DVLA - Unhappy with response to a FOI request
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Your rights guide: freedom of information request not responded to
Under the Freedom of Information Act you have the right to access recorded information held by the DVLA, including any information they hold about you. The DVLA should respond to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request within 20 working days or let you know if they need more time. The DVLA has the right to refuse your FOI request if the information is sensitive or the costs are too high. However, they must tell you why your request has been refused.You should know
- We will make sure you submit your complaint to the relevant department
- Include full details of your driving licence, vehicle details and address
- You should expect a response to your complaint within two weeks
- If that initial complaint doesn’t work, you can escalate your issue to the to the DVLA Customer Complaint Resolution Team, who will have another two weeks to respond to you
- The final level of escalation within the DVLA is to its chief executive
- If you still haven’t resolved your situation, resolver will ask the DVLA to refer your complaint to the Department for Transport’s Independent Complaints Assessor (ICA)
Make sure you
Include details of your complaint and copies of any correspondence as well as: your driving licence number; your vehicle registration number, make and model; your full name and address; and your date of birth.
By submitting your complaint to the DVLA through resolver you will build a complete and accurate case file, including all your emails and all calls that you can use if you need to escalate your complaint.
The department should respond to your complaint within two weeks. If they don’t, or you are not satisfied with their response, you can escalate your complaint to the DVLA Customer Complaint Resolution Team (CCRT) via resolver. We will remind you when to do this. It is reasonable to expect the CCRT to reply within two weeks.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the CCRT, you can then take your complaint to the Chief Executive of the DVLA. resolver will remind you when to do this.
If your complaint isn’t resolved
If you have followed all the previous steps and are not happy with the DVLA’s response there are two further options open to you.
resolver will ask the DVLA to refer your complaint to the Department for Transport’s Independent Complaints Assessor (ICA). They will look at the service you have received from the DVLA and whether your complaint has been handled appropriately. The DVLA will provide copies of your complaint to the ICA, who will contact you to discuss your case. You can expect a decision from the ICA within three months.
It is important that you ask for your complaint to be referred to the ICA within 6 months of receiving the final response from the DVLA’s Chief Executive’s office. Be aware that the ICA cannot review your complaint if it is being or has already been investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (see below).
Your final option is to contact your Member of Parliament and ask for your complaint to be referred to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The PHSO investigates complaints from individuals who may have been treated unfairly or received a poor service from government departments and public organisations. You will need to fill in a complaint form from the PHSO website and send it to your MP along with your resolver case file which will contain all your correspondence with the DVLA. You must contact your MP within one year of the problem occurring.
If you need additional advice
If you need any assistance or guidance regarding your issue you can contact Citizens Advice on 08444 111 444 or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman helpline on 0345 015 4033.
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