"Comeback" (Decision) Complaints to the SPSO

G.A. Hamilton made this Freedom of Information request to Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

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

The request was refused by Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Dear Scottish Public Services Ombudsman,

In terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, 2002, please supply details of casework decision complaints made to you for the period 1 October 2009 to 30 November, 2009.

The data should be supplied electronically to this website.

Yours faithfully,

G.A. Hamilton

Ask, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

This is an automated receipt from SPSO to let you know that we have
received your email. Please do not reply to this.

If your email to us was a new complaint, we will register it and will
acknowledge it in writing within the next three working days. We will also
give you a reference number which you should use in any future
correspondence with us.

If your email was not about a new complaint, it will be forwarded to the
appropriate colleague who will reply to you in due course.

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Ask, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Dear Mr Hamilton

Thank you for your email in which you request details of casework
decision complaints for the period 1 October to 30 November 2009.

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 states that we must reply
to you within 20 working days of us receiving your request. This means
we will reply to you by 15 February at the latest. We will, of course,
reply sooner if we are able to do so.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

Yours sincerely

Helen Littlemore
Investigations Assistant / Information Officer

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
4 Melville Street | Edinburgh | EH3 7NS
T: 0800 377 7330 F: 0800 377 7331

Email: [Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]
Web: www.spso.org.uk

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Ask, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Dear Mr Hamilton

Your request for information reference 200904047

I refer to your email of 16 January 2010, which I received on 18 January.
In your email you ask for details of casework decision complaints made to
the SPSO for the period 1 October to 30 November 2009.

Your request has been processed in line with the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), and I can now respond as follows. Please see
the table below for details of casework challenges for October and
November 2009.

Casework Challenges determined between 1 October and 30 November 2009

Appeal To Director Of Appeal To
Investigations Ombudsman
October 2009 Not Upheld 14 3
Withdrawn By 1 0
Complainant
November 2009 Fully Upheld - Case 1 0
Reopened
Not Applicable 1 0
Not Upheld 9 1

As detailed on our website, we will publish all redacted Casework
Challenge Decision Letters for each quarter within six weeks of the end of
that quarter. This means that Casework Challenge Decision Letters for the
period October to December 2009 are intended for publication by 11
February. The relevant section of our website can be found by navigating
through the options down the left hand side of the site 'How to complain'
then 'Complaining about the SPSO' and then by selecting 'Challenges to
Casework Decisions' and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Alternatively, you can follow this link to the relevant section of our
website
[1]www.spso.org.uk/how-complain/complaining-about-spso/challenges-casework-decisions.

Please note that section 27(1) of FOISA states that information is exempt
information if it is intended for future publication within 12 weeks of
the date the request for information was made.

YOUR RIGHT TO REQUEST A REVIEW

You have a right under section 20(1) of FOISA to request a review of any
part of this decision, or of the handling of your request. If you wish to
exercise this right, you must write to the SPSO to request a review within
40 working days of receipt of this decision. In your request for a review
you must specify your name and address for correspondence. You must also
identify the decision that you wish to have reviewed, or the aspect of the
handling of your request that you are unhappy with.

Should you wish to request a review, please address your request to:

Niki Maclean

Head of Corporate Services

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street

Edinburgh

EH3 7NS

Email: [2][Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]

YOUR RIGHT OF APPEAL

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any review carried out by the
SPSO, you have a right under FOISA to appeal to the Scottish Information
Commissioner. If you wish to do so, you must appeal to the Commissioner
within six months following the date of receipt of the review notice. The
Commissioner's contact details are as follows:

The Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

KY16 9DS

Email: [3][email address]

Tel: 01334 464610

Yours sincerely

Helen Littlemore

Investigations Assistant / Information Officer

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street | Edinburgh | EH3 7NS

T: 0800 377 7330 F: 0800 377 7331

Email: [4][Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]

Web: [5]www.spso.org.uk

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.spso.org.uk/how-complain/comp...
2. mailto:[Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]
5. http://www.spso.org.uk/

Dear Ask,
I note that you have now released some details of casework decision complaints for the period October - December, 2009. I am, however, disappointed that you did not notify me of the publication through this website. By not doing so, you have caused an alert to be initiated, suggesting that you are in non-compliance with FOISA.
Having studied the responses supplied, I consider the amount and extent of redaction applied to be excessive to the extent that it renders the sense of the responses almost meaningless and as such the redaction is not within the spirit or intent of FOISA.
I therefore request an internal review of the redactions.

Yours sincerely,

G.A. Hamilton

Ask, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

This is an automated receipt from SPSO to let you know that we have
received your email. Please do not reply to this.

