Free personal phone calls on PHSO equipment

The request was partially successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

As I can't see that the perk of personal phone calls is in the T&C's of PHSO employment , I would like to know if employees are still allowed to make personal phone calls - using PHSO telephone equipment.

The request arises since I would expect that - since most people now have mobile phones - this perk has been removed in an age of austerity, where the government is directing careful housekeeping in public office.

So I would like to read any files - of any sort - available under FOIA:

1. The PHSO policy of allowing (or not) employees to make personal phone calls on PHSO phones.

2. Any monitoring procedures in place... Especially those which ensures that employees are not making long , personal phone calls abroad .

3. How many employees have been warned about making unnecessary personal phone calls on PHSO equipment in the last year?

4. Are phone calls abroad logged and monitored by the PHSO, since cases are almost always UK centred? And employees ever charged for personal phone calls abroad?

5.If employees are still allowed to make personal phone calls on PHSO equipment, has there been a estimate or costing of how much this perk is costing the taxpayer?

6. If the PHSO is considering the removal of this perk, if it still exists.

7 To what country telephone destinations abroad has the PHSO made telephone calls in one month ...say in December 2O14? How many calls abroad were made?

Nb Clarification:The last (7) request just covers the countries involved- and not individual telephone numbers. If it is easier for the PHSO just to provide the codes used,that is acceptable.

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

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

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[Insert your auto response here]

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foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN 214724

 

Further to your email of 11 February 2015, I am writing in response to
your Freedom of Information request. I have responded to your questions
below.

1. The PHSO policy of allowing (or not) employees to make personal phone
calls on PHSO telephone.

 

I can confirm members of staff are able to use our ICT system for personal
use, which includes using PHSO telephone devices, provided they adhere to
our ICT Acceptable Use Policy (ICT AUP). Please find below the excerpt
from point 13 of the policy which deals with personal use of our ICT
system:

13       Personal use of the ICT system

13.1   All ICT systems are PHSO property and are intended for business
use. However, PHSO has no objection to staff making reasonable and
appropriate personal use of our systems, including web browsing, telephony
and email. It will be for line managers to judge what is reasonable and
appropriate, but excessive or other use which impacts on performance is
clearly unacceptable.

13.2   Responsible personal use of our ICT systems is permitted, provided
that it:

·      does not interfere with job performance;

·      is not for commercial or business gain;

·      does not contravene any of PHSO’s policies and guidelines;

·      is not detrimental to PHSO in any way.

 

With regard to mobile devices, in addition to the ICT AUP, we have a
Mobile Device Security Operating Procedure, which is signed by all users
of PHSO mobile devices. At point 10 of the agreement states:

 

You may make reasonable personal use of your device. This includes making
voice and video calls and sending texts.

 

2. Any monitoring procedures in place. Especially those which ensures
that employees are not making long, personal phone calls abroad.

 

It may be helpful if I first explain PHSO is responsible for looking into
complaints about Government bodies and the Health Service in England. We
can receive complaints from individuals anywhere in the world provided
they have used a service falling within our remit; as such there will be
instances where we will contact individuals abroad by telephone.

Turning to your question, we have contracts for both our desk based
telephones and mobile devices, as such most of the calls we make
(including calls to international numbers) are inclusive of the contracts.
On a monthly basis we receive high level itemised invoices from both
providers, which we will use to monitor to identify any exceptions.

 

3. How many employees have been warned about making unnecessary personal
phone calls on PHSO equipment in the last year?

 

I can confirm no member of staff has been given a warning or disciplined
for using PHSO telephones for personal calls.

 

4. Are phone calls abroad logged and monitored by the PHSO, since cases
are almost always UK centred? And employees ever charged for personal
phone calls abroad?

 

As explained at question 2 we receive high level monthly invoices from our
providers which we monitor. However, we do not have our own itemised log
for calls made on our desk based telephones or mobile devices.

 

With regard to desk based telephones, we only have 15 telephone extensions
which allow calls to be made to international numbers. The total number of
calls made to international numbers is included in the call summary of the
monthly invoice we receive from our provider.

 

All our mobile device bills are itemised but not to the level that they
provide a list of all calls made and the numbers they were made to. Where
calls fall outside the contract minutes allowance (this may include calls
to international numbers) the total amount of minutes used will appear on
the monthly invoice from our provider.

 

Due to the low volume, duration and cost of calls which fall outside of
our contract allowances, I can confirm there have been no instances to
where we have asked staff to reimburse PHSO for call charges.

 

5. If employees are still allowed to make personal phone calls on
PHSO equipment, has there been a estimate or costing of how much this perk
is costing the taxpayer?

 

No.

 

6. If the PHSO is considering the removal of this perk, if it still
exists.

 

We are not aware of any intended changes to our current policy.

 

7. To what country telephone destinations abroad has the PHSO made
telephone calls in one month ...say in December 2O14?  How many calls
abroad were made?

 

In December 2014, PHSO staff made 28 international phone calls from desk
based telephones, for a total time of 94 minutes, at an additional total
cost of £1.16 over our normal monthly line rental. On receipt of the
invoice, due to the low time and cost we considered that further
investigation into the cost was disproportionate. The invoices we receive
from our provider do not include the call destinations or the numbers
called and as such we do not hold this information.

 

In the same period, PHSO staff made calls (on mobile devices) outside of
the contract minutes allowance, totalling 134 minutes (£21.63) – this may
have included calls to international numbers. We are unable to provide you
with the destinations of any international calls that may have been made
as we do not hold that information. This is because the invoices we
receive from our provider do not include the call destinations or the
numbers called.

 

I hope the information is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Well ....spend on PHSO employees.

Use the Internet and phone freely in this age of austerity.

Because hardworking families, people flipping burgers and cleaning toilets would be happy to pay- via the PHSO budget - for its employees to make personal phone calls..wouldn't they?

And because,seemingly, no one us ever held to account by managers for inappropriate usage - the PHSO will continue to abuse the people that contribute towards its funding.

Dear foiofficer,

'On a monthly basis we receive high level itemised invoices from both
providers, which we will use to monitor to identify any exceptions'.

Don't these constitute files? Please supply if they do.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear [Name Removed]

Your information request – our reference: FDN 214724

Thank you for your email, please could you clarify what information you are seeking when you mean 'files'?

Kind regards

Sohifa Kadir
FOI/DP Officer

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Dear foiofficer,

As per your description above.

Here is the Act, and what it covers.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear [Name Removed]

Thank you for your reply, so that we can process your request please can you clarify if you are requesting to see the invoices for December 2014?

Kind regards

Sohifa Kadir
FOI/DP Officer
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Dear foiofficer,

It would seem that I am.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

J Roberts left an annotation ()

"It will be for line managers to judge what is reasonable and appropriate, but excessive or other use which impacts on performance is clearly unacceptable."

Even the use of the internet by judges is monitored. In fact, three have been removed and a fourth has resigned over the viewing of pornography at work:

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/mar/...

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

But how would line managers be able to tell?

They are not allowed to know departmental expenditure, so they can't pick up any anomolies.

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

D. Speers left an annotation ()

What an interesting FOI! Thank you for requesting!

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request – FDN 217522 (request for further clarification)

 

Further to your email of 15 March 2015 in which you asked for the December
2014 invoices for our desk based telephones and mobile devices.

 

Please could you confirm if your information request also includes the
mobile phone numbers and account numbers?

 

Kind regards

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

 

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

Dear foiofficer,

The title of the request is:.. Free personal phone calls on PHSO equipment.

It is private phone calls, made on any publically funded PHSO equipment.

If this is still unclear, perhaps you could be more specific as to why you cannot reply and - under Section 16- describe what courses of action are open to you, the situation can be clarified - and the the request can be answered.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's handling of my FOI request 'Free personal phone calls on PHSO equipment'.

The respondee does not seem to understand the nature of the request.

Perhaps more Section 16 help and assistance to clarify exactly what she does not understand and spell any alternatives, would have been in order - to provide a response of files available under the Act.

I have asked exactiy what needs to be clarified , sent a link to the FOIA so that the respondee understands what 'files' are - according to the Act as the employe did not seem to understand that FOIA relates to data held on file, rather than opinion and tried to determine exactiy what is the problem in answering the request ...but it is still outstanding.

Therefore , I have no alternative but to make more work for the review employee because the response is now reading as a deliberate delay in responding to a reasonable request to understand how the perk of free telephone calls for PHSO employees is being logged - and subsequently monitored.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

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


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN 217522

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 15
March 2015, which is a follow up to your last request about personal calls
made on PHSO telephones (our case reference: FDN 214724). For this request
you asked for a copy of our desk based telephones and mobile devices
invoices for December 2014.

 

At attachment annex A, please find enclosed a copy our invoice for our
desk based telephones. The invoice is dated 15 January 2015 for December
2015 billings. We have redacted our customer information such as our
account number, invoice number, GC reference number, and our service
provider’s banking details under section 31(1)(a) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Section 31(1)(a) FOIA is prejudice based
exemption and applies where disclosure would , or would be likely to harm
the prevention and detection of crime. We believe that if our customer
details and service provider account details were released into the public
domain it is very likely that we would be at risk of fraudulent activity.

 

At attachment annex B, please find enclosed a copy our invoices and bill
summaries for our mobile devices relating to the period you asked for.
Again we have redacted our account numbers and invoice number under
section 31(1)(a) FOIA. We have also redacted the telephone numbers under
section 40(2) FOIA as the information is third party personal data and
there is no overriding legitimate interest in this disclosure. Please note
blank pages have been removed from the records to reduce the size of the
attachment.

