stian alexander made this Freedom of Information request to House of Lords

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The request was successful.

Dear House of Lords,

Can you please let me have a copy of any log/comments book or
similar which allows customers and or staff/visitors to register
comments about food and drink they receive at any outlet (bars,
restaurants, shops catering services) in the House of Lords for
the most recent six-month period.

Also, can you send me copies of any written complaints from
staff/customers about any aspect of the catering service or
hospitality on offer with any replies to these complaints
(including emails).

How many complaints did you receive in the most recent six-month
period in relation to food and drink served in the House of Lords
dining facilities? Please provide copies of the letters of

Additionally can you provide me with all details of complaints
about the food/restaurants/bars/catering services in the House of Lords

Yours faithfully,

Stian Alexander

House of Lords Information Office, House of Lords

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Thank you.

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HOL FOI & Information Compliance, House of Lords

2 Attachments

Dear Stian,

I am writing in response to your request to the House of Lords Administration.

I am attaching copies of the suggestion cards we hold relating to 2013. We are unable to identify which date from the most recent six-month period as the exact dates are not recorded.

In addition to the suggestion cards please find attached copies of complaints received by the Administration in the most recent six-month period. We have also provided responses sent by the House Administration.

As you will see, the name of the complainant or an individual who has entered their name on a suggestion card, together with other information that might identify an individual referred to in a complaint and the full signature of one member of staff, has been withheld. Such information constitutes personal data within the meaning of section 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the 1998 Act”). After careful consideration we have concluded that disclosure of this information would breach the first data protection principle (i.e. that data should be processed fairly and lawfully). In ensuring that any disclosure of personal data is fair and lawful, the first principle also requires that a condition in Schedule 2 to the 1998 Act is also met. The only condition which might apply to this disclosure would be condition 6(1) which states that:

"The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller... except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject."

We have followed the recommendation of the Information Commissioner’s Office and have approached this condition as a three-part test:

(i)there must be a legitimate public interest in disclosure;
(ii)the disclosure must be necessary to meet that public interest; and
(iii)the disclosure must not cause unwarranted harm to the interests of the individual.

We have concluded that the disclosure of the identities of individuals making a complaint or submitting a suggestion is not necessary to meet any public interest that there may be in the operation of catering services funded from public money. We are able to meet the point by releasing the details of the complaint together with the response. As a result of the second aspect of the above test not being met we consider that the identity of the complainants, together with other information that might identify an individual, is exempt information under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Act.

You may, if dissatisfied with the treatment of your request for information, ask the House of Lords to conduct an internal review. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to [email address] or to the Freedom of Information Officer, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW. Arrangements will be made for someone who has not been involved in dealing with your request to conduct an internal review. Our aim is to complete internal reviews within 20 working days.

If, following this review, you remain dissatisfied with the House’s treatment of your request for information then you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,

Frances Grey
Freedom of Information Officer
House of Lords

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