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Thread: A legal question for advice

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default A legal question for advice

    I am having 'issues' with my local council about a council tax refund for a back dated claim.

    They are saying that I am not entitled to it for some reason.



    Does anyone know if I can demand (maybe a strong word), or entitled to have a copy of all correspondances I have made to them over the last year, in any form, eg written or transcripts from telephone calls in order to lay out my appeal to tribunal? If so, how and under what legislation should I lodge my 'request'?

    tia

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    I very much doubt if they'll have recorded the phone conversations - which is they only way they could really be able to then transcript them. Large companies like banks, insurers etc. will do that, but I doubt if a local council would record all convos.

    Obviously you have copies of all the written correspondence you sent?, and all what they sent you - so what is it that you need further?

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    I believe they do record all telephone calls, they said they did when i asked them anyway.

    Unfortunately, due to a house move, I do not have all the written correspondances with them. Some have also been lost in the post, even though I have pointed out to them that there was a problem with the post for some unexplained reason at the old house.

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Bummer about the written correspondence - although they'll have all that on file, including what you sent, and obviously why you're now asking about how to get hold of it, along with the phone transcripts.

    I've no idea if you're able to get this under the FoI Act?, I have a feeling it doesn't apply to stuff like that. Also I'm not sure if they'd go to the extent of transcribing all the phone calls even if they were recorded. If it was something that helped them then I'm sure they would, but to help you/Joe Public then unless they were forced to I bet they wouldn't! lol

    I'm afraid I don't have any definite answer on what you can do - have you tried simply asking them for copies of your written correspondence for starters? Is it worth a call/visit to your local CAB to see if they can advise?

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    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    This was really my first port of call, before i start the ball rolling.

    If the phone calls are recorded by electronic means, then i would have thought that the Data Protection Act would entitle me to access them.


    I will ring the local CAB and see what they say about it..

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Data Protection Act doesn't necessarily mean you have the right to access them - all it does is govern how they handle that data. To access the data it's going to be more a FoI type thing - like the ones that allows you to request any CCTV footage that has you in it. There could be a similar thing for information held by bodies like councils etc.

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    DPA does mean you're entitled to see all written records about you - and not just electronic records anymore. Ask to speak to their Data Protection Officer (they will have such a person) and speak to them to find out what address you need to make your written request to - they're allowed to charge up to £10 for dealing with the request and have to respond within 40 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas1 View Post
    DPA does mean you're entitled to see all written records about you - and not just electronic records anymore. Ask to speak to their Data Protection Officer (they will have such a person) and speak to them to find out what address you need to make your written request to - they're allowed to charge up to £10 for dealing with the request and have to respond within 40 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ste View Post
    They are saying that I am not entitled to it for some reason
    At some point they would have written to you advising you of that, possibly with a reason
    I would suggest you visit their office with your Council Tax account number, ask for a copy of that original letter and an appointment with their Benefits Manager to discuss further

    I made a claim on an unoccupied property, even supplied photos of the three bedrooms with no furniture
    It was rejected; found out they had mixed my photos up with someone elses!

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