 

For completeness and to set out this information in context, the excerpt
below is from our ICT Acceptable Use Policy (ICT AUP) which deals with
personal use of our ICT system which has been previously provided to you.

13       Personal use of the ICT system

13.1   All ICT systems are PHSO property and are intended for business
use. However, PHSO has no objection to staff making reasonable and
appropriate personal use of our systems, including web browsing, telephony
and email. It will be for line managers to judge what is reasonable and
appropriate, but excessive or other use which impacts on performance is
clearly unacceptable.

13.2   Responsible personal use of our ICT systems is permitted, provided
that it:

·      does not interfere with job performance;

·      is not for commercial or business gain;

·      does not contravene any of PHSO’s policies and guidelines;

·      is not detrimental to PHSO in any way.

 

In addition to the ICT AUP, we have a Mobile Device Security Operating
Procedure, which is signed by all users of PHSO mobile devices. At point
10 of the agreement states:

 

You may make reasonable personal use of your device. This includes making
voice and video calls and sending texts.

 

I hope the information is helpful. I note you have requested an internal
review on my handling of your information request, if you would like to
proceed with the review please let me know.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

Freedom of Information / Data Protection Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

Dear foiofficer,

Review

Thank you - but how is it possible to differentiate between work calls and personal calls from this invoice?

Therefore I am asking you if you are you sure that all PHSO employee personal calls are logged on it?

Indeed how are personal calls monitored? Are section heads allowed to know which telephone numbers have been rung by each telephone extension? Because, otherwise, how can the PHSO be sure that public money is being spent sensibly?

And even if the entire numbers are personal information, (40. 2) why are the telephone codes of the calls : eg Birmingham, or France... 'personal information' and have therefore been redacted.

Because, as you know, the DPA states that data has to be personal ....and not anonymous.

Can a living individual be identified from the data, or, from the data and other information in your possession, or likely to come into your possession?
Yes Go to question 2.
No The data is not personal data for the purposes of the DPA.

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

As it would be impossible for a requester to identify a person from a telephone calling code alone.

Therefore please supply the telephone codes on the files for the period specified, as knowing how publically funded employees make use of the perks of their employment is certainly in the public interest.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK Government quality mark initiative for information security products and services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

foiofficer, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FDN 214724 Freedom of Information request Free personal phone calls on PHSO equipment.html

    14K Download

Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request – our reference: FDN 217522

 

Thank you for your email.

 

At points 4 and 7 of our response dated 11 March 2015 we confirmed that we
do not hold a log of the telephone numbers dialled on our desk based
telephones or mobile devices (for ease of reference I attach a copy of our
response).

 

Nor do the invoices and bill summaries we receive from our service
providers contain the numbers dialled on our telephone devices. We did not
withhold the information you are asking for, we simply do not hold it.
Instead, the information we withheld under section 40(2) FOIA from the
invoices was the mobile phone numbers for the PHSO mobile devices the
bills relate to.

 

Finally, we do not hold any further recorded information regarding how
personal calls are monitored. Staff are able to use our telephone devices
in line with our ICT Acceptable Use Policy, and our Head of Security will
monitor the invoices we receive from our service providers to identify any
exceptions.

 

I hope my email clarifies matters. I have forwarded your request for an
internal review to Steve Brown who will conduct the review, you should
receive a reply by and no later than 9 June 2015.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Sohifa Kadir

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

++Feedbackaboutus@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Mrs Oakley

 

We are writing in response to your email of 16 April 2015.

 

We are sorry that you are dissatisfied with our handling of your
information request regarding free personal calls on PHSO equipment.

 

Under our internal complaints procedure, your complaint has been passed to
our Head of Risk, Assurance and Programme Management Office, Mr Steve
Brown.

 

Mr Brown will consider your concerns and will send you a full reply once
his review is complete. This review of your complaint is the only review
that we will undertake.

 

We aim to reply to such complaints within 40 working days.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Customer Care Team

 

show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

Brown Steve, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

4 Attachments

 

 

Steve Brown

Head of Risk and Assurance

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

E: [email address]

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Follow us on

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show quoted sections

All email communications with PHSO pass through the Government Secure
Intranet, and may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
The MessageLabs Anti Virus Service is the first managed service to achieve
the CSIA Claims Tested Mark (CCTM Certificate Number 2006/04/0007), the UK
Government quality mark initiative for information security products and
services. For more information about this please visit www.cctmark.gov.uk

References

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Dear Brown Steve,

Thank you Mr Brown.

Although I must say that I hadn't expected that there would be no monitoring, or subsequent control - of how public money is spent.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]