Gross breach of the DPA and / or IPCC Published policy

The request was partially successful.

Dear Dame Anne Owers,

The email below was sent to Ms Thomas, who I was informed was the head of your DPA department.

Ms Thomas has received the email but made no attempt to respond in any way.

I telephoned yesterday to speak to Ms Thomas and was simply told that until I produce valid identification no information would be released.

Despite asking her in a perfectly normal tone of voice to respond to the issues within the communication, Ms Thomas refused to respond and simply repeated a request for me to stop shouting when I was not in fact doing so.

As a result and to give Ms Thomas a reference level I then shouted "this is shouting" down the telephone line to her, at which point Ms Thomas terminated the call.

I rang back to find that Ms thomas had been so traumatised by her experience that it has taken her seconds to contact the call handling department to inform them that they were not to accept my calls nor put me through to anyone within your DPA department more senior to Ms Thomas.

Ms Owers, the department in which Ms Thomas works has in my personal experience, no understanding of either the FOIA or the DPA or indeed your own published policies.

The IPCC policy which states that you will make every effort to release information to an applicant even if there is no positive legal requirement to do so does not appear to be correct.

I have twice been told by IPCC staff that the correct way to obtain personal information is to submit a FOIA request, indeed the deputy to Ms Thomas last week informed me that it doesn't matter what the request is as long as it is in writing.

1. Please therefore provide copies of or links to any policies, or procedures, published or not, which apply to data release or data handling undertaken by the IPCC.

And finally, as demonstrated in the email thread below, Ms Thomas has stated the IPCC does not reasonably believe that I am in fact legally entitled to any information in relation to Mr W Hunter which places the IPCC in the position of breaching the DPA repeatedly by disclosing the outcomes of IPCC investigations to me at my address.

Ms Thomas appears to be willing to stick her head in the sand and hope these matters will go away and I am being blocked from raising these issues to her line manager so I am bringing them to you.

2. Please provide details of how many appeals / applications have been made to the IPCC in relation to police organisations in the last year.

3. In relation to the outcomes of those issues, please specify how many recipients of that information from the IPCC were identified by two forms of identification by IPCC staff before personal information was sent to them.

4. If Ms Thomas is correctly interpreting your policies and the DPA please specify from that total, how many deliberate breaches of the DPA the IPCC has undertaken, and how many of those breaches have been reported to the ICO by the IPCC.

If Ms Thomas is not in fact correctly interpreting the relevant legislation, and indeed all staff within the IPCC are in fact ignoring the policies you have already published and are refusing to disclose information which your organisation has specified will be disclosed, then please take action to immediately remove Ms Thomas from her position until relevant instruction can be given to and or training can be undertaken by her and her staff.

Please ensure someone from your organisation is assigned to address this and all the information sent to your organisation by Northumbria police in relation to my appeals is disclosed to me forthwith.

If I do not receive contact from you or one of your staff in relation to this matter by cease work o the 16th I will submit a formal complaint to the ICO regarding the complete failure of the IPCC to comply with the DPA and FOIA as well as your own published information policies.

Yours faithfully,

W Hunter

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Mac Rame
To: Gemma Thomas <[email address]>
Cc: "[email address]" <[email address]>; "[email address]" <[email address]>; "[email address]" <[email address]>
Sent: Thursday, 3 November 2016, 16:23
Subject: Re: Gross breach of the DPA and / or IPCC Published policy - Mr W Hunter - Case Ref: 1006213

Dear Ms Thomas

Your interpretation of the DPA is grossly incorrect and places you in the position of repeatedly breaching the requirements of the DPA by your own admission.

Section 7(3) does state
"Where a data controller—
(a)reasonably requires further information in order to satisfy himself as to the identity of the person making a request under this section and to locate the information which that person seeks, and
(b)has informed him of that requirement,
the data controller is not obliged to comply with the request unless he is supplied with that further information."

However in this instance the IPCC has and indeed is still dealing with multiple appeals from myself against Northumbria Police.

I have had verbal and email communication with multiple members of the IPCC up to and including Dame Anne Owers.

The staff who have already ruled on some appeals have sent their decision letters to me at my home address.

Yet you now claim that my request for information, sent to one of those very appeal staff, who has already disclosed personal information about my appeal to me at my home address, constitutes a Subject Access Request and the IPCC does not REASONABLY believe me to be the person lawfully able to receive that information!

Ms Thomas, if your interpretation is correct then the IPCC has committed repeated breaches of the DPA by discussing and indeed disclosing personal information to me about Mr W Hunter using his telephone number, his Email address and his postal address without being reasonably confident that I am in fact him.

Kindly establish how many staff have communicated personal information about Mr W Hunter to me at the email address and postal address as well as by telephone and report each instance as a formal breach of the DPA to the Information Commissioners office forthwith.

Or

Check your own website here https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/sites/default/fi...

As you can see this document clearly states:-
"1.2 We will endeavour to provide as much information as possible, provided there is no restriction or constraint on our doing so.

1.3 In practice this means that we will not withhold in formation purely because there is no positive legal obligation to provide it.
However, it may be necessary to focus our resources on prioritising those requests where we are under a legal obligation to provide disclosure."

As the person who has registered the appeals with your organisation, your organisation reasonably believes that I am the person to whom those issues relate.

There is no legal prohibition preventing the disclosure of the information sent to your organisation by Northumbria Police in respect to me, however despite your policy clearly stating that you will not withhold that information, the IPCC is doing everything possible to withhold this information from me.

I have requested all the information sent to the IPCC by Northumbria Police in relation to the matters concerning myself and had the IPCC staff in the person of Mr Phil Harrison, simply state that they are not going to release it as, to paraphrase, there is no positive legal obligation to do so.

If you refuse to comply with the policy published on your own website I will submit a formal SAR and I will request not just these documents but every document and record, electronic and hardcopy, current and archived held by the IPCC and will happily pay the £10.00 fee to compel the information from you.

I will also log every communication to date with the IPCC as a formal breach of the DPA with the Information Commissioners Office.

I hope you will seek the council of Mr Hodges in this matter and take steps to familiarise yourself with the actual requirements of the DPA and FOIA and instruct The IPCC staff in the practical application of the legislation forthwith.

Regards

W Hunter
From: Gemma Thomas <[email address]>
To: 'Mac Rame'
Sent: Wednesday, 2 November 2016, 15:47
Subject: RE: Your Request for Information - Mr W Hunter - Case Ref: 1006213

Dear Mr Hunter

Thank you for your correspondence and your recently telephone calls. I apologise for my delay in responding.

I understand that you are not happy in relation to our recent request for identification following your request to us, dated 25 October, in which you state:
“Please supply all the information you received in relation to this matter to me”

We have considered this request to be a request for your personal data and therefore we are treating this is a subject access request under section 7 of the Data protection Act (DPA). It is the IPCCs position that we need to ensure that the person we are corresponding with and therefore disclosing information to is the person they say they are. Therefore we invoke section 7(3) of the DPA, which states:
Where a data controller—
(a)reasonably requires further information in order to satisfy himself as to the identity of the person making a request under this section and to locate the information which that person seeks, and
(b)has informed him of that requirement,
the data controller is not obliged to comply with the request unless he is supplied with that further information.

I do hope this helps resolve the matter. As soon as we receive your identification documents we will continue with your request for information.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Thomas
Freedom of Information & Data Protection Manager
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
90 High Holborn
London WC1V 6BH

[email address]
www.ipcc.gov.uk

From: Mac Rame
Sent: 27 October 2016 15:28
To: !FOI Requests
Subject: Re: Your Request for Information - Mr W Hunter - Case Ref: 1006213

Please identify the member of staff who signed the attached document, their position within your organisation and their line manager so I can submit a formal complaint to your organisation in respect to their actions.

Regards

W Hunter

From: !FOI Requests <[email address]>
To: mac rame
Sent: Thursday, 27 October 2016, 9:36
Subject: Your Request for Information - Mr W Hunter - Case Ref: 1006213

Dear Mr Hunter,

Thank you for your email regarding your request for information.

Please find the attached letter which explains the next steps required from you to progress your request.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom Of Information and Data Protection Team
Directorate of Resources
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
90 High Holborn
London WC1V 6BH
www.ipcc.gov.uk

From: Mac Rame
Sent: 25 October 2016 15:21
To: Khurram Javed
Subject: Re: Non Recording Appeal 4

Dear Mr Javed

I have received your response but from reading it, it appears that you have completely mis interpreted the issues to be addressed before only addressing half of them.

In addition you refer to "the audio recording", without specifying which audio recording when the appeal clearly refered to two calls made to Northumbria Police.

You also make no mention of the Northumbria Police Call Handling Policy, which clearly denotes the actions of a call handler.

Had you bothered to obtain a copy of that document, or indeed spoken to either myself or one of the communications managers such as Rachael Walters, you would have been informed that the communications department of northumbria police specify that members of the public are required to be connected with Professional Standards upon request.

In addition frequent callers must be given a DDI number for the department to avoid congestion on the 101 call handling line.

You have decided that my request to speak to professional standards was unimportant as the call handler was going to email the relevant person without checking how many such emails were ever sent and whether or not the person allegedly receiving them did in fact receive them or indeed ever respond to them.

Please supply all the information you received in relation to this matter to me so I can clarify exactly what you have and have not done in relation to my actual appeal.

Regards

W Hunter

From: Mac Rame
To: !NorthCasework <[email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 15:27
Subject: Non Recording Appeal 4

Please confirm receipt by return email.

Dear IPCC

Please see the forwarded email below which is yet another non recording response from the force assessor for Northumbria Police.

Mr Keenan has failed to identify the complaint made other than by date, and my subsequent enquiries with Professional Standards staff have established that it was a complaint via telephone regarding two call handling staff, one handler and his supervisor for refusing to allow communication with Professional Standards or register a complaint regarding their behaviour.

