Dumfries and Galloway Council engage in fraud for the statistics of complaints received.

The request was refused by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

This request concerns the manner in which you treat complaints and record the numbers received.

1) Where does in state in your Complaints Policy that you can treat numerous complaints by the same individual by merging them into one and dealing with these on that basis?

2) Do you obtain the consent of the complainant before you decide to deal with a number of their complaints as one?

3) What is the situation if the complainant objects to this treatment?

4) In how many instances have you merged a number of complaints into one?

5) How is it recorded in you Complaints Procedure that you can decide to merge complaints submitted to you over a period of time by one individual and fail to deal with these on a case by case basis?

6) This method of merging a number of complaints into one means that your statistics are falsified as it reduces the number of complaints you have received. This constitutes fraud and is unlawful. State how many complaints have been omitted from your statistics because of these understatements. Has there been a record of the individual complaints received in these cases?

7)In view of this procedure, by how much should the number of complaints received be multiplied to obtain the correct figure? Would you say it is x10, x20, or x100?

8) Who decides on the operation of this method when complaints are received? What is the criteria for it to be used? Have they been permitted to deliberately falsify figures of complaints received?

9) Does the Complaints Procedure allow someone in the same department which is the subject of complaint to investigate complaints under your Stage 2 rules?

Please supply copies of your Complaints Procedure to corroborate this method of dealing with complaints.

Yours faithfully,

Archie Douglas

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 23/09/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 438860 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 21/10/2019.

Please be aware that, in some circumstances, a fee may be payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you have requested. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued, which would need to be paid in order to progress your request.

If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

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Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 438860 which was received on 23/09/2019.

Details of request: 1) Where does in state in your Complaints Policy that you can treat numerous complaints by the same individual by merging them into one and dealing with these on that basis?

2) Do you obtain the consent of the complainant before you decide to deal with a number of their complaints as one?

3) What is the situation if the complainant objects to this treatment?

4) In how many instances have you merged a number of complaints into one?

5) How is it recorded in you Complaints Procedure that you can decide to merge complaints submitted to you over a period of time by one individual and fail to deal with these on a case by case basis?

6) This method of merging a number of complaints into one means that your statistics are falsified as it reduces the number of complaints you have received. This constitutes fraud and is unlawful. State how many complaints have been omitted from your statistics because of these understatements. Has there been a record of the individual complaints received in these cases?

7)In view of this procedure, by how much should the number of complaints received be multiplied to obtain the correct figure? Would you say it is x10, x20, or x100?

8) Who decides on the operation of this method when complaints are received? What is the criteria for it to be used? Have they been permitted to deliberately falsify figures of complaints received?

9) Does the Complaints Procedure allow someone in the same department which is the subject of complaint to investigate complaints under your Stage 2 rules?

Please supply copies of your Complaints Procedure to corroborate this method of dealing with complaints.

Response:

Dumfries and Galloway council values complaints. It seeks to resolve customer dissatisfaction as close as possible to the point of service delivery and to conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations of customer complaints so that, where
appropriate, we can make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the
case. The full policy can be found here.

https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/complaints

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Dumfries and Galloway Council engage in fraud for the statistics of complaints received.'.

The purported response dated 15 October 2019 fails to provide the information requested on 22 September 2019. This needs to be remedied in order for you to comply with the FOI Act. Will this be yet another case where Dumfries and Galloway Council acts unlawfully in relation to their compliance with the FOI Act?

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,

Archie Douglas

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for a formal review which was received on 05/11/2019 and is being dealt with. We will respond within 20 working days from the day after the request was received. A response to your request will be sent promptly, and in any event not later than 03/12/2019.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact [email address].

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

FOI Responses, Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

Review Decision

Details of request: I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Dumfries and Galloway Council engage in fraud for the statistics of complaints received.'.

The purported response dated 15 October 2019 fails to provide the information requested on 22 September 2019. This needs to be remedied in order for you to comply with the FOI Act. Will this be yet another case where Dumfries and Galloway Council acts unlawfully in relation to their compliance with the FOI Act?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Response:

Thank you for your email of 5 November 2019 requesting a review.

As previously stated, Dumfries and Galloway Council values complaints. It seeks to resolve customer dissatisfaction as close as possible to the point of service delivery and to conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations of customer complaints so that, where appropriate, we can make evidence-based decisions on the facts of the case. The full policy can be found here. https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made at www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/U...

or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS Telephone: 01334 464 610.

If you are unhappy with a decision by the Scottish Information Commissioner, you may be able to take the matter to the courts or complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

PUBLIC

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Archie Douglas left an annotation ()

Dumfries and Galloway Council fail to comply with the FOI Act as is the norm for them. They consider themselves to be above the law in every respect. It is time that Council Tax payers challenged their Misconduct in Public Office and all manner of other criminal conduct.

It is a known fact that the council merge a number of complaints made to it into one complaint. This is sheer fraud and falsifies the figures of complaints received by them.

When the person who made the legitimate complaints objects to this fraudulent conduct, the council sticks up two fingers at them and responds (or more accurately fails to respond) with what can only be described as abuse. The numbers of complaints they claim they have received can be dismissed as pure fiction. The reality will be that numbers of complaints will be many times that shown by Dumfries and Galloway Council

They refuse to state who is responsible for this decision, needless to say it will be one of their corrupt officers. They are unelected and unaccountable to Council Tax payers.

It is time this cess pit of a council is made to be accountable.