CCRC case worker and Commissioner man hours used relating to a CCRC application

Criminal Cases Review Commission did not have the information requested.

Dear Criminal Cases Review Commission,

Relating to your CCRC case reference No 00872/2013 only.
Applicant Benjamin Geen.

Could you please supply the following information?

How many actual man hours were utilised by the allocated CCRC case worker/workers and CCRC commissioners throughout the full duration of this application - CCRC case reference No 00872/2013.

From the date that the application was received by the CCRC to the point where a final decision was made by the CCRC commissioner.

Date range spanning 01st August 2013 to October 8th 2015 inclusive. Please supply this data for each individual calendar Month throughout the date range indicated.

For this period also please provide separate data for CCRC case workers and CCRC Commissioners.

Thank-you in advance for your cooperation.

Yours faithfully,

Mick Geen

info, Criminal Cases Review Commission

Dear Mr Geen

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

 

I acknowledge receipt of your request for information, received on
03/03/16.

 

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).  Please note there is a twenty working day
limit (from receipt of the request) in which we are required to respond to
requests under the FOIA.

 

The deadline for your request is 04/04/16.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Criminal Cases Review Commission

 

 

 

 

 

The Criminal Cases Review Commission
5 St Philip's Place
Birmingham
B3 2PW
Telephone: 0121 233 1473
Fax: 0121 232 0899

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Dear, CCRC

Date request received by the CCRC 03-03-16
The deadline for responding to my request request was 04/04/16.

The response to my FOI request has been delayed for some reason. By law, you should normally have responded in a timely and prompt manner.

Could you please supply an update explaining the reasons why the CCRC was unable to supply this information by the deadline date. Also please indicate when you anticipate that the requested information will be supplied in full.

Thanks in advance
Yours sincerely,

Mick Geen

HawkinsJ, Criminal Cases Review Commission

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Geen,
 
Please find attached and pasted below a response to your recent Freedom of
Information request.
 

Re: Freedom of Information request

Thank you for your email which arrived via the Whatdotheyknow website on
3rd March 2016.  I realise that this response is two days over the time
limit set by the Freedom of Information Act and I apologise for that
delay. Since you made your request via Whatdotheyknow, I have responded
through that website.

 

In your request you ask several questions relating to the number of hours
spent working on a specific application to the Commission for a review of
a murder conviction. These were:

 

How many actual man hours were utilised by the allocated CCRC case
worker/workers and CCRC commissioners:

 

·         throughout the full duration of this application.

    

o from the date that the application was received by the CCRC to the
point where a final decision was made by the CCRC commissioner.

    

o from 1st August 2013 to 8th October 2015 inclusive and broken down by
calendar month throughout the date range indicated and separated for
case workers and Commissioners.

 

I am afraid that we do not routinely gather information about the number
of hours or amount of resource spent on individual cases. The various
people involved in the case review process are not required to keep
timesheets or anything of that kind and we do not account on a case by
case basis.

 

As a result we do not hold and have no way of making the calculations that
would be required to provide you with the information that you have
requested.

 

The closest thing we have to what you are seeking is a breakdown of
resources used in a case that was dealt with some years ago. Of course I
realise that this is not what you have asked for but I have included it
for good measure and on the basis that it may be of some use or interest.

 

The breakdown is posted below in italics. I feel I should to stress that
this is based on an actual CCRC case and is meant as an illustration of an
individual but, as far as is possible, reasonably typical case. It is not
in any way intended to represent the average level of resource that is
expended spent on a case.

 

Obviously the case in question is atypical in that it involved a section
19 inquiry and in that it was referred for appeal. However, the level of
resource put into referred and non-referred cases are often comparable up
to the point at which the decision is taken, as it was in the case in
which you are interested, that a single Commissioner rather than a
committee can take the decision.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Justin Hawkins

Head of Communication

Criminal Cases Review Commission

 

 

Resource breakdown of CCRC case

This is a breakdown of the time spent and other resources deployed on a
fairly typical Commission review case. This was the case of a man who was
sent to prison for a number of years having been convicted following a
trial for two counts of raping a family member. The alleged incidents were
almost identical but the jury convicted him of one and acquitted him of
the other. Sometime after the conviction the complainant withdrew the
allegations, but later returned to the original account of events.

There was no media interest in this case and there was no involvement from
any campaign group or other special interest organisation.

In this case we used our powers under section 17 of the Criminal Appeal
Act to obtain material from: the Police, the Crown Prosecution Service,
the Crown Court, the Court of Appeal, the Criminal Injuries Compensation
Authority, Social Services, HM Prison Service, the Probation Service and
the Parole Board. We also considered the defence files.

We twice interviewed the applicant in the presence of his solicitor.

We commissioned a medical report from an established expert in a relevant
field.

We used our power under section 19 to appoint an investigating officer
from a police force to carry out enquires into the case under our
direction. The officer conducted five interviews.

The Case Review Manager spent an estimated 80 hours on the case review. In
addition, they drew significantly on the expertise of a Commission
Investigations Adviser and a Legal Adviser.

The decision making process involved three Commissioners. Each spent an
estimated eight hours on the case.

The result was a referral to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was
dismissed.

 

If you disagree with our decision or are otherwise unhappy with how we
have dealt with your request, in the first instance you may approach the
Commission’s Complaints Manager in writing at Criminal Cases Review
Commission, 5 St Philip’s Place, Birmingham, B3 2PW. Should you remain
dissatisfied with the outcome you have a right under section 50 of the
Freedom of Information Act to appeal against the decision by contacting
the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9
5AF, [1][email address]

 

 

The Criminal Cases Review Commission
5 St Philip's Place
Birmingham
B3 2PW
Telephone: 0121 233 1473
Fax: 0121 232 0899

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Dear HawkinsJ,

To say that I am disappointed with the commissions reply is an understatement. From your reply it would appear that the commission has absolutely no means of recording or monitoring how it utilises its own staff resource, how efficiently it performs and in turn how cost efficient the commission is.

If you are unable to supply individual man hours utilised for this application could you please supply date frames when the Ben Geen application was being worked on by case workers or case commissioners. Hopefully it will be much easier to supply this basic form information.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Geen

HawkinsJ, Criminal Cases Review Commission

Dear Mr Geen,

I have been trying to email a response to your follow up questions but the whatdotheyknow address does not seem to be accepting emails.

Regards

Justin

Justin Hawkins
Head of Communication
Criminal Cases Review Commission

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HawkinsJ, Criminal Cases Review Commission

Dear Mr Geen,

You have asked a follow-up question to your earlier Freedom of Information request. In it you ask for: "date frames" when a particular application was being "worked on". I have removed the name of the individual whose application to the Commission is being discussed. I have done so in order to ensure that the answer that we give to you does not involve disclosing the personal data the person concerned more widely than has already happened. Needless to say, the following response relates specifically to the case about which you have asked.

As you know, the application first arrived at the Commission on 8th August 2013. It was initially assessed on 6th September and the Commission decided that the case raised questions that required some detailed review and therefore that it should be allocated to a Case Review Manager when capacity became available. At that stage the applicant's representatives said that they had made a 'preliminary application' to us and said that they expected to have further submissions to make in due course.

While the case was waiting to be allocated to a Case Review Manager with capacity to take it on, the Commission continued compiling material relating to the case from various sources such as the Crown Court and the Crown Prosecution Service.

In spite of the fact that the applicant's solicitors had not been able to send to the Commission their completed submissions, the case was allocated to a Case Review Manager on 12th August 2014. The wait for allocation for this case was in line with the average wait at that time. While the Commission had, as outlined above, worked on the case in various ways since its arrival, it is reasonable to consider that the substantive review of the case began at the point of allocation on 12 August 2014.

The applicant's representatives completed their submissions to us on 9th October 2014. After considering those submissions, the Commission sent a Provisional Statement of Reasons explaining that we were not minded to refer the case on 14 October 2014. The Commission agreed to extend the time for the applicant and his representatives to respond to Provisional Statement of Reasons. Their response arrived at the Commission on 9th January 2015.

We considered their response with care before on issuing a final Statement of Reasons on 8th October 2015 setting out why the Commission had decided not to refer the conviction.

We do not consider it necessary to record activity on each case hour-by-hour, day-by-day, or in a way that allows us to say specifically when a case is being, as you say, worked on. We simply say that a case is under review from allocation to case closure. Case Review Managers are trusted to manage their portfolio of cases. Their managers manage their performance and keep track of how many cases they have and how those cases are progressing. Significant events in the life of a review are recorded in our case management system but this is not designed to account for the exact amount of time spent on a case or to on show which days there was specific activity on this or that case. The Commission takes the view that there is no need for that sort of calculation in order for us to effectively manage our casework.

I hope this information is of some use.

Justin Hawkins
Head of Communication
Criminal Cases Review Commission

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Dear HawkinsJ,

Thank you for the additional information that you have recently supplied following my FOI request. It would appear that the Criminal Cases Review Commission does not have in place a structured internal system to monitor staff resource for performance, efficiency and cost effectiveness in the manner that I anticipated. The specific information requested is not available to fulfil my FOI request. With this in mind I have changed the status of this FOI request to Information unavailable and consider this specific FOI request closed.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Geen

HawkinsJ, Criminal Cases Review Commission

Dear Mr Geen,

Thank you for letting me know.

Regards

Justin Hawkins
Head of Communication
Criminal Cases Review Commission

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