The admin support sent this via email today "
Dear Mr Hunter

Following our conversation regarding your complaint ref MI 317/16. Please see the below summary of your allegation -

The complainant alleges that the call taker refused to transfer his call through to the Professional Standards Department, nor their supervisor. In addition the complainant adds that the call taker refused to record the details of his complaint.

The appropriate channel of appeal in relation to your non recording decision rests with the IPCC as detailed in your previous correspondence.

Business Support Administrator
Professional Standards Department
Northumbria Police
http://www.northumbria.police.uk"

Mr Keenan has failed to comply with Paragraph 3, Schedule 3, Police Reform Act 2002 Regulation 11, Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 as specified in your guidence in that he failed to specify anything but the grounds for the decision, the grounds apparently being that the complaint is without foundation.

Northumbria Police should have audio recordings of both calls, the first call which occasioned the complaint and the second one to Mr Richard Williams who actually recorded the complaint for processing to professional standards.

In the second call Mr Williams can be heard telling me that when it is passed through someone from professional standards would be in contact.

Professional Standards made no contact with me other than Mr Keenans response.

For this complaint to be without foundation the two staff complained of must have immediately connected me through to professional standards.

Since the audio recordings will show that not only did they fail to facilitate that communication, refused to answer simple questions repeatedly, refused to connect me to a supervisor before simply threatening to terminate the call then I believe that unless Mr Keenan has a recording of my being connected to Professional Standards upon request then there exists significant foundation for my complaint.

Mr Keenan is apparently abusing his authority to block and deny any and all complaints regarding the actions of Northumbria Police staff originating from me and has ceased even trying to justify these actions with any shred of logic or fact.

I believe this is yet another example of institutional harassment and descrimination which is being allowed by and most assuredly ignored by the Chief Constable for this force.

I would request action by the IPCC to address this bias by an independent investigation into Northumbria Police actions in light of their impact upon the unlawful death of my father.

Regards

W Hunter

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "[email address]" <[email address]>
To: mac rame
Sent: Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 8:49
Subject: MI/00317/16 [RESTRICTED]

Dear Mr Hunter

Please see the attached document.

Business Support Administrator
Professional Standards Department
Northumbria Police
http://www.northumbria.police.uk

NORTHUMBRIA POLICE PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE

The information contained in this message and any attachment(s) is confidential and intended only for the attention of the named organisation or individual to whom it is addressed. The message may contain information that is covered by legal, professional or other privilege. No mistake in transmission is intended to waive or compromise any such privilege. This message has been sent over public networks and the sender cannot be held responsible for its integrity.

If you are not the intended recipient be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken in reliance of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited, and is contrary to the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988 and of the Data Protection Act, 1998.

Any views expressed are those of the sender and, unless specifically stated, do not necessarily represent the view of Northumbria Police.

We cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage sustained as a result of software viruses. It is your responsibility to carry out such virus checking as is necessary.

If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender by e-mail at once and delete the message immediately.

For more information about Northumbria Police please visit our website - http://www.northumbria.police.uk

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

!FOI Requests, Independent Police Complaints Commission

This is an automated email please do not respond to it.

Thank you for your email.

If you have made a request for information to the IPCC, your email and any attachments will be assessed logged and forwarded onto the appropriate department to acknowledge and respond to.

FOI Team

Gemma Thomas, Independent Police Complaints Commission

Dear Mr Hunter

Thank you for your email below.

We have received your request for information, it has been allocated within the department to be processed.

We will be in contact in the future in relation to this matter.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Thomas
Freedom of Information & Data Protection Manager
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
90 High Holborn
London WC1V 6BH
W: 0207 166 5157
M: 07984 255 415
F: 020 7166 3163
[email address]
www.ipcc.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Susan Badham, Independent Police Complaints Commission

Dear Sirs

A complaint against IPCC staff has been routed via your website under the above identification. Please ask the person who made the complaint to use the same channel to provide either a personal e mail address or their details so that we can progress the complaint. Otherwise we will be unable to handle it.

Yours sincerely

Susan Badham
Internal Investigations Officer

Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW

Dear Susan Badham,

Your response to this FOIA request does not contain the required information, and is in itself factually incorrect. there is no complaint against IPCC staff within my original request.

I have made a FOIA request in 4 sections, none of which are a complaint.

The Ancilliary information within this request was addressed to Dame Anne Owers and was provided to put the FOIA request in context to the actions of staff within the IPCC data handling office.

Ms Thomas, who received this request, which included my name, is fully aware of my contact details along with the request and indeed complaints made to, and about her to the IPCC.

I would therefore respectfully request that you locate my details from Dame Anne Owers or Ms Thomas, either of whom should be able to provide them, and leave this public forum to the required data release mandated under the FOIA.

Yours sincerely,

W Hunter

Dear Dame Anne Owers

Ms Susan Badham responded via this forum alleging a complaint had been made regarding Ms Thomas, and my response informed herr that I had submitted no complaint in my original request.

Ms Badham sent this to me via email

"Our reference no: 5820/29/188

Mr W. Hunter

BY E MAIL

22 November 2016

Dear Mr Hunter

I work for the Internal Investigations Unit (IIU) of the Independent Police
Complaint Commission (IPCC) which reviews complaints made against
members of IPCC staff. I am writing to you in response to your e mail dated
the 11 November 2016 which contains a complaint about Gemma Thomas.

You complain that Gemma refused to respond to you during a telephone
conversation and repeatedly asked you to stop shouting when you were not in
fact doing so. You also state that the IPCC’s Freedom of Information Act/
Data Protection Act (FOI/DPA) team has no understanding of the relevant
legislation and make a number of requests for further information.

I have spoken to Gemma and she has given me her account of the
conversation. She has also provided the account of a member of staff who
was sitting near her during it. I am satisfied on the basis of their accounts that
you were shouting during the conversation and that Gemma tried to help you
but was unable to do so. In the circumstances the actions which she took
were reasonable and your complaint is not substantiated.

In terms of your further complaint that Gemma is not correctly applying the
legislation, the reason that Gemma was not willing to release information to
you without confirming your identity was because a subject access request
potentially accesses sensitive data. IPCC practice is that we need to be
certain that the person we are releasing personal data to is the person they
say they are. Therefore we rely on section 7(3) of the DPA to ensure we have
received that confirmation. It is also IPCC policy that we ask for ID. This is
shown at the “Find out how to request recorded information about the IPCC”
page on our website.

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/page/requesting-i...

You have also asked for information about the IPCC’s policies and
procedures on data release and handling, details of how many appeals or
2
applications have been made to the IPCC relating to police organisations in
the last year, how many recipients of information have been identified by two
forms of identification by IPCC staff before personal information was sent to
them, how many deliberate breaches of the DPA have been committed by
IPCC staff and whether these have been reported to the Information
Commissioner’s Office. These are being treated as requests under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be responded to by our FOI/DPA
team in due course. The reference number for this request is 1006232.

This concludes my consideration of your complaint. Your complaint is not
upheld. There is no right of appeal against the IIU’s decision and we are
unable to assist you further with this matter.

Yours sincerely

Susan Badham
Internal Investigations Officer
Internal Investigations Unit
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Yours sincerely,

W Hunter"

As you can see Ms Badham has chosen to ignore the fact that I stated I did not make a complaint, whilst recording my statements as a complaint.

She has then made enquiries of Ms Thomas and a colleague sitting near her as to the circumstances before quotong section 7(3) of the DPA.

The outcome of the alleged complaint contains personal information in respect to myself and Ms Badham has sent that personal information to me at my email address, thereby apparently clearly stating that she believes me to be the W Hunter to whom this information relates, whilst stating within her communication that the IPCC does not reasonably believe me to be the person entitled to receive personal information about Mr W Hunter.

In light of ms Badhams response I must point out that at no time prior to completing her investigation did she contact me about the complaint or request any input from me in relation to the circumstances.

Had she done so I could have provided an audio recording of the whole and indeed subsequent conversations to her so she would not have had to consider heresay and could have dealt with fact.

Please therefore provide

5. Copies of or links to any complaints investigation policy and or procedure which Ms Badham was required to comply with during her investigation, specifically any portion of any policy which states that the IPCC can register as a complaint any statement of an individual without their submitting it as such, and any portion of any document or record which states that the investigator is not to request evidence from the originator of the complaint.

6. Any document or record which shows that Ms Badham confirmed my identity with two forms of identification to prove that I was legally entitled to receive personal information regarding Mr W Hunter, the person who submitted the FOIA request via this site after stating that the IPCC as a corporate entity reasonably believed that I am in fact not that person.

In light of Ms Badhams deliberate breaching of the requirements of the DPA please provide

7. Copies of or links to any policy or procedure which details the disciplinary process used against IPCC Staff for deliberate breach of the DPA sec 7(3) which Ms Badham has so unambiguously breached and which the evidence is now published in open public forum.

Regards

W Hunter

Dear Dame Anne Owers

I have today received this from your organisation:-

"Response to your complaint
!IIU <[email address]>
Today at 11:23
To'mac_rame'

Message body

Dear Mr Hunter,

Your complaint dated 22nd November 2016 against Susan Badham of the Internal Investigations Unit at the IPCC has been passed to me to look into.

Your complaint is that Ms Badham contacted you via the ‘what do they know’ forum asking about a complaint you had made about Gemma Thomas and that you had in fact not made a complaint and told her this. You stated Ms Badham sent you personal information at your e mail address and that she did not contact you prior to investigating the complaint to obtain evidence.

You asked for information about the process which allows Ms Badham to treat a statement as a complaint when it is not stated to be such.

In response, I can confirm that the IIU is able to relay decisions and information on complaints to complainants via their email addresses. In this instance, Ms Badham was able to conclude that both email addresses on our system for you are yours; you identified yourself as the correct person and owner of the ‘what do they know’ and ‘mac_rame’ email addresses. Ms Badham did not relate sensitive or information in her email to the ‘what do they know’ email address in any event.

Ms Badham processed your complaint against Ms Thomas professionally and in a fair manner. She was able to establish that you had made a complaint against Ms Thomas as your email, sent to Ms Badham by Ms Thomas, contained an allegation that she put the phone down on you and that she said you were shouting when you were not. Your email was also entitled “Gross breach of DPA and/or IPCC published policy”. Both of these are conduct allegations.

Ms Badham did not consider hearsay evidence regarding Ms Thomas; her inquiries were relevant and appropriate. If you wished to provide the IIU with evidence to support your allegation against Ms Thomas, you were at liberty to provide it. The opportunity to provide us with what you needed to send was there.

Ms Badham has not breached any of our policies or the DPA. The complaint against her is unsubstantiated. If you wish for more information on our processes, please visit our website www.ipcc.gov.uk for more details.

We are unable to take further action on this matter. Further correspondence on this complaint, bar legal proceedings, will be added to your file with no response.

Graeme Pallister

Temporary Head of Quality
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
Operations Directorate
Ground Floor
Building 19
The Ridgeway
Quinton Business Park
Quinton
Birmingham
B32 1AL"

In this email Mr Pallister has apparently stated that Ms Badham has not breached the DPA by sending information to my email address because she knows my email belongs to me.

However my request for information from the assessors dealing with the complaints against Northumbria Police refused to disclose information because according to Ms Thomas, the IPCC do not reasonably believe that my email address belongs to me.

7. Please provide any policy or procedure used within the IPCC, or links to any such information if it already exists, which allows Mr Pallister to reasonably assume that I am who I say I am based on Ms Badham claiming I am who I say I am from my email address, whilst the rest of the IPCC, and particularly your Data Access Department , has specified that they do not reasonably believe me to be the person I claim I am.

It would appear clear from this communication that the IPCC as an organisation has no coherent policy regarding subject data access and normal business communication.

The policy published on your website which clearly states your openness and transparency regarding data is deliberately false and misleading and your staff simply ignore it with apparent sanction from your office.

Since Mr Pallister has certified that I am who I say I am and based that on my communication via this site and my email address then

"Please provide all documents records and information held by your organisation, both hardcopy and electronic, current and archived, to include all audio and video recordings as well as any internal communications between staff relating to me or in relation to acts in respect to me or my information."

(Yes that quote above is a formal subject access request, and yes for a SAR the request must be in writing with a name and an address to respond to, and yes this site is not for submitting SAR's however as you already have my postal address, telephone number and email address on record as evidenced by Mr Pallisters email, and you are fully aware of who I am where I live and my telephone number, kindly respond to my postal address with that data release and if you decide you require the £10 fee then please provide your sort code and account number and I will transfer the fee immediately.)

Unless of course, you do not reasonably believe me to be the person legally entitled to receive that information in which case please register a formal complaint against Ms Badham and Mr Pallister for gross breaches of the DPA .

As a practical matter, again I would point out my FOIA request made in my last communication requires a response via this website and Mr Pallister's response in the above email "Ms Badham has not breached any of our policies or the DPA. The complaint against her is unsubstantiated. If you wish for more information on our processes, please visit our website www.ipcc.gov.uk for more details." is both factually incorrect and does not correspond with a formal response to my FOIA request via this site.

Despite no complaint against Ms Thomas or Ms Badham being raised by me, the IPCC have now twice apparently claimed that complaints have been raised in my name / at my request, and the outcome of said complaints disclosed to me when the IPCC's official position is that they do not reasonably believe me to be me.

How that corresponds with your internal complaints process and the DPA is quite frankly beyond me.

Please register a formal complaint against the IPCC in the person of Dame Anne Owers for a total lack of coherence regarding information handling in relation to the Data Protection Act and standards for verifying identity as evidenced by two portions of your organisation currently maintaining that I am and I am not who I claim to be, they both cannot be correct so at least one portion of your organisation is in breach of UK Legislation and you, as the head of the organisation have failed to take action to address it despite my addressing this issue direct to you.

Please get whomever is assigned to investigate this complaint to contact me to discuss the investigation and facilitate the transmission of relevant evidence to them for consideration.

I look forward to your complaint response now that I have formally made one.

Yours sincerely,

W Hunter

!FOI Requests, Independent Police Complaints Commission

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hunter,

Thank you for your request to the IPCC. We are sorry about the delay in sending this reply.

The response from the IPCC head of ICT is attached to this email, together with a document consisting of the information we are disclosing under your request.

Please quote our reference 1006232 in any further correspondence about this request.

Yours sincerely,

IPCC

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Hodges, acting head of ICT for the IPCC,

Thank you for your response outside of the legal time limit for responses specified under FOIA.

I have attempted to contact you today, initially because of the two PDF Files which were attached one appeared to be corrupted and repeatedly refused to download or display correctly and I wished to request that someone send another copy.

Unfortunately my first call to you via option 2 on your answerphone tree, resulted in the call handler asking for a reference number, which I duly gave, only for him to place me on hold before returning to the call and informing me that I must put everything in writing.

I asked to speak to his manager and he refused before hanging up.

I rang in again, option 2 rang for 3 minutes then disconnected as it did for my third call.

My fourth call to Option 1 resulted in the female call handler asking for my full name to check I was not on a banned caller list, upon giving my name I was informed that she believed I had been informed that all communications from me must be in writing, When I told her I had not been so informed I was placed on hold then the call was again terminated.

My fifth call via option 1 resulted in another female customer service operative who asked for my name and I refused to give it and asked to be put through to your internal complaints department.

She informed me all complaints must be in writing and I informed her I wished to enquire regarding an existing complaint not make a new one, but again she stated that nobody was allowed to be put through to your IIU department by telephone.

She checked with her manager and again stated that I must complain in writing, I again explained that the complaint had already been submitted without any response from your organisation and I wanted to know if it had been recorded and when a response would be forthcoming.

She again checked with her colleagues and repeated her statement about all issues must be in writing and that was the IPCC policy.

I asked her to identify the required policy and she was unable to do so, even after asking her colleagues and stated that the complaints policy is on your website again ignoring the fact that I did not wish to make a complaint.

She identified her manager as Gary Culkin and stated he was refusing to speak to me or to call me within the 24hour period specified by your callback policy as this in her words has nothing to do with him.

I asked her when my name had been added to your banned caller list and was told after her check that I was not on the banned caller list, I explained the previous call issues to her and asked who within your organisation is responsible for the telephony department, and was told it was Mr Gary Culkin.

I asked her to request Mr Culkin explain why multiple call handlers have terminated calls and why two calls were simply not answered before she again simply terminated the call without providing any further information.

So Mr Hodges

8. Please specify and provide a copy of or link to, which policy within the IPCC states that all contact with the IIU must be in writing and / or which policy states no member of the public can be connected to a named individual within your organisation via telephone.

9. If there is no such policy, please identify which policy, and provide a copy of or link to, was applied to issue instructions to your staff that all communication from me must be in writing.

10. Please specify which policy, and provide a copy of or link to the policy, your head of telephony, Mr Gary Culkin, used to refuse to speak to a member of the public and which also allowed him to refuse the callback to a member of the public within 24 hours of that request.

In relation to the data release you did provide, please extract the content of the two PDF files and paste them into the text response boxes within this site as I am still having difficulties getting them to display fully and I cannot be sure I am seeing all the information you have disclosed.

The second larger file appears to contain a number of blank pages and I do not know if they are intentionally blank or simply missing.

In relation to the ones that I have managed to view, I have some concerns regarding the accuracy of the data presented and the content of certain of the policies which I will try to address in writing, even though it would have been infinitely simpler to discuss these matters with you verbally and only request clarification of unresolved issues via here.

You have apparently provided your standard procedure for FOIA and DPA requests and there are a number of issues within these procedures which I would request clarification of:-

A. I have read these two procedures and I cannot find any reference to an identity check of the applicant under section 7(3) of the DPA, please specify where, within each of these procedures the requirement for IPCC Staff to confirm that the recipient of the data is legally entitled to receive it is undertaken, and why that requirement is not specified within either policy.

I would assume it is not mentioned because all issues dealt with by the IPCC originate from Police complaints / issues and it would appear reasonable to assume that the police would have correctly identified the applicant within their documentation so all data relating to those issues could safely be disclosed to the named person with the required details within the police documentation.

This is a deduction based on the fact that neither of the two policies require confirmation of identity and your "Sending Information Externally Staff Check List", also fails to specify at any point that the recipient must be identified by two forms of ID I.A.W. section 7(3) of the DPA, but further states that if the name and address that the data is going to matches the name and address of the person requesting it within the file itself then the IPCC considers that to be "reasonable belief" of entitlement under the DPA and every tier of IPCC staff handling or checking the response uses that as a standard.

B. Please specify which policy or procedure was used by Ms Thomas or and other decision taker within the IPCC to ignore the "Sending Information Externally Staff Check List" to require confirmation of ID despite this policy stating no such requirement, provide copies of or links to any such policy with explanation as to why it was not included in this data release, or Provide a written policy statement confirming that under your own policies and procedures, if the applicants details match that of the file content then the IPCC Reasoably Believes that the person is legally entitled to receive that information.

If the assumptions and deduction above are incorrect, and there is no "Reasonable Belief" from correlation of name and address within the file, then every reply sent from the IPCC to any applicant who is not personally known to the sender within the IPCC will constitute a breach of the DPA, there will be no need to examine every file and all disclosures can be immediately reported to the ICO as data breaches I.A.W. your checklist which states "As soon as you become aware of a Data Breach, report it to your line manager Immediately. Do not wait. It is imperative that the IPCC reacts to any data breaches as soon as is possible" and as Ms Owers has failed to address this matter I.A.W. the published instruction please add this as evidence to the formal complaint.

C. under the "Allocated to delegated person by IAO to process" heading, the first stage specifies "IAO instructs a delegated person within their department to process the request in accordance with the documented procedure" This Documented Procedure does not appear to be identified and the same phrase is contained within the FOIA and DPA procedures. Please identify the documented procedures, provide copies or links to them for each type of request if not already within your data release, and if they are not contained within your data release explain why they have been omitted.

