Outcome of investigation

Simon Hoyle made this Freedom of Information request to Health and Care Professions Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Health and Care Professions Council.

Dear Health and Care Professions Council,
5,
On 5th January 2017, the hearing of HCPC -v- Matthew Geary was adjourned pending investigation into whether the Legal Assessor - who being a solicitor with no current practicing certificate, was permitted, by law and in particular the Legal Services Act 2007, to occupy that position, and whether by virtue of the fact that they failed to keep up that certificate since 2013, they were permitted to sit on the hearing commencing on 2015, ending in 2016.

Barrister and Legal Assessor Gary Leong told the panel that the issue could not be dealt with because of its wider ramifications for the wider legal profession and expert advice would need to be taken. This was echoed by Barrister and Legal Assessor Fayez Afzal who directed the panel with their options in law.

The purpose of the adjournment was to determine the legal position. No communication was made with any parties, and upon resuming the hearing, on 10th March, the issue was raised again. Solicitor Laura Ryan of Kingsley Napley Solicitors, acting for the HCPC, in answer to the question stated that "the HCPC were happy". No details were given as to the investigation to determine the legal position of whether or not the Legal Assessor was permitted in law to conduct what could be held to be a Reserved Legal Activity as set out in the Legal Services Act 2007, and she was not instructed or willing to elaborate.

Please therefore set out, in finite detail, the advice received in relation to this point, and why it is that the HCPC believes that a former lawyer with no practicing certificate is appropriately authorised and qualified to give legal advice to a regulatory panel, the decision made by whom can be appealed in the High Court or higher on a point of law.

This is not legal privilege. You do not have to set out word for word the advice you were given. I am asking using the FOI why you think this state of affairs is permissible, and you may wish to quote the advice you have been given. Had this information been made available on the 10th March at the hearing, or before, there would be no need to make this request. If my FOI requests made away from the whatdotheyknow site were answered promptly, I would not now be choosing this method as being the most efficient manner of requesting information.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Hoyle

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

Dear Mr Hoyle

 

Thank you for your email of 14 March 2017, in which you ask for the legal
advice the HCPC received regarding legal assessors without practising
certificates.

 

We are treating this as a request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA).

 

We will deal with your request as promptly as possible and at the latest,
within 20 working days of receiving your request, as required by the FOIA.
If you have any queries about your request please contact us using this
email address, or the address below.

The reference number for your request is FR05078.

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information Team

 

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[1]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

To sign up to our e-newsletter, please email [2][email address]

Please consider the environment before printing this email 

Correspondence is welcome in English or Welsh / Gallwch ohebu yn Gymraeg
neu Saesneg.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

Dear Mr Hoyle,

Thank you for your recent information request. You asked to be provided
with a summary of the legal advice received by the HCPC in relation to the
HCPC’s use of legal assessors. Your request has been handled under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

 

The legal advice received by the HCPC on this matter is legally privileged
and exempt under section 42 of FOIA. The remainder of your request is not
a request for recorded data held by the HCPC and therefore not a valid
FOIA request. FOIA is not a complaints or feedback service. Should you
wish to discuss concerns about the HCPC’s processes you can do so using
the below contact details.

 

Service and Complaints Manager
Health and Care Professions Council
Park House 184 Kennington Park Road
London
SE11 4BU

Tel: 44(0)20 7840 9708
Email: [1][email address]

 

Internal review

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review by writing to:

Secretariat Department

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House

184 Kennington Park Road

London

SE11 4BU

 

Email: [2][email address]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 Website: [3]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Regards,

 

Freedom of Information

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[4]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

To sign up to our e-newsletter, please email [5][email address]

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email

 

Correspondence is welcome in English or Welsh / Gallwch ohebu yn Gymraeg
neu Saesneg.

Information classification and handling: “Confidential” – data should
always be kept locked in a secure location. Multiple layers of protection
such as a secure building, access control, and locked offices within a
building are adequate protection. Electronic transmission of Confidential
data with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be secured via
encryption or secured form of transport. The data is for the addressee
only; disclosure, transmission or dissemination of Confidential data must
be authorized by the HCPC information owner.

The material transmitted in this email is intended only for the person or
legal entity to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and
privileged information. It may not be used or disclosed except for the
purpose for which it has been sent. If you are not the addressee or have
received this email in error please notify the sender and do not read,
print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on the material in this
email.

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. http://www.hcpc-uk.org/
5. mailto:[email address]

Dear Health and Care Professions Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Health and Care Professions Council's handling of my FOI request 'Outcome of investigation'.

You are a public authority, not a private business. Therefore, any legal advice or application of legal advice should rightly be made available to the public as part your duty under the 7 principals of public life. Your legal position has direct bearing upon how you manage cases against health professionals and those professionals, their representatives and the general public have a right to understand and indeed question your application of the law. Therefore it is utterly wrong that you should seek to secrete information, particularly as it may show you in a bad light.

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,

Simon Hoyle

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

Dear Mr Hoyle

 

Thank you for your email dated 8 April 2017, the contents of which have
been noted.

 

As you are unhappy with our response to your request for information of
DATE, your request has been escalated for an internal review and as such
has now been passed to The Director of Council and Committee Services.

 

We aim to respond to your internal review as soon as possible, and in any
case within 20 working days of receiving your request.

 

The reference number for your request is FR05122.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Maxine Pryce

Information Governance Officer

 

Health and Care Professions Council

Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road

London SE11 4BU

[1]www.hcpc-uk.org

 

To sign up to our e-newsletter, please email [2][email address]

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email

 

Correspondence is welcome in English or Welsh / Gallwch ohebu yn Gymraeg
neu Saesneg.

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, Health and Care Professions Council

Dear Mr Hoyle,

 

I write in response to your request for an internal review of your FOIA
request.

 

Having reviewed your request and the HCPC’s response I am upholding the
non-disclosure of the legal advice obtained on this matter under section
42 of FOIA.

 

Your assertion that the HCPC is a public rather than private business, and
therefore unable to rely on the legal privilege exemption is not valid. As
you may know, FOIA applies only to public bodies and therefore the
exemption FOIA allows for legal privilege is intended for use by public
bodies.

 

More information on the legal advice exemption can be found on the ICO
website at the following link;

 

[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/1208/legal_prof...

 

Review of response

 

Should you wish you may request that the Information Commissioner reviews
this response. Please contact-

 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

 

There is no charge for making an appeal,

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Claire Amor
Information Governance Manager

 

The Health and Care Professions Council
Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4BU
[2]www.hcpc-uk.org

Follow us on [3]Facebook, [4]Linkedin, [5]Twitter and [6]YouTube.
Sign up to the [7]HCPC e-newsletter

Please consider the environment before printing this email

Correspondence is welcome in English or Welsh / Gallwch ohebu yn Gymraeg
neu Saesneg.

 

Information classification and handling: “Confidential” – data should
always be kept locked in a secure location. Multiple layers of protection
such as a secure building, access control, and locked offices within a
building are adequate protection. Electronic transmission of Confidential
data with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be secured via
encryption or secured form of transport. The data is for the addressee
only; disclosure, transmission or dissemination of Confidential data must
be authorized by the HCPC information owner.

The material transmitted in this email is intended only for the person or
legal entity to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential and
privileged information. It may not be used or disclosed except for the
purpose for which it has been sent. If you are not the addressee or have
received this email in error please notify the sender and do not read,
print, re-transmit, store or act in reliance on the material in this
email.

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/1208/legal_prof...
2. http://www.hcpc-uk.org/
3. http://www.facebook.com/hcpcuk
4. http://www.linkedin.com/company/the-heal...
5. http://www.twitter.com/the_hcpc
6. http://www.youtube.com/HCPCuk
7. http://www.hcpc-uk.org/publications/news...

Brenda Prentice left an annotation ()

Foregone conclusion that they will up hold their own findings......!
I don't know one 'regulator' that is above reproach . Time things were changed.
Too many jobs for the boys (and girls) and no justice for people.