When is a case regarded as "functus officio"?

Nicholas Wheatley made this Freedom of Information request to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Nicholas Wheatley

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

This request concerns cases where the PHSO has investigated and completed a final report.

1. Is a case regarded as legally "functus officio" as soon as a final report is published?

2. If not then at which moment does the Ombudsman regard a case as becoming "functus officio"?

Yours faithfully,

Nicholas Wheatley

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, 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 will respond to your request within 20 working days in accordance with the statutory time frames set out in both Acts.
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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Mr Wheatley

 

PHSO reference R0000206

Acknowledgement of your request

 

Thank you for your email of 31^st August 2018.

 

Your request will be handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Our response will be sent on or before 28^th September 2018.

 

Regards,

 

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

E: [1][email address]

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

 

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InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear Mr Wheatley

PHSO reference R0000206
Your request for information

Thank you for your correspondence of 31st August 2018 in which you requested information from the PHSO.

PHSO response

PHSO do not hold any information relevant to your request.

Please note that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not allow individuals to ask for a legal opinion.

Right of appeal

If you have any queries about this response, please contact the Information Rights Team. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request or wish to request an internal review, please respond to this email and explain why you are dissatisfied.

If you are not content with the outcome of your internal review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner will not make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the PHSO. The Information Commissioner’s Office can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

https://ico.org.uk/

Regards,

Freedom of Information/Data Protection Team
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
E: [email address]
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk

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M Boyce left an annotation ()

The PHSO are again not being honest.

They have already provided you with a very small amount of information about functus officio in your request about quashing reports. There must be more information as well.

M Boyce left an annotation ()

The PHSO are again blatantly lying in their response.

They say they do not hold any information about functus officio. This is a lie. They provided you with SOME information on this in response to your February 2018 FOIA request titled: 'Quashing reports - advice from legal team and senior colleagues.'

They also say that 'the FOIA DOES NOT ALLOW individuals to ask for a legal opinion.'

Again, this is another complete lie. A requester can ask for an opinion if that opinion is in recorded form. The PHSO have recorded their opinion on functus officio on many occasions.They are further saying that individuals cannot ask for a LEGAL opinion under FOIA. Again, this is a lie. Section 42 of the FOIA is a qualified exemption, which requires a public authority to undertake a public interest test (PIT). The PHSO are saying that section is an absolute exemption. This is a lie.

Would you consider asking for an internal review of this request, particularly bearing in mind the above?

Nicholas Wheatley left an annotation ()

They seem to be playing with words as they said they don't have information 'relevant to your request' and the legal opinion part seems to be suggesting that I have asked for them to provide new information.

It might be better to make a new request asking for all information they hold relating to functus officio, which I will do at the first opportunity unless you prefer to do it yourself. All the best, Nicholas.

M Boyce left an annotation ()

Thanks Nicholas.

It would be better if you made the new request, as the PHSO already regard me as 'vexatious' (I'm not; I'm just a persistent pursuer of the truth) and refuse my requests on an ad hoc basis - which is contrary to rhyme, reason or the FOIA.

Nicholas Wheatley left an annotation ()

OK. Will do. Could you take them to the ICO for refusing your valid requests?

M Boyce left an annotation ()

Great.

I already have done. I'm waiting to hear back from them.