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West Berkshire Council (19 019 644)

Category : Other Categories > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 30 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s handling of the complainant’s request to see her daughter’s social care records. It is reasonable to expect the complainant to pursue the matter with the Information Commissioner.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I refer to as Ms B, complains about the Council’s handling of her requests to be see her disabled daughter’s social care records. In particular, Ms B says the Council was wrong to say that her daughter would need to give consent for the records to be made available.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We normally expect someone to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner (ICO) if they have a complaint about data protection. However, we may decide to investigate if we think there are good reasons. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered Ms B’s complaint to the Ombudsman, and gave her the opportunity to comment on a draft version of this statement.

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What I found

  1. If Ms B is unhappy with the way the Council dealt with her request to see her daughter’s information, we would normally expect her to pursue the matter with the ICO.
  2. I consider it reasonable to expect Ms B to use this alternative remedy, as the ICO has particular expertise in adjudicating on data protection concerns.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms B’s complaint. This is because it is reasonable to expect her to pursue the matter with the ICO.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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