Quarterly performance reports to the Board from the FOIA and legal departments

The request was partially successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please provide the reports which follow on from the previous request with the same title....

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

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request, not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees, and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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  • Attachment

    8.3 Information Governance Compliance Annual Report Audit Committee.pdf

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Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-268807)

 

I am writing further to your information request of 2 September 2016 in
which you asked for copies of ‘quarterly performance reports to the Board
from the FOIA and legal departments’.

 

In our previous response of 14 April 2016, we advised you that neither the
Legal nor FOI/DP Team provides quarterly performance reports to the
Board.  However, on an annual basis, the FOI/DP Team contributes to an
information governance report for the Audit Committee, the minutes of
which are noted by the Board.

 

I have attached a copy of the FOI/DP Team’s contribution to this report. 
I hope it is helpful.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #355859 email]]
Sent: 02 September 2016 01:46
To: InformationRights
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Quarterly performance reports to
the Board from the FOIA and legal departments

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please provide the reports which follow on from the previous  request 
with the same  title....

[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/q...

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section
(Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under
section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of
the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request,  not put in a PDF or
any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on
file, rather than newly written letters of response.

[4]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs
department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees,
and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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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 'Quarterly performance reports to the Board from the FOIA and legal departments'.

Thank you for your clarification that neither the legal or FOIA teams report to the board.

However , I note the statistics within the report given are quarterly - so it was a reasonable assumption from the former quarterly reports provided.

Could you therefore provide data showing how the PHSO board is informed of the work of these departments, as clearly the board cannot be entirely in ignorance of the work these two departments - to meet its governance standards.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

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


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Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Will I always get the information I ask for?

Not always. The Freedom of Information Act recognises that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may be withheld, such as if its release would prejudice national security or damage commercial interests.

For some exemptions the public authority must consider whether the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in releasing it.

If it decides that the information cannot be released it must tell you and explain why.

ICO advice,

Holmes Helen, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear JT Oakley

 

Thank you for your email to request an internal review of your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Your internal review (FDN-268807)

Further to your email of 29 September 2016, I am writing with a response
to your request for an internal review.  This review will look at whether
your information request was dealt with in compliance with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). 

 

Was the request responded to in time?

We received the request on 2 September 2016 and responded to it on 29
September 2016.  As this was within the time limit of twenty working days
stipulated by section 10(1) FOIA, we responded to the request in a timely
fashion. 

 

Was the request complied with?

Your request was for copies of “quarterly performance reports to the Board
from the FOIA and legal departments”.  We replied and set out that neither
department provides quarterly performance reports to the Board. The FOIA
team contributes to an information governance report to the Audit
Committee, and we sent you a copy of that contribution.  As such, the
response explicitly addresses the question that you raised.  Please note
that FOIA only entitles a right to information which is recorded.  You
have been provided with all recorded information relevant to your request,
and so my view is that the PHSO provided you with a response to the
question you raised in a manner that is compliant with the provisions of
FOIA.

Outcome of review

As such, my view is that your request was dealt with in a legally
compliant manner.  If you remain dissatisfied with our handling of your
request, it is open to you to complain to the Information Commissioner’s
Office ([1]www.ico.org.uk).

If you are unhappy with a service you have received from PHSO or a
decision it has made, information on how to raise such concerns is
available on our website at the following link:
[2]www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/feedback-about-us

 

regards

 

Helen Holmes

Legal Services

 

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #355859 email]]
Sent: 29 September 2016 13:51
To: InformationRights
Subject: (FDN-268807) Internal review of Freedom of Information request -
Quarterly performance reports to the Board from the FOIA and legal
departments

 

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 'Quarterly performance
reports to the Board from the FOIA and legal departments'.

Thank you for your clarification that neither the legal or FOIA teams
report to the board.

However , I note the statistics within the report given are quarterly - so
it was a reasonable assumption from the former  quarterly reports
provided.

Could you therefore provide data showing how the PHSO board is informed of
the work of these departments, as clearly the board cannot be entirely  in
ignorance of  the work these two departments - to meet its governance
standards.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[4][FOI #355859 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

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Dear Holmes Helen,

Thank you.

