Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 20 Mar 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Miss X complains the Council refuses to provide her with information she has requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. The Information Commissioner is better placed to deal this matter.
- Miss X complains the Council refuses to provide her with information she requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
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)
- 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 considered the information provided by Miss X in her complaint form.
What I found
- Miss X says she asked the Council to provide information to her under the Freedom of Information Act.
- It is reasonable to expect Miss X to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). That is because this is the body with specific powers and expertise to investigate Freedom of Information Act issues. The Information Commissioner’s Officer has powers which the Ombudsman does not have to require compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman