Do you allow the public to record their calls with you ?

Northumberland County Council did not have the information requested.

John Jones Researcher

Dear Northumberland County Council,

1) Are Service Users clients customers the general public allowed to audio-visually record meeting and calls with your staff? If so, do they require permission or are they permitted to do so covertly? For eg with staff social workers police etc.

2) Do you have any guidance or policy for the public or service users to record calls when they speak to your staff

3) What is your organisations protocol on service users recording calls when they speak to your staff or call centres? Please provide a copy of your policy, procedure and guideline notes on this issue.

4) Do you Inform Users they can record. If the answer is no what is the reason for this please if so do send me a copy.

5) Are service users made aware of their right to record the encounter, if they choose to do so? Is this reflected in you policy document on the matter?

6) Does your organisation have an “Unacceptable Behaviour” policy? If so, please can you provide me with a copy? Regarding court staff the public or the court itself.

7) If such a policy contains points of objectionable behaviour such as telephones calls being recorded by the caller due to them being not necessary or unwanted or needed, and furthermore the staff members may feel threatened or apprehensive, are you aware that denying users the right to record calls goes against the current UK laws.

8) Are your policies and procedures compliant with the public right to audio-visually record encounters with your staff, without their consent? If not, will you provide appropriate training for your staff so they are fully informed of the Public right to record? If so what law guides you a link or copy please.

9) What is our organisations current charging policy for Freedom of Information requests (FOI) or Subject Access Requests (SAR)? If charges are applied are concessions available for those on low income or students?

10) What is your organisations complaints policy? Please can you forward me a copy? Does your complaints procedure permit service users evidence such as covert call recordings to form part of the investigation?

Yours faithfully,

John Jones Researcher

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 5009  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 5009   

Dear Enquirer,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST 

I refer to your Freedom of Information request in relation to audio and
visual recording of meetings.

Right of Access 

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled. 

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and 
(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him. 
The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it. 

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by public
authorities subject to various exemptions. 

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information you
have requested, please see the ollowing information in response. 

1) Are Service Users clients customers the general public allowed to
audio-visually record meeting and calls with your staff? If so, do they
require permission or are they permitted to do so covertly? For eg with
staff social workers police etc.
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.

2) Do you have any guidance or policy for the public or service users to
record calls when they speak to your staff 
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.

3) What is your organisations protocol on service users recording calls
when they speak to your staff or call centres? Please provide a copy of
your policy, procedure and guideline notes on this issue. 
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.
4) Do you Inform Users they can record. If the answer is no what is the
reason for this please if so do send me a copy. 
No. This is not something that has been required.

5) Are service users made aware of their right to record the encounter, if
they choose to do so? Is this reflected in you policy document on the
matter? 
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.

6) Does your organisation have an “Unacceptable Behaviour” policy? If so,
please can you provide me with a copy? Regarding court staff the public or
the court itself.  
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.

7) If such a policy contains points of objectionable behaviour such as
telephones calls being recorded by the caller due to them being not
necessary or unwanted or needed, and furthermore the staff members may
feel threatened or apprehensive, are you aware that denying users the
right to record calls goes against the current UK laws. 
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.

8) Are your policies and procedures compliant with the public right to
audio-visually record encounters with your staff, without their consent?
If not, will you provide appropriate training for your staff so they are
fully informed of the Public right to record? If so what law guides you a
link or copy please. 
We do not currently have a policy for this as an organisation.

9) What is our organisations current charging policy for Freedom of
Information requests (FOI) or Subject Access Requests (SAR)? If charges
are applied are concessions available for those on low income or
students? 
Our policies regarding FOI, EIR and SAR requests can be found on the
Information Governance pages of our website: 
[1]https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/About/...

10) What is your organisations complaints policy? Please can you forward
me a copy? Does your complaints procedure permit service users evidence
such as covert call recordings to form part of the investigation? 
The current Corporate Feedback process is under review and the outcome
will include a complaints policy.

Complaints 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office: 

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF 

Email: [Northumberland County Council request email] 

Information Commissioner 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a
right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act at: 

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF 

Tel: 01625 545 745
Email: [email address

There is no charge for making an appeal. 

Yours sincerely 

FOI Coordinator - Finance Group
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email] 
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk 

References

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