Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 28 Mar 2017
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council wrongly sharing the complainant’s personal information. This is a matter best dealt with by the Information Commissioner.
- The complainant, who I refer to here as Mr B, has complained the Council disclosed personal information about him to his MP and also sent this information to an email address that was not his.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if, for example, we believe another body is better placed to deal with the matter. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))
- We normally expect someone to refer a complaint about data protection to the Information Commissioner. However, we may decide to investigate if we think there are good reasons. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Mr B said in his complaint and his comments on a draft decision. The Council provided a copy of its responses to Mr B’s concerns.
What I found
- Mr B says the Council wrongly shared personal information he provided when he made a housing application. He says the Council sent the information to his MP and to another unknown email address.
- The Council says Mr B had signed an agreement to share information when he completed the housing application and that the MP approached the Council at Mr B’s request.
- The Council says Mr B has not provided information about the email address to which he refers to. Mr B says this is not the case but has not provided clear evidence to support this.
- This complaint is that the Council wrongly disclosed Mr B’s personal information. I consider the Information Commissioner is best placed to deal with this issue complaint and so we will not investigate it.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman