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Bron Afon Housing Association breaching the Data Protection Act

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Under the Freedom of Information Act, please provide a formal response from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to the following questions: –

1. How many complaints have the ICO received concerning Bron Afon Housing Association relating to breaches of the Data Protection Act, within the months of: -

a. October 2017
b. November 2017
c. December 2017.

2. How many times has the ICO investigated Bron Afon Housing Association for breaching the Data Protection act, within the years of: -

a. 2017
b. 2016
c. 2015
d. 2014
e. 2013
f. 2012
g. 2011
h. 2010
i. 2009
j. 2008

3. How many times has the ICO taken formal action against Bron Afon Housing Association since the Housing Association was formed in 2008?

I understand that under the Freedom of Information Act, I should be entitled to a response within 20 working days.

Please note that your full reply to the above questions should be sent by e-mail to the return address shown in the heading to this message. This is because both the request and its response are published for public scrutiny on the web site through which this request has been made.

Yours faithfully,

W. Williams (Miss)

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
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Information Commissioner’s Office

10 January 2018

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0715761

 

Dear Miss Williams,

Request for Information
 
Thank you for your request for information, which we received on 11
December 2017.
 
We have dealt with your request in accordance with your ‘right to know’
under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), which
entitles you to be provided with any information ‘held’ by a public
authority, unless an appropriate exemption applies.
 
Request
 
In your email you asked:

“How many complaints have the ICO received concerning Bron Afon Housing
Association relating to breaches of the Data Protection Act, within the
months of: - a. October 2017 b. November 2017 c. December 2017. 2. How
many times has the ICO investigated Bron Afon Housing Association for
breaching the Data Protection act, within the years of: - a. 2017 b. 2016
c. 2015 d. 2014 e. 2013 f. 2012 g. 2011 h. 2010 i. 2009 j. 2008 3. How
many times has the ICO taken formal action against Bron Afon Housing
Association since the Housing Association was formed in 2008?”
 
Our Response
 
Searching our internal system systems I can confirm that the ICO has not
taken any formal regulatory action against Bron Afon Housing Association
since 2008. This information is therefore not held.

For future reference, we now regularly publish information regarding
action we’ve taken against organisations, which is available in this
section of the ICO’s website:

[1]https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/
 
With regards any investigations of Bron Afon Housing Association, the
information you have asked for is already available via the ICO website by
following this link:
 
[2]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
 
This provides links to data sets which include information about the
public concerns and organisations we have dealt with, including details on
whether we found the organisation to be in breach. Currently we have data
sets from 2014 until August 2017, with more recent months to be published
shortly. We unfortunately do not have data sets available prior to this as
we no longer hold complete casework information for this period, in line
with our retention schedule. However, after checking our internal systems
I can confirm we have not recorded any investigations into Bron Afon
Housing Association prior to this period. 
 
These documents can be filtered by the specific organisation we have
investigated, by the ‘case type’ and by the outcome of the case. You can
apply a ‘filter’ to the dataset by highlighting the top row and selecting
the keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+L. This should allow you to limit the
results by deselecting all other unwanted options and then selecting what
is desired.

We would mention that as the above information for the period from 2014
until August 2017 is already reasonably accessible to you via the
internet, the exemption under section 21 of the FOIA is applicable, which
states “Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant
otherwise than under section 1 is exempt information”. This means that the
ICO is not required to communicate that information to you, or provide you
with a copy of that information. 

Information Withheld

Information held on cases closed between September 2017 and the present
time will shortly be published by the ICO. The information you have
requested for this timeframe is therefore exempt under section 22 of the
FOIA as it is ‘information intended for future publication’.
 
The exemption at section 22 is qualified by the public interest test,
meaning that the information should be disclosed if the public interest in
the maintenance of the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in
disclosure.
 
In this case the public interest factors in disclosing the information are
that disclosure would provide information to the public regarding Bron
Afon’s compliance with the DPA. The factors in withholding the information
are that the ICO has a history of publishing this information on a regular
basis and has committed to publishing relevant datasets which will include
the relevant information in the near future, and that early disclosure is
not necessary to satisfy any pressing public interest at the present time.
 
Having considered the public interest arguments, we have decided to
withhold this information in reference to section 22 of FOIA.
 
Review Procedure
 
We hope this provides you with the information you require.  However, if
you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should reply directly to this email (leaving the reference number in
square brackets intact), write to the Information Access Team at the
address below or email [3][ICO request email].
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request received
after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation. To make such an application, please write
to our Customer Contact Team at the address given or visit our website if
you wish to make a complaint under either the Freedom of Information Act
or Environmental Information Regulations.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website [4]here.
 
