Dame Julie Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I would like to read the schedule of appointments from Dame Julie’s diary -

1. Past: From 27 February 2014 to present date.
2. Future: Any scheduled from date of this request, until April 1 2017.

NB Clarification of request:

Response should follow on from the PHSO response to this request:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

With diary details specified:

Date, place, person/persons and reason for the appointment.

Example:
17 October 2013
Keith Vaz MP, Derby Gate (case discussion)

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.
I am writing to make an open government request for all the 
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information 
Act 2000.
Please send me recorded information, which includes information 
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten 
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a 
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I 
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and 
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).
If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify 
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I 
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve 
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to 
charge excessive fees.
If any of this information is already in the public domain, please 
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if 
necessary.
Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act. 
If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the 
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with 
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that 
information should not be treated as confidential if such an 
agreement has not been signed.

I request that the response be provided to me as 
electronic copies, via WDTK.

The information should be immediately readable - and, as a freedom of Information request,  not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within 
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be 
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received 
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees - and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,
Jtoakley

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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D. Speers left an annotation ()

Covered all the angels!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Quite right..I'm praying to all the angels for a sensible response this time.

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Spot the typo!! Guess you stand a better chance with angels not always angles!.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

You stand no chance with this request. I'm guessing either personal third party data or time restriction.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

If it's time... I've asked for S16 help and assurance in narrowing it - to pre-empt it this response.

If it's personal data...then why give the details if her diary previously - within a FOIA section demur?
The same logic should apply to both requests.

However, we shall see what reasons are given,particularly since her secretary should have the information on easily accessible record.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'Dame Julie Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017'.

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman should normally have responded promptly and by 12 January 2017 (details)

Please respond to the request. as it is illegal not to have done, so I am asking for a prompt response, rather than making a complaint to the ICO

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your internal review (FDN-274277)

 

Further to your email of 13 January 2017, I am writing with a response to
your request for an internal review.  This review will look at whether
your information request was dealt with in compliance with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). 

 

Was the request responded to in time?

 

We received the request on 10 December 2016 and I can see that we have not
yet issued you with a response.

 

What information should have been provided?

You should have been provided with the meeting schedule information that
you requested within the statutory time frame of twenty working days. 
This is in the final stages of extraction and will be provided to you as
soon as possible.

Outcome of review

 

As we did not provide you with a response within the relevant statutory
time frame, we failed to comply with the provisions of section 1 FOIA. I
therefore fully uphold your internal review.

 

I hope that this response is helpful.  If you remain dissatisfied with our
handling of your request, it is open to you to complain to the Information
Commissioner’s Office ([1]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [3][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #376373 email]]
Sent: 13 January 2017 09:28
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Dame Julie
Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health
Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'Dame Julie Mellor's diary
appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017'.

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Parliamentary and Health
Service Ombudsman should normally have responded promptly and by 12
January 2017 (details)

Please respond to the request. as it is illegal not to have done,  so I am
asking for a prompt response, rather than making a complaint to the ICO

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

I fully realise that you written have already breached the time limit as set out by the FOIA, as evidenced above.

However, your 'review' response gives no reason for the breach.

Therefore :

1. Are you stating that the information exists ...and that you are refusing to provide it?

2. Or that it doesn't exist ...and that you can't provide it?

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

Your internal review (FDN-274277)

Thank you for your further email.  The information you requested does
exist – as I set out in my email, it is in the final stages of preparation
and we will provide it to you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #376373 email]]
Sent: 08 March 2017 14:24
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Dame Julie
Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

 

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

I fully realise that you written have already breached the time limit as
set out by the FOIA, as evidenced above.

However,  your 'review' response gives no reason for  the breach.

Therefore :

1. Are you stating that the information exists ...and that you  are
refusing to provide it?

2. Or that it doesn't exist ...and that you can't provide it?

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Complaint to ICO

Please only reply by email to save postal visits and the environment.

In any response please include my reference which is:

Dame Julie Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

Please read the whole request, including the title, which is within scope.

NB - ANNOTATIONS

Please note that annotations on the request do NOT form part of the correspondence and are not sent to , or received, by Public Authority concerned.

Thank you

1. Details of the organisation your concern is about
Organisation:     
Contact name:   Aimee Gasston  
Address:   

PHSO details given
image1.PNG


No email address given for FOIA employee Aimee Gasston.
    
2. Your relationship with the organisation
     
Member of the public
3. What is your concern?

Zip file included

Breach of FOIA -time constraint.

Since Dame Julie Mellor has resigned, the suspicion is that the information has been deliberately withheld - until she leaves in March.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

And logically, it doesn't take from December 10 to March 8 to obtain a working diary, which can be retrieved from by her personal secretary.

Something else. Please give details.
     
Please send us copies of relevant documents that support your concern.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

4. What have you done to raise your concern with the organisation?

Reminded the PHSO that it has breached the FOIA time constraint.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing how you raised your concern with the organisation.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

5. What did the organisation say?

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing the organisation’s response to your concern.
6. Reference number

FDN-274277)

Please tell us any reference number that the organisation has given you, eg account number, policy number etc.

As above.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The question whether the PHSO is deliberately withholding the information - until the Ombudsman, who resigned after a critical report By Sir Alex Allen, leaves.

The information exists, it's held by the ombudsman's secretary and therefore easily retrievable.

The PHSO's FOI department has already admitted its negligence in being in breach of the FOIA.

Fiona Watts left an annotation ()

Hello J T Oakley,

Thank you for this FOI request.

On 12 December 2016 you made a reference to S16.

Your FOI requests are followed by many victims; when you have a moment, could you clarify the remit of S16?

Kind regards

Fiona

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Fiona- Yes.. basically because a member of the public can have no idea of the data filing systems that Public Authorities have, they have to help and assist you in forming a request that can get a response ( providing request is not vexatious) .

The ICO's guidance on the subject of section 16

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...
So if you want to know say .....about The number of Complaints an organisation has, you will probably just request that ....using those words.

But the Public Authority files might contain complaints( example - I can't find any information in xxxxx why don't you provide it? ) filed as ' Requests for pamphlets' ...( I know but sometimes that is what they - do even though there is a complaint that ' the Public Authority doesn't provide the information' - within the sentence.

So when the FOIA responded from the Public Authority searches for 'Complaints' ...'Requests for pamphlets' doesn't come up...so the figures are wrong.

::::

So it's a nightmare to find out the correct terminology used for different sorts of what are complaints-but filed as say 'representations', which I am told that is how the Welsh Government rather strangely files it's 'complaints'.

And also, if the complainer gets a pamphlet in response - the first complaint isnt logged as 'a complaint' , since it's not one ....IF the correct information has then been supplied.

It's only when the customer writes in and says: 'This pamphlet isn't appropriate and still didn't answer my complaint- why don't you provide the information? ' ......that the complaint clock states ticking,.

::::

As a member of the public you CANNOT guess HOW a Public Authority logs complaints data .

So it should logically and reasonably assist your enquiry by trying to clarify exactiy what you want - by using S 16 - and outlining your choices for you to receive a response. Complaints INCLUDING 'representations', or not, for instance.

Especially if the Public Authority is stating it would take 'too many hours' Section 12 to retrieve the information..so you can fine down the request to exactiy what you want.

Quite a lot of the time, it skips the use of S16 and just says no.

By using Section 12 without explanation ( takes us too long to find it).

This is S12

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

::::

Hope this helps - its complicated and difficult to find out the different terms used by each Public Authority.

But as each Tribunal cost around£10k (and gvt money is short) , the courts don't seem to appreciate it it the Public Authority does not at least attempt to apply S16 to be helpful to the requester - this saving the cost of reviews, ICO decisions and court time.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-274277)

 

Please find attached information relating to the Ombudsman’s diary
appointments.  We are sorry this was not provided to you sooner.

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #376373 email]]
Sent: 08 March 2017 14:24
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Dame Julie
Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

 

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

I fully realise that you written have already breached the time limit as
set out by the FOIA, as evidenced above.

However,  your 'review' response gives no reason for  the breach.

Therefore :

1. Are you stating that the information exists ...and that you  are
refusing to provide it?

2. Or that it doesn't exist ...and that you can't provide it?

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you but some of these are not original data entries.

For instance this describes what happened, rather than it being a diary entry....

PHSO hosted a workshop which was attended by representatives from Action Against Medical Negligence, Care Quality Commission, Citizens Advice Bureau, Department of Health, East Kent Hospitals, General Medical Council, Healthwatch England, Ideas4Use, Local Government Association, Local Government Ombudsman, Macmillan/Richmond Group, National Care Association, National Care Forum, National Voices, NHS England, Patients Association, Royal College of Physicians, SEAP, Trust Development Authority, VoiceAbility and Which?

Please produce unedited original data - as per FOIA.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

JTO
I simply take my hat off to you. Well done.
PHSO are doing the same to me, changing the ref number, not answering the question and substituting what they wish I had asked.....Wish I had your determination and, more to the point stamina.
PHSO is just something else and judging by who the Dame associates with, she is doing a good job for them. What a waste of public money......

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Thank you Brenda.

I had hoped that as my request specifies original documents - and not PR edited highlights - that I what I would get this time

That's redacted original documents.

You might recall the struggle, via the ICO, that it took to produce the Sir Alex Allen appointment and that the FOIA team would read and apply the request this time.

That's the data on record, redacted.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Unfortunately, the strategy with anything which involved Dame Julie Mellor seems to be prolong the request over the FOIA time constraints ...and as the ICO seems perfectly happy with its consistent breaches of the Act, the PHSO will continue to do so.

Nb You will know that the PHSO investigates cases against the ICO.

It costs the public purse by making work for everyone. So the taxpayer ends up paying for these FOIA breaches.

Presumably so that the 'edited' response can be run past the 39-strong External Affairs department ( as revealed in previous requests) and any other director , or lawyer, who wants to edit - rather than redact - the response for reputational defence.

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

'When first we practise to deceive'.....What a tangled web...for the tax payer to try to sort out....(that's you and me)
Is there any hope of justice from the 5th richest nation in the world, we are told....

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

⬆️ Well here's the ombudsman given the powers of a high court judge - as the office is considered to have absolute integrity- breaching the FOIA law.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

26/8/14 PHSO hosted a workshop which was attended
by representatives from Action Against Medical
Negligence, Care Quality Commission, Citizens
Advice Bureau, Department of Health, East
Kent Hospitals, General Medical Council,
Healthwatch England, Ideas4Use, Local
Government Association, Local Government
Ombudsman, Macmillan/Richmond Group,
National Care Association, National Care
Forum, National Voices, NHS England, Patients
Association, Royal College of Physicians, SEAP,
Trust Development Authority, VoiceAbility and
Which?
3 – To discuss a User-Led Vision for complaint handling.

Typical - discuss a 'user-led vision' and not invite a single service user. phsothefacts members could have livened that debate!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Dear Diary...

Dame seemingly writes her diary retrospectively.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Do you think it was tear stained?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Dunno Della.

But since the PHSO FOI team has been searching high and low for it - since December 1O, it's possible The Dame wrote it - alone - secreted in the stationary cupboard, only to hide it there.

What else could explain why her secretary didn't readily have it?

:::

But, to my knowledge, this protectionist strategy to FOIA requesters on anything to do with the Dame has been going on since 2013 .

Here's a demonstration, which shows the same old, same old, reluctance from the FOIA response as CA Purkiss eventually determines her way to find out that Dame Julie Mellor signs 29 complaint letters - a year.

Yes. That's 29. Possibly too busy rewriting her diary.

:::

IMO worth a read as the comments are both funny and upsetting.
But show how the PHSO operates,

::::

'So out of all the thousands of complaints that get submitted to the PHSO - Dame Mellor signs 29 of them?'

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Since the PHSO seems to have provided a retrospectively written list, instead of original redacted documents - as requested :

ICO to PHSO :

27th March 2017

Case Reference Number FS50671501

Dear Ms Gasston

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’)
Complaint from Ms JtOakley
Request reference FDN-274277

The Information Commissioner has received a complaint from Ms Oakley stating that only a partial response has been sent to an information request submitted to your organisation on 10 December 2016, which you have acknowledged as received on the 10 December 2016. A copy of the request is attached. JtOakley has requested unedited documents of original data.

Anyone has a right to request information from a public authority. Any public authority in receipt of such a request is under a duty to tell the applicant whether you hold any information falling within the scope of their request; and respond within 20 working days of receipt. As you have not completely responded to this specific request and you have received it, please now respond within 10 working days of receipt of this letter.

You should state whether or not the information is held in a recorded form. If it is held, you should either provide the information or issue a refusal notice in accordance with the requirements of section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act or regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations as appropriate. You can find more information on refusal notices contained in the guidance issued by the Commissioner which is available at:

http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/free...

In the event of other, similar complaints, the Commissioner may consider taking enforcement action under section 52 of the Act.

The Commissioner’s guidance on time limits for compliance can be found on the following links;

Time limits for compliance under the EIR -http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guid...

Time limits for compliance under the FOIA - http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guid...

Finally, you should be aware that the Information Commissioner often receives requests for copies of the letters we send and receive when dealing with casework. Not only are we obliged to deal with these in accordance with the access provisions of the DPA and the Freedom of Information Act 2000, it is in the public interest that we are open transparent and accountable for the work that we do.

For further advice on how to deal with information requests, please visit our website at www.ico.org.uk, or you can contact me on the number below. Please quote the case reference number from the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear JT Oakley,

 

Your information request (FDN-274545)

 

I write in response to your email of 15 March 2012 for a copy of Dame
Julie’s diary.  Your request for the information is as follows:

 

“Thank you but some of these are not original data entries.

For instance this describes what happened, rather than it being a diary
entry....

PHSO hosted a workshop which was attended by representatives from Action
Against Medical Negligence, Care Quality Commission, Citizens Advice
Bureau, Department of Health, East Kent Hospitals, General Medical
Council, Healthwatch England, Ideas4Use, Local Government Association,
Local Government Ombudsman, Macmillan/Richmond Group, National Care
Association, National Care Forum, National Voices, NHS England, Patients
Association, Royal College of Physicians, SEAP, Trust Development
Authority, VoiceAbility and Which?

Please produce unedited original data  - as per FOIA”

 

We have processed your request in line with the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA).

 

We have treated your request as a new request because your first request
(FDN-274277) was for information in a specified format.  You asked that
the request follow the same format as this:
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...
is different from this new request for unedited original data. 

 

I confirm that we hold the unedited original data. However, we are unable
to comply with your request.  Under section 11(1) of the FOIA we are
obliged to provide information in the form or format that that a requester
states so long as it is reasonably practicable for us to give effect to
that preference.  We consider that it is not reasonably practicable for us
to provide Dame Julie’s unedited calendar entries from 2014 to 2017.  This
is because the information is held in Microsoft Outlook calendar and we
would have to take screenshots of each week of entries from 2014 until
2017.  We would then have to remove any information on the calendar that
contains the personal data of Dame Julie or other members of staff.  As
you may already know, section 40(2) of FOIA precludes the disclosure of
personal information where disclosure would breach the Data Protection Act
1998 (DPA).  The DPA governs personal data and defines it as any
information likely to lead to the identification of a living individual. 
Any appointments in the calendar that do not relate to Dame Julie’s work
life would be considered personal, and therefore exempt from FOIA.  In
addition any entries in the calendar that relate to other PHSO staff (e.g.
leave or other absences) would also be exempt from disclosure under FOI. 
Disclosure under FOI is disclosure to the world at large and not to the
individual requesting information.

 

We consider that we have complied with section 1(1)(b) of the FOIA by
providing you with the information as per your original request.  If there
is specific information that you are seeking which was not included in our
response to your original request, please let us know as we would be glad
to assist you in obtaining it.  However, for the reasons set out above, we
are unable to comply with your revised request as we do not believe it is
reasonable or practicable to provide you with the unedited original data
that you have requested.

 

I hope you find my response helpful. If you believe I have made an error
in the way I have processed your information request, it is open to you to
request an internal review. You can do this by writing to us by post or by
email to [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]. You will need to specify
what the nature of the issue is and we can consider the matter further.
Beyond that, it is open to you to complain to the Information
Commissioner’s Office ([3]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [4]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

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Dear InformationRights,

Thank you - but I have not made a new request.

The first request should have been under review ( as requested per the WDTK site).
As explained, there was a failure to provide the requested information, conforming to the FOIA

I explained how the PHSO had failed To respond to the request, so that there was no that doubt as to what was to be reviewed. The original documents should of been supplied as requested, (as 'edited highlights' written in the past tense were not requested),

As there is no review, plead confirm that the PHSO does not intend to comply with the request for a review, so I can forward the request to the ICO, as a complaint.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Yet more.. ' you're making a new request because you've pointed out where the PHSO gone wrong onnthe request' .

It now seems to seems to be strategy towards Vexation- as it ignores the first request and turns a request for a Review into a new request.

Thus leading to a point where the PHSO can Vex a request because a person will point out what is missing from the response again.

Luckily the the courts aren't so dull and the ICO doesn't the seem to be supporting the PHSO to the level that it did, probably owing to the cost of bringing the complaint through the system, to court - estimate £10k plus,

Like others on WDTK, complaining about the same issue, I do wish the PHSO would stop wasting public money and time - by playing this ' new request every time you ask for a review' game.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

"We would then have to remove any information on the calendar that contains the personal data of Dame Julie or other members of staff."

Aren't they a bit short on detail - hinting at costs for redaction? I recently read this:

'Redaction and Extraction

26. In The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police v The Information Commissioner [2011] EWHC 44 (Admin), the High Court found:

"there is no basis for asserting that the time spent in redacting from the relevant document information which is exempt from disclosure is to be included in reg. 4(3)(d)".

The ICO agrees, but argues that the Appellant having excluded personal data from the ambit of his request, time spent removing personal data would constitute
extraction, not redaction, and it is therefore chargeable.

"30. In light of the above the Tribunal is satisfied
that obscuring topics revealing personal data would be redaction pursuant to s40 FOIA not extraction."

http://informationrights.decisions.tribu...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Thank you J Roberts.

I must admit that my patience is exhausted.

Since the PHSO has drawn this out unnecessarily- and failed to comply with the FOIA by responding to the wording of the request (as it does anything to do with Dame Julie Mellor -the Ombudsman who resigned after Sir Alex Allen's Critical report and to my knowledge the ONLY ombudsman who has ever had to resign in the circumstances of ignoring a court judgement) it's justifiable to ask for DJM 's diary data.

The circumstances make it a matter of public interest - in that it's the public paying for this debacle. And it's reasonable to find out what went on both externally - and internally - over the eight months the court verdict was ignored.

I will refer to the ICO.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

To: casework@ico.org.uk

Report a concern about how an organisation handled your information

Please only reply by email to save postal visits and the environment.

In any response please include my reference which is:

Dame Julie Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

Please read the whole request, including the title.

NB - ANNOTATIONS

Please note that annotations on the request do NOT form part of the FOIA correspondence and are not sent to, or received, by Public Authority concerned via WDTK.

Thank you

//////

1. Details of the organisation your concern is about
Organisation:  PHSO    
Contact name:  Aimee Gasston
Freedom of Information and Data Protection Officer  
Address:   
image1.JPG


Postcode:    SWIP 4QP
Telephone:   0345 015 4033
  
Email:  via WDTK
    
2. Your relationship with the organisation
     
Member of the public
3. What is your concern?
The PHSO has not complied with the request for original redacted documents.
At first, it didn't bother to reply to the request at all.
It then provided rewritten and retrospective material -which did not exist at the time of the request.
Requests are dated and cannot be made for future data, which does not exist at the time of request.
However, future appointments are included - as the data already exists on file.

Nb
This is the second time that the PHSO has failed in this aspect.
After the last ICO decision, (FDN-259133) in which the same officer responded, I would have assumed that the PHSO would have been keen to comply with this request.
-in date and by understanding and applying the ICO judgement - before wasting yet more public resources.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

::::

The PHSO started by ignoring the request so it went into review
I have clarified the reason why the review failed -to save referring it to the ICO -
hoping to get the requested response.

However, the PHSO has failed to respond to the clarification and decided that I have 'made a new request'.

::::

I agree with the information provided by J Roberts on the public WDTK site:

"We would then have to remove any information on the calendar that contains the personal data of Dame Julie or other members of staff."

Aren't they a bit short on detail - hinting at costs for redaction? I recently read this:

'Redaction and Extraction

26. In The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police v The Information Commissioner [2011] EWHC 44 (Admin), the High Court found:

"there is no basis for asserting that the time spent in redacting from the relevant document information which is exempt from disclosure is to be included in reg. 4(3)(d)".

The ICO agrees, but argues that the Appellant having excluded personal data from the ambit of his request, time spent removing personal data would constitute
extraction, not redaction, and it is therefore chargeable.

"30. In light of the above the Tribunal is satisfied that obscuring topics revealing personal data would be redaction pursuant to s40 FOIA not extraction."

http://informationrights.decisions.tribu...

Something else. Please give details.
     
Please send us copies of relevant documents that support your concern.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

I would like to read the schedule of appointments from Dame Julie’s diary -

1. Past: From 27 February 2014 to present date.
2. Future: Any scheduled from date of this request, until April 1 2017.

NB Clarification of request:

Response should follow on from the PHSO response to this request:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

With diary details specified:

Date, place, person/persons and reason for the appointment.

Example:
17 October 2013
Keith Vaz MP, Derby Gate (case discussion)

Nb An example is not a requested format... the example is the sort of work information that may be written in the work diary - excluding personal diary dates made to avoid any clash in appointments ( i.e. Tea with daughter), which may be present and which is therefore out of scope.

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.
I am writing to make an open government request for all the 
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information 
Act 2000.
Please send me recorded information, which includes information 
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten 
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a 
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I 
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and 
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).
If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify 
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I 
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve 
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to 
charge excessive fees.
If any of this information is already in the public domain, please 
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if 
necessary.
Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act.
If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the 
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with 
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that 
information should not be treated as confidential if such an 
agreement has not been signed.

I request that the response be provided to me as 
electronic copies, via WDTK.

The information should be immediately readable - and, as a freedom of Information request, not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within 
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be 
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received 
this request.

::::::::

Please consider the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.
https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees - and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,
Jtoakley

:::

Clearly internal employee name and iD redactions would take place -other than public facing senior officers.

Zip file of request :

4. What have you done to raise your concern with the organisation?

Zip file of request :

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing how you raised your concern with the organisation.

As above
5. What did the organisation say?

As above
     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing the organisation’s response to your concern.
6. Reference number

FDN-274277

Please tell us any reference number that the organisation has given you, eg account number, policy number etc.

As above.
     

8. Declaration
▪ I have included all the necessary supporting evidence.
▪ I understand that the ICO may need to share the information I have provided so they can look into my concern. I have indicated any documents or information that I don’t want the ICO to share.
▪ The information I have provided is accurate, to the best of my knowledge.
▪ I understand that the ICO will electronically store the information relating to my concern including the documents I have provided and keep the electronic records for two years, or for longer if it is appropriate. The ICO will destroy the original hard copies after six months.
I agree.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Dear ms jto

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’)
Information request made to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombdudsman
Request reference FDN-274277

Thank you for your correspondence received on the 18 April 2017 in which you complain about the time taken for the PHSO to carry out an internal review that you have requested.

The right to complain to the Information Commissioner is given under section 50 of the Act. However, a complaint may be deemed ineligible under section 50, if for example:
There is an undue delay before bringing a complaint to our attention, or;
You have not exhausted any complaints procedure which is provided by the public authority.

Therefore, before accepting complaints, the Commissioner requires complainants to allow public authorities the opportunity to respond to their appeal for a review of the handling of or decision regarding their FOI request. Please find attached a document describing how we deal with Freedom of Information complaints.

Although there is no statutory time set out in the Act within which public authorities must complete a review, the Commissioner has guidance available on our website under the Freedom of Information guidance section, or using the following link: http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/free...

The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 10 working days in this instance.

I have written to the authority about your request for internal review and recommend that they issue you with an internal review decision as soon as practicable and within 10 working days from the date of receipt of our letter. I attach a copy for your information.

From my letter to the PHSO you will see that significant or repeated unreasonable delays in dealing with internal reviews by public authorities are monitored.

This case has now been closed, however if you do not receive a response within 10 working days please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter.

If you remain dissatisfied after having exhausted the PHSO’s internal review process and would like us to look into the matter, please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter and providing us with a copy of the internal review decision.

If we can be of any further assistance please contact me on the number below or our Helpline on 0303 123 1113 quoting your case reference number. You may also find some useful information on our website at www.ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’)
Information request made to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombdudsman
Request reference FDN-274277

Thank you for your correspondence received on the 18 April 2017 in which you complain about the time taken for the PHSO to carry out an internal review that you have requested.

The right to complain to the Information Commissioner is given under section 50 of the Act. However, a complaint may be deemed ineligible under section 50, if for example:
There is an undue delay before bringing a complaint to our attention, or;
You have not exhausted any complaints procedure which is provided by the public authority.
Therefore, before accepting complaints, the Commissioner requires complainants to allow public authorities the opportunity to respond to their appeal for a review of the handling of or decision regarding their FOI request. Please find attached a document describing how we deal with Freedom of Information complaints.

Although there is no statutory time set out in the Act within which public authorities must complete a review, the Commissioner has guidance available on our website under the Freedom of Information guidance section, or using the following link: http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/free...

The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 10 working days in this instance.

I have written to the authority about your request for internal review and recommend that they issue you with an internal review decision as soon as practicable and within 10 working days from the date of receipt of our letter. I attach a copy for your information.

From my letter to the PHSO you will see that significant or repeated unreasonable delays in dealing with internal reviews by public authorities are monitored.

This case has now been closed, however if you do not receive a response within 10 working days please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter.

If you remain dissatisfied after having exhausted the PHSO’s internal review process and would like us to look into the matter, please contact us quoting the reference number on this letter and providing us with a copy of the internal review decision.

If we can be of any further assistance please contact me on the number below or our Helpline on 0303 123 1113 quoting your case reference number. You may also find some useful information on our website at www.ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely,

;;;;

ICO - Letter to the PHSO.

Dear Ms Gasston

The Information Commissioner has received a complaint from MsJto stating that she has not received a decision regarding the internal review she requested on 13 January 2017 in regard to the original request for information. A copy of the internal review request is attached.

We acknowledge your stance on the matter; however, it would still be good practice to carry out an internal review as this has been requested.

Guidance

The Information Commissioner’s Guide to Freedom of Information; http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/free... explains your obligations under the Act, answers many frequently asked questions and gives practical examples to illustrate how to apply the Act in practice.

The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review in this instance is 10 working days from the date of the request for review.

Enforcement

The Commissioner wants to ensure that a complainant has exhausted a public authority’s internal review procedure, but at the same time the complainant should not be unreasonably delayed in having her complaint considered under section 50.

Internal reviews are referred to in the section 45 Code of Practice - http://www.justice.gov.uk/information-ac... and significant or repeated unreasonable delays in dealing with internal reviews will be monitored by the Enforcement team. In some instances regulatory action may be necessary.

More details about the Commissioner’s FOI Regulatory Action Policy are available on our website using the following links:
http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/taki...

Actions

If it is the case that you have not issued an internal review decision to Ms Jto we recommend that you do so as soon as is practicable and within 10 working days from the date of receipt of this letter.

If you have, in fact, already responded to Ms Jto , and believe that your response should already have been received we would recommend you contact her to confirm receipt if you have not already done so.

If you need to contact us about this complaint I can be contacted on the number below. Please quote the reference number at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Information that the PHSO provided before in response to a previous request on Julie Mellor's diary ( sofa schedule)

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

Date 
Details 
5 January  2012 
Robert Devereux & John Oliver (DWP), Caxton House 
18 January 2012 
Administrative Justice and Tribunals  working group on 
Ombudsman  landscape,  AJTC 
26 January 2012 
Peter Tyndall  (Public Services Ombudsman,  Wales), Millbank 
Tower 
26 January 2012 
Frances  Patterson (Law Commission), Millbank  Tower 
31 January 2012 
LGO Commission meeting, Millbank  Tower 
31 January 2012 
Mike Biles (Independent  Housing Ombudsman),   Millbank  Tower 
7 February  2012 
Jane Martin  & Anne Seex (LGO), Westminster 
8 February  2012 
Sir Keith Pearson (NHS Health Education England), Bressenden 
Place 
8 February  2012 
Amyas Morse & Michael Whitehouse (National  Audit Office), 
Millbank  Tower 
15 February 2012  Administrative Justice and Tribunals  meeting, Chancery Lane 
21 February 2012  Cabinet Office / Ministry of Justice quarterly  liaison meeting, 
Millbank  Tower 
22 February 2012  Paul  Flynn  MP, Parliament  Street (PASC induction) 
22 February 2012  Kelvin Hopkins MP, Parliament  Street (PASC induction) 
22 February 2012  Lindsay Roy MP, Parliament  Street (PASC induction) 
22 February 2012  Alun  Cairns MP, Parliament  Street (PASC induction) 
23 February 2012    Una O’Brien (DH, Permanent  Secretary Ombudsman  Champion), 
Richmond House  
28 February 2012  Lucinda Bolton, Jane Martin  (LGO), LGO Chair’s office  
29 February 2012  Rafael Ribo (International  Ombudsman  Institute),  Millbank 
Tower 
30 February 2012  Natalie Ceeney (Financial  Ombudsman  Service), Millbank  Tower 
5 March 2012 
Robert Francis  QC, Millbank  Tower 
6 March 2012 
Professor Nikiforos Diamandorous  (Ombudsman  for the 
European Union), Millbank  Tower 
6 March 2012 
Jim Martin  (Scottish Public Services Ombudsman),  Millbank 
Tower 
7 March 2012 
PHSO/CQC liaison meeting, Millbank  Tower 
7 March 2012 
LGO Audit Committee 
12 March 2012 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
13 March 2012 
CQC Healthwatch, Finsbury  Square (consumer perspective on 
complaints) 
13 March 2012 
Alan  Johnson MP, Millbank  Tower (case discussion) 
14 March 2012 
Christopher Graham (Information Commissioner), Millbank 
Tower 
20 March 2012 
LGO Commission meeting, Millbank  Tower 
20 March 2012 
Catherine Lee & Angela  van der Lem (Ministry of Justice), Petty 
France 
26 March 2012 
Margaret  Hodge MP, Palace of Westminster (case discussion) 
26 March 2012 
MDU/PHSO liaison meeting, Millbank  Tower 
27 March 2012 
Stephen Dorrell MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
29 March 2012 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
29 March 2012 
Neil Sherlock, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
3 April 2012 
David Bennett  (Monitor), Matthew Parker Street 
3 April 2012 
Dr Stephanie Bown (Medical Protection Society), Millbank 
Tower 
4 April 2012 
Quarterly  Health and Social Care Regulators  Forum, Finsbury 
Tower 
17 April 2012 
Charlie Elphicke MP, Millbank  Tower (case discussion) 
19 April 2012 
LGO meeting, Coventry 
20 April 2012 
LGO meeting, Coventry 
24 April 2012 
Julia Goldsworthy (HM Treasury),  Horse Guards  Parade 
25 April 2012 
Lin Homer (HMRC), Millbank  Tower 
26 April 2012 
Helen Edwards (Ministry of Justice), Millbank  Tower 
26 April 2012 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
27 April 2012 
Administrative Justice and Tribunals  workshop on complaints 
handling,  Greycoat Place 
27 April 2012 
Lin Homer (HMRC), HMRC 
2 May 2012 
Helen Edwards (Ministry of Justice), Petty France 
4 May 2012 
Sir David Nicholson (DH), Richmond House 
10 May 2012 
Ursula  Brennan  (Ministry of Defence), Whitehall 
14 May 2012 
Sir David Nicholson (DH), Richmond House 
16 May 2012 
Catherine Lee (Ministry of Justice), Portcullis  House 
16 May 2012 
Nicky Morgan  MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
23 May 2012 
LGO Audit Committee meeting 
25 May 2012 
James Meikle (The Guardian), Westminster (to discuss  health 
cases) 
25 May 2012 
Harry Cayton (Council for Healthcare Regulatory  Excellence), 
Millbank  Tower 
30 May 2012 
Una O’Brien (DH, Permanent  Secretary Ombudsman  Champion), 
Richmond House 
31 May 2012 
David Bennett  (Monitor) 
18 June 2012 
Open Public Services meeting, Cabinet Office 
19 June 2012 
Zina Etheridge, Executive Director of Civil Service Reform, 
Cabinet Office 
20 June 2012 
Administrative Justice and Tribunals  workshop 
21 June 2012 
NHS Confederation Annual  Dinner, Manchester 
22 June 2012 
NHS Confederation Conference , Manchester 
25 June 2012 
PwC Citizens’ Jury on Public Services, Methodist Central  Hall, 
Westminster 
28 June 2012 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
2 July 2012 
Niall Dickson (General  Medical Council), Millbank  Tower 
4 July 2012 
Nick Golding (Health Service Journal), Millbank  Tower 
9 July 2012 
Tom Frawley (Northern Ireland  Ombudsman),  Millbank  Tower 
11 July 2012 
BBC Radio 4 (Today programme), Millbank  Studios 
11 July 2012 
Peter Riddle (Institute  for Government), Carlton  Gardens 
13 July 2012 
Peter Tyndall  (Public Sector Ombudsman  Wales), Bridgend 
19 July 2012 
Stefan Stern (Edelman), Portcullis  House 
19 July 2012 
Sarah Calkin (Health Service Journal), Millbank  Tower 
19 July 2012 
Patrick White, Jane Martin,  LGO 
24 July 2012 
Dame Jo Williams (CQC Chair), Finsbury  Tower 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
25 July 2012 
Andrea Callender  (GMC), Millbank  Tower 
25 July 2012   
Cabinet Office/Ministry of Justice/PHSO quarterly  meeting, 
Millbank  Tower 
2 August  2012 
Public Services Ombudsman  Wales, Cardiff 
3 August  2012 
Public Services Ombudsman  Wales, Cardiff 
7 August  2012 
Philip Rutnam,  Department for Transport 
7 August  2012 
Paul  Streets, DH 
8 August  2012 
Liz Kendall  MP, Parliament  Street (case discussion) 
9 August  2012 
Sue Cameron (Telegraph), Millbank  Tower 
22 August  2012 
Professor Gerada, Royal College of General Practitioners 
23 August  2012 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Millbank  Tower 
23 August  2012 
Sue Cameron (Telegraph), Millbank  Tower 
23 August  2012 
Bill Morgan (DH), Richmond House 
4 September 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
2012 
4 September 
Robert Devereux (Department for Work and Pensions), Caxton 
2012 
House 
6 September 
Professor Bogdanor (King’s College, London), Westminster 
2012 
6 September 
John Ackerman (UNAM), Millbank  Tower 
2012 
7 September 
David Behan (CQC), Millbank  Tower 
2012 
12 September 
GMC Conference, British Museum 
2012 
12 September 
Dame Jo Williams (CQC Chair), Barbican 
2012 
25 September 
Sir Bob Kerslake (Head of the Home Civil Service), Whitehall 
2012 
27 September 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
2012 
2 October 2012 
Cabinet Office/Ministry of Justice/PHSO quarterly  meeting, 
Millbank  Tower 
3 October 2012 
Sir Richard Thompson, Royal College of Physicians 
4 October 2012 
Una O’Brien (DH, Permanent  Secretary Ombudsman  Champion), 
Richmond House  
9 October 2012 
Bill McCarthy (NHS Commissioning Board Authority), Millbank 
Tower 
10 October 2012 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
17 October 2012 
Permanent  Secretaries Weekly Wednesday morning meeting, 
Cabinet Office 
18 October 2012 
LGO Management  Conference, Coventry 
25 October 2012 
Margaret  Cole (Financial  Services Authority), Portcullis  House   
25 October 2012 
BBC Radio 4 interview, Millbank  Tower 
31 October 2012 
BBC Radio 4 interview, Millbank  Studios 
7 November 2012  Anna  Bradley (Healthwatch England),  Millbank  Tower 
(consumer perspective on complaints) 
8 November 2012  BBC Breakfast interview, Millbank 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
12-16 November 
International  Ombudsman  Institute,  Wellington, New Zealand 
2012 
29 November 
Patients Association Parliamentary  Partners  in Care 
2012 
conference, Houses of Parliament 
5 December 2012  Phillip Collins (Office of Fair Trading), Portcullis  House 
6 December 2012  Judy Clements, Adjudicator’s Office 
6 December 2012  Ombudsman  Association Executive Committee, Euston Tower 
7 December 2012  Chris Hopson (Foundation  Trust  Network), Millbank  Tower 
10 December 
Greg Mulholland  MP, Portcullis  House 
2012 
12 December 
LGO Commission meeting, LGO 
2012 
12 December 
Public Chairs Forum, NHS Litigation Authority, Buckingham 
2012 
Palace Road 
19 December 
John Vine (Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and 
2012 
Immigration), Millbank  Tower 
7 January  2013 
Meeting with complainant,  Millbank  Tower 
10 January 2013 
John Stewart (DH), Millbank  Tower 
10 January 2013 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
11 January 2013 
Leadership Forum, Hampshire Hospitals  NHS Foundation  Trust 
14 January 2013 
Sarah Calkin (Health Service Journal), Millbank  Tower 
15 January 2013 
Baroness  Prashar, Portcullis  House 
16 January 2013 
Public Chairs Forum, Carlton  Gardens 
17 January 2013 
Expert Advisory Group meeting on NHS Constitution,  DH, 
Richmond House 
22 January 2013 
Sir Keith Pearson (Health Education England),  Millbank  Tower 
23 January 2013 
Una O’Brien (DH, Permanent  Secretary Ombudsman  Champion), 
Richmond House  
23 January 2013 
KPMG conference, Canary Wharf (health event) 
24 January 2013    Paul  Bate, No 10 Downing Street 
24 January 2013 
Charlie Massey (DH), Richmond House 
24 January 2013 
Elizabeth Padmore (Hampshire Hospitals  NHS Foundation 
Trust),  Westminster 
4 February  2013 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
5 February  2013 
HMRC Complaints Handling  conference, Parliament  Street 
7 February  2013 
Dr David Foster (DH), Millbank  Tower 
7 February  2013 
Nigel Newcomen (Prisons and Probation Ombudsman),  Millbank 
Tower 
7 February  2013 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
12 February 2013  Quarterly  Health and Social Care Regulators  Forum, Finsbury 
Tower 
12 February 2013  David Behan (CQC), Finsbury  Tower 
14 February 2013  Priti Patel MP, Portcullis  House 
25 to 27 February  Various meetings at Public Protector’s Office, South Africa 
2013 
1 March 2013 
Ann  Clwyd MP, Palace of Westminster (Clywd Hart Review) 
1 March 2013 
Professor Tricia Hart (South Tees Hospitals  NHS Foundation 
Trust,  re. Clywd Hart  Review), Millbank  Tower  
CLASSIFICATION 

