Public- facing employees.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

'However, we generally do not withhold information such as the names and
contact details of our staff in senior or customer facing roles from
material we release under the Data Protection Act 1998, Health Service
Commissioners Act 1993 or Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967'.

::::.

Please could the PHSO therefore provide a list - with contact email,addresses and extension numbers - of all public- facing senior officers and other employees.

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

foiofficer, 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

By email only

 

Ms [first name redacted] Oakley

[FOI #225470 email]

 

 

16 September 2014

 

Dear Ms [first name redacted] Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-200191)

 

I am writing response to your email of 18 August 2014, in which you wrote:

 

'However, we generally do not withhold information such as the names and
contact details of our staff in senior or customer facing roles from
material we release under the Data Protection Act 1998, Health Service
Commissioners Act 1993 or Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967'.

::::.

Please could the PHSO therefore provide a list -  with contact email,
addresses and extension numbers - of all public- facing senior officers
and other employees.

 

Firstly, it might be helpful if I explain that the statement you have
quoted seeks to explain that we routinely release information about our
staff in response to subject access requests made to us by complainants
(while the same information may not be accessible under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, or FOIA).  Such requests are processed under the
Data Protection Act 1998, the Health Service Commissioners Act 1993 and
the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967.  However, here you have asked for
information under FOIA, which is separate legislation. 
 

The request you have made is substantially similar to other requests you
have made to us before. These previous similar requests are available to
view online at the following links:

 

[1]www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/phso_executive_and_senior_office#comment-46196

 

[2]www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/executive_office_2#incoming-449305

 

Given that this is a substantially similar request to those you have made
to us previously (the handling of which will be considered by the
Information Tribunal), as well as the fact that nothing significant has
changed in the interim which would lead us to handle this further request
in a different way, we have concluded that section 14(1) FOIA still
applies to it.

Information about how to get in contact with PHSO (including details of
our helpline, postal address and email addresses) is available on our
website at: [3]www.ombudsman.org.uk.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Officer

 

 

 

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

Visible links
1. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ph...
2. http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ex...
3. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear foiofficer,

Thank you but your answer seems to state that the names and contact infurnation of public -facing employees must remain secret.

Can you confirm that to be the case?

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

foiofficer, 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

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

The PHSO's definition seems to be that public-facing employes cannot be contacted by the public.

But complainants need to contact officers senior to the Head of Review when their complaints have been negligently handled.

Having managed, over the months, get my complaint to senior public-facing staff, it was subsequently upheld by the Ombudsman.

IMO : If I hadn't, it wouldn't have been.

And that's why I think that other complainants should also have the same access.

::::

The upheld complaint:

External investigator's quotes..

Was it reasonable to take 12 months to decide there should be a review of the assessment decision?.......

The service provided, in my view, was well below adequate.

Some of the Decisions at particular points were unreasonable, there was a failure to coordinate the review teams work with the efforts being made by the FoI team,band the review team seems to have become 'locked into' a negative 'bureaucratic' process, which it treated as unalterable, or refusing to consider the points raised for review.

As a result of those failings, it is not surprising that that that the team's responses would not have come across as curt and peremptory, while also failing to respond to the issues being raised.

It is also clear that a substantial avoidable delay resulted.

Mrs TO, in my view, is likely to have suffered adverse consequences from the team's failings, in the form of increased distress and inconvenience.

I conclude that the review team failed to provide Mrs TO with a with a reasonable or acceptable level of service.

:::

It is not evident from the papers I have seen that the review team has a robust system to dealing quickly with cases where complaints are made about the review team itself.

I note that the head of review says that there is a robust system in place.

I recommend that you ask Anne Harding whether she is satisfied that a suitable and reliable system is in place, to ensure that complaints about the review team are quickly identified and referred appropriately for action.

:::::

The pity is - despite the external investigators recommendations- the same closed, protective system is still in place.

E. Colville left an annotation ()

D.Speers here!
Appalling behavior ....thank you for asking!

Complaintsphso, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms [first name redacted] Oakley

 

We are writing in response to your email of 16 September 2014. We are
sorry that you are dissatisfied with our handling of your information
request entitled ‘Public-facing employees.’

 

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.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Review Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

 

From: [Name Removed] [mailto:[FOI #225470 email]]
Sent: 16 September 2014 19:09
To: foiofficer
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Public-
facing employees.

 

Dear foiofficer,

Thank you but your answer seems to state  that the names and contact
infurnation of public -facing employees must remain secret.

Can you confirm that to be the case?

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

show quoted sections

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

Logically one would only have to transfer the names and contact numbers of staff named in an SAR to a list.

Even PASC has stated the insistence of communications going by post is less than helpful.

'We recommend that the Government’s new legislation to create a simpler and more straightforward Ombudsman service should allow complaints to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to be made other than in writing, such as in person, by telephone or online, just as is expected of other complaints systems'.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

Apparently the FoI department does not agree that complainants should be able to reach public-facing officers by email.

Why ever not? Emails end up in the same place as letters..on the recipients desk.

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

[2]fb  [3]twitter  [4]linkedin

 

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

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
2. http://www.facebook.com/phsombudsman
3. http://www.twitter.com/PHSOmbudsman
4. http://www.linkedin.com/company/parliame...

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

So under the PHSO's criteria, no 'public facing' staff.....( Presumably paid to be public facing) , are available to the public via email or telephone.

And, from my experience - before my case was reviewed - by letter.

So, logically, how are they facing the public?

Admittedly it's easy enough for complainants to see and contact them via Linked-in and Facebook-, where many advertise themselves, complete with photographs ... but no contact in paid work time , if case handlers have made mistakes and line managers are sought to rectify poor work.

It would be hilarious... if it wasn't so serious.

But it's a really good indicator of the inbuilt secretive arrogance that the PHSO favoured in the previous Abrahams administration towards has the paying public ..... and now continues in this one, despite advising PASC of a 'new transparency '.

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

Here's the ICO's guidance:

56. The more senior an employee is and the more responsibility they have for decision making and expenditure of public money, the greater their expectation should be that their name will be disclosed. However, seniority within the organisational structure is not the sole determining factor. Employees who represent their authority to the outside world should also have an expectation that their authority will disclose their names.