Database Search

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS made this Freedom of Information request to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

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

The request was partially successful.

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Local Government Ombudsmen,

Please provide details through a database search of each instance over the last ten years the CLAE and/or LGO have identified the following terms:

1 "false representation";
2 "failure to disclose information",
3 "abuse of position"
4 "failure to follow constitution"

by a Council, please identify the number of times each of these terms are identified by year, and the Council identified to censure by the LGO... additionally please identify the outcome of any complaint to the LGO where the above were identified...

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Hardwicke Carruthers

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Carruthers

Our ref: CS/10/019

I attach a letter in response to the request below, along with two excel spreadsheets containing some of the information requested.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's offfice | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |
|

show quoted sections

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Foi Officer,

I don't use Microsoft Open Office XML Format (.xlsx) - would it be possible to provide the information in an accessible format (i.e.xls etc).

Would you additionally review your handling framework to take account of software.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Here are the spreadsheets again.

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
10th Floor | Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |

show quoted sections

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Foi Officer,

Firstly many thanks for the speadsheets in an accessible format.

You state in relation to the four searches requested: "Of the four, we do not record instances of “false representation” and “abuse of position”, so the information requested is not held. The other two were “failure to disclose information” and “failure to follow constitution”. The closest we have to these terms are “failure to inform” and “improper constitution of committees”.

So, the only information I can give you are the results of database searches on these latter two terms. There are two Excel spreadsheets with this letter - one for each term. They each give a list of complaints where that term has been recorded, broken down by council and then by year. The outcome of each complaint is also given.

Could I seek a little clarification as the first three terms that searches were requested are taken from the fraud act 2006.

is failure to inform directly comparable with failure to disclose information... ? or is it something different in LGO land.

any decision taken by a Council not following its scheme of delegation is a nullity. The decision does not exist. Is making a decision outside a Council's scheme of delegation a false representation and abuse of position by the administrative function.. and does this relate directly to "improper constitution of committees" or is the meaning something different in LGO land.

Ideally, to understand your terms properly and the meaning of your spreadsheets I would appreciate the definitions of the terms.. as used in LGO land.

I am aware of several cases where a Council has provided false information to the LGO.. and the LGO has exercised discretion to discontinue their investigations.. is this also recorded as a term within your data collection or grouped into the key words of which searches were requested ?

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

George Cant left an annotation ()

Hi the Stu

When they answer this one "http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh... we will be able to tell, The trace of these terms would be in the fields or the original paperwork from the complainant.

Your mistake is asking them to identify it, comon, its the LGO, they could not trace a fart in a spacesuit,

Maybe asking how many complainants have mentioned these terms ?

See, if the search would have included complainats, them terms would have come up in my complaint paperwork, all four ( maybe spulled slightly different ;-)

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS left an annotation ()

Looking through the complaint files would take forever.. so we are very much tied to any free text or categorisation the CLAE include within their complaint dataset.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Carruthers

The keywords I used are not defined.
We have no keyword for 'providing false information to the LGO'. We only have a keyword for 'Advice/information misleading/inaccurate'.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's offfice | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |
|

show quoted sections

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Foi Officer,

Then please provide the details of the search based on this term... 'Advice/information misleading/inaccurate in the format requested.

Please additionally provide the complaint references.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Local Government Ombudsmen,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Local Government Ombudsmen's handling of my FOI request 'Database Search'.

A search term as identified by the CLAE has been requested.

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

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Carruthers

Our ref: CS/10/040

It is not 20 days since you made this request. I have it in hand. I assume you want this for a 10 year period, as we did for the others?

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's offfice | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |
|

show quoted sections

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Foi Officer,

Yes please

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Carruthers

Our ref: CS/10/040

I attach a letter in response to your request - along with the spreadsheet requested.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's offfice | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |
|

show quoted sections

J A Giggins left an annotation ()

Hi Stuart

I notice that our complaint against West Berkshire Council ref: 08 020 057 is not included in the list supplied to you. This may be because I didn't use the exact terminology you have specified but the Council definitely supplied false/inaccurate and misleading information to the LGO and I definitely complained about it! The complaint has been with the LGO since February 2009 and has had an Assistant Ombudsman review and a Deputy Ombudsman review, but has still not been adequately investigated. Maybe it's still open.... or maybe the LGO's word search facility is as selective as their investigations!