Sir Alex Allen's review

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

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[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

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.

-----

Your reference from the PHSO website:

Sir Alex Allan
In the light of the findings of the Employment Tribunal case which referred to Mr Martin in his former capacity as a non-executive director at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the Board of PHSO has asked Sir Alex Allan former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, to lead the independent review looking into the adequacy of the procedures and governance arrangements that the organisation applied prior to the appointment of Mr Martin and during his employment.

PHSO will support Sir Alex in carrying out this review by making available any relevant information and documents required as well as providing access to all members of staff he wishes to speak to.

PHSO will be open and honest about the findings from this and will implement any lessons learnt from that review.

Terms of Reference:

To review the adequacy of the actions that the PHSO, including the Ombudsman, have taken in relation to Mr Martin, including the adequacy of the procedures and governance arrangements that were applied when:
assessing Mr Martin’s suitability and fitness for employment at PHSO as Executive Director of Operations and as Managing Director; and
the Employment Tribunal findings were brought to its attention.
To submit the findings of the review – including any lessons to be learnt and further actions that need to be taken – to the senior non-executive director so that he can recommend to the board what needs to be done.

-----

Since PHSO is assuring the public that it will be ' open and honest about the findings from this' in its public statement , could I therefore read the report?

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request – our case reference: FDN-264748

 

I write in response to your information request dated 26 July 2016 in
which you asked to read Sir Alex Allan’s review.

 

We are planning to publish not only a copy of the review but all relevant
documentation later this year. Therefore this information is exempt under
Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This is the exemption
for information which was intended for publication at the time the request
was made.

 

I hope this information is helpful. If you are unhappy with 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
[1][PHSO request email].  Beyond that, it is open to you to
complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office ([2]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Kind regards

 

Rebecca Gadsdon

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

T: 0300 061 1516

E: [3][email address]

W: [4]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

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

So the report would be published AFTER Dame Julie Mellor has left the PHSO - to save embarrassment?

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

Since Dame Julie Mellor has resigned, could you confirm the publication of this report into her handling of the sex-text /Mick Martin letter from Ms Helen Marks will be published before, or after Dame Julie Mellor leaves the PHSO?

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


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

Open and honest ?

PHSO will be open and honest about the findings from this and will implement any lessons learnt from that review.

Terms of Reference:

To review the adequacy of the actions that the PHSO, including the Ombudsman, have taken in relation to Mr Martin, including the adequacy of the procedures and governance arrangements that were applied when:
assessing Mr Martin’s suitability and fitness for employment at PHSO as Executive Director of Operations and as Managing Director; and
the Employment Tribunal findings were brought to its attention.
To submit the findings of the review – including any lessons to be learnt and further actions that need to be taken – to the senior non-executive director so that he can recommend to the board what needs to be done.

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You state:

'We are planning to publish not only a copy of the review but all relevant documentation later this year. Therefore this information is exempt under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is the exemption for information which was intended for publication at the time the request was made'.

:::

The requested data was on file at the time of the request and the S22 means that response has been held in abeyance - until the report published.

It has:

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/asset...

As such, S22 no longer applies to the requested data.

Please provide the response.

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

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


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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request: FDN 269024

 

I write in response to your information request of 26 August 2016 in which
you asked:

 

‘Since Dame Julie Mellor has resigned, could you confirm the publication
of this report into her  handling of the sex-text /Mick Martin letter from
Ms Helen Marks will be published  before, or after Dame Julie Mellor
leaves the PHSO?’

 

PHSO published Sir Alex Allan’s report along with all supporting
documentation on our website last week. Please find the link below for
your convenience:

 

[1]http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/new...

 

I hope you find this information helpful. If you are unhappy with my
decision, or require further clarification, you can email
[2][PHSO request email]. Further to that you may contact the
Information Commissioner’s Office. Their contact details can be found at
[3]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Kind regards

 

Rebecca Gadsdon

FOI/DP Officer

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

T: 0300 061 1516

E: [4][email address]

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

 

Follow us on

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[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear InformationRights,

Thank you.

I note that it was made public last week - and at the same time as the job advertisement for the replacement ombudsman.

An enlightening report for possible complainants as to the PHSO's integrity - and manner of dealing with anyone who expects the Ombudsnan to read, understand and deal with negative information about any PHSO staff member.

It will save them a lot of time going to the bother of reporting any staff malfeasance, since the PHSO's strategy is seemingly to ignore their correspondence - until the media intervenes.

Logically, if the PHSO continues to ignore Tribunal judgements, in to protect its reputation, ( record now standing at 2 judgements) it will quicker and easier for complainants to go straight to the press.

:::

Since the report is now out, I hope that the PHSO now has time to concentrate on my previous request on the appointment of Sir Alex Allen - as the independent investigator who produced this report?

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

As the request is now a complaint with the ICO, I'm sure that the busy ICO would appreciate a quick response to avoid yet more work.

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


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phsothefacts Pressure Group left an annotation ()

In the 'relevant information' published alongside the Alex Allen report I have not seen a plan of action. A new strategy for dealing with correspondence alleging collusion and bias against Ombudsman staff. Have I missed it?

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

There isn't one with the report.

Even if there was, it wouldn't give the PHSO the capability of reading - and understanding - communications from the disgruntled public - and then dealing with them sensibly. The Helen Marks case has laid bare exactiy how the PHSO operates.

For how could the PHSO NOT read and understand the Tribunal judgement that Helen Marks sent to Dame Julie Mellor?

The fact that it did shows the PHSO's sheer arrogance - in that it could dismiss a court judgement.

Because it's strategy seems to have been to cover up ....and hope no one notices that it's supposedly squeaky clean deputy ombudsman was involved in a sex-text coverup, bullying and the dismissal of an innocent woman - whom he to replaced with a 'mate'. It sat on this scandalous information for six months.

Until outed by the press.(HSJ)

:::

So presumably the PHSO is still hurling complainant letters to Dame Julie Mellor into a black hole - and then ghosting the writers when they write to ask 'Why no response?'

PHSOthefacts facts and other complainants have been pointing this sheer contempt for the public out to Dame Julie Mellor for her entire Ombudsmanship.

Too bad she didn't listen .....and was forced to resign for that very reason.

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

A strategy for dealing with 'Dame Julie Mellor's correspondence' ...a phrase which has been used quite a few times on PHSO requests on WDTK.

She can't say she want warned that her 'Post it into a Mail Black Hole' system wasn't hugely sub-standard.

And now she's had to resign over it.

::::

Here's the new strategy:

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

Unfortunately, from personal experience (of the PHSO neglecting the verdict on my own Tribunal case), it appears that if it was introduced in May- it STILL isn't working.

Because letters to her are still transferred from her office - into oblivion.

It would therefore appear that any reassurance about the PHSO's new system of dealing with correspondence that she has given to Sir Alex Allen is - at present, Even with Tribunal verdicts and criticisms of staff, is incorrect.

It remains exactly the same.

With the PHSO blanking any member of the public who complains about a member of its staff, ( even if they cite a critical tribunal verdict - as Helen Marks did) as evidence.

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Dear [Name Removed]

 

Your information request (FDN-259133)

 

Thank you for your further emails.  We have not yet published the
information you have requested but we will let you know when it is
available.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aimee Gasston

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][PHSO request email]

 

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From: [Name Removed] [mailto:[FOI #348202 email]]
Sent: 25 September 2016 20:02
To: InformationRights
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Sir Alex
Allen's review

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

You state:

'We are planning to publish not only a copy of the review but all relevant
documentation later this year. Therefore this information is exempt under
Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This is the exemption
for information which was intended for publication at the time the request
was made'.

:::

The requested data was on file at the time of the request and the S22
means that response has been held in abeyance - until the report
published.

It has:

[6]http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/__data/asset...

As such, S22 no longer applies to the requested data.

Please provide the response.

Yours faithfully,

[Name Removed]

show quoted sections

[Name Removed] (Account suspended)

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Dear InformationRights,

I note the Review that you have made of this request, maintaining the position that although the documents requested are associated with Sir Alex Allen's report, the PHSO has still chosen to withhold them for future publication.

However, is the PHSO now stating that ALL information that has 'not been published' is NOT subject to FoIA requests?

Because I'm sure there is lots of internal data that has not been published. And could therefore be withheld - on a section 22 basis - without any logical justification ..with the excuse that it 'might' be published at some future date.

Therefore why is Section 22 being applied on this basis?

Without a justified reason for such secrecy, since Sir Alex has made his decision?

:::

Or is the PHSO's justification that any data to do with Dame Julie Mellor and Mick Martin's embarrassing resignations should now be withheld - by virtue of S22?

I would argue that it is innthe oubkuc interest that the PHSO should not abuse S22 ( primarily applied because data could be open to reinterpretation before publication) and publish the information forthwith.

Indeed the suspicion of the oubkuc would be that the PHSO waiting to 'publish' the information of how Sir Alex Allen was chosen to investigate Dame Julie Mellor, until after she is 'off the premises' not because the process of choosing Sir Alex Allen can be changed - after he has reported and finished his work.

Because if Section 22 is the only section applied, then I will refer it to the ICO in order to decide if it is only sheer embarrassment as to the selection of a man described as ' a government poodle' that is driving the withholding of this information by applying Section 22 wrongfully.

The argument being that since the PHSO has confidently stated it will be 'open and transparent ' about the proceedings, then it cannot rely on Section 22 for 'future publication' of 'associated documents' of the investigation - once the proceeding has finished.

Indeed why would this aspect of the ended proceedings be the ONLY data withheld for future publication - if his selection went through a proper process?

Surely the PHSO would wish to demonstrate its integrity in the matter, rather than refusing to provide the appointment data- Leaving it open to accusations of yet another cover-up?

:::

The fact that Sir Alex Allen has been described in court as not being impartial is a justified reason for requesting information on his selection to undertake the task.

'Mr Justice Charles said the testimony of Sir Alex Allan, a former chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, had “lacked objectivity” and should be “roundly rejected”.

The rulings are also embarrassing for the Government because the High Court concluded that evidence by the Prime Minister’s adviser on ministerial standards was “way below” what the public were “entitled to expect” of a senior civil servant.

:::

I would be obliged PHSO employees would refrain from telling the ICO that it is 'not in their remit' to investigate complainants' statements again.

I'm sure that you will recall the outcome of the court case - in which the Tribunal found that it was within the remit of the ICO to test complainants statements ....and the consequent verdict upheld against the PHSO's substandard handling of the request.

Which could be said to match the description of Sir Alex Allen's substandard evidence in the High Court above.

The request will therefore proceed to the ICO.

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

Yours sincerely,

[Name Removed]

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


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