 
5 March 2013 
LGO Commission meeting, LGO 
5 March 2013 
Anne Marie Morris MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
5 March 2013 
Sir Bruce Keogh (DH), Richmond House 
6 March 2013 
Alison Munro  (HS2), Millbank  Tower (complaints relating  to 
HS2) 
6 March 2013 
Jackie Smith (NMC), Portland  Place 
7 March 2013 
Jeremy Taylor (National  Voices), Palace of Westminster 
7 March 2013 
Associate Parliamentary  Health Working Group, Palace of 
Westminster 
7 March 2013 
Lewis Shand Smith (Ombudsman  Services), Millbank  Tower 
11 March 2013 
Hospital Mortality  Outlier Investigations – National  Advisory 
Group meeting, DH, Skipton House 
11 March 2013 
Katherine Rake (Healthwatch England),  DH, Skipton House 
(consumer perspective on complaints) 
12 March 2013 
Stephen Dorrell MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
12 March 2013 
National  Quality Board meeting, DH, Skipton House 
12 March 2013 
Matthew Coats (Legal Services Commission), Millbank  Tower 
13 March 2013 
David Prior (CQC), Millbank  Tower 
20 March 2013 
Foundation  Trust  Network Conference: ‘Governance after 
Francis  and the NHS Reforms’, Storey’s Gate (speech on Board 
governance and complaints  handling) 
21 March 2013 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
26 March 2013 
Steve Reed MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
12 April 2013 
Ombudsman  Association Executive Committee, Dublin 
17 April 2013 
UCL Constitution Unit Seminar Series, UCL 
17 April 2013 
James Partridge (Changing Faces), Westminster 
18 April 2013 
Financial  Ombudsman  Service & Legal Ombudsman  workshop, 
Oxford Circus 
18 April 2013 
Interview with Public Servant magazine re. More Impact for 
More People 
22 April 2013 
Sir Nicholas Macpherson (HM Treasury),  Horse Guards  Road 
23 April 2013 
LGO Commission meeting  
24 April 2013 
Denis Campbell (The Guardian), Millbank  Tower (publication on 
analysis  from casework on what needs to change in health 
complaints  system)  
24 April 2013 
Introductory  meeting with Rob Whiteman (Chief Executive, 
UKBA) 
25 April 2013 
Stakeholder Breakfast on NHS Complaints, Portcullis  House 
25 April 2013 
Age UK Annual  Conference, Church House, Westminster 
(speech entitled ‘For Later Life: Better health and care in 
tough times’) 
25 April 2013 
Ombudsman  Association Working Group 
29 April 2013 
Quarterly  Health and Social Care Regulators  Forum, Finsbury 
Tower 
30 April 2013 
All  Party Parliamentary  Group on Victims and Witnesses of 
Crime (Victim’s Code), House of Commons 
1 May 2013 
PASC academic roundtable,  Portcullis  House 
2 May 2013 
Complaints Review – Key Partnership Group Meeting, DH, 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
Richmond House 
2 May 2013 
Judy Clements (Adjudicator’s Office), Westminster 
7 May 2013 
Baroness  Newlove (Victims’ Commissioner) 
9 May 2013 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
14 May 2013 
Oliver Letwin, Sue Gray, Cabinet Office 
15 May 2013 
LGO Audit Committee, LGO 
16 May 2013 
HSJ Innovation Summit, Guildford 
17 May 2013 
Ombudsman’s  Association Biennial conference, Loughborough 
University 
21 May 2013 
Healthwatch England  Breakfast Roundtable  on Complaints 
(consumer perspective on complaints) 
21 May 2013 
National  Quality Board meeting, DH, Richmond House 
21 May 2013 
Public Chairs Forum  seminar, Institute  for Government (with 
Nick Hurd MP) 
23 May 2013 
Alex Brenninkmeijer (Dutch Ombudsman),  Millbank  Tower 
23 May 2013 
Mark Davies (DH) (NHS complaints handling  review) 
23 May 2013 
Trevor Llanwarne  (government actuary) (PHSO approach to 
risk) 
5 June 2013 
Dr Daniel Poulter MP (DH), Richmond House (feedback on 
deliberative research)  
5 June 2013 
David Behan (CQC), Millbank  Tower 
5 June 2013 
Stakeholder briefing on Clwyd Hart Review (House of 
Commons) 
6 June 2013 
Bronwyn Hill (DEFRA), Nobel House 
11 June 2013 
PASC evidence session (oral) 
13 June 2013 
Anthony Douglas  (CAFCASS), Millbank  Tower 
19 June 2013 
Una O’Brien (DH, Permanent  Secretary Ombudsman  Champion), 
Richmond House  
21 June 2013 
Peter Howitt (DH), Millbank  Tower (complaints  and NHS 
Constitution) 
24 June 2013 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
26 June 2013 
Royal College of Physicians conference (Acute Care of Older 
People), Regent’s Park (speaking on ‘the patient perspective’) 
26 June 2013 
Lady Fiona Hodgson (Independent  Sector Complaints 
Adjudication Service), Millbank Tower 
27 June 2013 
NHS Complaints  Review Key Partnership Group meeting, DH, 
Richmond House 
28 June 2013 
Public Service Ombudsman, Gibraltar 
9 July 2013 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Coventry 
10 July 2013 
Nick Seddon (Special Policy Adviser, Health), No. 10 Downing 
Street 
10 July 2013 
Lady Fiona Hodgson (Chair of Independent  Healthcare Advisory 
Service), Millbank  Tower 
12 July 2013 
Archie Prentice (Royal College of Pathologists) 
12 July 2013 
Will Cavendish (Cabinet Office), Horse Guards Road 
15 July 2013 
BBC radio interview, Millbank  Studios (Radio 4’s  The Report) 
15 July 2013 
Dr David Foster (DH), Jackie Smith (NMC), Cathy Warrick 
(RCM), Millbank  Tower 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
16 July 2013 
National  Quality Board (NHS England),  Greycoate Place 
16 July 2013 
Sepsis Campaign Partners  Briefing  
16 July 2013 
Sir Alan  Beith, Chair of the House of Commons Liaison 
Committee and Justice Committee (complaints handling_ 
17 July 2013 
Administrative Justice and Tribunals  Council meeting, Chancery 
Lane 
18 July 2013 
Norman Lamb MP (DH), Richmond House (Liverpool Care 
Pathway) 
22 July 2013 
Mike Farrar (NHS Confederation), Millbank  Tower 
24 July 2013 
Elvynne Gilvarry (GDC), Finsbury  Tower 
24 July 2013 
Quarterly  Health and Social Care Regulatory Forum, Finsbury 
Tower 
24 July 2013 
Mike Biles (Housing Ombudsman),  Jane Martin (LGO), 
Westminster 
25 July 2013 
Nigel Newcomen (Prisons and Probation Ombudsman),  Millbank 
Tower 
25 July 2013 
Mark Sedwill (Home Office), Marsham  Street 
30 July 2013 
Bill McCarthy (NHS England) 
31 July 2013 
Cabinet Office / Ministry of Justice   
1 August  2013 
Robert Gordon, Andrew Morris (DCLG), Millbank  Tower 
2 August  2013 
Daily Telegraph interview, Millbank  Tower 
13 August  2013 
ITV National  News interview, Millbank  Studios 
13 August  2013 
Tim Kelsey (National Director for Patients & Information in the 
NHS), Richmond House 
22 August  2013 
Peter Howitt (DH), Richmond House (complaints  and NHS 
Constitution) 
27 August  2012 
Sir David Nicholson (DH), Richmond House 
28 August  2012 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Millbank  Tower 
28 August  2012 
Cure the NHS conference, Staffordshire 
29 August  2012 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
3 September 
Dame Anne  Begg MP, Houses  of Parliament  (case discussion) 
2012 
4 September 
Charlotte Leslie MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
2012 
4 September 
Una O’Brien (DH, Permanent  Secretary Ombudsman  Champion), 
2013 
Richmond House  
4 September 
Inaugural  Sepsis Trust’s  Parliamentary  Summer Reception, 
2013 
Palace of Westminster 
5 September 
David Behan (CQC), Finsbury  Tower 
2013 
5 September 
Sir Mike Richards (Chief Inspector  of Hospitals),  Finsbury Tower 
2013 
10 September 
Jane Cummings  (Chief Nursing  Officer, NHS England)   
2013 
11 September 
William Vineall  (DH), Millbank  Tower 
2013 
12 September 
‘Time to Act’ sepsis report launch,  House of Commons   
2013 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
12 September 
Working Group on Cosmetic Interventions,  DH, Richmond House 
2013 
16 September 
European Ombudsman  Network conference, Dublin 
2013 
24 September 
Jane Martin  (LGO), Coventry 
2013 
27 September 
Midwifery Regulations  Roundtable 
2013 
27 September 
Bernadette Kelley, BIS 
2013 
27 September 
Branwen Jeffreys (BBC Health  Team), BBC Broadcasting  House 
2013 
27 September 
Jackie Smith (NMC), Portland  Place 
2013 
1 October 2013 
GMC Breakfast meeting: ‘The state of medical education and 
practice 2013’), Manchester 
1 October 2013 
Charlie Massey (DH), Richmond House 
2 October 2013 
NHS Constitution  workshop (DH), Skipton House  
3 October 2013 
Robert Francis  QC, Fleet Street 
8 October 2013 
Professor Brian Jarman, Millbank  Tower 
8 October 2013 
Department of Health Working Group on Cosmetic Interventions 
Chaired by Dan Poulter  MP 
9 October 2013 
Healthwatch England  Annual  Report Launch,  Westminster 
(consumer perspective on complaints) 
10 October 2013 
David Ruffley MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
16 October 2013 
Stephen Dorrell MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
17 October 2013 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
17 October 2013 
Dr Carol Marshall  (South African Department of Health), 
Millbank  Tower 
17 October 2013 
Keith Vaz MP, Derby Gate (case discussion)   
22 October 2013 
Neil Churchill (NHS England),  Millbank  Tower 
23 October 2013 
Anna  Dixon, Chris Bostock, Nichola Yorke (DH), Richmond 
House 
23 October 2013 
Department of Health Working Group on Cosmetic 
Interventions, Richmond House 
23 October 2013 
Evlynne Gilvarry, Bill Moyes (GDC), Millbank  Tower 
31 October 2013 
Westminster Discussion: CQC, Raising Standards,  Putting People 
First, House of Commons 
5 November 2013  Jane Martin  (LGO), Coventry 
5 November 2013  LGO Audit Committee, Coventry 
7 November 2013  Steve McCabe MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
27 November 
Media interviews relating to report into Foreign & 
2013 
Commonwealth Office, Millbank  Studios  
27 November 
Managers  in Partnership Annual  Conference, Congress Centre 
2013 
27 November 
David Dalton  (Salford Royal NHS Foundation  Trust),  Congress 
2013 
House 
27 November 
Bernard Jenkin MP, Portcullis  House 
CLASSIFICATION 

 
2013 
29 November 
Dr Susan  Scott-Parker (Business  Disability Forum) & Marc Bush 
2013 
(Healthwatch England),  Millbank  Tower (access to health 
benefits) 
3 December 2013  National  Quality Board Meeting, Victoria Street 
3 December 2013  Andrew Turner  MP, Portcullis  House(case discussion) 
6 December 2013  Ombudsman  Association Executive Committee, Exchange Tower 
10 December 
BBC and ITV interviews, Millbank  Studios 
2013 
11 December 
BBC Radio 5 Live interview, Millbank  Studios 
2013 
12 December 
Sheila Gilmore MP, Portcullis  House 
2013 
16 December 
Public Administration  Select Committee, Palace of Westminster 
2013 
17 December 
Anna  Bradley, Katherine Rake (Healthwatch England),  Skipton 
2013 
House (consumer perspective on complaints) 
15 January 2014 
Jeremy Lefroy MP, Portcullis  House (case discussion) 
15 January 2014 
David Behan (CQC), Millbank  Tower 
22 January 2014 
Improving Patient Experience national  conference, Great 
Queen Street 
24 January 2014 
Ombudsman  Association seminar:  The future  of the Association, 
Exchange Tower 
28 January 2014 
Meetings with various LGO staff, Coventry 
30 January 2014 
Sir Malcom Grant  (NHS England),  Millbank  Tower 
5 February  2014 
Meeting with Chris Smyth from The Times Newspaper to discuss 
the Francis Report 1 year on 
6 February  2014 
Meeting with PHSOthefacts 
6 February  2014 
Meeting with Sir Jeremy Sullivan  to discuss  the relationship 
between the Ombudsman  and the tribunals. 
13 February 2014  Meeting with the Cabinet Office to discuss the review of 
the Ombudsman  landscape 
17 February 2014  Meeting with a complainant 
18 February 2014  Meeting with Bob Kerslake, Robert Devereux and Sue Gray on 
‘Complaint Handling  across Government’.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you but logically these are not handwritten notes, they must be kept on Dame Julie Mellors secretary's IT system.
Therefore they are in one place and can be searched. As per previous request.

I note that under s16 - you have not stated the computer system on which these records are held.
And how it's search facility operates. Which might allow me to assist you in your search.

So that information would, of course assist me in clarifying my request and would be an acceptable S16 application of 'help and assistance'.

In addition, since the PHSO has provided perfectly adequately provided FOIA information in Dame Julie's diary before, am I right in assuming that you are stating that the staff now involved in responding are much less efficient than they were before? Even with the new upgraded computer system?

Because this seems to be the implication in your response. A n unusual point which the the FOIAct doesn't the seem to cover.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

PHSO seems to have replied to this on the wrong request - audit.

I cannot help as I have no access to its input.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Decision:

The ICO Decision on this request is that this request vexatious as I was frivolous to ask for information on Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor's handling of her Sex-text case - via her diary appointments.

Nb It was essential to read unexpurgated entries to check the account given to Sir Alex Allen during his review.

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

Thus there ere was no point in reading a highly edited edition of the Diary.

The Ombudsman subsequently had to resign over the matter, so it was certainly not a ' frivolous' matter.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/...

It involved her deputy's resignation. So , by asking to read her diary, I was trying to establish why she apparently ignored a letter informing her of the court decision involving him.

::::

My motivation was not frivolous and I resent the implication I would make a frivolous request, with no justifiable reasoning behind it.

Presumably it has been assumed that I had no reason to ask for FOIA documentary evidence of why the case of Helen Marks which had received national publicity in the Daily Mail, etc, had been ignored by the Ombudsman - who is supposed to be above reproach.

* And supposed to read her correspondence on court cases involving her deputy - and act on it.

This is the SECOND time that the ICO hasn't bothered to understand the reasoning of a request involving the PHSO.

And accused me of making a vexatious request.

The last one I took to court - and won.

