Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An example of the corrupt system of administrative justice system we have in this country. (1)

Background: During the investigation into my complaint the investigator and Ombudsman promised to send me a copy of the evidence that they would be taking into account when reaching a decision regarding my complaint. They never did!!

Following publication of their provisional report I submitted a formal FOI request for a copy of all communications between the council and the LGO. This, as usual, was refused using their standard FOI exemption clause. [Note: In a proper and open system of administrative justice both sides would be shown all the evidence and given the opportunity to controvert it.] The issue was quite clear; the investigator had kept the council in the evidence loop but not me.

In an attempt to obtain a copy of the council's defence to my complaint, something that an open and honest system of justice would ensure happened at the outset, I submitted a Data Protection and Freedom of Information request to the council. Like the LGO, they also turned down my request. However, they don't have the same statutory exceptions as the LGO so I submitted a complaint to the Information Commissioner. Recently the Information Commissioner told them to reconsider their refusal to give me the information requested. As a result of this final warning the council relented and sent me the information.

Example 1: The LGO produced their final report into my complaint during August 2008, 6 months after they had refused to give me the information (March 2008) and 6 months before I managed to obtain it from the council (March 2009). This is information I should have been given before the LGO concluded their investigation not 6 months after.

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