Distorting complaints to fit the Ombudsman's agenda

The request was partially successful.

Ben (Account suspended)

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

The attached (below) records the final 3 three items of correspondence (out of several hundred) relating to a dispute prolonging over 1,761 days. That is the amount of time which has passed since permission was given to the DWP to access personal data under Data Protection Act 1998 to escalate a complaint/appeal regarding unlawful sanctions relating to a claim (National Insurance only) which led to disentitlement of qualifying year's pension contributions. The 1,761 days excludes the duration of time prior to the proceedings when injustices were experienced relating to the DWP's unlawful actions.


The first item is a letter from the Parliamentary Ombudsman of 9 February 2018 summarising and verifying the complaint terms of reference. The second is an in email response of 20 February 2018 from the complainant clarifying the points and the third is the PHSO's outcome letter of 26 February 2018 informing the complainant that having reviewed the information provided by the complainant and Grimsby Jobcentre Plus it has decided not to consider the complaint further.

Though none of the other complaint material is included (which is a substantial amount ) it is nevertheless apparent from the bare bones that the complainant's representations are either dismissed, ignored or misrepresented with greater consideration given to the public authority to mitigate their fault with a view to justify dismissing the complaint.

Q. What guidance/instructions are investigating officers under to consider only aspects of the complainant's representations that can be distorted to the Ombudsman's agenda which clearly is to filter out complaints?

Yours faithfully,


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

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phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

Ben check out http://phsothefacts.com/ and you will see that PHSO do this all the time. They only uphold about 5% of the complaints which are presented each year. The Ombudsman is 'corrupt by design'.

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Thanks for the link. I've a had a preliminary look and it's reassuring to know that the injustice caused by the Ombudsman's failure to properly consider the complainant's evidence, bias towards the public body and the overall contrived way the Ombudsman goes about dealing with complaints is recognised more widely. Keep up the good work.

M Boyce left an annotation ()

The PHSO has hypocrisy coded into its very DNA.
On the PHSO website and under the heading 'How our casework makes a difference', it states the following:

'But the individual complaints that people bring to us help to make services better for everyone.'

If only that were true.

Here is what the PHSO stated in their response to my application for judicial review:

'Decisions made by the Ombudsman are inherently unlikely to constitute public interest proceedings. The Claimant is entirely misconceived to think their challenge is a matter of public importance.'

The PHSO preach one thing and do the exact opposite. Hypocrisy is not only thoroughly reprehensible, but it is also thoroughly cowardly too. Being knifed in the back is so much more annoying than being knifed in the front.

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

I guess the hypocrisy is likely to mirror that of the Local Government Ombudsman (or whatever its new name is) regarding the mindfulness of using public money carefully.

Almost every published decision is accompanied with the catch phrase "we provide a free service, but must use public money carefully".

But it appears the catch phrase does not apply to public money paid to its legal firm for fighting challenges of judicial review.


M Boyce left an annotation ()

It applies to ALL ombudsmen organisations. They all sing from the same hymn sheet which has establishment cover-up written all over it. They will do anything to protect the Government. The NHS is overseen by the Department for Health and HMRC is a non-ministerial government department. Ombudsmen quango's sit at the feet of their political masters.

I agree that the issue of judicial review is a growing scandal. The ConDem Government scrapped legal aid for judicial review. The Conservative Government increased the budget for Ombudsmen quangos to challenge judicial review cases. Now the PHSO are forcing complainants into judicial review before they have even finished their ADR process (CCT review). They have a very very lucrative contract with a world famous international solicitors group in London (initials LC). They don't come cheap, as I know. They are paid for by the PHSO forcing people into judicial review and then landing them with astronomical costs. LC are swimming in bubbly thanks to the PHSO.

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

07 March 2018

'This message has been classified as Sensitive.

Dear [Ben]

PHSO reference FDN-275105

Your request for information

Thank you for your request of 1st March 2018 in which you request information from the PHSO.

