Transport for London (19 001 525)

Category : Environment and regulation > Licensing

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 06 Jun 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that Transport for London wrongly refused his application for a private hire vehicle driver’s licence. If Mr X was unhappy with the decision it would have been reasonable for him to appeal.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, Mr X, complains Transport for London wrongly refused his application for a private hire vehicle driver’s licence on the basis of another person’s criminal record.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone could take the matter to court. We may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to go to court but cannot investigate if the person has already been to court. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(c), as amended)
  3. We investigate complaints about councils and certain other bodies. We cannot investigate the actions of bodies such as the police. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 25 and 34A, as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I reviewed the information submitted by Mr X’s representative, Mr Y. I shared my draft decision with Mr Y and considered his comments.

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What I found

  1. The police arrested and investigated Mr X in respect of an allegation of criminality abroad in 2016. The allegation related to an individual with a different name to Mr X’s but it was for some reason linked to Mr X. Mr Y says the police released Mr X and placed him under caution but did not prosecute him.
  2. Mr X applied to Transport for London for a private hire vehicle driver’s licence in 2018 but Transport for London refused his application. It referred to its policy for applicants with “criminal convictions/cautions or other adverse information” and stated it had received information indicating that the information on his Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure was inaccurate. It explained it had requested further information from the DBS but had not received a response.
  3. Mr Y believes Transport for London wrongly refused Mr X’s application and that the information it took into account in reaching its decision did not relate to Mr X. He believes the police hold inaccurate information about Mr X and wants them to delete it.
  4. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. If Mr X disputes the decision to refuse his application for a private hire vehicle driver’s licence it would be reasonable for him to appeal. It is not for us to decide whether Transport for London’s decision is correct and we cannot overturn it.
  5. The police are not a body within our jurisdiction and we cannot therefore investigate any complaint about its actions or the information it may hold. Mr Y confirms it has asked the police to correct the information and if they do not, he may have a remedy through the courts or via the Independent Office for Police Conduct and/or the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because Mr X had a right of appeal against the decision to refuse his licence application which it would have been reasonable for him to use.

Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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