Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Under the PHSO's policy of being Open and Transparent, According to the PHSO's internet site , the last board minutes ( in draft) are apparently September 28, 2015.

Since the board sits quarterly, please could I read the latest board minutes.

Yours faithfully,

JtOakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

In the PHSO's last 'open and transparent' unitary board minutes it states :

The next meeting will take place at 11:00am on Monday 23 November 2015 at Millbank Tower, London.

If meetings are quarterly, ( March 2016) then these minutes should now be approved - and on the PHSO's internet site.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-254429)

 

I am writing in response to your email of 8 April 2016, in which you asked
for a copy of the latest PHSO Board minutes.

These are now available on our website at the following link:
[1]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/the-board/executive-board-minutes

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][email address]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #327317 email]]
Sent: 08 April 2016 17:44
To: foiofficer
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Board Minutes

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Under the PHSO's policy of being Open and Transparent,  According to the
PHSO's internet site  , the last board minutes ( in draft) are apparently
September 28, 2015.

Since the board sits quarterly,  please could I read the latest board
minutes.

Yours faithfully,

JtOakley

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Dear PHSO FOIA team,

Thank you - but the September minutes were already on site, so I have already read them.

In these minutes it was stated that there was to be was a board meeting in November:

'The Interim Executive Director of External Affairs and Strategy will provide a further report update on Employee
Engagement at the November Board meeting'.

::::

Therefore if this November board meeting took place as scheduled, the minutes of the November Board meeting should be on site.....Even allowing for Christmas. Since November is more than 3 months ago - and the meetings are quarterly.

Perhaps there is a time lag between the response to this FOIA request and the November minutes appearing on the Internet site which explains their absence? Or, indeed, as requested, the 'latest' board meetings - since September.

::::

Therefore, to avoid confusion, it would be be helpful if you could give me the dates of board meetings in 2015/2016.

And then I could refer to the meetings by date - instead of asking to read the 'Latest' minutes.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

I particularly remember this bit of the last minutes.

Which is why I know that they've been on the site for some time.

'Chair’s report
4.1 The Chair introduced her report and reflected that Ombudsman reform had been the priority for Quarter 2.
4.2 Summary of Board discussion:
 PHSO’s external reputation was improving, but not yet secure'.

Since the PHSO's reputation was on a downward trajectory -even before these minutes - it will be interesting to see the next comments on the subject.

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

Your information request (FDN-254429)

 

The October Board minutes are on the website – these are what I referred
to in my previous email when I confirmed that the latest available minutes
were available on our website.

 

The next meetings took place on 26 January 2016 and 9-10 March 2016. The
minutes for these have not yet been approved by the Chair of the Board but
will be published in due course.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][email address]

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #327317 email]]
Sent: 05 May 2016 13:30
To: foiofficer
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Board Minutes

 

Dear PHSO  FOIA team,

Thank  you - but the September minutes were already on site,  so I have
already read them.

In these minutes it was stated that there was to be was a board meeting in
November:

'The Interim Executive Director of External Affairs and Strategy will
provide a further report update on Employee
Engagement at the November Board meeting'.

::::

Therefore if this November  board meeting took place as scheduled, the
minutes of the November Board meeting should be on site.....Even allowing
for Christmas. Since  November is more than 3 months ago -  and the
meetings are  quarterly.

Perhaps there is a time lag between the response to this FOIA request  and
the November minutes appearing on the Internet site which explains their
absence?  Or,  indeed, as requested, the 'latest'  board meetings - since
September.

::::

Therefore, to avoid confusion, it would be be helpful  if you could give
me the dates of board meetings in 2015/2016.

And then I could refer to the meetings by date -  instead of asking to
read  the 'Latest'  minutes.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear foiofficer,

Thank you,

My understanding is that you are therefore confirming:

1. That the board did not meet between October and January, with the scheduled November meeting not taking place.

2. That a January meeting took place.

3. But although another board meeting has subsequently taken place in March, the board was not able to agree and approve the January minutes.

:::

Since PHSO board meetings are stated to be quarterly,

I would therefore presume that this is no longer the case and they are now held on an ad hoc basis.

.....Which is why I asked for the dates of 2015/6 -board meetings to avoid further confusion....

Therefore - Missing from response :

Please could you therefore supply the board meetings dates for 2016 - (2016 ends in December), as previously requested.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear J T Oakley

Your information request (FDN-254429)

I can confirm that the dates previously provided are correct. 

 

I had understood you were interested in receiving dates for the business
year 2015/16, but please see the attached document for scheduled dates for
PHSO Board and Committee meetings during the calendar year 2016.

 

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

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 #327317 email]]
Sent: 09 May 2016 14:30
To: InformationRights
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Board Minutes

 

Dear foiofficer,

Thank you,

My understanding is that you are therefore confirming:

1. That the board did not meet between October and January, with the
scheduled November meeting not taking place.

2. That a January meeting took place.

3. But although another board meeting has subsequently taken place in
March, the board was not able to agree and approve the January minutes.

:::

Since PHSO  board meetings are stated to be quarterly,

I would therefore presume that this is no longer the case and they are
now  held on an ad hoc basis.

.....Which is why I asked for the dates of 2015/6  -board meetings to
avoid further confusion....

Therefore - Missing from response :

Please could you therefore supply the board meetings dates for  2016 - 
(2016 ends in December), as previously requested.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

J Roberts left an annotation ()

I noticed this:

"17.1 It was agreed that:

ACTION 12:
The Board will now meet every 6 weeks, a total of 8 times a year."

Was it every 12 weeks before?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

It used to be quarterly and normally it would be expected that this sort of organisation Would gave -at least -quarterly meetings.

From the timetable above it looks like the quarterly meetings are Q dates.

But April is Q 4..where you wd assume that they would run from 1-4 during the financial year.

So as everything ekse with the PHSO - Who knows?

If 25/26 April has taken place , the previous board meeting minutes should have been approved at this meeting...and up to read on the PHSO's Internet site.

Dear InformationRights,

Could you please confirm why the Q3 BOARD MEETING -January minutes have not been published, as presumably they were accepted at Q4 25/6 April meeting.

The last board minutes on the PHSO's internet site are still October. As

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

As a general rule, a public authority should publish the following on a routine basis:
*   minutes and agendas of public meetings; 

*   documents it is required to make public by other legislation, 
such as the Local Government Act 1972; 

*   minutes of senior-level policy and strategy meetings, eg board 
meetings; and 

*   any background documents which are referred to in the agenda 
or minutes, or were circulated in preparation for the meeting. These are considered part of the agenda. 
A public authority would not be expected to include: 

*   any information which would be exempt under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR); 

*   any personal information which it would be unfair to disclose or would otherwise breach the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA); 

*   minutes of meetings that fall outside the timeframe indicated in 
the sector definition documents (the usual requirement is to make available minutes for the current and previous three years); 

*   information that it would be impractical or resource-intensive to publish; or 

*   lower-level internal meetings which may be of less general interest to the public

. 
Please refer to the relevant definition document for details specific to the public authority. 
It is good practice for public authorities to have a process that ensures minutes related to regular meetings are published reasonably soon after the meeting has been held. 


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

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Meetings of the PHSO Board

The Board will meet at least 7 times per year.

Four meetings will consider the Quarterly Corporate Performance Assessment Report after the end of each quarter.

A meeting in the spring will agree the Business Plan and budget for the forthcoming business year.

A special meeting will be held in June to sign off the Annual Report and Resource Accounts.

A Business Planning Awayday will be held in the autumn to review the Strategic Plan and Business Plan and consider strategic priorities for the period ahead.

One of the Board meetings each year will include a Board effectiveness review.

Board meetings will not be open to the public but staff members will be invited to observe (up to three per meeting)

The quorum will be 5 but non-executives must be in the majority.

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 'Board Minutes'.

Have their been no accepted minutes since October2015?

I would remind you of your own statement on the requirements of board meetings and public transparency.

:::
Meetings of the PHSO Board

The Board will meet at least 7 times per year.

Four meetings will consider the Quarterly Corporate Performance Assessment Report after the end of each quarter.

A meeting in the spring will agree the Business Plan and budget for the forthcoming business year.

A special meeting will be held in June to sign off the Annual Report and Resource Accounts.

A Business Planning Awayday will be held in the autumn to review the Strategic Plan and Business Plan and consider strategic priorities for the period ahead.

One of the Board meetings each year will include a Board effectiveness review.

Board meetings will not be open to the public but staff members will be invited to observe (up to three per meeting)

The quorum will be 5 but non-executives must be in the majority.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear JT Oakley

 

Your information request – our case reference: FDN-259927

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 7
June 2016 in which you asked:

 

‘Could you please confirm why the Q3 BOARD MEETING -January minutes have
not been published, as presumably they were accepted at Q4 25/6 April 
meeting.

 

The last board minutes on the PHSO's internet site are still October’.

 

The procedure for approving cleared Board minutes in line with our
governance procedures is that they are approved at the meeting following
the meeting, to which the minutes relate. Usually a period of 2-3 months
may elapse before the minutes are published on our website in line with
the process and timescales relating to when they have been cleared by the
Board. However, there may also be delays prior to publication if, for
example, details need to be checked and the materials uploaded onto our
website.

 

I am unable to provide you with an exact date for future publication of
these minutes, but I can tell you that they are due for publication in the
coming weeks and will be made available on our website at:
[1]www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/the-board/executive-board-minutes'.

 

You sent a further email on 21 June 2016 requesting an internal review. We
have not begun to process this as we hadn’t responded to your request.
After reviewing this response if you would still like us to carry out a
review please let us know and we will be happy to do so.

 

I hope my explanation is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Rebecca Gadsdon

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

T: 0300 061 1516

E: [2][email address]

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

 

Follow us on

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From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #327317 email]]
Sent: 07 June 2016 20:14
To: InformationRights
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Board Minutes

 

Dear InformationRights,

Could you please confirm why the Q3 BOARD MEETING -January minutes have
not been published,  as presumably they were accepted at  Q4 25/6 April 
meeting.

The last board minutes on the PHSO's internet site are still October. As

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear InformationRights,

You have not stared a reason why the minutes are so late other than 'details being checked'

It's hard to believe that it would take the PHSO so long to 'check' and produce the minutes, especially as the PHSO is so keen to promote transparency and openess to the public . As a reminder, here is the PHSO's policy;

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/asset...

Please continue with the review.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

25 January Board Effectiveness Workshop

26 January Q3 Board ............................ ........................................Should be available in April.

1 March Remunerations and Nominations Committee

2 March Audit Committee

8 March Joint Convergence Committee

9 March Quality Committee

9 March Board Business Plan and Budget....also a board meeting

9 March Board Business Plan and Budget

25 April Q4 Board day 1......................................................Q3 January minutes should if been available

26 April Q4 Board day 2

27 May Remunerations and Nominations Committee

2 June Quality Committee

20 June Joint LGO-PHSO Board meeting...................should be available September

25 July Q1 Board day 1........Q4 April meeting should be available

26 July Q2 Board day 2

5 September Board meeting. ...............June joint minutes should be available

12 September Quality Committee

24 October Remunerations and Nominations Committee

24 October Q2 Board day 1............Q1 July meeting should be available

25 October Q2 Board day 2

28 November Board development and effectiveness day

29 November Board development and effectiveness day

8 December Quality Committee

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Greetings J T Oakley,

Firstly, can I commend you on your scrutiny.

It is stunning to read. The response of the PHSO demonstrates the effort and resources that the staff are willing to spend in an effort to be uncooperative.

Its a tragedy that Parliament cannot find someone to scrutinise the Executive Board's minutes with the same integrity that you you.

The PHSO wrote;
"The minutes for these have not yet been approved by the Chair of the Board but will be published in due course."

Who is the Chair?
Should the word "approved" be altered to "edit"?

The withheld minutes or non meeting seems to nod back to the time when the Ombudsman became aware of this cover up by her Deputy?

As outlined here for those who reading this who missed that apparent last cover up by the Ombudsman
https://phsothetruestory.com/2016/03/03/...
https://twitter.com/shaunlintern/status/...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

There does seem to be an inordinate time-lag in producing these minutes.

But then there was an unnecessary time-lag before the production of the Annual Report - as the PHSO thrashed around what to do with the suddenly discovered fact it had overspent public money.

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

From my experience it's usually some sort of disagreement between the board members that holds up publication of the 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 'Board Minutes'.

As the response stated - board meetings took place on January 2016 and 9-10 March 2016.

They should be available by now..logically the January board minutes would have been presented and verified in March.

It is now seven months after January and four months after March.

Since the PHSO is proud of its 'openess & transparency' , please supply them with further delay.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You will note that board meetings do not have to be on a website to be considered as a response to a Foia request.

They are data. Held on PHSO file.

And therefore have to be provided on request to a member of the public.

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-259927)

 

Thank you for your further email in relation to PHSO Board minutes.  We
are already processing an internal review in relation to the response
provided under the above reference number.

 

Originally, you asked why there had been a delay in publishing Board
minutes on our website.  If instead, you are now asking to receive a copy
of those Board minutes under the Freedom of Information Act, please let us
know.  It would be helpful if you could tell us which Board minutes in
particular you are interested in receiving. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

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 #327317 email]]
Sent: 08 August 2016 15:31
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Board Minutes

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You will note that board meetings do not have to be on a website to be
considered as a response to a Foia  request.

They are data. Held on PHSO file.

And therefore have to  be provided on request to a member of the public.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear InformationRights,

You state:
'Originally, you asked why there had been a delay in publishing Board
minutes on our website. If instead, you are now asking to receive a copy
of those Board minutes under the Freedom of Information Act, please let us
know. It would be helpful if you could tell us which Board minutes in
particular you are interested in receiving'.

::::

Please read the request...

It CLEARLY states that I wished to read 'the latest board minutes'

The request 8 April 2016 ...

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Under the PHSO's policy of being Open and Transparent, According to the PHSO's internet site , the last board minutes ( in draft) are apparently September 28, 2015.

Since the board sits quarterly, please could I read the latest board minutes.

Yours faithfully,

JtOakley

:::::

I now wish to read :

All board minutes since October 2015..to date.

Starting with the ones clearly requested above.

:::

Could you please tell me which officer will be undertaking the independent review?

And assure me that s/he will read the original request.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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


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J Roberts left an annotation ()

"Since the board sits quarterly, please could I read the latest board minutes."

It is shocking how this crystal clear request has been misinterpreted. I very much look forward to reading the minutes requested. It would be terrible for complainants if investigators dealt with complaints similarly.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

For anyone following this secretive saga, the board minutes are now in site..all four of them.

So they existed -because the minutes have to be signed off for the next meeting- but the 'open and transparent' PHSO was unwilling to divulge them.

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/who...

(right hand label )

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Our reference: FDN-259927

 

By email only

J T Oakley

 

 

22 August 2016

 

 

Dear J T Oakley,

                               

I am writing in response to your emails dated 21 and 27 June and 2 August
2016 in which you requested a review of our handling of a request for
information.

 

In your email dated 7 June 2016 you asked "why the Q3 BOARD MEETING
-January minutes have not been published…".

 

By response dated 27 June 2016 the PHSO explained that the procedure for
approved cleared Board minutes in line with the governance procedures was
that they were approved at the following Board meeting. The PHSO explained
that a period of 2‑3 months may elapse before the minutes were published
on the website in line with the process and timescales relating to when
they have been cleared by the Board. The PHSO noted there may also be
delays prior to publication if, for example, details needed to be checked
and the material uploaded to the PHSO’s website.

 

In seeking a review you explained that the PHSO had not stated a reason
why the minutes were late other than "details being checked".  You also
subsequently noted that Board meetings took place in January and March
2016 and felt that minutes for the January 2016 Board meeting should be
available by now.

 

Review:

 

Having reviewed this matter I can see that the PHSO set out the processes
and procedures to you in respect of the formal approval of Board minutes
and gave an indication as to likely timescale for publication of those
minutes.

 

Whilst I am satisfied that the PHSO sought to address your request
helpfully for the avoidance of all doubt I can confirm that the reason the
minutes had not been published was because they were awaiting approval by
the Ombudsman.

 

I understand that the minutes have subsequently been approved and are
accessible on the PHSO’s website at the link previously provided to you:
[1]http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/who...

 

That concludes my review of this matter. If you consider that I have not
dealt with your information request properly you can raise the matter with
the Information Commissioner. She can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5A

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mark Lant

Assistant Legal Adviser

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #327317 email]]
Sent: 02 August 2016 21:39
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Board 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 'Board Minutes'.

As the response stated  -  board meetings took place on January 2016 and
9-10 March 2016.

They should be available by now..logically the January board minutes would
have been presented and verified in March.

It is now seven months after January and four months after March.

Since  the PHSO is proud of its 'openness & transparency' , please  supply
them  with further delay.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

I was already aware that four sets of Minutes had been put on site.

Apology -as you seem to have been be unaware that they had been published - I should have Informed you, as you need not have continued to review the request.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

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


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Dear JT Oakley

 

Your information request: FDN 266043

 

I write in response to your information request of 9 August 2016 in which
you asked:

 

‘Under the PHSO's policy of being Open and Transparent, According to the
PHSO's internet site , the last board minutes ( in draft) are apparently
September 28, 2015.

 

I now wish to read:

All board minutes since October 2015..to date.

Starting with the ones clearly requested above’.

 

As you are aware, the minutes have now been published on our website. For
ease of reference please find the link below:

 

[1]http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/who...

 

I hope this information is helpful. If you are unhappy with my decision,
or require further clarification, you can email
[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email].

 

Kind regards

 

Rebecca Gadsdon

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

T: 0300 061 1516

E: [2][email address]

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

 

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

Minutes 20 June 2016

"2.2 It was agreed that stakeholders, INCLUDING THE PUBLIC, should be kept fully informed during the reform programme. "

How long will it take before the next set of minutes is made available to the public?

"3.2 It was noted that DCLG had been unable to appoint consultants for the Value for Money assessment because the original timescales given for completing the necessary work were too tight. "

Nothing noted on the person or persons who came up with the original inadequate timescales.

"It was agreed that a clear, costed plan for transition to the POS will be needed."

Shouldn't that have been considered some time ago?

"4.2 ...the Optimum Ombudsman Service"

This must be really good - afterburners activated!

"It was agreed that PHSO would need to use its skills and resources to deliver the transformational aspects of its Business Plan in such a way as to help simultaneously progress the convergence agenda."

What skills and resources exactly?

"5.2 We need to develop a clear plan for the next stages of organisational transformation."

Powerhouse thinking here!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Awful that nobody tell them that the minutes have been published.

How are the FOIA team members supposed to answer requests if they are kept in the dark?

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