Yours sincerely, 
 
 

Mark Foley
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545322  F. 01625 524510  [5]ico.org.uk  [6]twitter.com/iconews
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References

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5. http://ico.org.uk/
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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Information Commissioner’s Office's handling of my FOI request 'Bron Afon Housing Association breaching the Data Protection Act'.

Following Mark Foley, Lead Information Access Officer ICO neglect to provide the exact information I requested from the ICO, on 11 December 2017, relating to question 1.

1. How many COMPLAINTS have the ICO RECEIVED concerning Bron Afon Housing Association relating to breaches of the Data Protection Act, within the months of: -

a. October 2017
b. November 2017
c. December 2017.

Please conduct an internal enquiry into how many COMPLAINTS have the ICO RECEIVED relating to Bron Afon Housing Association, within the months of: -

a. October 2017
b. November 2017
c. December 2017

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,

Will

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

References

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2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

26th February 2018

 

Case Reference Number RCC0724990

 

Dear Miss Williams

Thank you for your email in which you requested an internal review of the
handling of your request dealt with under the reference number IRQ0715761.
My name is Iman Elmehdawy and I am an Information Access Service Manager.
I have been asked to review the way we handled your request for
information.

Background
 
On 11 December you requested the following information:
 
“1. How many complaints have the ICO received concerning Bron Afon Housing
Association relating to breaches of the Data Protection Act, within the
months of: - a. October 2017 b. November 2017 c. December 2017.
 
2. How many times has the ICO investigated Bron Afon Housing Association
for breaching the Data Protection act, within the years of: - a. 2017 b.
2016 c. 2015 d. 2014 e. 2013 f. 2012 g. 2011 h. 2010 i. 2009 j. 2008 3.
How many times has the ICO taken formal action against Bron Afon Housing
Association since the Housing Association was formed in 2008.”
 
On 10 January Mr Foley responded to your request exempting some
information under s 21 and s 22 of the FOIA and confirming that some
information is not held.
 
On 6 February you requested an internal review of Mr Foley’s response.
 
I confirm that your request was responded to timely and in line with how
we expect it to be, therefore I do not uphold your complaint.
 
I will explain my decision below.
 
Response
 
In relation to question 1, “How many complaints have the ICO received
concerning Bron Afon Housing Association relating to breaches of the Data
Protection Act, within the months of: - a. October 2017 b. November 2017
c. December 2017”:
 
I confirm that the information you requested is held by the ICO and is
intended for future publication, therefore, I agree that section 22 (1)
applies to it.
 
As section 22 is a qualified exemption, Mr Foley carried out the public
interest test to determine whether the balance lays with or against
disclosure. I agree with his determination that there is a greater weight
to the public interest argument against disclosure than for disclosure. We
acknowledge that there is a public interest in providing information
regarding public authorities and data controllers complained about to the
ICO. Such disclosure would enhance openness and accountability.
 
However, there is a public interest in ensuring we use public resources
appropriately, we dedicate time to putting this information together and
publishing it in a consistent and comprehensive format, in line with
planned processes. The process of compiling this information and preparing
it for publication is a lengthy and complicated one that requires the
input of a number of different teams. It would not be an appropriate use
of our resources if, in addition to this, we were duplicating our workload
to respond to individual requests. We consider that it is important to
allow management information to follow the standard validation and
publication process.
 
 
Please note that the information you requested will be published via the
following link
 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
 
 
Response to question 2
 
The first part of your request refers to the number of times we have
investigated a breach about Bron Afon Housing for the years between 2008
and 2017. I agree with the application of section 21 exemption to this
information. I consider that this information is reasonably accessible to
you via our website. I also confirm that for the years between 2008 and
2014, no information is held regarding complaints about Bron Afon
Community Housing (years for which datasets are not are published). I
reiterate that casework information is normally held for a period of 2
years in line with our retention and disposal schedule.
 
I also confirm that no information is held in relation to formal
enforcement action taken against Bron Afon Community Housing. Please note
that Bron Afon Housing Association is referred to as Bron Afon Community
Housing in our published data set.
 
 
For the reasons mentioned above I do not uphold your complaint.
 
I realise that this response may be disappointing but hope the explanation
provided is of assistance.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Iman Elmehdawy
Information Access Service Manager 

Next Steps
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this review you can make a
formal complaint with the ICO in its capacity as the regulator of the
Freedom of Information Act. Please follow the link below to submit your
complaint
[2]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
2. https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

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