Thursday, 11 November 2010

Evidence-1

Information Commissioner
21/10/2010
Dear Information Commissioner,

Update on application REF: 201001657 against the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman

 

Background:

On 13/10 [personal data] has advised me that the SPSO has confirmed all the complaints they have records for which are the subject of this application have been disclosed. Here, I provide further evidence about inaccuracies in the SPSO disclosure of information; hence confirm my deep will to progress for a decision by the Information Commissioner.

 

In the SPSO response for review on 18/8/2010 the SPSO confirmed that contradiction on the number released in two different Freedom of Information requests is due to different submission methods (response is appended for easy reference). On 25/6/2010 the SPSO advised me that the following numbers of complaints were submitted (in Freedom of information request with reference number: 201001087):


14 complaints were received on 28 April 2010
14 complaints were received on 29 April 2010
17 complaints were received on 30 April 2010

In my request of review the SPSO provided an additional table. While counting the number of complaints in those two tables the numbers submitted on those three days are:
14 complaints were received on 28 April 2010
16 complaints were received on 29 April 2010
17 complaints were received on 30 April 2010

While summing up the number of complaints in the two tables, this provides extra two complaints. Therefore, I have assumed two complaints are included in the second table for the day of 29/4/2010. While the SPSO has confirmed to the Information Commissioner these are different complaints, then there is clear inconsistency in the count of complaints submitted in this particular day. The SPSO disclosed extra two complaints than what was listed in the disclosure with reference number 201001087 (Please refer to the SPSO response of review to document the number inconsistency). Since, the SPSO did not clarify an error happened in the first disclosure and apologized about such an error, I assume an error happened in the second disclosure with failure to disclose details of two complaints or both disclosures are wrong; hence I require an accurate disclosure about complaints listed in those two tables.

I should note that I was advised that other matters related to this application will be dealt separately under reference number: 201001947. In the indicated application the SPSO rejected to provide me the reference number and public body authority which each complaint was filed against and I detailed my appeal for the Information commissioner while requesting a decision.

 

Request from the Information Commissioner in the current application:

1-      Investigating the clear inconsistency in the SPSO disclosure of the submitted complaints numbers on the defined days as provided by two different Freedom of information responses - as documented in the response of review and appended below for the easy reference. It is impossible to have 14 and 16 complaints as valid number submitted in 29/4/2010. This means one of them is wrong or both numbers are wrong and the actual count is another number in those days. I request disclosing tables with accurate information based on the Information Commissioner investigation.

 

2-      According to the guidelines of the UK Information Commissioner regarding exemptions from all restrictions under the Data Protection Act, any data should be disclosed to the Information Commissioner to enable him making decisions without consent. While I am waiting for the Information Commissioner’s decision on the inappropriate position of the SPSO to provide the reference number and public body by inapplicable restriction under the Data Protection Act that I claim, it is appropriate to request providing the indicated information to the Information Commissioner to enable him making a decision in the current application independent from the other application you decided to handle separately(instead of waiting for a decision on the other application to provide the required evidence for the current application).

 

Therefore, I request that the SPSO releases the reference number for the provided two tables for the Information Commissioner to verify:

a-      The provided reference number is serial in the provided two tables and there is no missing serial in the assigned reference number which would confirm failure of the SPSO to disclose information related to this complaint.

b-     The reference number for the first table where time was indicated is coordinating with time provided. In other words, for example, in 29/4/2010 the complaint submitted at 21:04 should have reference number that is further to the one submitted at 15.36. I request that the Information Commissioner request the time of submission in the second table to verify the assigned reference number is serial according to the time of submission as part of verifying my application on inaccurate information provided by the SPSO.

 

I request to have the final word before the information Commissioner makes his decision to have the reasonable opportunity to address the SPSO response regarding my application.

 

Yours Sincerely,

                          Dr. R. A. Rahman

Appendix
The SPSO response of review for easy reference (provided in the original application)
Subject: RE: Request for review for FOI 201001269
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 16:59:30 +0100
From: Ask@spso.org.uk
To: [personal data]
Dear [personal data]

Your request for review reference 201001701

I refer to your emails of 29 July and 3 August 2010, which have been passed to me to consider and I can now respond as follows.

