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The annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration for 1993 - examples of maladministration

Jennifer McBride made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

In compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide me with a copy of the annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for administration (Sir William Reid) for 1993.

Please provide the report in PDF, with selectable text, and a default view of 100%.

Please ensure that all information in the report is legible.

The report I seek is referenced in the 7th and 8th pages of the Health Service Commissioner annual report for 1993-1994, which is also identified as the “fourth report for session 1993-1994” and “Ordered by The House of Commons to be printed 6 July 1994”. Below, I provide a gov.uk web link to that report.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

Below, I quote text in the 7th and 8th pages of the Health Service Commissioner annual report for 1993-1994 that references the annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for administration for 1993 (the report that I seek):

“1.3 In my annual report as Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration for 1993 I set out some examples of what I considered to be maladministration. The term was described by those who took legislation through Parliament in 1966 when the Parliamentary Commissioner Bill was being enacted. The term maladministration is not defined in statute. I therefore felt that it was useful to give examples of what I regard as maladministration in my annual report and I now repeat that in this annual report.

1.4 The terms given by Mr Richard Crossman in 1966 were “bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, ineptitude, perversity, turpitude, arbitrariness and so on.” I have added

rudeness (though that is a matter of degree);
unwillingness to treat the complainant as a person with rights;
refusal to answer reasonable questions;
neglecting to inform a complainant on request of his or her rights or entitlement;
knowingly giving advice which is misleading or inadequate;
ignoring valid advice or overruling considerations which would produce an uncomfortable result for the overruler;
offering no redress or manifestly disproportionate redress;
showing bias whether because of colour, sex , or any other grounds;
omission to notify those who thereby lose a right of appeal;
refusal to inform adequately of the right of appeal;
faulty procedures;
failure by management to monitor compliance with adequate procedures;
cavalier disregard of guidance which is intended to be followed in the interest of equitable treatment of those who use a service;
partiality; and
failure to mitigate the effects of rigid adherence to the letter of the law where that produces manifestly inequitable treatment."

Yours faithfully,

Jennifer McBride

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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s
(PHSO) Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team. This is to confirm
we have received your request. If you have made a request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environment Information
Regulations 2004, we aim to respond to your request within 20 working days
in accordance with the statutory time frames set out in both Acts. If you
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request will be processed as a Subject Access Request under the provisions
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Please note that we are currently experiencing a high demand, and might
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For Subject Access Requests, we will send any personal information via
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If you require us to post your personal information to you instead you
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possible. Angharad Jackson Data Protection Officer & Assistant Director
Information Assurance Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service
Ombudsman PHSO CityGate 47-51 Mosley Street Manchester M2 3HQ
[email address]

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Ms McBride

 

RE: Your information request: FOI151

 

I write in response to your request received on 21 February 2021 to the
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman requesting information under
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.

 

Request:

In compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide me
with a copy of the annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for
administration (Sir William Reid) for 1993.

 

Please provide the report in PDF, with selectable text, and a default view
of 100%.

 

Please ensure that all information in the report is legible.

 

The report I seek is referenced in the 7th and 8th pages of the Health
Service Commissioner annual report for 1993-1994, which is also identified
as the “fourth report for session 1993-1994” and “Ordered by The House of
Commons to be printed 6 July 1994”. Below, I provide a gov.uk web link to
that report.

 

[1]https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://asse...

 

Response:

Thank you for your request and I apologise for our delayed response.

 

The link you have provided us is the report you have requested. 
Therefore, this is exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act as it is
accessible by other means.

 

If you believe we have made an error in 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
[2][PHSO request email] . You will need to specify that 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 ([3]www.ico.org.uk ) or seek a judicial remedy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/asset...
2. mailto:[PHSO request email]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

Jennifer McBride

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 'The annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration for 1993 - examples of maladministration'.

The response to my Freedom of Information request was: “The link you have provided us is the report you have requested. Therefore, this is exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act as it is accessible by other means.” This is entirely wrong.

I sought a copy of the annual report of the PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR ADMINISTRATION for 1993. The link I provided is to a DIFFERENT report: the annual report of the HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSIONER for 1993-1994.

My quote from the 7th and 8th pages of the annual report of the Health Service Commissioner for 1993-1994 shows that there is a DIFFERENT annual report by the PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR ADMINISTRATION for 1993. The quoted wording from the annual report Health Service Commissioner for 1993-1994 contains references to a DIFFERENT report: e.g. “In my annual report as Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration for 1993 I set out some examples of what I considered to be maladministration.” and “I now repeat that in this report”.

It is ironic that the PHSO response to my Freedom of Information request for information about examples of maladministration is in itself an example of maladministration. The PHSO response involves examples of maladministration by Richard Crossman (as quoted from the annual report Health Service Commissioner for 1993-1994) of neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, ineptitude, and perversity.

In light of the information that was provided with my request, no competent person could reasonably consider that the annual reports from the Parliamentary Commissioner for administration and Health Service Commissioner are the same report. It is patently obvious that they are not the same report.

I am not seeking compensation, but I do point out that the poor handling of my Freedom of Information request has negatively affected my confidence in the PHSO. It has caused me distress in the form of anger, upset, and frustration. I have had to spend time and energy to request an internal review that would not have been necessary if my Freedom of Information request had been dealt with correctly. I will now experience further delay with my Freedom of Information request. This is in addition to the delay already experienced to date (almost 20 working days for a two sentence response was not ‘prompt’).

