Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 19 Oct 2023
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint about the Council’s use of her personal data. This is because the Information Commissioner is in the best position to consider this complaint.
- The complainant, who I will refer to as Mrs B, complains the Council wrongly displayed her address on the Council’s planning portal when she put in objections to a planning application.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start an investigation if we decide there is another body better placed to consider this complaint. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended, section 34(B))
- We normally expect someone to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner 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)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by Mrs B.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- Mrs B’s complaint is about the Council’s use of her personal data.
- The Information Commissioner is in the best position to consider a complaint about a public body’s use of personal data. The Information Commissioner enforces data protection legislation and is better placed to decide whether the Council was at fault for disclosing Mrs B’s address.
- I find it is reasonable for Mrs B to complain about this issue to the Information Commissioner. So, we will not investigate this complaint.
- We will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint because the Information Commissioner is in the best position to decide the issue complained about.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman