, Belfast Chambers, 93 Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1
3JR or alternatively by sending an e-mail to [email address]. You
should state clearly the grounds on which you are requesting the review.
Alternatively, you may wish to apply directly to the Information
Commissioner for a decision.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
PPS FOI Team
So it would appear from what little information your have supplied me that your own Assistant Director, John Rea, is breaking the PPS rules while dealing with me. He refuses to reply to my correspondence for 3 months or more and he refuses to supply me with an explanation, as requested many times, as the victim of an IRA kidnapping.
This is a request for an internal review on grounds that you have not supplied me with the recorded information that I requested and also because you have not dealt with my request correctly. Please also ensure you supply links to the correct pages and stop trying to confuse and or conceal recorded information I have requested.
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