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Subject Access Request Problems - Help???


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Hi All,

 

Looking for some help with a subject access request matter:

 

Background:

 

In October last year, one of our wonderful Government departments; the UK Border Agency, screwed up my Australian wifes application for a settlement (ILR) visa with an employee admitting such and explaining in detail what happened over the telephone, but telling my wife she had 10 days to leave the country. Despite the screw up, they still cashed the £750 debit card transaction. Obviously, rather unhappy with this, we approached our MP for assistance and following his discussions with that most illustrious of MP's the Home Secretary, resubmitted the application with yet another £750 charged. We can't 'prove' the screw-up and of course the UKBA now refuse to admit liability, so kiss goodbye to £750 thinks I.

 

In a subsequent telephone conversation (now all recorded by me!), a UKBA supervisor stated that all telephone conversations are recorded by UKBA and retained for a year. Great thinks I, time for a Subject Access Request for copies of telephone recording!! So, SAR duly submitted thanks to the excellent templates on this site complete with a cheque for £10 (cashed & endorsed cheque sent to me by my bank on request). 38 days pass before we receive any response, which, rather than the audio files requested was a letter from UKBA requesting clarifications: Date, Time, Department etc. Obviously we don't have the department name, but once again submitted the information we do have of Date, Time (exact to the second) and full name of the other party to the call and the 'area' of the UKBA in which she works in a format even the most illiterate of people could understand (previously the information was contained within a sentence). Same day it was sent back (all correspondance by Special Delivery of course).

 

30 days later, another identical letter, this time with an addendum that if the information was not supplied within 14 days, they would close the matter as complied with.

 

So, a phone call (recorded of course) - UKBA claim not to have received our response and telling me the 40 day clock doesn't start ticking until they have had the clarifications. When I reminded the woman that the 40 days was from the date of receipt of my original SAR, she accused me of being rude and hung up!!!

 

Current Actions.

 

I have submitted a complaint to the ICO for non-compliance; very nice lady from the ICO even agreed on the phone that UKBA were simply playing for time and outside the rules. Problem; ICO said it could take up to 6 months to deal with this, past the date the recordings will be destroyed.

 

Copy of my response and original SAR sent to UKBA (Special Delivery of course) and a cover letter advising that I have submitted a complaint to the ICO and a further request for internal review to the UKBA internal review board and reserving the right to seek redress in a court of law if the SAR is not fulfilled within 5 days.

 

Question:

 

I think I've been a little over generous with the times now (currently 81 days. The final 5 days passed a week ago.

 

1. If I do the county court thing now can I ask for compensation amounting to the losses which would form the claim I would raise if the SAR had been complied with?

 

2. How on earth does one do the county court thing? The forms I found on the CC website appear to be for claims for cash, not to force the compliance with an SAR.

 

Any advise, help etc would be greatly appreciated.

 

Rgds

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You will need to make a part 8 claim. Check the court service website for the form.

You may well want to accompany the claim with a form N16 to prevent any data being destroyed.

 

I'm not sure how you can cplaim compensation if you have not yet seen the data and so you don't have your proof.

 

You should also put in a Freedom of Information Act request which requires compliance within 20 days.

 

However, don't hang around. Get your claim in now

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I think you will find that they are exempt in some areas of DPA and freedom of information applications-I have experience with this.

Your proof of payments would surely show up on statements as having been taken.

Moneyclaim online is not really suitable for these issues.

What was the reason you were told she had 10 days to leave the country ?

Did they return your application pack for ILR saying they could not process it without full payment ?

 

Have you also contacted the Immigration advisory Service to ask for some advice ? They may take this up for you and in many cases its free

 

http://www.iasuk.org/contact-us.aspx

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Hi Chaps,

 

Thanks for your responses; this is an ongoing issue in terms of her visa. I did actually manage to get hold of a copy of the UKBA's internal policy documents on responding to SAR's and it seems their policy is to make it as difficult as possible. One para actually stated that unless the correct section of the legislation is quoted, they should not respond!!

 

The 10 days to leave element is one of the things we are hoping to challenge as it is completely incorrect as her previous visa was valid for (again according to their internal policy docs) 27 months and only 24 months had elapsed. There are other elements of the call that we intend to challenge; such as a suggestion that other people's applications were more of a priority as the Haj was approaching (it took them 16 weeks to call), but the main crux was a verbal announcement that her visa was rejected as it was received 1 day late (note above, 24 months and 1 day had elapsed of the permissable 27 months!!). In effect, the whole call was (from the UKBA side), confrontational and factually incorrect with my wife coming off the phone in tears and over the following couple of months nose-diving into depression (she also lost her job in December as she couldn't show her employers she has a right to continue working in the UK).

 

On the visa issue, we are dealing with that with the assistance of our local MP who agrees with us that the UKBA have dealt with us in a completely unnacceptable manner and is fighting our case with the Home Secretary so the new visa should be issued in the next few weeks.

 

That still leaves us out of pocket for the first application, not to mention Joyce's losing her job with her previous visa expiry cited by her employers as the reason. Without the SAR complied with though we can't PROVE anything.

 

Anyhow, I shall complete the form part 8 (if I can get the wording right!) and the N16 as suggested by BankFodder and see how we get on, and absolutely will try contacting the IAS as suggested by Martin.

 

Again, thanks for your help chaps and I will keep this updated with any developments.

 

Thanks

 

David

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Ok David understand a little better now.

Keep us posted and if you need any further help dont hesitate to ask on here or email me-as I said I have quite extensive knowledge on this and hae been through the ILR process myself as indeed have many of my close friends (Russian and Ukranian wives) but the criteria and process for FLR and ILR is exactly the same.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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