Monday, 19 December 2016

An Oops from the Ombudsman

In non-council news I had some interesting, if rather odd correspondence with the Ombudsman's office. A couple of months ago I requested an ombudsman's report which partially upheld a complaint against Carmarthenshire council concerning an adult social services issue.

These anonymised reports are available on request and are usually sent within a couple of days, sometimes a summary is sent instead. They happily sent me the full report, anonymised but unredacted. However, I felt that it was of a particularly personal nature and, more to the point, the content of the report didn't really raise matters of wider public interest. So I left it at that.

Two weeks ago I received another email from the Ombudsman's office telling me that my Freedom Of Information request for this report had been refused. The refusal stated that;
"having taken into account the interests of the person aggrieved and the extent to which redactions could be made, we do not consider that it would be appropriate to disclose the report in question. Consequently, on the basis that disclosure would not be made in line with the provisions of section 21 of the PSOW Act, we therefore consider that the report is exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 44 of the FOI Act"
As they'd already sent it weeks ago, this appears to be something of a data protection hiccup, and I'd never made a FOI request anyway.

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