Complaint about #Manchester City Council Comms Team

The Comms team of Manchester City Council said, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, that the majority of its members had done their carbon literacy training. This was not true – only 11 of the 50 had done the training.

Below is a complaint to the City Solicitor of Manchester City Council, sent today, 30th November.

Dear Ms Ledden,

it has now been a week since your response to my questions about the shocking incident with the City Council Comms team and their false claim that 11 is a bigger number than 26. 
I have mulled whether to submit a Freedom of Information Act request and – more seriously – a complaint.

As we learnt during the Trump years, “the standard you walk by is the standard you accept.” 

I have decided I can’t walk by.  Therefore I have already submitted a Freedom of Information Act request today, seeking answers that you chose not to give. 

If I had received information about how the false claim about the carbon literacy status of the Comms team had been made, I would not be making this complaint.If I had received plausible and detailed assurance of what had been learned, by who, and how, I would not be making this complaint.
I did not receive information or assurance.  Therefore, I have no choice but to make a complaint.

I am making a formal complaint about an unnamed member of the Comms team who generated the reply to my initial Freedom of Information Acct request about how many members of the Comms team were carbon literate.  This unnamed officer told me that the majority of the Comms team had completed their carbon literacy training This, as we now know following an internal review requested by me revealed, was not true.  Only 11 members of the 50 person team had completed their training.

While I acknowledge the apology from the Head of the Comms team and yourself, these apologies provided precisely  no detail about how the false information was generated, and what actual learning is taking place within the organisation, and how processes are being changed.

A resolution of this complaint would involve
a) a detailed narrative explanation of how the false information came to be generated and transmitted.
b) an explanation of what remedial action (disciplinary or otherwise) has already been taken/is being taken on the unnamed officer (please note, I have zero interest in knowing this individual’s name, or in this individual being identified.
c) a detailed explanation of how the Communications Team intends to tighten its procedures so a repeat is less likely (n.b. I am not seeking a bland assurance – that has already been provided – I am seeking a detailed explanation of process.)

I had hoped this matter, serious as it is, could have been resolved without recourse to the complaints procedure. But I have to operate in the world that the Council has chosen to create, rather than the one that we could and should be living in.

I look forward to your acknowledgement of this complaint, and a prompt investigation, the results of which are communicated to me.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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