Complaints raised against Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau

Oysterman (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Charity Commission for England and Wales

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The request was successful.

Oysterman (Account suspended)

Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,

I hear by ask for the following details under HM Freedom Of Information Act 2000

Please may the commission supply:

A) A full statistical count of all complaints referred to the commission by any persons against mid sussex citizens advice bureau from 2002-2012.

B) All information on these complaints (if any) that the public are entitled to know by law.

Thank you.

Oysterman.

Enquiries, Charity Commission for England and Wales

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Carroll, Liam, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Dear Oysterman

 

Thank you for your recent emails. I am sorry that I could not respond
sooner. I see that you have requested certain information and I have taken
this to be a request for information under the provisions of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

 

You have sent the same request relating to two different charities – The
Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau and Rhondda Cynon Taff Citizens Advice
Bureau. 

 

I understand that you would like

 

A)    A full statistical count of all the complaints referred to the
Commission by any persons against these charities from 2002 – 2012.

B)    All information on these complaints (if any) that the public are
entitled to know by law.

 

I will provide a response to both of these requests with this reply. As
you have provided different references under whatdotheyknow.com I have
also sent this reply to each of them.

 

The Act imposes a duty, set out in section 1 (1) (a) to confirm or deny
whether we hold information of the description specified in your request.
In this instance I can confirm that we do hold information in respect of
the requests that you have made.  I should initially explain that the
Commission does not keep a full statistical count of the number of
complaints that it receives about individual charities. When we receive a
written complaint it is usual for us to open a case and record that we
have received a complaint either about the Commission or about a charity.
We do not, however, keep a running total of the number of complaints we
have had for each charity.

 

What I can do is look at the information we hold in respect of the
specific charities you have mentioned to see whether we have opened any
cases of this nature. From this I can see whether there have been any such
cases and, if possible, to provide you with details.

 

Looking at The Mid Sussex CAB our records show that we have opened one
case of this nature in 2009. This was a complaint from a member of the
public about the level of service that they had received from the CAB when
raising concerns regarding an insurance company.  It appears that the CAB
dealt with the complaint in accordance with its internal process. The
Commission was satisfied that the CAB dealt with the matter accordingly
and confirmed that it would not become involved as it was a matter for the
charity’s internal administration. It was also pointed out that the
Commission had no authority over the non charitable insurance company.

 

Turning to the Rhondda Cynon Taff CAB, here our records show that there
are two cases of this nature (2011). They are both from the same member of
the public, who initially raised a complaint about the charity and then,
later, about the service provided by the Commission in respect of the
response that they had received.

 

The individual had contacted the Commission to express their
dissatisfaction with the way that the charity had handled a complaint that
they had made about a service that it had provided (that the charity had
not made a submission to a tribunal). They felt that the charity had
failed to deal with this appropriately within its internal complaints
process and that the Commission should take this up with the charity.

The Commission did not contact the charity on the basis that the operation
of its internal complaints procedure did not fall within its jurisdiction.
A complaint was then made about the actions of the Commission (the second
case). This was considered under the Commission’s internal complaints
procedure which agreed with the decision not to take any further action.

In short the complaints against both of these charities were about their
complaints procedures. In both cases the Commission did not feel that it
had a role. How a charity administers its complaints procedure is outside
the Commission’s jurisdiction. It is an internal process and how it has
been established and operates is at the discretion of the trustees. The
Commission does advise charities that it is best practice to have an
internal complaints process, especially for those charities involved in a
high level of service delivery, but the operation of this procedure is the
responsibility of the trustees.

I hope that this is sufficient for your needs. However should I have
misunderstood your requests in any way please do let me know.

Regards

Liam Carroll

Complaints and FOI Manager

 

 

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George, Tony, Charity Commission for England and Wales

1 Attachment

Dear Oysterman

Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureaux

C-359032-6QFQ

 

Review of Decision For Request for Information

 

The original request:

 

The original request was made on 13 October 2012.

 

A) A Full statistical count of all complaints referred to the
     commission by any persons against Mid Sussex Citizens
     Advise Bureau from 2002-2012.
    
 B) All information on these complaints (if any) that the public are
     entitled to know by law.

 

The Response:

 

The Commission responded on 8 November 2012 in the following terms

 

‘Our records show that we have opened one case of this nature in 2009.
This was a complaint from a member of the public about the level of
service that they had received from the CAB when raising concerns
regarding an insurance company.  It appears that the CAB dealt with the
complaint in accordance with its internal process. The Commission was
satisfied that the CAB dealt with the matter accordingly and confirmed
that it would not become involved as it was a matter for the charity’s
internal administration. It was also pointed out that the Commission had
no authority over the non charitable insurance company.’

 

Request for Review:

 

A request for a review of our decision was made requesting a review on 17
November 2012 and further clarified on 23 November 2012:

 

‘I would specifically like to highlight that the follow information is the
information I believe
should be realised along with all evidence/supporting documents or
commission assessments regarding it.’

 

Review of Decision

 

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act an applicant is not
entitled to documents but to information contained in documents.

 

In dealing with the original request a summary of the information held was
provided. A further request, by way of review, was made for all
information.

 

I have reviewed the information held by the Commission.

 

The information is held in the following documents:

 

1.  Commission case note of original complaint – 14/10/2009.

2.  Commission letter to the complainant dated 4 November 2009.

3.  Further letter from the complainant dated 5 November 2009

4. Further Commission response dated 23 November 2009

 

The original letter of the complainant dated 13 October has not been saved
by the Commission.  

 

Decision

 

All the information contained in the documents should be released other
than the personal data exempt from disclosure under s40 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

That information is now provided by way of copies of the information and
in the case of 3 a transcript of the letter.  Personal information exempt
under s40 of the Freedom of Information Act has been redacted.

 

If after this you remain unhappy with the decision, you may apply directly
to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO
cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints procedure.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Tony George

Legal Services

 

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