However, since I am not privy to the timing of communications to the board ( i.e. Quarterly ..and I would need S16 help and assistance if the time period was anything other than quarterly ). there appears to be no response to the request clarification of how the board is informed of the work of the FOIA and legal departments.

Perhaps you would therefore be good enough to confirm - as your response appears to suggest - that the PHSO board receives NO reports, or communications on the work of the request-named departments - that comprise PHSO file data - before I refer to the ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Holmes Helen, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear JT Oakley

Your Freedom of Information request was quarterly performance reports. We have confirmed in our original request and our review response that there are no such reports to the Board beyond the information you have been provided with.

Regards
Helen Holmes

show quoted sections

Dear Holmes Helen,

It's lucky you got my name wrong - as you'd be infringing the DPA if you had.

Please have it removed via WDTK.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Common Law Jurisdiction left an annotation ()

I'm sure there must be cases, but I have yet to see one where an internal review fails to uphold the original decision.

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Agreed CLJ

But where the PHSO Foi officer used to just direct the 'independent' risk person to uphold the response, it now goes to the legal department.

I find it incomprehensible that the board knows nothing of its work, or that of the FOIA department.

If it does.....then I have been misinformed ( above)

If it doesn't....then it shows that this organisation is adrift in its governance.

Dear Holmes Helen,

Thank you but as I pointed out. You privudec no s16 help and assistance in order to help me treframe my request, which you must do to comply with the ICO direction.

In addition, since you did not do so, I clarified the request.

This was the clarified request which was not answered,

' Could you therefore provide data showing how the PHSO board is informed of the work of these departments, as clearly the board cannot be entirely  in ignorance of  the work these two departments - to meet its governance standards'.

Therefore could you
1. confirm that the request has ended.
2. That you read the request in its entirety ( in which S16 is stated )
3. And have no intention of supplying the clarified request.

I will the forward to the ICO.

:::
Help and assistance

This is information for you on the extremely poor handling by the PHSO of a previous request, which the Tribunal spelt out. I am thefore somewhat surprised that the PHSO has not heeded the Tribunal findings which hinge on the importance of applying S 16 to a request. And the PHSO's lack of doing so.

The Tribunal stated:

We have considered carefully you respond to this suggestion in her Grounds of Appeal and the detailed evidence before us and I'll satisfied there were reasonable grounds for her request and there was reason to be dissatisfied with the service she was being given by the public authority

Having considered the evidence and on hearing the Appellant on what were clearly had genuine concerns, we find that the backdrop of other correspondence and complaints only exacerbated her grounds for concerns and the frustration she felt in all the circumstances of the case.

The Appellant clearly was not getting satisfaction nor the meaningful response she deserved.

This Tribunal reminds itself that every is the duty on Public Authorities to assist members of the public in formulating and processing their requests.

On hearing the appellant on the facts of this case we are all the view that more could have been done to assist the processing of this request.

That this was a request with a genuine purpose was acknowledged by the Respondent but this Tribunal adds that the Appellant has satisfied that the need for her persistence, in its various forms as it transpired on the facts is justified by the failure of the Public Authority to respond more comprehensively, effectively, efficiently or adequately...

That is what the case is all about.

This FAILURE to act properly or adequately respond to this request led to confusion and frustration and a breakdown in communications such that the Appellant did not seek or deserve.

http://informationrights.decisions.tribu... name redacted]%20EA.2014.0093%20(19.01.2015)%20.pdf

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Complaint to the ICO.
To: casework@ico.org.uk

Report a concern about how an organisation handled your information

Please only reply by email to save postal visits and the environment.

In any response please include my reference which is:

Quarterly performance reports to the Board from the FOIA and legal departments

Request Date- September 2, 2016

Thank you

:::

1. Details of the organisation your concern is about
Organisation:   PHSO   
Contact name:  Helen Holmes
Legal Services  
Address, Postcode:  Telephone:  Email:    
Given-
image1.PNG  

2. Your relationship with the organisation
     
Member of the public
3. What is your concern?

