Dame Julie's signed letters to members of the public and MP's

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

Waiting for an internal review by Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman of their handling of this request.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

How many letters and emails, in the last year, (August 2012 to July 2013 inclusive) has Dame Julie Mellor signed personally to :

1 . Members of the public who are asking, or have asked, the PHSO to evaluate their cases.

2. MP's who have written personally to Dame Julie Mellor, on behalf of their constituents.

NB: To make this FOI request absolutely clear,I do not require the total number of letters/ emails sent to and from the PHSO...... just those signed by Dame Julie Mellor, and not members of her team.

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your
correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Place your bets here...

This should be a simple task..as there cannot be very many.

What's the betting that I will get the usual.'.the PHSO gets loads of requests, so we will ignore your request by pretending not to understand it ...so get lost...again?
1/100

Or will they go down the path of saying that its just too much work to find a few letters (if any).
1/70

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear [Name Removed]

We do not routinely record the information you have asked for on our electronic case management system. In other words, we have no way of searching our records to see which cases Dame Julie has been directly involved in without going through each case individually. However, we can provide you with some information that will give you an idea of approximately how many letters and emails Dame Julie has personally signed and sent to members of the public and MPs within the time period you have specified.

Complaints that are referred to us by members of the Public Administration Select Committee and complaints that are referred to us by the leaders of the political parties are passed to the Ombudsman for signature. We received 84 of these types of complaints between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013. However, six of these complaints were withdrawn by the member of the public who made the complaint, and so it is unlikely that the Ombudsman would have had any direct involvement in these cases.

We do not have specific criteria for referring cases to the Ombudsman, but high risk cases, joint-working cases where we have collaborated with the Local Government Ombudsman and cases which may be of wider interest would usually be referred to the Ombudsman for signature. Where we have received a complaint about us in a high risk case, this would also be referred to the Ombudsman. I can confirm that 25 of these complaints about us were made between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013.

In all of the cases described above, there may have been more than one letter sent to the member of the public who brought the complaint or the MP who referred it. It is also likely that there will be some overlap in these categories (for example, a complaint may have been referred to us by one of the party leaders and we have assessed the complaint as high risk). I should also add that just because a case has been referred to the Ombudsman does not necessarily mean that the Ombudsman has personally signed one of our letters (for example, if a case has been referred to the Ombudsman and she is unavailable, our letter may have been signed by another senior member of staff such as our Chief Operating Officer in line with our delegation scheme).

As I have explained above, to provide you with an accurate answer to your questions would require us to manually go through all of the cases we have worked on during the period from 1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013. Looking into each of these cases individually would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides an exemption from the obligation to comply with a request for information where the cost of compliance is estimated to exceed the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit in relation to this Office is £450 (or 18 hours at £25/hour).

Finally, you may be interested to read these previous responses about the Ombudsman’s correspondence:
www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/dame_juli...
www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/dame_juli...

I hope you find this information helpful.

Yours sincerely

FOI/DP Officer
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear foiofficer,

Please stick to the terms of the request.

I have not asked how many letters Dame Julie has been directly 'involved in'. Just how many letters she had signed.

Are you seriously suggesting that her personal secretary has no idea how any times Dame Julie has signed letters to the categories specified?

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your
correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The 1/70 option...

Don't answer the terms of the request...

On signatures and non- committee MP letters..

Change the criteria to letters that Dame Julie has been 'involved in' - alter singular MP letters to 'committees ' then state the criteria cannot be fulfilled.

The usual PHSO stance.

Still with every sly response, anyone who reads this knows exactly what to expect.

D. Speers left an annotation ()

The link's on Twitter too!

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

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's signed letters to members of the public and MP's'.

Dame Julie's Mellor's secretary must be very incompetent if she does not know how many letters she has processed for signature under the request terms.

Perhaps she could help answer the request.

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,

[Name Removed]

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your
correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear [Name Removed]

Thank you for your email. It has been passed to our Review Team.

