An internal review of this question by FOS’s “Stakeholder team” confirms that this valid question (IMHO) will not be answered because it is vexatious. More likely it is awkward, I would say. The FOS internal review takes (essentially) only 3 lines:
“Having reviewed your request and having taken account of all the circumstances – including the points you have raised in your most recent email – I’m satisfied that section 14(1) applies for the reasons we have already explained”.
ORIGINAL STORY 30-09-2016
FOS are calling an interesting and tricky FOI request vexatious, and thus they don’t have to answer it. Actually the request is rather interesting as it seeks to tease out information on the “detail on our two-stage complaint process involving adjudicators and ombudsman”. This is of course the very heart of the FOS process and there is a suggestion that adjudicators can answer a case without successfully contacting the consumer, and that even so, the adjudicator’s can give an initial and final opinion. If this is the case its certainly of public interest !
Here is part of the question:
i) During the adjudication stage of a complaint, can an adjudicator give an initial
opinion then a final opinion?
ii) can an adjudicator reach conclusions at the initial opinion stage, without ever
successfully contacting the consumer, issue his/her initial opinion, ask the
consumer for further evidence, and then issue a final opinion/revised initial
iii) Do you make consumers aware of the two stages (within the adjudicator
stage) through any of the publicly available information?
The questioner has responded eloquently to FOS’s suggestion that he is vexatious, and his response is well worth reading as it questions much of what FOS rely on in their response. Its too long to print in full here, but you can read it at the link below. It will be very revealing to see what FOS have to say about this…they have been asked to make an internal review of their answer (actually their refusal to answer !).
The questioners response and rejection of FOS’s reasoning, and request for an internal review (The section dated 30th September 2016)