Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You have previously disclosed that:

"As all positions require a DBS check, the number carried out per year would depend on the number of positions filled that year."

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

1. Please provide the number of DBS checks that were carried out in:

i. The calendar year 2016; and
ii. the business year 2016/17.

2. Of all the positions filled during the business year 2016/17, how many were:

i. Full time permanent;
ii. Full time temporary;
iii. Part time permanent; and
iv. Part time temporary.

3. Please provide a breakdown of the job titles filled which fall within each of the four categories identified. For example, if 4 Project Officers were full time permanent and another 7 were full time temporary, show the difference. Do not simply provide a combined figure of 11 Project Officers.

4. Please provide the names of all of the recruitment agencies you used during 2016/17 as well as the number of staff they each recruited during 2016/17.

5. Please provide the amount paid/due to each recruitment agency in respect of  work done during 2016/17.

6. If you have paid, or are due to pay, money to any recruitment agencies that have done no work for you during 2016/17, please provide details of amounts paid/due.

A search of your website using the terms "organogram" and "organisational chart" yields nothing useful. You have previously claimed that you update your organisational chart on a quarterly basis:

"The organisational chart available on our website is accurate as of 7 July 2016. It is updated on a quarterly basis."

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

7. If you no longer produce organograms/organisational charts on a quarterly basis please provide information surrounding the decision to axe them. If you still produce them but do not make them available online, please provide details of the date the decision not to make them publically available was taken.

8. Please provide a copy of your latest organogram, if one exists. If the most recent version of your organogram predates April 2017, don't bother. Instead, please provide in written form the information that an organogram would normally contain, to show the current organisationsal structure of the PHSO (and staffing levels).

Yours faithfully,

D Moore

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


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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

It is almost two months since I submitted this request.

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

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


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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 'Organogram/PHSO recruitment in 2016/17/'.

I have received no response and I've been waiting for more than two months.

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

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

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


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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

If I don't receive a satisfactory response very soon I'll have no option but to contact the ICO. If there is some legitimate reason for the delay, please let me know. Neither of us would wish to unnecessarily burden the ICO.

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear D Moore

 

Re: FOI FDN-274725

 

I write in response to your email of requesting information held by the
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).  Please accept our
apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Your request and our
response is set out below.

You have previously disclosed that:
"As all positions require a DBS check, the number carried out per year
would depend on the number of positions filled that year."

[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

1. Please provide the number of DBS checks that were carried out in:
i. The calendar year 2016; and 

 177

ii. the business year 2016/17. –

137

2. Of all the positions filled during the business year 2016/17, how many
were:
i. Full time permanent;

15

ii. Full time temporary;

56

iii. Part time permanent; and

1

iv. Part time temporary.

4

  

3. Please provide a breakdown of the job titles filled which fall within
each of the four categories identified. For example, if 4 Project Officers
were full time permanent and another 7 were full time temporary, show the
difference. Do not simply provide a combined figure of 11 Project
Officers.

Please see the attached file.

4. Please provide the names of all of the recruitment agencies you used
during 2016/17 as well as the number of staff they each recruited during
2016/17. 

Catherine Johnstone Recruitment (CJR)

Customer Management Resourcing (CMR)

Hays,

Kennedy Pearce,

Law Absolute

Michael Page

Morgan Hunt

Morgan Law

Oakleaf

Red Snapper

Tiger Recruitment

Baseline Recruit

CIPFA –Penna Plc

Search

Gatenby Sanderson

Verudus Keystream

For the number of staff recruited by individual agencies during 2016/2017,
please see the attached file.

 

5. Please provide the amount paid/due to each recruitment agency in
respect of work done during 2016/17. 

 

Please see the attached file.

 

6. If you have paid, or are due to pay, money to any recruitment agencies
that have done no work for you during 2016/17, please provide details of
amounts paid/due.

N/a

A search of your website using the terms "organogram" and "organisational
chart" yields nothing useful. You have previously claimed that you update
your organisational chart on a quarterly basis:
"The organisational chart available on our website is accurate as of 7
July 2016. It is updated on a quarterly basis."
[2]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

7. If you no longer produce organograms/organisational charts on a
quarterly basis please provide information surrounding the decision to axe
them. If you still produce them but do not make them available online,
please provide details of the date the decision not to make them
publically available was taken.

2016

8. Please provide a copy of your latest organogram, if one exists. If the
most recent version of your organogram predates April 2017, don't bother.
Instead, please provide in written form the information that an organogram
would normally contain, to show the current organisational structure of
the PHSO (and staffing levels).

We are unable to provide a copy as we are currently going through a
restructure which has not been finalised. 

 

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
[3][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]. You will need to specify what 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 ([4]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [5]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

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References

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2. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
3. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
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5. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
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D. Moore left an annotation ()

Agency costs for 2016/17 amounted to £578,293.13.

Although 16 recruitment agencies were used during 2016/17, the money was shared by only 7 of them. These 7 agencies recruited 19 staff in total.

One company, Morgan Law Partners LLP, employed 7 of the 19 and received £236,915.90. Another company, CIPFA Penna plc, employed 2 and received £175,089.74. On its website it identifies two recent PHSO placements as: "Head of Finance" and "Ombudsman Finance Manager":

http://www.cipfa.org/services/recruitmen...

A third, Search, employed 1 and received what seems in comparison the paltry sum £411.95.

All agencies that received money can be viewed here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

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 'Organogram/PHSO recruitment in 2016/17/'.

Thank you for the information provided. I do, however, require part 8 of my request to be internally reviewed:

"8. Please provide a copy of your latest organogram, if one exists. If the most recent version of your organogram predates April 2017, don't bother. Instead, please provide in written form the information that an organogram would normally contain, to show the current organisational structure of the PHSO (and staffing levels). "

You responded:

"We are unable to provide a copy as we are currently going through a restructure which has not been finalised."

The fact that no organogram or organisational chart exists is no justification for not providing the information requested in my third sentence:

"Instead, please provide in written form the information that an organogram would normally contain, to show the current organisational structure of the PHSO (and staffing levels). "

If you insist on not providing the information, please state which FOIA exemption or exemptions you are relying on.

In addition to the internal review, I should like the following clarified:

Although137 DBS checks were carried out in the business year 2016/17, only 76 relate to (i) "full time permanent" (ii) "full time temporary" (iii) "part time temporary" and (iv) "part time permanent".

Please provide a breakdown of the remaining 61.

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

Yours faithfully,

D. Moore

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear D Moore,

Information request FDN- 274725 -Internet Review response

Background to request
Your request for information was received on 1 August 2017 and would have been due for a response on 29 August 2017. I see from our records that you chased for a response on 27 September 2017 and then requested an internal review on 2 October 2017 due to lateness of the response. You then sent another chaser on 10 October 2017. We responded to your request on 12 October 2017 with apologies. You acknowledged receipt of the response and requested a review of the information provided on 13 October 2017. Your review request reads:

"8. Please provide a copy of your latest organogram, if one exists. If the most recent version of your organogram predates April 2017, don't bother. Instead, please provide in written form the information that an organogram would normally contain, to show the current organisational structure of the PHSO (and staffing levels). "
You responded:
"We are unable to provide a copy as we are currently going through a restructure which has not been finalised."
The fact that no organogram or organisational chart exists is no justification for not providing the information requested in my third sentence:
"Instead, please provide in written form the information that an organogram would normally contain, to show the current organisational structure of the PHSO (and staffing levels). "
If you insist on not providing the information, please state which FOIA exemption or exemptions you are relying on.
In addition to the internal review, I should like the following clarified:
Although137 DBS checks were carried out in the business year 2016/17, only 76 relate to (i) "full time permanent" (ii) "full time temporary" (iii) "part time temporary" and (iv) "part time permanent".
Please provide a breakdown of the remaining 61.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o...

I have reviewed your request in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act)and the outcome of my review is set out below.

Response
It is clear from the above that we failed to respond to your request within the FOI statutory timeline. Please accept our apologies for this and for any inconvenience caused.

With respect to the organogram/ organisational chart I am satisfied that it did not exist as a final document at the time and that the information that would have been on the chart could not have been provided as it would have been exempt under section 22 of the FOI Act. Section 22 allows us to refuse a request if at the time of its receipt the information is intended for future publication. Section 22 is a qualified exemption which means that we have to conduct a public interest test. The public interest test requires us to weigh the public interest in disclosing against the public interest in withholding the information and to disclose or withhold depending on where the balance lies.

We recognise that a public interest argument which favours disclosure is that the providing the information would foster transparency and accountability in PHSO’s operations. However, we consider that there is wider interest in keeping to a planned schedule of publication. PHSO has been through a restructure and at the time of your request the information was not finalised the charts and the new structure had not yet gone live. Our intention at the time was to publish a final version of the structure chart when all roles were in post. We do not consider that making the information available that would be in the structure chart public ahead of it been finalised would have been in the public interest especially as it was incomplete and devoting resources to get it up to date just for the request would have affected our planned schedule of publication. This ultimately would not have benefitted the wider public.

In response to your query about the information we provided, I can see that you have combined questions 1 and 2 which we answered separately at the time. The information provided was for all DBS checks in that financial year and would have included ongoing checks which were not concluded in that period.

Conclusion

Our failure to provide a response within 20 workings days breached the FOI Act however I am satisfied that your request for the information could not be provided at the time as it was exempt, and so for this reason I partly uphold your complaint.

I hope this now satisfactorily concludes your request. If you remain dissatisfied with our handling of your request, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.org.uk).

Sincerely,

T. Akindele
Freedom of Information/Data Protection Manager
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

show quoted sections

D. Moore left an annotation ()

ICO contacted regarding part 8 of my request.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear D Moore,

 

I write regarding correspondence received by the ICO. They asked us
to reconsider the way PHSO has handled your information request.

We reconsidered the way your request has been handled and revisited the
original response to you and also the Internal Review response.

Our response to the ICO is below:

 

 

Complainant: D Moore

Our reference: FDN-274725

Your reference: FS50719341

 

I write in reply to your email dated 1^st February in which you asked us
to reconsider the way PHSO has handled D Moore’s Freedom of Information
Request. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

 

I have revisited the request and how it was handled within our response of
12^th October 2017 and the internal review of 30^th November 2017.

 

I reverse the decision made by PHSO and no longer rely on the section 22
exemption as it was not reasonable in the circumstances to withhold
information until it’s planned publication.

 

Within your email you asked for information from us so that you could
reach a decision. Please see below our responses to the points raised:

 

·         A copy of the withheld information (clearly marked with the
section 22 exemption).

 

A search of the case file for request FDN-274725 has been undertaken but I
have been unable to locate a copy of the information that was withheld at
the time.

 

In particular please answer the following questions in relation to the
PHSO’s application of section 22 of the FOIA in relation to this request.

 

·         In order correctly rely on section 22 there must have been a
settled intention to publish the requested information prior to the
request being received. Therefore, please provide evidence which
demonstrates that the information was going to be published at the time of
the initial request. Was the publication date determined when the request
was actually received? If so, please confirm on what date publication will
take place.

 

I can find no written evidence of an intended publication date. At the
time of the request PHSO was going through a restructure and I understand
that the intention was to publish a final organogram when all roles were
in post but I can provide no recorded evidence of this. The re-structure
is complete and PHSO have published a recent organogram, section 21 now
applies as the information is reasonably accessible via our website
[1]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

 

·         Furthermore, for this exemption to be relied on section 22(1)(c)
requires that the application is ‘reasonable in all the circumstances’ of
the request. Therefore, please explain why in this case the PHSO concluded
that the application of the exemption was a reasonable one.

 

At the time it was concluded that it was reasonable to wait until a
restructure was completed for an organogram to be published. It was
decided that the making of information available at the time that would be
in the organogram would not be in the public interest as it would divert
resources from the planned schedule and would not serve the wider public.
I no longer rely on PHSO applying the s22 exemption. Given that the
organogram that is now published was made public a considerable time after
the date of the request for information I do not believe that in the
circumstances it was reasonable to apply the s22 exemption.

 

·         We also note that in the PHSO’s response it stated that an
organogram did not exist as a ‘final document’ on the date of the request
and that the information ‘that would have been on the chart’ could not
have been provided as it was exempt under section 22. Please confirm if
(1) on the date of the request the PHSO held any draft versions of the
organogram, and (2) if there was any information [within the scope of the
request] that was held at the time of the request that does not appear in
the final organogram.

 

Please note, any draft documents would not have been intended for
publication and therefore it is unlikely that section 22 could be applied
to without this information from disclosure.

 

1)    I am unable to confirm that draft versions of the organogram were
held at the time of the request.

2)    Since the date of the information request and number of roles and
responsibilities have changed.

 

In conclusion, PHSO no longer rely on the section 22 exemption for the
reasons given above. Our recent organogram is now publically available
online
[2]https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

 

I hope that the information above is useful. Please let me know if I can
be of further assistance.

 

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in you receiving a response to
your complaint to the ICO.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Andrew Martin

Freedom Of Information/Data Protection Manager

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [3]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

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Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Truly shocking.

That's where public money goes. Despicable waste of our money...!

But fulfils the perception that these organisation are there to transfer public money, our money, to the private purse.

Just like the NHS is doing.

C Rock left an annotation ()

It's just a mess. Most businesses would suspect that something's going seriously wrong. Ask the same question in a week's time and it will all have changed again. Changes are happening faster that they can be documented - but not changes for any visible advantage any more. IMHO.

D. Moore left an annotation ()

Brenda and C Rock,

Thank you both for your annotations.

Without details of the organisational structure it is impossible for the public to understand what is going on with recruitment. This response indicates that there is a lot of change happening at the top:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

But it is very strange that the names of very senior personnel were not released, including that of the Chair and Ombudsman 'AO' himself!

Jobs currently advertised include:

Assistant Director of Finance (closing date 28 March 2018)

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...

Dispute Resolution Design Manager (closing date 9 April 2018)

'With sound judgement, experience of securing buy-in for your ideas at the most senior level of an organisation and strong project management skills, you will play a key role in helping us expand our casework toolbox and improve our approach to complaint handling.'

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/jo...

Perhaps next year PHSO will be seeking a Dispute Resolution Design Director.

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