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Statistics on complaints upheld vs fines issued

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Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

I am aware from my own experience, that many times when individuals and organisations complain to the ICO the verdict comes back in their favour, but not action is take and no fines issued.

For example, an individual complaining that UKVI did not complete a SAR within the legally required 40 day window.

Please provide statistics on the number of complaints upheld in the complainants favour against the organisations:

UKVI
PHSO
NHS

And a break down of the actions taken, i.e. fines issued, etc.

If this request is too vague please reply with relevant guidance.

Yours faithfully,

Lyle Hopkins

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

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Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
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Information Commissioner’s Office

27 September 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0701336

 

Dear Mr Hopkins,

Thank you for your recent request for information. We received your
request on 18 September 2017.
 
I have considered your request. Before I can progress your request, I
would like to ask you for some clarification about the information you are
trying to access. Without this clarification we are not able to respond to
your request.  
 
You have asked for:
 
“Please provide statistics on the number of complaints upheld in the
complainants favour against the organisations:

UKVI
PHSO
NHS

And a break down of the actions taken, i.e. fines issued, etc.”
 
It may help to explain that the NHS as a whole is not a Data Controller or
a public authority, rather the organisations which make up the NHS, such
as hospital trusts and doctor’s surgeries, are considered data controllers
and public authorities in their own right. As such we require
clarification about which organisations within the NHS you are seeking
information about. Alternatively, we may be able to provide statistics
relating to the complaints we have received about the health sector,
however, this would include health organisations which are not part of the
NHS.
 
It would also be helpful if you could clarify whether you are interested
in complaints relating to the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, or both.
 
It may be that the information you are seeking is already publicly
available via our website. We publish datasets containing details of our
completed casework on our website here
[1]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf....
 
Information is currently available for the financial years 2014/15,
2015/16 and 2016/17 and we intend to continue to publish our completed
casework on an ongoing basis in the future.
 
The data sets are published in a reusable format and include:  
 

* Our reference number for the work completed;
* the type of work and legislation it falls under;
* the name of the organisation responsible for the processing of
personal information;
* the sector the organisation represents;
* the nature of the issues involved;
* the date the work was completed; and
* the outcome following our consideration of the issues.

 
You can filter the data sets by the sector column or search the data set
to find cases relating to the data controllers or public authorities that
you are interested in.
 
The ‘case outcome’ column provides details of the outcome of the
complaint. A description of the most commonly used case outcomes we use is
available here
[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...
and this may be helpful when interpreting the data.   

We also publish information about the action we have taken on our website
at the following link:
 
[3]https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/
 
You will see that at the bottom of the above web page there is a link to a
dataset which lists the civil monetary penalties we have imposed and would
include any imposed on the organisations you are interested in.

If you would like us to progress your request please respond providing the
above clarification as soon as possible. Once we understand what
information you are trying to access we will respond to you within 20
working days.
 
If we do not receive your clarification within 20 working days, then we
will consider your request to be withdrawn and you will not receive a
response.
 
If you would like to withdraw your request there is no need to respond to
this.
 
If you would like to discuss your request please contact me using the IRQ
case reference number above or by replying to this email and leaving the
subject field unchanged.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Joanne Wright
Lead Information Access Officer
 
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545664  F. 01625 524510 
 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
2. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...
3. https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

In answer to your questions:

"As such we require
clarification about which organisations within the NHS you are seeking
information about. Alternatively, we may be able to provide statistics
relating to the complaints we have received about the health sector,
however, this would include health organisations which are not part of the
NHS. "

Statistics related to the health sector will be a sufficient replacement for the NHS. Of course, UKBI/UKBA and PHSO should still be included in this request as separate entities.

"It would also be helpful if you could clarify whether you are interested
in complaints relating to the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, or both."

Complaints related to both please.

Please let me know whether you need further clarification

Lyle

Yours faithfully,

Lyle Hopkins

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner’s Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
that we have received your correspondence.

 

If you have made a request for information held by the ICO we will contact
you as soon as possible if we need any further information to enable us to
answer your request. If we don't need any further information we will
respond to you within our published, and statutory, service levels. For
more information please visit [1]http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply

 

If you have raised a new information rights concern - we aim to send you
an initial response and case reference number within 30 days.

 

If you are concerned about the way an organisation is handling your
personal information, we will not usually look into it unless you have
raised it with the organisation first. For more information please see our
webpage ‘raising a concern with an organisation’ (go to our homepage and
follow the link ‘for the public’). You can also call the number below.

 

If you have requested advice - we aim to respond within 14 days.

 

If your correspondence relates to an existing case - we will add it to
your case and consider it on allocation to a case officer.

 

Copied correspondence - we do not respond to correspondence that has been
copied to us.

 

For more information about our services, please see our webpage ‘Service
standards and what to expect' (go to our homepage and follow the links for
‘Report a concern’ and ‘Service standards and what to expect'). You can
also call the number below.

 

If there is anything you would like to discuss with us, please call our
helpline on 0303 123 1113.

 

Yours sincerely

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

 

Our newsletter

Details of how to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter can be found at
[2]http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...

 

Twitter

Find us on Twitter at [3]http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

 

The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
1. http://ico.org.uk/about_us/how_we_comply
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/tools_and_resource...
3. http://www.twitter.com/ICOnews

Information Commissioner’s Office

16 October 2017

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0701336

 
Dear Mr Hopkins
 
Thank you for your recent request for information. We received your
clarification regarding your original request on 27 September 2017.
 
We have considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
Your request
 
In your original request you asked for the following:
 
“I am aware from my own experience, that many times when individuals and
organisations complain to the ICO the verdict comes back in their favour,
but not action is take and no fines issued.

For example, an individual complaining that UKVI did not complete a SAR
within the legally required 40 day window.

Please provide statistics on the number of complaints upheld in the
complainants favour against the organisations:

UKVI
PHSO
NHS

And a break down of the actions taken, i.e. fines issued, etc.

If this request is too vague please reply with relevant guidance.”
 
 
On 27 September 2017 you clarified your request as follows:
 
 
'In answer to your questions:

"As such we require
clarification about which organisations within the NHS you are seeking
information about. Alternatively, we may be able to provide statistics
relating to the complaints we have received about the health sector,
however, this would include health organisations which are not part of the
NHS. "

Statistics related to the health sector will be a sufficient replacement
for the NHS. Of course, UKVI/UKBA and PHSO should still be included in
this request as separate entities.

"It would also be helpful if you could clarify whether you are interested
in complaints relating to the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, or both."

Complaints related to both please.'
 
Our response  
 
We can confirm that we do hold information that falls within the scope of
your request. It has previously been explained that we only hold complete
casework information for the period 1 April 2014 onwards, in line with our
casework retention policy.
 
However, as this information is available to you from our website, we are
withholding the complaint information we hold up to the end of April 2017
under section 21. The more recent months will be published in due course
and are exempt under section 22 of the FOIA.
 
Section 21 of the FOIA explains that we are not required to provide
information in response to a request if it is already reasonably
accessible to you from another source and section 22 relates to
information that is intended for future publication.
 
My colleague, Joanne Wright, has already provided information about the
datasets we publish in her request for clarification. However, for ease of
reference, they are repeated below.
 
These datasets include information about the complaints we have dealt with
about organisations. They can be found on our website at the following
link:
 
[1]https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/our-inf...
 
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you can click on the datasets
for data protection and freedom of information complaints.
 
These datasets contain the information you have requested concerning how
many complaints we have received about the organisations you have named
under the DPA and the FOIA. You can also access the remaining details you
have requested by filtering the sector column for ‘health’. As this
information is readily available on our website it is exempt from
disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA because it is reasonably
accessible to you by other means.

The datasets include the following information:
 
 

* Our reference number for the work completed;
* the type of work and legislation it falls under;
* the name of the organisation responsible for the processing of
personal information;
* the sector the organisation represents;
* the date the work was completed; and
* the outcome following our consideration of the issues.

You can filter this casework by the name of the organisation and in
various other ways. The case outcome for each case is also shown which
indicates where regulatory action was taken and a description of the case
outcomes we use is also available via the links below:
 
[2]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...