Your request shall be handled as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. A response shall be provided to you on or before 29th March 2018.

Please note that a request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 must be made in a requester’s real name. For further detail please refer to this guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO, the regulator for requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000):


This email has been sent to your personal account rather than the whatdotheyknow site. Were the PHSO to handle the request under your pseudonym ‘Ben’ you would have no right of appeal to the ICO because it is not your real name.


Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
E: Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk '

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

This is not true. Requests for FOI are not dependent on identity but 'requestor blind'.

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

What is of note is the PHSO implying that they are not going to comply with the request as they have emphasised the aspect of having no right of appeal to the Commissioner.

Maybe they consider it to be in the Ombudsman's interest if the matter did escalate to a formal decision because I guess they could rely 100% on support from the ICO and a decision going in its favour.

Example: Characterising the request as vexatious for raising matters that have already been comprehensively dealt with by the appropriate public bodies.

phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

You got it in one Ben. They all play the 'scratch my back' game.

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Not so naïve to think that the PHSO's decision to take this matter no further will be reversed but the following has been invited.

PHSO 27 March 2018 letter/Annex

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

"PHSO response

Please see attached for a copy of the PHSO’s Service Model Guidance. This is the guidance provided to case workers to explain the investigation process."

Service Model Policy and Guidance: main guidance Version 9.0

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Eight year on since when the maladministration began and still there are more hoops.

Date: 3 May 2018
Subject: Your complaint to PHSO Ref C2034991

I understand you have concerns about our decision and I was sorry to hear that. I wanted to give you some information about our review process. Please see below and also find attached our review form.

I think that it may be helpful if I explain how we look at requests we receive for us to review our decisions.

Once we have given our decision on a complaint, this is final unless we see evidence that suggests we got something wrong. We understand that people may not always agree with our decisions and I recognise you think our decision was wrong. However, we will not be able to review our decision just for that reason.

When someone asks us for a review, we do not automatically look at the whole of the original complaint again. Instead, we look at our own work to see if we took account of all the relevant evidence and made a fair decision based on this.

For us to carry out a review, we need you to show that:

• We made our decision based on information that contained facts that were not accurate and which could change our decision; or
• You have new information that was not previously available and which might change our decision; or
• We overlooked or misunderstood parts of your complaint or did not take account of relevant information, which could change our decision.

Please send the completed form to the address on the form.

Yours sincerely
Caseworker-Customer Care
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Ben (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

"What to do if you think our decision about your complaint is wrong"

Application for decision notice to be reviewed (11 May 2018)

C Rock left an annotation ()

Again interesting to note the prevarication and deceit here "Please see attached for a copy of the PHSO’s Service Model Guidance. This is the guidance provided to case workers to explain the investigation process."

Yet when I showed that NHS had not followed NICE guidelines, the response was "they are only Guidelines..." and " you can not assume that [the NHS approaches which harmed your son] would be exactly as I expected..." etc. etc. What are NICE Guidelines provided for? They are based on all expert advice in the field. But the PHSO can wave this aside with a throwaway comment and no professional knowledge whatsoever.

Corruption and further harm from the PHSO. It all boils down to their lay interpretation which can change with the wind to reach the conclusions that have been 'agreed' with NHS.

Now potential criminal activity with intent since PHSO has personally been made aware of objections and the harm being caused, but refused to consider it in the Quashing programme 'agreed' with PACAC, it seems.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

From the Court of Appeal:

'82 The standard chosen by the ombudsman is beguilingly simple but incoherent. It cannot provide clarity or consistency of application to the facts of different cases. There is no yardstick of reasonable or responsible practice but rather a counsel of perfection that can be arbitrary. It runs the risk of being a lottery dependent on the professional opinion of the advisor that is chosen. It is unreasonable and irrational and accordingly, unlawful.'


This excoriating comment might account for the PHSO's latest effort to strengthen its defences on the reputation front. The current vacancy for a Communications Officer stresses 'protecting and enhancing our reputation'.


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