This is what the court said:

'Again we do not accept that the Appellant used her request as a means to vent anger at any particular decision or to harass and annoy the public authority. We have considered carefully her response to this suggestion in her Grounds of Appeal and her detailed evidence before us and are satisfied that there were reasonable grounds for her request and there was reason to be dissatisfied with the service she was being given by the public authority' .

http://informationrights.decisions.tribu...

The grounds for me taking this case onwards to court are just the same. The ICO assumes that I am in the wrong - without investigating or even considering that there might be reasoning behind the request and loftily assumes it knows what the reasoning is then ascribes it to me.

It is the assumption that I have NO reason for making a request other than 'frivolity'.

* ....only wish I had the time to be make frivolous FOIA requests

::::

Dear ICO,

Thanks-but to ask for the missing information had a genuine point and was not frivolous.

It involved the resignation of Dame Julie Mellor's deputy and handling of his resignation, after being involved in a sex-case text. ( Helen Marks) It received national publicity. And it is certainly not frivolous to ask for the background of how the Ombudsman dealt with the discovery via a letter written to her by Helen Marks.

Why would it be vexatious, or frivolous, to ask for information about her dismissal of a letter telling her about the result of her deputy's involvement and of a woman in a sext-text case?

This woman was forced out of her job.

Either Dame Julie Mellor immediately had a meetings with him after reading Ms Marks letter, or ignored the issue for eight months hoping it would not be discovered.

It is not clear how she handled the issue. The request was an attempt to know why it took eight months for her to act.
Did she have meetings about it, or not?

This is therefore not a 'frivolous' request in that it would have confirmed the issue either way. It was therefore justified as it was related to the competence of the Ombudsmen, who you might recall, also had to resign over the matter.

However, as I can put my version of events on WDTK, it will stand as the ICO, once again, accepting the PHSO that documents are not available on what might turn out to be an embarrassing issue ...and are just not for public eyes.

I would however, wish you to withdraw your 'vexatious' judgement.

As all you had to do was ask me what the unstated - but genuine reason - for the request was.

JTO

:::::

On 22 Aug 2017, at 10:15, casework@ico.org.uk wrote:

22 August 2017

Case Reference Number FS50671501

Dear Ms TO

I am writing in reference to the above complaint in respect of a request made on 10 December 2016 to PHSO. In correspondence to us dated 8 July 2017 you have stated that you are “still waiting for the original documents as requested – and not re-written highlights”.

I have reviewed all the correspondence via https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

For brevity I have not repeated it all here. Your original request was:

I would like to read the schedule of appointments from Dame Julie’s diary 1. Past: From 27 February 2014 to present date.
2. Future: Any scheduled from date of this request, until April 1 2017.

You also stated: “I request that the response be provided to me as electronic copies, via WDTK.”

You did not receive a response with the 20 working day statutory time frame and requested an internal review. A response to this was provided on 8 March 2017 acknowledging a response to your request had not been provided. It further stated that the information “is in the final stages of extraction and will be provided to you as soon as possible”

On 15 March 2017 PHSO provided you with a response via the same WDTK link providing you with the information you requested. You replied the same day and stated that they were not the original data entries.

You provided an example from an entry on 26 August 2014 and stated “Please produce unedited original data - as per FOIA.”

On 12 April 2017 PHSO acknowledged your correspondence and stated it was being treated as a new request as you were requesting a response in a different format.

In your correspondence to the Commissioner dated 13 April 2017 you stated that the PHSO had “provided rewritten and retrospective material -which did not exist at the time of the request”.

Under Section 50(2)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) the Commissioner has the right to dismiss a complaint if he believes the complaint to be frivolous or vexatious. The ICO considers that a complaint may be thought of as frivolous if it has no serious intent, or is considered unworthy of serious treatment.

The application of Section 50(2)(c) has similarities to that of Section 14(1) whereby a public authority is under no obligation to deal with a request which is found to be vexatious. The ICO will take into account both the complainant’s apparent purpose and the effect of handling the complaint, whether or not intended. It is not necessary to demonstrate both intent and effect in order for Section 50(2)(c) to be applicable; if the effect alone is unwarranted that may be sufficient reason to justify treating a complaint as frivolous or vexatious.

The ICO must consider the effect that dealing with such complaints will have, both in relation to our duty to make effective use of our limited resources, and in ensuring that this office and the Act are not brought into disrepute by progressing complaints which do not justify serious consideration.

Turning specifically to your case, I am writing to advise you that we are dismissing your complaint as frivolous, under section 50(2)(c) for the following reasons.

You made your request via WDTK https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d... and a response was provided as requested by that link.

As you may be aware the FOIA does not necessarily entitle a requestor to the documents themselves, but the information contained in those documents. In reality it is often easier to provide photocopies of original documents, however as you requested a response via WDTK it was clearly not feasible to do this. You have therefore been provided with the information you originally requested in the format you originally requested.

With regard to your concerns about being provided with ‘edited highlights’, you made your request on 10 December 2016. The example you provided was from an entry on 26 August 2014 therefore the Commissioner is satisfied that this was information held at the time of the request and was appropriately provided to you.

In all the circumstances of this particular case the Commissioner is of the view that your complaint is frivolous and is therefore not proceeding any further. The PHSO will be advised accordingly.

Yours sincerely

Senior Case Officer

J Roberts left an annotation ()

JT Oakley,

This response from the ICO treads on shadowy section 50 (2) (c) territory:

"We do not proactively make the information about the number of cases we close under section 50 (2) (c) or information from these cases, for example, closure letters, available proactively."

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

I am concerned by this comment:

"In reality it is often easier to provide photocopies of original documents, however as you requested a response via WDTK it was clearly not feasible to do this".

Is it true that photocopies of original documents cannot be provided via WDTK? If so, would it not be reasonable for an authority asked to provide information by an impossible means to inform the requester that it could provide it by another means?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Thank you J Roberts I will certainly pass your comment to the ICO.

This is the why of this ' frivolous' request:

You will have guessed that the request for Dame Julie Mellor's diary is to check the information given to Sir Alex Allen for his inquiry report as there seem to be contradictory elements in the information - timings and dates - given to him.

:::
Pre-July 6 , 2O15
1. While Mick Martin is stating that he was in 'regular communication' with the Ombudsman on the Tribunal.

Dame Julie Mellor states she does not recall the conversations.


2. July 6, 2015

Dame Julie Mellor receives the Helen Marks's letter telling her of the court judgement involving her deputy.

Ms Marks states:
' The Tribunal identified very clearly that all the senior men in the Trust [including Mr Martin] had colluded to cover up the wrongdoing of Alan Baines."

3
She does nothing.

4
August 10,2015 Dame Julie Mellor receives Monitor, which again informs her of the court judgement

5
Dame Julie Mellor ignores the information again.

6
February 25, 2016
Helen Marks awarded £830k and the case becomes public HSJ writes an article about the case.

7
March 1, 2016
Dame Julie Mellor says reads the court case and commissions external advice.

8
March 3, 2016
Helen Marks is interviewed by HSJ and states that she had written to Dame Julie Mellor in July 2015.

9
March 4 , 2016
Dame Julie Mellor issues instructions for management group within PHSO which meets that day...and ' regularly thereafterwards'

Yet here is the diary information supplied n the request.
It has no mention of this group, or the reason it met, as requested.

I deliberately only asked for a limited diary entry and nothing more, so there would be no reason not to provide it.

3, 4
3/3/16
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
4
7/3/16
Charlie Massey, Una O’Brien, Department of Health
3, 4

* There is no meeting in the diary on March 4.

And apparently no meetings between Mick Martin and Dame Julie Mellor.

10
March 7
Mick Martin agrees to take paid Ieave pending an independent investigation. 

The Ombudsman briefs stakeholders and following days, and subsequently provided updates. This included a previously scheduled session with the Permanent Secretary at Department of Health, who was the point of liaison between the Ombudsman service and permanent secretaries. The Department of Health made it clear that they recognised PHSO's independence and would not try to influence them.

The question is why aren't these meetings and the purpose for them in her diary -which was edited by the PHSO.

A redacted diary would have at least given some information as to what had been redacted.

The ICO states that to ask for the diary documents is 'frivolous' and has rejected my request for this reason.

This is the ICO's own definition of frivolity.

' Frivolous requests

The subject matter is inane or extremely trivial and the request appears to lack any serious purpose. The request is made for the sole purpose of amusement' .

And it's under the vexatious summary.

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

* This the ICO is stating that there is no serious purpose in this request and it has been made for the sole purpose of my amusement.

After a cover up, when a women lost her job, the Ombudsman and her deputy both resigned.

This is far from being 'personally amusing' to me.

My opinion is that it was justified to ask for evidence of how this issue was handled internally and what steps were taken when.

And I am currently debating whether or not to take this to court.

::::

Sir Alex Allen's report.

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

29 August 2017

Case Reference Number FS50671501

The ICO has thought again, given further information and Q ...as to why this request was deemed 'frivolous'.
It's not as if I'm asking for Dame Julie Mellor's tea invitations.

And thank you J Roberts - I'm sure your knowledge of the FOIA helped.

.::::

Dear Ms Jto

Dame Julie Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

Following your further correspondence in relation to this case and having discussed it with my manager, we have decided to re-open your case.