Yours sincerely

FOI/DP Officer

show quoted sections

C Rock left an annotation ()

I think the PHSO is saying that they do not keep a record of how many letters go unanswered or even seen by Dme Julie because it is not important to them, and would only cast a poor image if it was available and published.

Most people will write to the head of an organisation because of serious failings with previous responses. The fact that not even these requests are seriously noted, indicates an organisation in trouble.

Dme Julie only writes, speaks or appears on-air to inflate the meagre concessions she has been forced to make - and will not discuss individual cases even though complainers are quite willing to - in my view.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I agree.

The fact is that if they can't answer the request..it's evidence that she hasn't got a grip on it.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Referred to ICO

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Apparently the The PHSO has more than three months to carry out a review.

16th January 2014

Case Reference Number FS50525888

Dear Ms Treharne Oakley

Your reference: Dame Julie Mellor's signed letters

Information request to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

Thank you for your correspondence dated 27/12/13 in which you complain about the time taken for the PHSO to carry out an internal review that you requested on 25/09/13.

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.

Although there is no statutory time set out in the Act within which public authorities must complete a review, the Commissioner has issued guidance on this matter (Good Practice Guidance 5). The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review, and in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days.

I have written to the PHSO to provide them with a copy of your request for internal review and recommend that they issue you with an internal review decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of our letter. I enclose 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 and where appropriate further action may be taken.

This case has now been closed, however if you do not receive a response within 20 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.

Please find attached a document describing how we deal with Freedom of Information complaints.

If we can be of any further assistance please contact me on 01625 545673, quoting your case reference number. You may also find some useful information on our website at www.ico.org.uk.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn
Case Officer
Information Commissioner's Office

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[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

PROTECT

22nd January 2014

Case Reference Number FS50525888

Dear Mrs Treharne Oakley

Your e-mail of 16/01/14 refers, as advised in my response of the same date there is no statutory time set out in the Act within which public authorities must complete a review. The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review, and in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days.

Because of their non-response, I have written to the PHSO to recommend that they issue you with an internal review decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of our letter.

If you do not receive a response within 20 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 01625 545673.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn
Case Officer
Information Commissioner's Office

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear foiofficer,

Please only reply via this website on all FoI requests.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your
correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

E. Colville left an annotation ()

JT Oakley - See my annotation here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d.... It's equally relevant to your request which I see remains unanswered. All PHSO presumably have to do is refer to the file marked "HIWA' to extract and compile the information you've asked for. If they are fully in compliance with their records management policies as they claim they are then the information ought to be accessible at the click of a button.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

That was my argument.

It seems inconceivable that a secretary wouldn't have a clue. Because presumably she has to keep track of the letters that She has written for Dame Julie Mellor to sign,

But there again, it is the PHSO - and the system of recording anything at all seems archaic.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Referred to the ICO again.

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Again....the onus is on you to get PHSO office working for the public and not just its own priorities.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I think we will all have to just accept that Dame Julie Mellor hasn't a clue as to how many letters she has signed - and to whom they were written.

Lets hope she read them first.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

And I think that we can see that the PHSO needs not to pay any attention to the ICO either..

....After all, the PHSO monitors the ICO along with the NHS and other government bodies.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Dunn,

Still no review in WDTK..despite your letter ...

Think maybe the PHSO are waiting for a year to pass to respond.

Maybe January 22 2015?

JT OAKLEY

::::

PROTECT

22nd January 2014

Case Reference Number FS50525888

Dear Mrs TO

Your e-mail of 16/01/14 refers, as advised in my response of the same date there is no statutory time set out in the Act within which public authorities must complete a review. The Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review, and in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days.

Because of their non-response, I have written to the PHSO to recommend that they issue you with an internal review decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of our letter.

If you do not receive a response within 20 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 01625 545673.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn
Case Officer
Information Commissioner's Office

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

Regards

JtO

D. Speers left an annotation ()

Shameful behaviour and again on Twitter too.