Staff Information request

CA Purkis made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office

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 partially successful.

Dear Home Office,

In 2010 the ICO found that one of your employees had breached the DPA 1998 by accessing a visa applicants information at Lunar House.

In a report to his acting head of Unit, an Inspector of the Professional Standards Unit based in Middlesex, stated that this Home Office employee then went on to make an 'official request' for the information of the applicant whose data he had breached.

This was after he had been disciplined for the breach.

Although I would like to make it clear that the employee was not given this information, I would be most grateful if you could explain the following to me;

1. When your employees make a request for information pertaining to visa applicants or indeed anyone lodging their details with the Home Office, how do they make the request? i.e. Is this 'official request' given to a Manager?

2. Are there any specific guidelines or procedures in place for Home Office staff to make 'official requests' for personal information relating to visa applicants or any one else who lodges their data with The Home Office?

2. Is this request a Freedom of Information Request or a Subject Access Request?

3. Does the Home Office keep a record of how many of its own staff make Subject Access Requests or Freedom of Information requests to its organisation?

4. As I am unclear as to why a Home Office employee would think that they may be able to make an 'official request' for the personal information of a another visa applicant, please could you tell me if there are any guidelines or references to this in any of your paperwork pertaining to your employees?

Yours faithfully,

CA Purkis

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
2. mailto:[email address]

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...

See "Requests for Information". They do hold this information. "How to request information from DWP " / LA / ETC.

A lot of businesses believe they have a legal obligation to straight away give the information to the HO. But this is untrue.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

No. This is not pertinent to my FOI request. I am requesting how Home Office staff can request information for their own personal use.
This is what a Home Office employee did. He breached my data, in order that his wife might make a civil claim against me.
The Home Office were made aware but told me it was a 'personal matter'.
The same employee then went and asked them for my information 'officially'.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

No, What I mean is, the HO have guidance on how "Requests for Information" are made. The HO staff cannot make requests for personal use. To do so would be misconduct in public office.

However, if they did make a request under the guise of being for business use, the chances are that such a request would be actioned in line with their guidance. :)

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Then how did one of their employees 'officially request' my personal data?

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

Who did they request from? A SAR to the organisation should show the "OFFICIAL REQUEST"?...

Just because they made an "Official Request" it doesn't mean it was an official request. (Calling a Pig a cow doesn't make the meat beef).

This is where the CRIME of MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE comes in. And I'd highly recommend going to the police to make your written statement and the police then have to investigate the crime. The more evidence you can present the better (You have Home Office admission of the breaches etc so ;) )

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Well lets see what they say. I have the report which shows that the employee asked 'officially' for my personal information.
How he managed to do this is beyond me, especially in light of him having already been disciplined.

Lets get their explanation first. This is a Freedom of Information request - I am sure the public are interested.

FOI Requests, Home Office

CA PURKIS

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

This has been assigned to a caseworker (new case ref 34574) who will
respond to you in due course.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you

FOI Requests

Home Office

 

In 2010 the ICO found that one of your employees had breached the DPA
1998  by accessing a visa applicants information at Lunar House.

 

In a report to his acting head of Unit,  an Inspector of the Professional
Standards Unit based in Middlesex,  stated that this Home Office employee
then went on to make an 'official request' for the information of the
applicant whose data he had breached.

 

This was after he had been disciplined for the breach.

 

Although I would like to make it clear that the employee was not given
this information, I would be most grateful if you could explain the
following to me;

 

1.  When your employees make a request for information pertaining to visa
applicants or indeed anyone lodging their details with the Home Office,
how do they make the request?  i.e.  Is this 'official request' given to a
Manager?

 

2. Are there any specific guidelines or procedures in place for Home
Office staff to make 'official requests' for personal information relating
to visa applicants or any one else who lodges their data with The Home
Office?

 

2. Is this request a Freedom of Information Request or a Subject Access
Request?

 

3.  Does the Home Office keep a record of how many of its own staff make
Subject Access Requests or Freedom of Information requests to its
organisation?