If your email to us was a new complaint, we will register it and will
acknowledge it in writing within the next three working days. We will also
give you a reference number which you should use in any future
correspondence with us.

If your email was not about a new complaint, it will be forwarded to the
appropriate colleague who will reply to you in due course.

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Ask, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Dear Mr Hamilton

Thank you for your email.

I have passed your request for a review to Niki Maclean, Head of
Corporate Services, who will consider it and respond to you promptly,
but in any event no later than 15 March.

Yours sincerely

Helen Littlemore
Investigations Assistant / Information Officer

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
4 Melville Street | Edinburgh | EH3 7NS
T: 0800 377 7330 F: 0800 377 7331

Email: [Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]
Web: www.spso.org.uk

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Ask, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hamilton

Your request for review reference 200904501

I refer to your email of 15 February 2010, which has been passed to me to
consider in relation to the handling of your information request reference
200904047.

In an email of 16 January 2010 (received for action on Monday 18 January),
you asked for details of casework decision complaints made to the SPSO for
the period 1 October to 30 November 2009. On 29 January, you were
provided with statistics for casework challenges determined between 1
October and 30 November 2009. Your request did not ask for copies of
casework challenge decision letters, however, in light of previous
requests that you have made to the SPSO for copies of these, you were
advised that the SPSO intended to publish on our website redacted casework
challenge decision letters for the last quarter (October to December 2009)
by 11 February, and you were provided with a link and directions to the
relevant page of our website.

You were also advised that section 27(1) of FOISA states that information
is exempt information if it is intended for future publication within 12
weeks of the date the request for information was made. As the SPSO
intended to publish the redacted casework challenge decision letters on
our website within less than four weeks of receiving your request, and was
therefore at that time in the process of collecting, redacting and
checking the information, I consider it was reasonable in the
circumstances to withhold the information under section 27(1) of FOISA. I
do not consider that the SPSO is in non-compliance with FOISA, as stated
in your email of 15 February, by not notifying you of the publication via
WhatDoTheyKnow.com at the time of publication. You were advised on 29
January that the redacted casework challenge decision letters would be
published on our website by 11 February.

Finally, you have stated that you consider the amount and extent of
redaction applied to the casework challenge decision letters published on
our website to be excessive and renders the information almost
meaningless, and as such is not within the spirit and intent of FOISA. I
will refer you here to our response dated 2 April 2009 to a previous
request that you made to the SPSO (copy attached). In that response, we
explained that the casework challenge decision letters would be redacted
in line with section 26(a) of FOISA (on the basis that the Scottish Public
Services Ombudsman Act 2002 prohibits disclosure of information obtained
during a complaint) and section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (on the basis that
disclosure of personal data would breach data protection principles). I
would also refer you here to the recent decision by the Scottish
Information Commissioner concerning a request for copies of unredacted
versions of the challenge decision letters published on our website. The
Commissioner found that the information was properly withheld by the SPSO
under the exemptions in sections 26(a) and 38(1)(b) of FOISA. The
Commissioner's Decision Notice, reference 031/2010, is available on his
website at
[1]www.itspublicknowledge.info?applicationsanddecisions/Decisions/2010/200901754.asp.

Having completed my review of your request for information reference
200904047, I am satisfied that the casework challenge decision letters for
the period October to November 2009 were appropriately withheld under
section 27(1) of FOISA, but that you were provided with sufficient advice
about when the information would be available and how to access it.
Further to publication of the casework challenge decision letters on our
website, I am satisfied that the information has been redacted
appropriately in accordance with sections 26(a) and 38(1)(b) of FOISA.

YOUR RIGHT OF APPEAL

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any review carried out by the
SPSO, you have a right under FOISA to appeal to the Scottish Information
Commissioner. If you wish to do so, you must appeal to the Commissioner
within six months following the date of receipt of the review notice. The
Commissioner's contact details are as follows:

The Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

KY16 9DS

Email: [2][email address]

Tel: 01334 464610

Yours sincerely

Niki Maclean

Head of Corporate Services

[3]Home

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street | Edinburgh | EH3 7NS

T: 0800 377 7330 F: 0800 377 7331

Email: [4][Scottish Public Services Ombudsman request email]

Web: [5]www.spso.org.uk

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/appli...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.spso.org.uk/
http://www.spso.org.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.spso.org.uk/
http://www.spso.org.uk/

G.A. Hamilton left an annotation ()

This has now become the subject of an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner in respect of the scope and extent of redaction applied to the SPSO's copy response letters.

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