[3]https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...
 
The datasets show how many complaints have been made about a
particular organisation but some cases may have more than one outcome, for
example where we are given additional evidence which requires us to reopen
a case and revise our view. However, all outcomes are recorded as related
activities on a single case.
 
Please also find the link below to a dataset which lists the civil
monetary penalties we have imposed and would include any imposed on the
organisations you have listed:
 
 [4]https://ico.org.uk/media/2014859/civil-m...
  
The information for the period May 2017 to the date of your request has
been withheld under section 22 of the FOIA as this is information intended
for future publication. As you will be aware from the information provided
above, we publish information about our casework on our website.
 
Section 22 of the Act states that information is exempt from disclosure in
response to an information request if:
 
 “(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its
publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date
(whether determined or not),
(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at
the time when the request for information was made, and
(c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should
be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).”
 
The exemption at section 22 is qualified by the public interest test,
meaning that the information should be disclosed if the public interest in
the maintenance of the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in
disclosure.
 
In this case, the public interest factors in favour of disclosing the
information are: 
 
 
 

* to promote openness by providing information regarding organisations
when complaints have been raised about their compliance with the
DPA/FOIA.

 The factors in favour of maintaining the exemption are as follows: 
  
 
 

* The ICO has a history of publishing this information on a regular
basis and has committed to publishing relevant datasets which will
include the requested information in the near future.
* To prepare this information for disclosure earlier than our intended
date of publication in response to individual requests we receive
would be not be an efficient use of resources when we intend to
publish this information in due course.
* Earlier disclosure is not necessary to satisfy any pressing public
interest at the present time.

Having considered the public interest arguments, we consider it reasonable
in the circumstances to withhold this information under section 22 of the
FOIA.
 
Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with specific complaints about
‘UKBA/UKVI’. We generally record ‘UKVI’ or ‘UKBA’ (‘Border Force’ as it is
now known) under the overall public authority - the Home Office.
 
You may be aware section 12 of the FOIA makes clear that a public
authority (such as the ICO) is not obliged to comply with a FOIA request
if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request
would exceed the ‘appropriate limit'. The ‘appropriate limit’ for the ICO,
as determined in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 is £450. We have determined
that £450 would equate to 18 hours of work.
 
All the complaints we handle are dealt with through our electronic case
management system which we largely use to track and progress individual
cases. Although some complaints are specifically denoted as being about
‘UKBA’, for example, in order to ascertain exactly which Home Office cases
relate to ‘UKBA/Border Force’ or ‘UKVI’ we would need to check each case
individually. Having conducted an initial search, we hold 719 data
protection complaints and 479 FOIA complaints for the period April 2014 to
the date of your request. 
 
The only way to locate this part of the information you have requested is
to manually review the correspondence on each complaint case where the
submitted about party is the ‘Home Office’. If it takes three minutes to
ascertain the specific part of the Home Office that the complaint was made
about, we consider that looking solely at the data protection cases would
take us beyond the fees limit.
 
Next steps
 
I hope this provides you with the information you require.  However, if
you are dissatisfied with this response and wish to request a review of
our decision or make a complaint about how your request has been handled
you should write to the Information Access Team at the address below or
email [5][ICO request email]
 
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
Commissioner.
 
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation. To make such an application please write to
our Customer Contact Team at the address given or visit the ‘Complaints’
section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act or
Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
 
A copy of our review procedure can be accessed from our website
[6]here  .
 
 
Yours sincerely

Janine Gregory
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0303 123 1113  F. 01625 524510  [7]ico.org.uk  [8]twitter.com/iconews
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For information requests please use [9][ICO request email]
 

 
 
The ICO's mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest.
To find out more about our work please visit our website, or subscribe to
our e-newsletter at ico.org.uk/newsletter.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment),
please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies without
passing to any third parties.

If you'd like us to communicate with you in a particular way please do let
us know, or for more information about things to consider when
communicating with us by email, visit ico.org.uk/email

References

Visible links
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3. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/d...
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/2014859/civil-m...
5. mailto:[ICO request email]
6. https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/p...
7. http://ico.org.uk/
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