That the PHSO response is stating that there are no reports of the work of the legal and FOIA departments given to the PHSO board.
I worked 17 years for chief executives of private and public organisations, so I cannot believe that none of the work of these two departments is reported to the board.

Replacing the quarterly reports given as a reference. s16 has not been applied to inform me of the schedule of ANY available reports.
Nb Understanding the confidentiality of singular legal cases.

::::

Logically it is a governance necessity for any publically- funded organisation to keep the board aware of these departmental issues, including any statistics given.
The only alternative is that the PHSO board is entirely unaware of both PHSO legal and Foia issues.
And therefore not complying with the governance of the PHSO, which has already been criticised by the National Audit Office.

If the response is accurate, it leaves the PHSO open to yet more criticism of it's governance arrangements.

Something else. Please give details.

In addition,

Since both the Ombudsman and deputy have had to resign ver an equality tribunal employment judgement,it is legitimate to know the legal arrangements of informing the board of the legal issues involved which lead up to the resignations.

If the PHSO response to this request is accurate, seemingly the issue of the employment tribunal, which led to the two resignations, was never raised with the board.
Therefore, a proper FOIA response is due, taking into consideration of the correct sections which must be applied.

     
Please send us copies of relevant documents that support your concern.

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

4. What have you done to raise your concern with the organisation?

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

1. Asked for S16 help and advice to reframe request.
- It cannot be assumed that a member of the public knows the PHSO's internal reporting system to the board.

2. Clarified request, in what I hoped to be a helpful manner.

29 September 2016
Could you therefore provide data showing how the PHSO board is informed of the work of these departments, as clearly the board cannot be entirely in ignorance of the work these two departments - to meet its governance standards.

3. Given extra time for the PHSO to provide S 16 help and assistance and respond to the clarification.

23rd January

However, since I am not privy to the timing of communications to the board ( i.e. Quarterly ..and I would need S16 help and assistance if the time period was anything other than quarterly ). there appears to be no response to the request clarification of how the board is informed of the work of the FOIA and legal departments.

Perhaps you would therefore be good enough to confirm - as your response appears to suggest - that the PHSO board receives NO reports, or communications on the work of the request-named departments - that comprise PHSO file data - before I refer to the ICO.

:::
Nb And asked the PHSO not to put my misspelled name on the internet.
It would have been polite - and reasonable- to have corrected the mistake.

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

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing how you raised your concern with the organisation.

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

5. What did the organisation say?

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

     
Please send copies of any documents you have showing the organisation’s response to your concern.
6. Reference number

Your information request (FDN-268807)
Quarterly performance reports to the Board from the FOIA and legal departments

Please tell us any reference number that the organisation has given you, eg account number, policy number etc.

As above.
     
7. Your details

Information supplied

8. Declaration
▪ I have included all the necessary supporting evidence.
▪ I understand that the ICO may need to share the information I have provided so they can look into my concern. I have indicated any documents or information that I don’t want the ICO to share.
▪ The information I have provided is accurate, to the best of my knowledge.
▪ I understand that the ICO will electronically store the information relating to my concern including the documents I have provided and keep the electronic records for two years, or for longer if it is appropriate. The ICO will destroy the original hard copies after six months.
I agree.
9. Sending your form to us
By email
1. Fill in this form and save it to your computer.
2. Open a new email, with ‘Concern about an organisation’s handling of personal information’ in the subject line.
3. If you have all your supporting documents electronically, attach them to your email.
4. Email the completed form to casework@ico.org.uk - emailed.

8. Declaration
▪ I have included all the necessary supporting evidence.
▪ I understand that the ICO may need to share the information I have provided so they can look into my concern. I have indicated any documents or information that I don’t want the ICO to share.
▪ The information I have provided is accurate, to the best of my knowledge.
▪ I understand that the ICO will electronically store the information relating to my concern including the documents I have provided and keep the electronic records for two years, or for longer if it is appropriate. The ICO will destroy the original hard copies after six months.
I agree.

//

February 25 2017

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

ICO has accepted the complaint:

21st March 2017

Case Reference Number FS50669697

Dear Ms TO

Your ref: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/q...
Your information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for your correspondence of 25/02/17 in which you make a complaint about the above public authority’s handling of your request for information.

Your complaint has been accepted as eligible for further consideration and will be allocated to a case officer as soon as possible.

We aim to deal with complaints in chronological order and, because of the number of complaints we are required to deal with, there may be a delay in allocating your case. Where possible and appropriate your case may be accelerated. Once your case is allocated to an officer they will contact you to explain how your complaint will be progressed.

If you wish to send any further documentation while the case is awaiting allocation, please quote the reference number at the top of this letter. This will ensure that the information is added directly to your case.

Please be aware that this is an automated process. The information will not be read by a member of our staff until your case is allocated to an officer.

If you have any specific concerns before your case is allocated to an officer, please contact our helpline on 0303 123 1113, or 01625 545745 if you would prefer not to call an ‘03’ number, being sure to quote the reference number at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely

Holmes Helen, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear JT Oakley

Your information request: FDN-274399 and FDN-268807

I write in response to your emails of 29 September 2016 and 15 February 2017, in which you requested information held by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) the following terms:

“Could you therefore provide data showing how the PHSO board is informed of the work of these departments, as clearly the board cannot be entirely in ignorance of the work these two departments - to meet its governance standards.”

We start with an apology for overlooking the new request for information that you made in response to receipt of a review that was carried out on this initial FOI request, and wish to thank you for your email dated 15 February 2017 in which we realised that we had overlooked this matter. Your request has been considered under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

The PHSO’s Governance team has confirmed that the Board receives a legal update when appropriate. However, as the discussion is legally privileged, these reports are given in confidential Board meetings.

The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee receive quarterly information assurance reports which report on requests under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Reports.

I hope that this information is useful. If you believe there has been an error in the way your information request has been processed, it is open to you to request an internal review. You can do this by writing to us by post or by email to [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 (www.ico.org.uk).

Yours sincerely
Helen Holmes

show quoted sections

Dear Holmes Helen,

Thank you - but, as you well know -and as the ICO confirms by processing this request - I did not make a 'new request'.

I clarified it.......As seemingly the PHSO was AGAIN determined to not provide S16 help and assistance, so not following the ICO's guidance on the matter.

I also note that there is no apology for having breached the Act by putting my personal information on an internet site.

I will therefore consider your response further - before resuming correspondence with the information ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

The response above came after the ICO had contacted the PHSO after my complaint.

Other requester will recognise the usual PHSO response formula-

1. Don't give Section 16 help and assistance to help a requester formulate a request, so that a response can be received.

2. When the responder tries to clarify it further as an appropriate S16 response has not been given, is ....the PHSO logs the requester's helpful clarification as a new request

This is then used as a marker on the way to vexation - in case the requester still wants a response to the request ...and won't give up.

:::

This is the gaming of a requester. Adding 'new' requests - after its own failure to abide by Section 16 - to help and assist.

And its seems to be done on requests which might show the PHSO in an unfavourable light.

:::

In my court case, the PHSO had made clarifications into ' new' requests ....and told the ICO that I had made 'over 100' requests.

Totally untrue. And when the ICO lawyer asked for proof of the bogus 100 (to go into court) the PHSO could only provide a 'sample' of 50.

The ICO did not attend court.

Actual request numbers were around 30 something ( not all on the same subject) and the court recognised that it was necessary for me to have made them - in order to seek the name of a senior officer who would review my complaint.
The internal investigation upheld.

And the court removed the Vex - with some very critical comments about the PHSO's handling of the request.

:::

I would have thought that, by now, the PHSO could have abandoned this this type of response - after the critical court judgement.

;:::

And a sloppy response too.

Because if the PHSO is going to attempt to put my full name on the internet, at least it should do me the basic courtesy of spelling it right. And apologising for getting it wrong. No apology of course.The logic Being that the PHSO seemingly knows my name better than I do.

....But then the arrogant PHSO assumes that it is always correct.

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