Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

In an email of 5 June 2020 to Rob Behrens, William Wragg (PACAC) wrote:

"In your written evidence, you describe the establishment of a new Expert Advisory Panel, which brings support and challenge to improve the organisation."

https://committees.parliament.uk/publica...

In an email of 20 July 2020 to Willliam Wragg, Rob Behrens wrote:

"In October 2019 I created an independent, external Expert Advisory Panel, which is already making an important contribution to improving service quality and increasing the impact of casework."

https://committees.parliament.uk/publica...

1. Please provide information on how the Expert Advisory Panel has contributed to improving your service quality and to increasing the impact on your casework. This would include information on the specific areas of the PHSO the Panel has chosen or been asked to ivestigate.

2. Please provide copies of all minutes of meetings relating to the Panel.

3. Please provide to date the total figure for expenses claimed by Panel members and all other expenses associated with the Panel.

4. Please provide the names of all current panel members.

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s
(PHSO) Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team. This is to confirm
we have received your request. If you have made a request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environment Information
Regulations 2004, we aim to respond to your request within 20 working days
in accordance with the statutory time frames set out in both Acts. If you
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request will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the provisions
of the Data Protection Act 2018 and we aim to respond within one calendar
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may contact you before this time if we require further clarification or if
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Please note that we are currently experiencing a high demand, and might
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For Subject Access Requests, we will send any personal information via
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If you require us to post your personal information to you instead you
will need to inform us of this and confirm your current address as soon as
possible. Angharad Jackson Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director
Information Assurance Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman PHSO CityGate 47-51 Mosley Street Manchester M2 3HQ
[email address]

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear D Moore

 

Your information request: FOI133

 

I write in response to your email to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman (PHSO) on 17 January 2021 requesting information under the
Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

I am writing to inform you that our response to your request will be
delayed due to the impact of the pandemic. I would like to apologise for
any inconvenience caused and to assure you that although my team and I are
unable to respond as promptly as we would like, we are continuing to work
through all requests and will respond as soon as we are in a position to
do so.

We can confirm that your request has been allocated so you can expect a
response in due course.

I thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult
time.

Yours faithfully,

Angharad Jackson

Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director Information Assurance

Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

PHSO CityGate

47-51 Mosley Street

Manchester

M2 3HQ

[1][email address]

Sometimes I action emails outside of normal working hours; this doesn’t
mean I expect a response outside your normal working hours.

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear D Moore,

 

RE: Your information request: FOI133

 

I write in response to your email to the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman (PHSO) dated 17 January 2021, requesting information under the
Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

Request:

1.    Please provide information on how the Expert Advisory Panel has
contributed to improving your service quality and to increasing the impact
on your casework. This would include information on the specific areas of
the PHSO the Panel has chosen or been asked to investigate.

2.    Please provide copies of all minutes of meetings relating to the
Panel.

3.    Please provide to date the total figure for expenses claimed by
Panel members and all other expenses associated with the Panel.

4.    Please provide the names of all current panel members.

 

Response:

I shall respond to each question raised below:

 

 1.  

a.           Review of and blog about PHSO’s report of a review into
PHSO’s handling of Mr Nic Hart’s case from August 2014 to December 2017
[1]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publication...

[2]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/news-and-bl...

b.           Review and assurance of draft Balancing Evidence Guidance
[3]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publication...

c.           Review of draft Insight Report, ‘Making Complaints Count’
[4]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publication...

 

 2. Please find attached.  Redactions have been made where it contains
third party information, this is exempt under section 40 of the FOI
Act. 
 3. The total expenses claimed by Panel members is currently £204.84 and
all other expenses associated with the Panel is £3250.
 4. This is exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act as it is accessible by
other means, on our website.  I have provided the link below
[5]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/wh...

 

If you believe we have made an error in the way I have processed your
information request, it is open to you to request an internal review. You
can do this by writing to us by post or by email to
[6][PHSO request email] . You will need to specify that the
nature of the issue is and we can consider the matter further. Beyond
that, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s
Office ([7]www.ico.org.uk ) or seek a judicial remedy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [8]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publication...
2. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/news-and-bl...
3. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publication...
4. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/publication...
5. https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/wh...
6. mailto:[PHSO request email]
7. http://www.ico.org.uk/
8. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'Bill Kirkup queried the scope of challenge that EAP is able to provide. Rob
Behrens clarified that he would have ‘final say’ on issues that EAP provides
challenge on due to the Ombudsman’s legal status as Corporation Sole. '

I can see why Mr Behrens would be in favour of this sort of challenge.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

'3.6
Rob Behrens emphasised the ‘light touch’ nature of the panel and the intention not to meet often. He also intends for members to have the opportunity to meet with the PHSO Board. '

I do not remember Mr Behrens stressing the panel's 'light touch' nature in his evidence to PACAC.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Concerns raised about the Expert Advisory Panel (and the PHSO Board) not responding to letters from members of the public:

https://phsothetruestory.com/2021/03/15/...

Rob Behrens has the 'final say' on key EAP issues and he also chairs the Board:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/7...

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...