I have written to PHSO today to ask for some further information relating to your request. I anticipate a response within the next 20 working days and will contact you further when I have had the opportunity to review it.

ICO

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Under FOIA, requesters don't have to state why they've made a request.

I've noticed recently that the ICO is tending to assign vexatious 'frivolity' to requests, even when requests show no sign of being frivolous. And indeed give no proof of this assumed frivolity.

So requesters should ask for a logical explanation if frivolity is cited.

:::

Just in case anyone is anyone does not understand why this request is not vexatious and frivolous-this is the ICO's own definition:

:
ICO definition:

Frivolous requests

The subject matter is inane or extremely trivial and the request appears to lack any serious purpose. The request is made for the sole purpose of amusement.

The Q that I asked the ICO:

* Could you please therefore explain to me why this 'inane' request lacked any serious purpose and was made for the sole purpose of my amusement?

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Nothing "frivolous" about your request. It seems to me that you are trying to establish something very important related to the integrity of a former PHSO Ombudsman. Someone who, I recall reading, had "the powers of a High Court judge". Not sure the quote referred to the power of discernment, though.

You wrote:

"I've noticed recently that the ICO is tending to assign vexatious 'frivolity' to requests, even when requests show no sign of being frivolous. And indeed give no proof of this assumed frivolity"

Perhaps the use of section 50(2)(c) is seen by the ICO as a means by which costs can be reduced? The issue of tribunal costs is a perennial concern.

In your particular case, there is also the possibility of further embarrassing the PHSO. If one person has multiple appeals allowed by the First-tier Tribunal related to the same public authority, the "lessons have been learned" mantra in respect of FOI will more readily be questioned by the general public.

I see that D Moore has made a request to the ICO concerning section 50(2)(c):

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

It will be interesting to find out if a trend developing in the ICO's use of this sledgehammer section.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Hard not to agree with everything that you state J Roberts.

The ICO certainly hasn't paid attention to the last the ICO vs Me court outing - and its critical decision on the PHSO's bogus 'Vanity Vex' request. Why it assume that I make requests 'for the fun of it', I can't fathom.

But to avoid any more ICO loss of face in court ....it is possible the ICO are suddenly using this procedure to shut down cases,by stating that the request is 'frivolous'. This is the second ( or third) clear and sensible request that the ICO has shut down as 'frivolous' , so I'm getting rather weary with it.

Especially as the ICO so slow at deciding cases, even after organisations have used every strategic device to shut down a request .. for example not to reply on time( as above). That means it can take a year to process. So the impetus of a request is often lost. Which is why I haven't challenged a 'frivolous' application before.

The request has been timed out by strategy and backed by the ICO as being frivolous.

::

My impression is now that the ICO is attempting to log me as a continual vexatious requester because the 'frivolous' slurs seem so bizarre. Especially when no solid reasoning of the frivolity is given.

It amounts to : ' We can't ask you why you made the request - but we think you might be frivolous anyway ... so therefore you are'.

::

Nb - S16

There was no evaluation of a PHSO S16 application.

If the PHSO could not put the info online then clearly a S16 application ' help and assistance ' would have been to offer to send me un-edited information - by post. Or private email. . Because the law is clear on that point.
Requesters don't have to accept the excuse that the organisation is technically incompetent.

It's another get out to state : 'We can't send any original information by WDTK, so you can't have it'.

Nb It's my impression that the court seems to frown on time- wasting organisations that do not follow this criteria.
It was the first question asked by the court,. 'Where is the evidence of the application of S16?'.
Because organisations can so easily avoid the £10-16k that it must cost the public purse, just by addressing and complying with S16.

::

So how can the ICO accept a 'We are technically incompetent' reasoning?

Is the ICO especially pliant and supportive where the PHSO is concerned?

During the the Vanity Vex, my written evidence was dismissed and the 'word' of a PHSO employee taken over it.

So the suspicion of bias remains - simply because the PHSO decides on complaints ...against the ICO.

:::

What do I expect? The PHSO will put up even more excuses why the Dame's diary cannot be public knowledge.
More delays.

The case will get re-evaluated by the ICO again ...and it will come to a different decision from the 'frivolous' application , as it can then shut the request down.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Judicial review on the 'frivolity' of a complaint.

4 & 5) If the ICO applies section 50 (2) (c) in refusing to take a
complaint under section 50 forward and subsequently no decision notice is
issued, the first tier tribunal will not take a case forward. The way to
challenge a decision is by applying for a judicial review. This position
was confirmed in a very recent decision by the Upper Tribunal case -
Fish Legal v Information Commissioner & Others GIA/0979/2011 &
GIA/0980/2011 – Regulation 2(2)(c) and (d) EIR. Please look at paragraph
38 for an extended explanation on how to challenge the application of
section 50 (2) (c).

J Roberts left an annotation ()

I see that with section 50(2)(c) it is the "application" and not the "request" that is described as frivolous. Not sure what this distinction means in practical terms.

From [2015] UKUT 52 (AAC):

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/...

"25. ...If it appears to the Commissioner that section 50(2) applies, he has to notify the complainant under section 50(3)(a) that he is not making a decision. If the complainant is dissatisfied with that response, the remedy lies in judicial review...

39 ...So, since heads (a) and (d) in section 50(2) are unlikely to be contentious, they will not generate a challenge. Heads (b) and (c) might be more contentious, but it is a rational legislative policy to leave these matters to the jurisdiction of judicial review, which is discretionary, and exclude them from the jurisdiction of the Commissioner and the First-tier Tribunal, which is as of right... "

Here are the four heads:

"(2) On receiving an application under this section, the Commissioner shall make a decision unless it appears to him—
(a) that the complainant has not exhausted any complaints procedure which is provided by the public authority in conformity with the code of practice under section 45,
(b) that there has been undue delay in making the application,
(c) that the application is frivolous or vexatious, or
(d) that the application has been withdrawn or abandoned."

Section 50(2)(c) gives the Information Commissioner a lot of power to close down a complaint. I have no information concerning the number of complainants who sought to have Commissioner's decisions judicially reviewed. I suspect not many given the great expense involved.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

APPLICATION ?

Beats me - Dictionary definitions below

Think 3/4/5 are out - but don't see the relevance of 1/2


1. A formal request to be considered for a position or to be allowed to do or have something, submitted to an authority, institution, or organization.
‘an application for leave’

2. The action of putting something into operation.
‘the application of general rules to particular cases’
 ‘massage has far-reaching medical applications’

* 2.1 Practical use or relevance.‘this principle has no application to the present case’


* 3
mass noun The action of applying something to a surface.
‘paints suitable for application on fabric’
4
mass noun Sustained effort; hard work.
‘the job takes a great deal of patience and application’
5
Computing 
A program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose.
‘a database application’

::::

JUDICIAL REVIEW

A Judicial review is 'Put Your House Up For Sale ' money. Which is why many daren't risk it.

My understanding is that EVEN if you win, it's a wrong legal procedure that is being judged ... the organisation then just has to complete the right procedure - so it may not affect the outcome which was sought.

But I'm no lawyer- so willing to be corrected.

::::::

THE WHY of frivolity

"(2) On receiving an application under this section, the Commissioner shall make a decision unless it appears to him—

(a) that the complainant has not exhausted any complaints procedure which is provided by the public authority in conformity with the code of practice under section 45, ✖️fact
(b) that there has been undue delay in making the application, ✖️fact
(c) that the application is frivolous or vexatious -OPINION
(d) that the application has been withdrawn or abandoned." ✖️fact

Three are easy to factually define.✖️

The frivolous designation is not fact, it's the opinion of the caseworker. But no logic has to be given as to why the request is deemed to be frivolous. So how can it be challenged?

The ICO must know that to challenge an opinion on frivolity in a JD would but be worth it to 99.9% of requesters.

That's why it's an easy-peasy way of closing down requests.... Even though there maybe no evidence of frivolity.

::::

FRIVOLITY REQUEST

So it does seem that a frivolity designation is now being used as a quick get-out to keep the cases handled stats looking good.

So I've made a request on 'Frivolity' responses to FOIA requests.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

What's the betting it will be deemed as frivolous?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Seems the PHSO has ignored the ICO’s correspondence - yet again.

Or the ICO is still stuck on sticking a ‘frivolous’ description on me... a UK triple-awarded retired industrial editor, requesting perfectly reasonable info to find out the background of two high profile resignations.

And how public money was spent on reputational defence in the run up to these resignations.

=====

29 August 2017

Case Reference Number FS50671501

Dear Ms TO

Dame Julie Mellor's diary appointments from February 2014 -April 1 2017

Following your further correspondence in relation to this case and having discussed it with my manager, we have decided to re-open your case.

I have written to PHSO today to ask for some further information relating to your request. I anticipate a response within the next 20 working days and will contact you further when I have had the opportunity to review it.

Yours sincerely

Senior Case Officer

ICO

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Is there any update on this? Did ICO manage to secure the diary data requested?

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

It’s due November 21.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Decision was received by post.

Have asked for an email - but not received one.

If I get time, I’ll convert it to text.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Thanks

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