Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 30 Mar 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about data held by the Council concerning the complainant. This is because the Council has already signposted the complainant to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which is the appropriate body to consider her concerns.
- The complainant, who I refer to here as Mrs U, says that the Council:
- Is holding factually incorrect data about her; and,
- Has refused to take the matter through its complaints procedure.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe there is another body better placed to consider this complaint. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered the information provided by Mrs U, and I have sent her a draft decision for her comments.
What I found
- Mrs U complains that the Council is holding incorrect data about her, relating to allegations about how she managed her appointeeship for her husband in 2017. She says the data has been shown to be inaccurate, but that the Council has not deleted it. She further says the Council has refused to take her complaint through its complaints procedures.
- The Council’s response to Mrs U says that it has nothing further to add to previous responses, and that if she remains dissatisfied, she can take her concerns to the ICO.
- It further explains that complaints about personal data cannot be taken through its corporate complaints procedure, as they have to be considered through the data protection procedures.
- I will not investigate the complaint. This is because the substantive matter is for the ICO to consider, as this is the body set up by parliament to look at such complaints. Additionally there is no fault in the Council’s response as it has dealt with the complaint via the appropriate route.
- I will not investigate this complaint. This is because there is another body, the ICO, which is better placed to consider it.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman