Dear Sir or Madam,
According to the Statutory Code of Practice for Freedom of Information, each public authority should publish its target times for determining complaints and information as to how successful it is with meeting those targets.
I have been unable to find either of these on your website. In fact, in the A-Z directory of services, there are links to webpages on FOI for East Sussex, Lewes, and Eastbourne Councils, but, surprisingly, none for Rother.
Can you please either direct me to where this information has already been published, or else release, for each quarter since FOI has been in place, details on what the target time for complaint handling was, how many complaints were received in the period, and what time was achieved for handling those.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Your response to this request is now overdue. Please advise.
Dear Mr Jackson
It appears that your request was overlooked at the time of receipt. I
will record your request today and will speak with Mr Edwards next week
when he returns from leave. I apologise for any inconvenience.
Dear Lynda Crawford,
Please take this as a formal complaint and request for internal review in relation to my ignored request.
I fail to understand why it matters in the slightest that a single member of staff is on leave, when the information that I requested is information that the Council is required to publish and should easily have to hand.
Dear Mr Jackson
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 2000
With reference to your request for information about our complaint
handling procedure and your subsequent complaint, I would comment as
This is a comparatively small authority and it would be difficult to
operate the sort of multi-layered complaints system that could be set up
by a much larger authority such as a County or Unitary. With any
complaint system, the main objective is to ensure that complaints are
dealt with by someone separate from the original decision-maker. The
Council has a Council-wide complaints system, and complaints about
Freedom of Information are processed under that procedure. Accordingly,
the section 45 Code of Practice may not be followed to the letter, but a
robust complaints system is in operation. This is detailed on our
website; please see http://www.rother.gov.uk/index.cfm?artic...
In relation to response times this says: "The Council will normally
reply to your complaint within 10 working days".
Our Freedom of Information tracking system records complaints made, but
as complaints are forwarded to another system they are not further
tracked as Freedom of Information complaints. Production of quarterly
statistics would not be meaningful, because we have only received ten
complaints. The following table gives their FOI reference number and the
date of the complaint. I believe that these complaints were, in the
main, resolved satisfactorily; I am not aware of any having been
referred on to the Information Commissioner.
FOI No # ComplaintReceived
In the circumstances, as we have provided what information we can, I
invite you to withdraw your complaint.
Thank you for eventually providing some of the information requested. However I do not believe your rationale is valid, and I decline to withdraw my complaint and request for internal review.
Dear Mr Jackson,
Your complaint in respect of FOI complaint handling information has been
passed onto me. I have looked into this matter as requested by you.
Firstly I must apologise once again that your original request for
information was missed, this was a genuine oversight. I believe that all
the information that we had available for FOI complaints was forwarded to
you as requested. I have looked at the way that we handle FOI complaints
and have asked for some improvements to the system in order that we are
more readily able to extract the information that we need in the future.
I hope that this answers your complaint.
Head of Corporate Services
Rother District Council
Tel: 01424 787716
E-mail: [email address]
1. mailto:[email address]
Dear Mr Jackson,
I refer to your outstanding request for information about complaints
handling in relation to Freedom of Information requests, which you have
referred to the Information Commissioner. I apologise for the delay in
providing the information you requested. This is not a matter of
reluctance on our part, it is simply the mechanics of assembling the
information. I thought the best way of presenting the information was
by way of a little Microsoft Word Table which is attached. You are
already in communication with the Information Commissioner about this
matter, and I assume you will let us both know if you are dissatisfied.
Solicitor to the Council, Rother D.C.
Town Hall, Bexhill TN39 3JX Tel: 01424-787840
P please consider the environment, and do not print this email unless it
is really necessary
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