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 12-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
How many complaints did you receive in the most recent 12-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
If the 12-month timescale would cost too much, can you please restrict search to last six months.
I am writing in response to your request (copied below) to the House of Lords.
Please find attached copies of the relevant feedback including complaints and replies (where recorded) for the period specified in your request. We do not have logs or comment books but we have included the feedback analysis we hold for the relevant period.
The names of customers, junior catering staff and former members of staff, and any other identifying data, have 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 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 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. As a result of the second aspect of the above test not being met, we consider that the identity of the customer, together with other information that might identify an individual, is exempt information under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We have also concluded that it would not be fair to include the names of junior catering staff and former members of staff.
You may, if dissatisfied with the treatment of your request, ask the House of Lords to conduct an internal review. This should be addressed to [email address] or to the Freedom of Information Officer, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW and explain clearly the nature of your complaint. Arrangements will be made for someone who has not been involved in dealing with your request to conduct an internal review within 20 working days. You should note that we will not normally accept an application for internal review if it is received more than two months after the date our response was sent. Any such request received after this time will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
If, following this review, you remain dissatisfied with the House’s treatment of your request for information you may then take your complaint to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Freedom of Information Officer
House of Lords
Further to my earlier email (copied below) I am attaching one further document which was not included in my original response.
I apologise for this omission.
Freedom of Information Officer
House of Lords
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