Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 27 Mar 2017
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint that the Council has not provided Ms Y with the information she has requested about parish polls. This is because Ms Y is not caused significant injustice from her complaint and she can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- The complainant, who I shall refer to as Ms Y, complains the Council will not provide the information she has requested about parish polls in her area.
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 the injustice is not significant enough to justify the cost of our involvement, (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
- The Information Commissioner's Office considers complaints about freedom of information. Its decision notices may be appealed to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights). So where we receive complaints about freedom of information, we normally consider it reasonable to expect the person to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner.
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered what Ms Y said in her complaint and background information the Council has sent to me.
What I found
- Ms Y has asked the Council to give her information on the administration of parish polls. The Council has not provided the information Ms Y seeks. Ms Y says she is entitled to information about the democratic processes available to her.
- Ms Y is not caused significant injustice from her complaint.
- If Ms Y considers the Council should provide the information she seeks, then she can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about its failure to do so. The ICO is the body which deals with complaints about freedom of information.
- We will not investigate as Ms Y is not caused significant injustice from her complaint and she can complain to the ICO.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman