Basically, from my experience, the main function of this office is to provide pamphlets and

I had occasion to discuss two concerns with the help desk, the first being on the advice of the
health Ombudsman. The Royal Liverpool Hospital Trust had lost my mothers X rays, thereby,
according to the Ombudsman, denying us the benefit of a full investigation into my
complaints regarding the poor treatment of my mother. I asked what could be done, as the
retention and safe keeping of the X rays are a legal requirement. The help desk stated there
was no point in them pursuing this, as all the Trust had to say was it was human error and a
one off, which would absolve them from responsibility. In other words, they did not want to

In the second issue, I had discovered on receiving my file from the solicitors who had
“handled” my industrial tribunal case, that it contained a number of pages from my file, as
well as from other peoples files, that had been used as scrap paper, and had various notes
scribbled on the back .

I was extremely concerned on finding documents that contained highly personal information
used as scrap paper and left in my file, some of which detailed notes from cross
examinations, job offers, salary advice slips, etc. etc., so I reported this to the Law Society,
(complaints department), wrongly assuming they would be as concerned as I was, especially
as some of these documents contained names and addresses.

Simply put, my concerns were not shared, and they were satisfied with a token response from
the firm, saying this was not normal practice, which to me made a mockery of the process,
and re enforced the poor opinion I have of the Law Societies complaints department as a
regulating body.

I contacted the Information Commissioners Office, and spoke to a gentleman on their help
desk. I was staggered by the lack of interest and general attitude, and was basically told that
there was little they would do. I was told they never actually send anybody to check on how
data was being handled, but relied on them reading pamphlets and guides that would be sent,
and assumed they would be read and acted upon. If I wanted action, I should sue them myself,
as, according to the gentleman I spoke to, they had never used their own powers of
prosecution up to this point in time! Which itself is pretty amazing. (2005)

Having experienced using Solicitors before, especially against another Firm of Solicitors, I had
no intention of lining the pockets of yet more Solicitors with hard earned cash, so very
reluctantly had to drop the issue.

Update 2009
Since my involvement with the Information Commissioners Office there have been many high
profile examples in the appalling way public data is handled by many public departments, and
illustrates completely just how badly this office has performed in ensuring public information
is protected. If it had not been for the media attention, the public would not be aware just how
bad things are, but consider for a moment my two examples, and the thousands of other
failures in data protection that has been ignored and therefore condoned by their head in the
sand attitude!

For what its worth, contact details are as follows

Web address click here


Information Commissioners Office



Tel. 01625 545 745

See their website for more contact options

Information Commissioners Office
Data protection