D. Under the Rolls and responsibilities section there is a grid containing random letters such as A, R, C R/A, I/C etc but there is no Key to explain what these letters refer to, please provide a key.

E. The Key Performance Indicators section within the FOIA and DPA procedures is worrying, both show an 82% success rate per calendar month. The version control information immediately below shows 0.1 on the 25/08/2016 by Ms Thomas for both procedures without identifying which month or whether this is an average over a 12 month period. Please confirm, by month for the last 12 months, the KPI for FOIA requests and KPI for DPA requests because I have great difficulty accepting that the IPCC has an identical KPI result for both types of request every single month without exception.

To backtrack slightly, within the heading "Information Request is Received" step 3 states that "FOI and DPA Manager assesses this request to see if this request is a valid request and whether it should be dealt with under the FOIA gateway or another information access gateway is better suited" I have grammatical concerns regarding that particular statement but it is the reference to "Another Information Access Gateway" that I wish clarification of.

F. Please specify how many Information Access gateways are actually identified by the IPCC and provide details of each. Please specify whether any of them refer to "Normal Business" i.e. requests for information which are responded to in normal daily business and not specifically identified as FOIA or DPA requests, if such a gateway is identified please specify which policies or procedures within this data release cover that process, and if no gateway is identified please specify which policies and or procedures cover the Normal Business process and in either case provide copies of or links to any such documents.

G. I can find nowhere within either of these policies any timescales specified for each part of the process, please specify if any timescales exist and whether KPI records are held for any of them, again please provide copies of or links to any such documents.

You have released the "Making Information Available" document which I had originally identified to you and indeed raised with a number of your staff prior to submitting this request. As this is published as IPCC principles can you tell me:-

H. Is this principle binding on every employee of the IPCC as part of their contract of employment?

With all large organisations employees are required to comply with all published instructions etc of the organisation and I am relatively certain this guiding principle would therefore be applicable, within that principle it clearly states that the IPCC "will endeavour to provide as much information as possible, provided there is no restriction or constraint on our doing so". Despite this clear principle I have been told by Mr Phil Harrison and Ms Gemma Thomas that they will not forward information to me regarding my contacts with the IPCC because there is no legal requirement for them to do so and they do not reasonably believe I am entitled to receive information about myself respectively.

This despite the outcomes of the issues raised by Mr W Hunter being sent to me by post already, and yet the IPCC is still refusing to address the blatant inconsistancies of this situiation.

My understanding of the DPA and indeed the FOIA is that neither of these acts prevents any data controller from disclosing any information about an individual to that individual, or any non personal information to any individual if they wish to do so.

The acts sole purpose was to require a data controller who refused to provide any such information voluntarily, to disclose it under rule of law.

Your information principle is that you will provide information "provided there is no restriction or constraint on our doing so"

I. Please provide copies of or links to any law, policy or procedure which restricts or constrains your disclosing the information received by the IPCC regarding my specific issues to me, as the person who raised them as issues to the IPCC, and to whom you have already disclosed the outcome of your investigation of those issues to without prior proof of identity.

In respect to the issue of complaints, My comments regarding Ms Thomas were recorded as a complaint by Ms Badham of the IIU within the IPCC, despite my clearly stating the opposite, and that alleged complaint was recorded and investigated and the outcome sent to me within 11 days.

My comments regarding Ms Badham were again taken as a complaint by your IIU department in the person of Mr Graeme Pallister, who recorded them as a complaint, investigated and produced an outcome response within 8 days.

In both of those instances no complaint was made by me, your staff chose to take comments as a complaint and as yet the FOIA response regarding their actions is still pending.

In my last communication dated 28 November 2016 I finally made a formal complaint via this communication after further FOIA and DPA requests, that was 14 days ago.

Despite a formal complaint and formal DPA subject access request I have received no communication from the IPCC regarding either.

J. Please specify where my DPA request is currently within your DPA request procedure, whether my DPA request has been assigned a request ID and when I will be formally notified of the recording of that request and or any information regarding it.

I have already submitted FOIA requests regarding your complaints procedure and processes, especially in relation to the recording of complaints that have not been made by the applicant.

Two of those alleged complaints were completed within 8 and 11 days but my formal complaint against Dame Anne Owers, made over 14 days ago with a request for the Investigating officer to contact me to facilitate the transmission of relevant evidence has resulted in no contact whatsoever and as yet no outcome.

K. Please specify whether my complaint has been recorded and identify the reference number for that complaint, please specify when it was recorded and whether an investigating officer has been appointed and if so on what date they were appointed.

L. Please specify what if any timescales apply to the investigation of complaints regarding IPCC staff and when or indeed if I will ever be contacted by the Investigating Officer to provide the relevant evidence?

I ask simply because it appears self evident that internal complaints appear to be dealt with very expeditiously, especially since the IIU staff appear to be so under utelised that they have taken to manufacturing complaints to investigate in order to produce an outcome that is closed before the person purportedly making the complaint can provide any input to it.

Of course now you have a formal complaint, with a formal request to provide evidence in support of it your IIU seems most reluctant to get in touch and my attempts to contact them today by telephone are refused.