 

4.  As I am unclear as to why a Home Office employee would think that they
may be able to make an 'official request' for the personal information of
a another visa applicant, please could you tell me if there are any
guidelines or references to this in any of your paperwork pertaining to
your employees?

 

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

FOI Requests, Home Office

CA Purkis

 

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request.

 

This has been assigned to a caseworker (new case ref 34612) who will
respond to you in due course.

 

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Thank you

 

FOI Requests

Home Office

 

Dear Home Office,

 

In 2010 the ICO found that one of your employees had breached the DPA
1998  by accessing a visa applicants information at Lunar House.

 

In a report to his acting head of Unit,  an Inspector of the Professional
Standards Unit based in Middlesex,  stated that this Home Office employee
then went on to make an 'official request' for the information of the
applicant whose data he had breached.

 

This was after he had been disciplined for the breach.

 

Although I would like to make it clear that the employee was not given
this information, I would be most grateful if you could explain the
following to me;

 

1.  When your employees make a request for information pertaining to visa
applicants or indeed anyone lodging their details with the Home Office,
how do they make the request?  i.e.  Is this 'official request' given to a
Manager?

 

2. Are there any specific guidelines or procedures in place for Home
Office staff to make 'official requests' for personal information relating
to visa applicants or any one else who lodges their data with The Home
Office?

 

2. Is this request a Freedom of Information Request or a Subject Access
Request?

 

3.  Does the Home Office keep a record of how many of its own staff make
Subject Access Requests or Freedom of Information requests to its
organisation?

 

4.  As I am unclear as to why a Home Office employee would think that they
may be able to make an 'official request' for the personal information of
a another visa applicant, please could you tell me if there are any
guidelines or references to this in any of your paperwork pertaining to
your employees?

 

Yours faithfully,

 

CA Purkis

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI Requests,

You have now given me a new reference number.
The original being, ref 34574.

Could you please tell me which the correct reference number is?

Yours sincerely,

CA Purkis

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
2. mailto:[email address]

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear CA Purkis,

Thank you for your email below.

The correct reference for your FOI request is 34574 and not 34612

Regards
Inforamtion Access Team

show quoted sections

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Inforamtion Access Team? LOL

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Oh dear.. The Home Office seems to be in a complete mess answering this request.

And no Section 16 help and assistance either.

If this is what it does in public.....just how capable is it when it isn't?

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

Now that I have had a response dfrom the ICO regarding this, I await with interest to hear what the HO say. I will be sending a SAR for this 'official request' today.

FOI Requests, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please see attached in response to your request for information.

 

P. Zebedee

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Performance and Risk Directorate

Home Office | Lower Ground Floor | Seacole | 2 Marsham Street |  London
SW1P 4DF

[1]www.gov.uk/home-office

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/www.gov.uk/home-office

Dear FOI Requests,

I will try and explain it in simpler terms.

One of your employees accessed my personal data without my permission in 2010. I made a complaint and an investigation by the Professional Standards Unit based in Manchester was carried out.

In further developments another Inspector from the PSU reviewed the matter in 2012. After the inspector had completed his review, he wrote a report to his acting Head of Unit. I have a copy of this report,which I procured through a Subject Access Request.

In this report, the Inspector states (to his acting head of Unit) that the employee who breached my data in 2010 without my permission, 'went on to make an official request' for my information, after I had reported him and AFTER he had been found to have breached my data.

So - to be clear - AFTER the employee had breached my personal data, he made a request for more of my personal information to the Home Office.

My FOIA request is as therefore as follows and as originally requested;

1. What is an 'official' request by one of your employee's for the personal data of someone else, held by the Home Office. How is this 'official request' made and who is it made to?

2. Is this 'official request' to the Home Office by your employee considered as a Subject Access Request or a Freedom of Information request?

3. Please provide me with a record of how many of your employees have made an 'official request' for the personal data of VISA applicants held by the Home Office?

4. Please could you provide me with any policy or procedures which state how Home Office employees are entitled to request the personal data of visa applicants.

I hope this clarifies my request.

.

Yours sincerely,

CA Purkis

FOI Requests, Home Office

Thank you for contacting the Home Office FOI Requests mailbox.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 provides public access to
recorded information held by the department.

If you have submitted a valid FoI request, we will acknowledge your
request within 48 hours, and aim to provide the information requested
within 20 working days as specified under the FoI Act

PLEASE NOTE

If you have a general immigration enquiry, or require an update on a
specific case, you should contact UKVI directly, contact information can
be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... and
[1]https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration

General enquiries should be directed to
[2][email address]  

 

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/visas-immigration
2. mailto:[email address]

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Why is it that a straightforward request must be 'interpreted' to answer a request that you have not made?

Surely if a clarification is needed all the organisation has to do is ask?

I can't find the Section in the Act which allows responding to your own crafted request - even if you are a government official.

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

I am in complete agreement JT Oakley. It almost makes you think it's all cleverly staged to postpone the answer. How clearer could I have been initially? They need more time I suspect to explain the extremely strange "official request".

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Thank heavens that when you get a case to the courts - and so past these tiers of self -serving and evasive officials you eventually get some sense.

Costs so much for both the public purse and the public though..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32066554

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

The amount of money wasted is mind boggling - as you say. Good news for the Freedom of Information Act. Why they believed they had the right to withhold these letters is quite beyond me. In hindsight, having dealt with these organisations now for several years, the individuals involved seem to believe they are well above the law.
We fight long and hard battles - but we do get there in the end. This is something they don't seem to understand.

FOI Requests, Home Office

1 Attachment

Please see attached the response to your request for information.

 

P. Zebedee

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Performance and Risk Directorate

Home Office | 3^rd Floor | Peel | 2 Marsham Street |  London SW1P 4DF

[1]www.gov.uk/home-office

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/www.gov.uk/home-office

CA Purkis left an annotation ()

I give up!

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

You left an annotation (24 May 2015)

Don't give up.

There seems to be a huge misunderstanding of the information that you require on the part of the organisation concerned.

But I'm sure that Mr Zebedee will be only too happy to assist you by applying with FOIA Section 16 'help and advice' and regulation 9 to clarify the misunderstanding....Which he must do to comply with the Act.

::

What you are requesting is if the organisation has caught staff accessing personal information held on file in cases which they are not working ..... With consequent sackings and prosecutions, this being an illegal act.

And the processes which determine monitoring of this unfortunate and illegal situation.

Seems simple enough- but the response doesn't seem to answer if this illegal act is monitored and if so, how many employees have been caught doing it, sacked or prosecuted.

Here's a newspaper article which might help as a guide to Mr Zebedee as to what you are requesting:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/c...

......'The Metropolitan Police has disclosed that 142 police officers and 66 staff have been disciplined for misusing the national computer system, known as the PNC, in the last 10 years'.

Of these 29 have been sacked and 16 prosecuted over their actions.

Perhaps you might also assist Mr Zebedee with his response in reminding him of the ICO guide to what authorities must do to help and assist requesters:

What do section 16 and regulation 9 say?
Section 16 sets out the duty on public authorities to provide advice and assistance, as far as it is reasonable to expect the public authority to do so, to anyone who is considering, or has made, a request for information to it.

It also states that any public authority which complies with the Section 45 Code of Practice in relation to the provision of advice or assistance is considered to have carried out its duty under section 16.

Regulation 9 similarly requires a public authority to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to applicants and prospective applicants. The Regulation goes further however in that it requires that where a public authority decides that an applicant has formulated a request in too general a manner, it should ask the applicant as soon as possible and in any event no later than 20 working days after the date of receipt of the request, to provide more particulars in relation to the request; and assist the applicant in providing those particulars.

More...

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

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