As part of my request for internal review, I require the PHSO to apply its own published ‘Principles for Remedy’, and follow its own good practice with regard to remedy. I expect the PHSO to take the steps identified in its own ‘Principles for Remedy’. A copy of this publication is on the PHSO website (link below).

https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/sites/defau...

As part of my request for internal review, I also require provision of a copy of the annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for administration (Sir William Reid) for 1993, as requested in my Freedom of Information request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jennifer McBride

Jennifer McBride

Dear InformationRights,

You are now in further breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In addition to failing to comply with my original freedom of information request, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has also failed to comply with my request for an internal review. A complaint will be sent to the Information Commissioner's Office if these breaches are not promptly remedied within the next seven days.

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer McBride

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Ms McBride

 

PHSO reference FOI 151

Internal review of your request for information

 

Thank you for your correspondence of 2^nd April 2020 in which you
requested an internal review from the PHSO. Please accept my apologies for
the delay in responding to you.

 

 

PHSO response

 

Request:

 

On 21^st February 2021 you requested the following information from PHSO:

 

“In compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please provide me
with a copy of the annual report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for
administration (Sir William Reid) for 1993.

 

Please provide the report in PDF, with selectable text, and a default view
of 100%.

 

Please ensure that all information in the report is legible.”

 

 

Response to your request:

 

PHSO responded on 1^st April 2021 and stated that the link you cited in
your request was the relevant information, and so this was exempt under
Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as the information was
already accessible to you.

 

 

Time for response:

 

PHSO’s response was sent on 1^st April 2021, which is more than the upper
limit of 20 working days afforded for a response under Section 10(1) of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please accept my apologies for the
delay in responding to your request.

 

 

Request for an internal review:

 

On 2^nd April 2021 you requested an internal review from PHSO:

 

“The response to my Freedom of Information request was: “The link you have
provided us is the report you have requested. Therefore, this is exempt
under section 21 of the FOI Act as it is accessible by other means.” This
is entirely wrong.

 

I sought a copy of the annual report of the PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR
ADMINISTRATION for 1993. The link I provided is to a DIFFERENT report: the
annual report of the HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSIONER for 1993-1994.

 

My quote from the 7th and 8th pages of the annual report of the Health
Service Commissioner for 1993-1994 shows that there is a DIFFERENT annual
report by the PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR ADMINISTRATION for 1993. The
quoted wording from the annual report Health Service Commissioner for
1993-1994 contains references to a DIFFERENT report: e.g. “In my annual
report as Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration for 1993 I set out
some examples of what I considered to be maladministration.” and “I now
repeat that in this report”.

 

It is ironic that the PHSO response to my Freedom of Information request
for information about examples of maladministration is in itself an
example of maladministration. The PHSO response involves examples of
maladministration by Richard Crossman (as quoted from the annual report
Health Service Commissioner for 1993-1994) of neglect, inattention, delay,
incompetence, ineptitude, and perversity.

 

In light of the information that was provided with my request, no
competent person could reasonably consider that the annual reports from
the Parliamentary Commissioner for administration and Health Service
Commissioner are the same report. It is patently obvious that they are not
the same report.

 

I am not seeking compensation, but I do point out that the poor handling
of my Freedom of Information request has negatively affected my confidence
in the PHSO. It has caused me distress in the form of anger, upset, and
frustration. I have had to spend time and energy to request an internal
review that would not have been necessary if my Freedom of Information
request had been dealt with correctly. I will now experience further delay
with my Freedom of Information request. This is in addition to the delay
already experienced to date (almost 20 working days for a two sentence
response was not ‘prompt’).

 

As part of my request for internal review, I require the PHSO to apply its
own published ‘Principles for Remedy’, and follow its own good practice
with regard to remedy. I expect the PHSO to take the steps identified in
its own ‘Principles for Remedy’. A copy of this publication is on the PHSO
website (link below).”

 

 

Review of your request:

 

Please see attached for a copy of the Parliamentary Commissioner for
Administration Annual Report 1993-94. As PHSO held a copy at the time of
your request it breached Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
as it did not confirm the information was held and communicate it to you.
Please accept my apologies for this breach of the Act.

 

Please note that the PHSO’s Principles for Remedy apply to PHSO’s official
function to investigate complaints under the Parliamentary Commissioner's
Act 1967 and Health Service Commissioner's Act 1993. It does not apply to
a breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Regards,

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

E: [1][email address]

W: [2]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

J Roberts left an annotation ()

David Allen Green in a blog entitled "Whatever happened to the concept of ‘maladministration’?" writes:

'Given the ombudsman scheme – formally known as the parliamentary commissioner for administration – and given the sheer amount of public sector failings, one would expect that the term ‘maladministration’ would be a commonplace in law and policy discussions.

But it hardly features.

So: is the real reason we hear so little of the term ‘maladministration’ in United Kingdom law and policy that the scheme of (to use the ombudsman’s full title) is not working?

Some posts coming up on this blog are going to find out.'

https://davidallengreen.com/2021/06/what...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Jennifer McBride please sign in and let everyone know.