Audit committee meetings' minutes

The request was partially successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Despite searching for the minutes of the Audit committee meetings they do not seem to be available n the PHSO Website-

Please could I read the minutes of the last four committee meetings, including the March 2 2016 meeting.

For reference:

It was noted that Board had not approved the business case for the procurement of the café service contract, though the three year total was over £100,000. It was agreed that a report detailing how and why the governance process was not followed and what measures have been put in place to avoid repetition would be considered at the next Audit Committee meeting on 2 March 2016.

::::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request, not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees, and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The PHSO had/has (?) a contract with Rosemary Jackson - Dame Julie Mellors old business partner - to coach on 'governance' .

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

16 September 2016

 

 

Dear JT Oakley

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN-267468

 

I am writing to you regarding your Freedom of Information request dated 21
August 2016 in which you asked:

 

“Please could I read the minutes of the last four committee meetings,
including the March 2 2016 meeting.”

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) obliges us to respond to
requests promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days after
receiving your request.  I can confirm we do hold the information you have
requested, however the exemption at section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA applies to
the information. Section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA is a qualified exemption and
therefore engages the public interest test.

We have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of the public
interest lies, we will therefore need some additional time to comply with
your request. We estimate that it will take an addition 20 working days to
make a decision, and we plan to let you have a substantive response by 14
October 2016. If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a
conclusion, we will keep you informed.  However, if we are able to reach a
decision before this date, we will of course let you know.

If you have any queries about this email please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer

 

 

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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Audit committee meetings secret?

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Hopefully you don't have too long to wait for them to carry out the PHSO interest test.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Thank you J Roberts - for your accurate annotation.

The public interest is not served by keeping secret the names of the PHSO's senior officers....or its audit committee meetings. It's a publically funded organisation, not privately enterprise. In effect, the public are its shareholders.

:::

Therefore the public is entitled to read exactly how it's money is being spent - especially in the wake of:

1.Last year's overspending of budget fiasco , for which Dame Julie Mellor had to publically apologise to PACAC

2. And this year's hastily -signed cafe contract, which, according to its executive board meeting, was stated not to have gone through the proper process.

:::

The PHSO should be now be demonstrating that it has now got a financial grip on its finances and that it is as 'open and transparent', as it states on its website.

But it would seem the PHSO may be still content to continue to demonstrate its contempt for the hard-working and financially stretched public, if it refuses to make its committee minutes known.

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

Could you please state:

1. who the PHSO!s qualified persons are
2. and on what date they became qualified persons
3. And the name of the minister responsibke for making them qualified persons

...as their decision will have a bearing to the response of this request - since S36 needs the signature of a qualified person having properly weighed up the argument and come to the decision that is that it is not of public interest for the public to read these minutes,

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

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 'Audit committee meetings'

The public interest is that the PHSO should provide details about how it is spending it's money.

Especially in the light of the resignations of its deputy and the Ombudsman and its openness and transparency assurance to the public.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

This is beginning to look like the response is being delayed until Dame Julie Mellor leaves the premises -after being exposed in the Health Service Journal -and resigning for her role in the Mick Martin sex-text cover up at Derby NHS,

But maybe because the PHSO has been overspending public money yet again:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidenc...

Or even putting itself in line for yet another National Audit office investigation over Dame Julie Mellor employing a friend, Rosemary Jackson -for 'governance coaching'

https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/upload...

....Or perhaps the friend is still in dispute with the PHSO over her subsistence allowance - and it is eating too much into the PHSO's £37m budget?

Otherwise, what has the PHSO got to hide?

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN-267468

 

I am writing to you regarding your Freedom of Information request dated 21
August 2016 in which you asked:

 

“Please could I read the minutes of the last four committee meetings,
including the March 2 2016 meeting.”

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) obliges us to respond to
requests promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days after
receiving your request.  I can confirm we do hold the information you have
requested, however, the exemption at section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA applies to
the information you have requested. Section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA is a
qualified exemption and therefore engages the public interest test.

We last wrote to advise you that we hoped to be able to provide you with a
substantive response to your request by 14 October 2016.  However,
unfortunately we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of
the public interest lies.  We will therefore need some additional time to
comply with your request. We estimate that it will take an additional 20
working days to make a decision, and we plan to let you have a substantive
response by 11 November 2016.  We are sorry for any inconvenience which
this may cause and will be in contact again as soon as we are able.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353588 email]]
Sent: 21 August 2016 22:32
To: InformationRights
Subject: FDN 267468 Freedom of Information request - Audit committee
meetings' minutes

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Despite searching for the minutes of the Audit committee meetings they do
not seem to be available n the PHSO Website-

Please could I read the minutes of the last four committee meetings,
including the March 2 2016 meeting.

For reference:

It was noted that Board had not approved the business case for the
procurement of the caf頳ervice contract, though the three year total was
over 100,000. It was agreed that a report detailing how and why the
governance process was not followed and what measures have been put in
place to avoid repetition would be considered at the next Audit Committee
meeting on 2 March 2016.

::::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section
(Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under
section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of
the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request,  not put in a PDF or
any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on
file, rather than newly written letters of response.

[3]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs
department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees,
and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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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 'Audit committee meetings' minutes'.

:::
The audit committee meetings are a natter of legitimate public concern:

PHSO admits it failed to follow rules for £100k contract
5 SEPTEMBER, 2016 BY SHAUN LINTERN

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman failed to follow its own procurement guidance when it awarded a contract worth more than £100,000 without board approval, HSJ has learned.

The watchdog has admitted the mistake and said it has improved its processes after it awarded a contract to a company called Baxter Storey to run its onsite cafe for employees in November.

According to the PHSO’s own procurement guidance: “All tenders exceeding £100,000 can only be accepted by the [central procurement team]. A report must be submitted to the executive board.”

It said such a report should include the names of bidders, the amount of money involved and a rationale for the recommendation to award the tender to any single bidder.

Minutes from the PHSO board for January, which were published last month, show the board did not approve the contract. Board members agreed a review into “how and why the governance process was not followed and what measures have been put in place to avoid repetition” would be carried out.

The PHSO refused to release this report to HSJ or reveal the value of the contract.

This is not the first time the ombudsman has faced questions over its contract processes.

In 2014, the National Audit Office criticised the PHSO for its handling of four contracts worth more than £1m. One contract was awarded to a former business partner of Dame Julie Mellor who failed to declare the interest when she sat on the appointment panel.

The NAO concluded there was no evidence of undue influence arising from conflicts of interest but said this was only possible after a detailed examination. Based on its actions and documentation, the PHSO “would find it difficult to robustly defend itself against the charge that interests played a part” in decision making, the report said.

In January 2016, MPs criticised Dame Julie Mellor after the PHSO’s end of year accounts for 2014-15 were “qualified” by auditors because of “serious failings, including a lack of management oversight.”

Dame Julie told the Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee that this was because the PHSO had overspent by £275,000 at the end of the financial year “because of inadequate cash planning and monitoring”.

Following the latest contract failing a spokeswoman for the PHSO said it had improved its processes through greater control over contracts given to the finance director, who sees all procurements above £3,000.

She added: “The PHSO board did not receive a business case for this work as it should have done under our governance processes. This should not have happened and processes have since been strengthened.”

Dame Julie announced her resignation as ombudsman in July after HSJ revealed she failed to take action when she was alerted to her former deputy Mick Martin’s involvement in covering up the sexual harassment of an NHS HR director.

Health Service Journal

:::

Due the article above is the Health Service Journal, could you please confirm that the PHSO is not considering reporting a potential PHSO funds fraud to the police - as clearly this might be an exemption that would qualify retention of the Audit committee meetings.

Otherwise there is a legitanate public interest in being transparent and open by showing that Dame Julie Mellor ( -as the chief officer responsible ) has not passed on the investigation (as she in Helen marks letter in the integrity of deputy Mick Martin ) of this procurement failure.

And that the PHSO is retaining the minutes - until after Dame Julie Mellor - as the Qualified Person, leaves the PHSO.
Which would not be a justified retention if the requested data.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-270408)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 21 September 2016 in which you
asked the following:

 

Could you please state: 

 

1. who the PHSO!s qualified persons are

2. and on what date they became qualified persons

3. And the name of the minister responsibke   for making them qualified
persons”

 

Our response is as follows:

 

1.    The Ombudsman and the Senior Information Rights Officer (SIRO). 
Currently, Dame Julie Mellor is Ombudsman, while Rebecca Marsh is SIRO.

2.    On 14 April 2014 the Ombudsman was confirmed as qualified person
while the SIRO was appointed as qualified person.

3.    Francis Maude MP.

 

That concludes our response.  If you remain unhappy with this response,
you can seek an internal review or complain to the Information
Commissioner’s Office ([1]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353588 email]]
Sent: 21 September 2016 09:06
To: InformationRights
Subject: Re: FDN 267468: Freedom of Information request - Audit committee
meetings' minutes - Extension

 

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

Could you please state: 

1. who the PHSO!s qualified persons are
2. and on what date they became qualified persons
3. And the name of the minister responsibke   for making them qualified
persons

...as their decision will have a bearing  to the response of this request
- since S36 needs the signature of a qualified person having  properly
weighed up the argument and come to the decision that  is that it is not
of public  interest for the public to read these minutes,

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you but a job title is not a 'named person'.

Logically there needs to be a name.

So I would assume that Dame Julie Mellor, who has been appointed by the Cabinet Office, and is also the PHSO's highest ranking person will be responding, as QP, to this request and outlining her objections ( if any) to the public being able to read the PHSO's committee minutes.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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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 'Audit committee meetings' minutes'.

'Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review' WDTK .

Plese therefore place in review

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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D. Speers left an annotation ()

Couldn't have made it plainer JT Oaklet! Thank you for asking!

Maybe they don't want to tell you?

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You state:

'comply with your request. We estimate that it will take an additional 20
working days to make a decision, and we plan to let you have a substantive
response by 11 November 2016'

::

In view of the date that you give, 11 November - what is Dame Julie Mellor's leaving date?

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Cabinet office states - Section 36 Qualified persons -a specific job title is a QP.

This means if the job title changes, the QP status goes with it ..according to the Cabinet Office, which appoints the PHSO's QP's.

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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

PHSO states :
1.    The Ombudsman and the Senior Information Rights Officer (SIRO). 

Currently, Dame Julie Mellor is Ombudsman, while Rebecca Marsh is Senior Information Rights Officer.

:::

The Cabinet Office points out that the job title is specific.

'Senior Information Rights Officer' is NOT the 'Senior Information Risk Officer' .

:::

The Cabinet Office informs me :

'The Qualified Persons for PHSO remain the Ombudsman and the Senior Information Risk Officer and no further letters of designation have been sent by the Cabinet Office Minister since 14 April 2014'.

Jtoakley .....From your response, I understand that a PHSO QP is a specific job designation, rather than a named person.
Could you confirm that this is the case?

CO - That is correct. 
Sam Todd 
Head of FOI
Cabinet Office

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Very interesting. It is worth stopping for a moment to dwell on the difference between these two titles. 'Rights officer' suggests that the role is to ensure that the public right to access is maintained while 'risk officer' suggests the role is primarily to prevent embarrassing disclosure.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Unless you determine who the 'Rights' refers to....the PHSO or the public.

Seemingjy the PHSO assumes the 'right' to use numbers - instead of names - presumably to avoid) information being provided in SARS. Although this is breaking the FOIA ..as numbers are linked personall data identifiable.

And advises the ICO that it has 'no remit' to investigate PHSO complainant statements for accuracy.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear Jt Oakley

 

RE: Your information request FDN-267468

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated in
21 August 2016 in which you asked:

 

“Please could I read the minutes of the last four committee meetings,
including the March 2 2016 meeting”.

 

In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) please find
attached redacted copies of the following minutes:

 

o Minutes of the PHSO Audit Committee: Tuesday 10 November 2015
o Minutes of the PHSO Audit Committee: Wednesday 2 March 2016
o Minutes of the PHSO Audit Committee: Thursday 19 May 2016

 

From the attached information we have withheld some third party personal
data in line with section 40(2) FOIA. We have also withheld information
under section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA as disclosure would prejudice the free and
frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation.

 

I am not able to release the minutes for the minutes of the PHSO Audit
Committee of Tuesday 19 July 2016 as they were not agreed when we received
your request, therefore the information is exempt under sections 40(2) and
36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA.

 

Section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA is qualified exemption and requires the balance
of the public interest test.

 

When considering the arguments for disclosure of the withheld information,
we have taken into account that it is key that publically funded
organisations like the PHSO are open and transparent about their decision
making, and members of the Board and Executive Team are held accountable
for them. We have also taken into account that disclosure would provide
insight to the rigorous scrutiny, and the free and frank exchange of views
that takes place at our audit committee meetings.

 

However we consider that the public interest for not disclosing the
information outweighs the arguments for disclosure in relation to this
specific material, which includes the free and frank exchange of views
brought during the course of open discussion.  It is fundamental that our
audit committee members have a protected space where they can exchange
such views in an uninhibited manner in order to fulfil their role in
monitoring and scrutinising our governance, policy and performance.
Disclosure of the withheld information would impede discussions at future
audit committee meetings if committee members believed their discussions
and advice would be likely to be released into the public domain; as it
would reduce the candour of discussion, it would simultaneously diminish
effectiveness of the committee as a scrutiny mechanism. Any chilling
effect on the exchange of views would lead to the loss in quality of our
decision making and therefore the information is exempt under section
36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA.

 

I hope the information is helpful. If you are dissatisfied with the way
your Freedom of Information request was handled you can ask for an
internal review by emailing me at [1][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email].
Beyond that you can complain to the Information Commissioner, her office
details can be found here: [2]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Sohifa Kadir

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

Please provide the name and job title of the Qualified Person, as it appears to be missing from the response.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Jt Oakley

Your information request FDN-267468

Thank you for your email dated 11 November 2016.

In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I can confirm Dame Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman was the Qualified Person.

I hope the information satisfies your request.

Yours sincerely

Sohifa Kadir
FOI/DP Team

show quoted sections

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

23 November 2016

 

 

Dear Jt Oakley

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN-273956

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 27
October 2016 in which you asked for Dame Julie Mellor’s leaving date.

 

Dame Mellor has informed Bernard Jenkin MP, the Chair of the Public
Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee that she intends to
leave on 31 January 2017. However the statutory nature of the
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman role means that the work of the
office can only continue with someone in post, therefore Dame Mellor has
said if a successor has not been appointed by that date, she will remain
in post until 31 March 2017 at the latest.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353588 email]]
Sent: 27 October 2016 12:00
To: InformationRights
Subject: FDN-273956 - Re: Freedom of Information request - Audit committee
meetings' minutes

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You state:

'comply with your request. We estimate that it will take an additional 20
working days to make a decision, and we plan to let you have a substantive
response by 11 November 2016'

::

In view of the date that you give, 11 November - what is Dame Julie
Mellor's leaving date?

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

Review on this point.

You state :
However we consider that the public interest for not disclosing the
information outweighs the arguments for disclosure in relation to this
specific material, which includes the free and frank exchange of views
brought during the course of open discussion. It is fundamental that our
audit committee members have a protected space where they can exchange
such views in an uninhibited manner in order to fulfil their role in
monitoring and scrutinising our governance, policy and performance.
Disclosure of the withheld information would impede discussions at future
audit committee meetings if committee members believed their discussions
and advice would be likely to be released into the public domain; as it
would reduce the candour of discussion, it would simultaneously diminish
effectiveness of the committee as a scrutiny mechanism. Any chilling
effect on the exchange of views would lead to the loss in quality of our
decision making and therefore the information is exempt under section
36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA.

:::

Could you therefore provide the PHSO's decision which puts PHSO board meetings on the internet - but not audit committee meetings?

Surely section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA applies to all PHSO meetings .... or none.

Therefore what data is on file at the PHSO precluding public interest in audit committee meetings, other than board meetings.

When was this differential decision made - and who signed it?

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your internal review (FDN-267468)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 25 September 2017 and subsequent
emails in which you express dissatisfaction with PHSO’s handling of your
information request for meeting minutes.  This review will consider
whether your request was dealt with in compliance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

Timeliness

 

Section 10(1) FOIA states that public authorities should comply with
requests within 20 working days.  Section 10(3) FOIA enables an authority
to extend the 20 working day limit up to a ‘reasonable’ time in any case
where it requires more time to determine whether or not the balance of the
public interest lies in maintaining an exemption, or it needs further time
to consider whether it would be in the public interest to confirm or deny
whether the information is held.  This was the case here as section 36,
the exemption for information whose disclosure could prejudice the
effective conduct of public affairs, and PHSO needed additional time to
consider where the balance of public interest lay in relation to
disclosure.

 

I have concluded that PHSO’s issue of two 20-day extensions to consider
the public interest test was lawful. This was a complex request relating
to sets of minutes which PHSO does not routinely publish.

 

Application of section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA

 

I have reviewed the information which has been withheld from the Audit
Committee minutes.  I have concluded that the opinion of the qualified
person was delivered, was reasonable and that section 36(2)(b)(ii) FOIA is
engaged in relation to the withheld information.

 

Conclusion

 

I do not uphold this complaint as I have concluded that the request was
dealt with in a compliant manner.

 

I hope that this response is helpful.  If you remain unhappy with the way
your request was processed, it is open to you to complain to the
Information Commissioner ([1]www.ico.org.uk). 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353588 email]]
Sent: 23 October 2016 10:59
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Audit
committee meetings' minutes

 

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 'Audit committee meetings'
minutes'.

'Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all
circumstances, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman should have
responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal
review' WDTK .

Plese therefore place in review

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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