Therefore I am complying with your unreasonable demands to contact them in writing via this medium, so other members of the public who are receiving the same refusal to communicate can perhaps copy my example and ask for a formal response via this public forum.

You were late with your response to my initial FOIA request which was required by the 9th December, the next request was submitted 12 days later, giving a deadline of the 27 December, but that does not consider IPCC Closing time for Christmas.

M. Please specify on what days over the Christmas Period the IPCC is closed and provide the required dates for the release of information made in subsequent FOIA requests from myself via this forum.

Yours faithfully,

W Hunter

!FOI Requests, Independent Police Complaints Commission

This is an automated email please do not respond to it.

Thank you for your email.

If you have made a request for information to the IPCC, your email and any attachments will be assessed logged and forwarded onto the appropriate department to acknowledge and respond to.

FOI Team

Dear Mr Hodges,

I have received a response from Susan Badham yet again outside of this forum acknowledging my communication, which was clearly addressed to you, and giving information regarding a complaint submitted on the 12 Dec 2016 with reference number when no complaint was submitted in my communication of the 12th.

I would assume from prior action that Ms Badham has again manufactured a complaint in my name from the coments given to give background to my further FOIA requests addressed to you on the 12th.

She has not however given any information regarding the complaint of the 28 Nov 2016, nor indeed has any member of staff at the IPCC cut and pasted the content of the two previously released PDF files into a response to this forum so I am still unable to access the data allegedly released 4 days ago.

I realise it is somewhat confusing for your staff to receive FOIA requests and "Normal Business" requests within the same communication, especially since the IPCC cannot seem to keep the two types of request seperated internally so:

N. Please specify which items from my last communication are being treated as FOIA requests and which are being treated as "Normal Business", and while you are doing that perhaps someone might supply a timescale for normal business responses?

On a final and most telling note, Ms Badham and indeed every other member of staff within the IPCC, including yourself, have not supplied any information regarding my SAR, the data release for which is due on Saturday the 7 January.

I would appreciate it if you could encourage one of the FOIA/DPA staff to confirm that my SAR has been recorded and is in progress, not least because your SAR policy appears to be in breach of the DPA in that it appears to start the 40 day time limit from receipt, then at a point within that process specifies if ID is required the time clock is stopped until ID is received, at which point the timer is reset back to the full 40 days.

The DPA however simply states in section 7(3) that :
"(3)Where a data controller—
(a)reasonably requires further information in order to satisfy himself as to the identity of the person making a request under this section and to locate the information which that person seeks, and
(b)has informed him of that requirement,
the data controller is not obliged to comply with the request unless he is supplied with that further information.]"

Before going on to state in section 7(8) that:
"(8)Subject to subsection (4), a data controller shall comply with a request under this section promptly and in any event before the end of the prescribed period beginning with the relevant day."

The relevant day is the day of receipt of the SAR and the 40 day time limit starts from that date.

The IPCC must therefore prepare all applicable data for release within that 40 day limit, and if ID is requested and received within that 40 day limit the data must be released.

Your policy to reset the 40 day limit until after id is received is therefore in breach of the DPA.

I am happy to know, that since you have already confirmed my identity via email, the ID requirement will not hinder my SAR but I would ask:

O. Please specify if legal advice was taken in respect tot he IPCC DPA request policy and whether the provision to reset the 40 day time limit apparently specified within it is in breach of the DPA requirements.

Regards

W Hunter

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Susan Badham <[email address]>
To: "'[email address]'" <[email address]>
Cc: !IIU <[email address]>; Gemma Thomas <[email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 16:38
Subject: Your complaint against IPCC call handling staff and the FOI team

Dear Mr Hunter

This is to advise you that your complaint against IPCC staff (made to !FOI requests at the IPCC at 21:30 on 12/12/16) has been recorded under reference number 5853/31/189. You can expect to receive a response regarding the conduct issues within your e mail with twenty working days from the date of your complaint.

A response to your queries regarding our FOI processes is being prepared separately and will be sent to you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Susan Badham
Internal Investigations Officer

Independent Police Complaints Commission
PO Box 473
Sale
M33 0BW

Yours sincerely,

W Hunter

!FOI Requests, Independent Police Complaints Commission

This is an automated email please do not respond to it.

Thank you for your email.

If you have made a request for information to the IPCC, your email and any attachments will be assessed logged and forwarded onto the appropriate department to acknowledge and respond to.

FOI Team

Gemma Thomas, Independent Police Complaints Commission

Dear Mr Hunter

Thank you for your email below.

I would like to assure you that we have received this and will be responding in due course.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Thomas
Freedom of Information & Data Protection Manager
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
90 High Holborn
London WC1V 6BH
W: 0207 166 5157
M: 07984 255 415
F: 020 7166 3163
[email address]
www.ipcc.gov.uk

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!FOI Requests, Independent Police Complaints Commission

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Hunter,

Attached to this email is the IPCC's response to the request for information included in your email to the IPCC of 12 December 2016.

Yours sincerely,

IPCC

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