On 26 May you asked for the number of complaints individually submitted on 28, 29 and 30 April 2010, while clearly indicating the time and date for the first and last complaints to be submitted online after and before your online complaint submission respectively.  You were advised on 25 June under reference 201001087 that:

14 complaints were received on 28 April 2010
14 complaints were received on 29 April 2010
17 complaints were received on 30 April 2010

The last online complaint form submitted before your submission was on 25 April 2010 at 18:01
The first online complaint form submitted after your submission was on 29 April 2010 at 15:37

In emails of 30 June and 1 July, you asked for the reference number of all the complaints which were submitted to the SPSO using the online complaint form during the period 19 April to 15 May 2010, while clearly indicating a) the exact time each one of them was submitted, and b) the public service bodies those complaints were made against.  You also requested that we disclose at what stage each complaint had arrived at the time of our response.  You were provided, on 29 July under reference 201001269, with a table detailing complaints initially received online from 19 April to 15 May 2010 and given an explanation why we were unable to provided the specific complaint details, on which point you have not requested a review.

First, I apologise for the incorrect date in the table provided, as you correctly identified, the date should have read 29/04/10.  Please find below a corrected table.

Received Date
Received Time
Workflow Stage
Case Status
Case Closure Reason
16/04/10
14:03
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Premature
21/04/10
00:35
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature
24/04/10
20:55
4 - Investigation 1
Open

24/04/10
09:50
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Premature
25/04/10
18:01
3 - Early Resolution 2
Open

29/04/10
15:36
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature
29/04/10
21:04
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Out of jurisdiction
30/04/10
16:33
3 - Early Resolution 2
Open

01/05/10
14:56
3 - Early Resolution 2
Open

03/05/10
16:09
3 - Early Resolution 2
Open

05/05/10
15:29
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature
05/05/10
18:51
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Out of jurisdiction
07/05/10
16:31
4 - Investigation 1
Open

10/05/10
14:02
4 - Investigation 1
Open

12/05/10
14:48
3 - Early Resolution 2
Open

12/05/10
14:44
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued
Report generated 28 July 2010

However, you have requested a review of the information you have been provided as you consider that, as the indicated number of complaints detailed under 201001269 is less than the number defined under 201001087, there is a clear error.  I would point out that under 201001087 you asked for and were provided with the number of complaints submitted, whereas, under 201001269, you asked for and were provided with details of the number of complaints that were submitted using the online complaint form.  It is therefore reasonable to expect that the number of complaints submitted using the online complaint form will be less than the total number of complaints submitted. 

You have also questioned why your online submission of 29 April at 14:52 was clearly indicated under 201001087 but not under 201001269.  I would point out that, under 201001087, you were provided with details of the online complaint forms submitted directly before and after your online submission.  This was not however confirmation that your online submission was consequently progressed and recorded as a new complaint.  However, the details provided under 201001269 were specifically for those recorded complaints that were originally submitted online.  As you have been previously advised on a number of occasions, your online complaint submission was not considered to be a new complaint, therefore it was not allocated a new reference number and consequently does not show up in the list of complaints provided under 201001269.

You have requested details of the complaints indicated under 201001087.  Please see the table below.

Received Date
Contact Method
Workflow Stage
Case Status
Case Closure Reason
30/04/2010
Telephone
2 - Early Resolution 1
Open


Letter
4 - Investigation 1
Open


Email
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Letter
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Complaint resolved

Telephone
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction

Letter
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Web Complaint Form
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Suspended

Web Complaint Form
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction

Web Complaint Form
3 - Early Resolution 2
Open

29/04/2010
Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Complaint not upheld

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Visit
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Premature

Visit
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Letter
4 - Investigation 1
Closed
Discretionary decision not to pursue

Letter
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature
28/04/2010
Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction

Letter
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature

Letter
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Email
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction

Letter
4 - Investigation 1
Open


Letter
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Premature

Telephone
1 - Advice
Closed
Premature

Telephone
3 - Early Resolution 2
Closed
Complaint partly upheld

Letter
1 - Advice
Closed
Discontinued

Letter
2 - Early Resolution 1
Closed
Out of Jurisdiction
Report generated 17 August 2010

Finally, you have requested release of the reference number for your online submission of 29 April.  Again, as previously explained, your online submission was not considered to be a new complaint and was not allocated a new reference number.  In line with section 17 of FOISA, I must therefore advise that this information is not held. 

YOUR RIGHT OF APPEAL

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of any review carried out by the SPSO, you have a right under FOISA to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.  If you wish to do so, you must appeal to the Commissioner within six months following the date of receipt of the review notice.  The Commissioner’s contact details are as follows:

The Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St Andrews
KY16 9DS
Tel:  01334 464610

Yours sincerely

[personal data]


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