Alternative remedy

J Kumar made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please clarify if the PHSO routinely considers the issue of alternative remedy at the outset of each case. If so, what guidance, if any, is given to investigators regarding the recording of this consideration on a complainant's file?

When determining the question of whether or not it would be reasonable to expect a complainant to pursue a litigious remedy as opposed to submitting a PHSO complaint, what factors are investigators required to take into account?

Please also clarify how many complaints submitted against the CSA/DWP since Jan 1 2013 have been upheld in full. Of these upheld complaints, has the CSA/DWP ever refused to comply with the PHSO's recommendations? If so, how many times has the CSA/DWP refused to comply?

Finally, please clarify whether or not any public bodies have refused to comply with PHSO recommendations since January 1 2013. If so, please identify the public bodies concerned.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

J Kumar

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, 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:
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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Dear J Kumar,

 

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Further to your email dated 20 December, in which you request the
disclosure of information under the provisions of the above Act, we are
now in a position to respond.

 

Please see the attached document in response to your request.

 

If you believe we have made an error in the way we have processed your
request, it is open to you to request an internal review. You can do this
by writing to us or emailing [1][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email] . You
will need to specify what 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 [2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Your request will now be closed as of this date.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom Of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [3]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

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Dear InformationRights,

Thank you for your response.

However, I am unable to find any guidance at your link relating to the various factors to be taken into account and the manner in which this information is to be recorded on a complainant's file.

In the circumstances, please would you assist me by posting below the the extract, or extracts, that you state answer my request.

For the sake of clarity, it is clear from case law that there are numerous factors to be taken into account, but I cannot see reference to these anywhere in the guidance you provide to investigators.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

J Kumar

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, 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.

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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I refer to my request for clarification of your response and should be grateful to hear from you now please.

Yours faithfully,

J Kumar

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, 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.

______________________________________________________________________
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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J Kumar

Thank you for your email.

Your internal review is in progress and we aim to provide you with a response on or before 22 February as is permitted under the FOI Act.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

show quoted sections

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear J Kumar

 

RE: Your internal review relating to R0000430

 

I write in response to your email of 25 January 2019 where you have
requested an internal review of the PHSOs handling of your FOI request.

 

The purpose of an internal review is to assess how your FOI request was
handled in the first instance and to determine whether the original
decision given to you was correct. This is an independent review. I was
not involved in the original decision.

 

I have reassessed your case and after careful consideration I have
concluded that the response sent to you was compliant with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. An explanation of my
decision follows.

 

Your original request, dated 20 December 2018, asked for the following:

 

Please clarify if the PHSO routinely considers the issue of alternative
remedy at the outset of each case. If so, what guidance, if any, is given
to investigators regarding the recording of this consideration on a
complainant's file?

 

When determining the question of whether or not it would be reasonable to
expect a complainant to pursue a litigious remedy as opposed to submitting
a PHSO complaint, what factors are investigators required to take into
account?

 

Please also clarify how many complaints submitted against the CSA/DWP
since Jan 1 2013 have been upheld in full. Of these upheld complaints, has
the CSA/DWP ever refused to comply with the PHSO's recommendations? If so,
how many times has the CSA/DWP refused to comply?

 

Finally, please clarify whether or not any public bodies have refused to
comply with PHSO recommendations since January 1 2013. If so, please
identify the public bodies concerned.

 

Our response (reference R0000430) dated 21 January 2019 was issued to you
within the statutory time limit prescribed by the Freedom of Information
Act of 20 working days as specified at Section 10(1) of the Act.

 

In terms of the content of the response issued, I am satisfied that
Section 1(1) of the Act has been met by confirming what information is and
is not held. I can also confirm that what was provided to you was correct
meaning the internal review is not upheld.

 

However, I have identified when exempting the first element of your
request under Section 21 of the Act and providing advice and assistance to
enable you to locate the relevant information, you were incorrectly
referred to Section 3 of the Service Model Guidance. Reference to the
consideration and recording of ALR along with the factors we ask
caseworkers to consider is contained within Section 2 of our Service Model
Main Guidance (page 49 onwards). For ease of reference, I have attached a
copy of the guidance. 

 

Finally, as you have stated in your internal review that you are also
looking for ‘the manner in which this information is to be recorded on a
complainant's file’, to provide further assistance, I have attached our
decision form template which is used to record this information on the
complainants file. You will see that Sections 10 and 11 of this template
provide caseworkers with further guidance on the consideration of ALR and
this is used alongside the Service Model Main Guidance.

 

I hope that this response now provides what you require and clarifies
where ALR is located within our guidance along with how it is recorded on
file. You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is
incorrect by submitting a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s
Office ([1]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Angharad Jackson

Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director

Information Assurance

 

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