Dear Ms Stephenson,
I am putting below my emails of 21 July and 23 June – neither has been acknowledged.. Are you able please to tell me how I get an acknowledgement and some action? I really don’t want to be a nuisance, in fact I just really want to get on with my life. Perhaps you might be so kind as to help me.
Steve King aged … nearly 3 years older than when I first made contact asking the Commission to help me
My email 21/7/2017 to Alex O’ Donoghue with copies to your business assurance unit, yourself (albeit I guessed your email address) and Diane Kelly
Following receipt of your email of 23 June 2017 I submitted a formal complaint via email to your business assurance e mail address on the same day. This has not been acknowledged. I followed this up on 7/7/2017 but again received no reply.
I tried today to follow the link on the .gov.uk website for complaints about a service you provide but this took me to an enquiry form that seemed inappropriate. It required me to upload a copy of a governing document to proceed.
The substance of my complaint is again produced below. Can you please ensure that this enters the system and that the assurances given on your website in respect of complaints are met.
For the record I have not heard from Diane Kelly, despite your follow ups and her suggestion in early April that the enquiries with Crossroads Evangelical church might be concluded by the end of May.
For the avoidance of doubt this complaint (reproduced below) is only about the way my letters to your board members have been handled and NOT the delay in resolving the enquiries. I reserve judgement on that latter point.
Complaint email 23/6 addressed to the Business assurance unit, said.
I wish to complain in the strongest terms about the way in which correspondence addressed to your board members has been handled.
A review of your file will show that your Chief Executive agreed in September 2016 to ensure a review of the concerns I had raised about the charity, crossroads Evangelical church. Progress on that had been slow so on 28 March 2017 I wrote for the personal attention of Paul Sussex and William Shawcross asking for some intervention.
Having had no response, on 11 April 2017 I printed eight copies of a letter, placed each into one of eight separate envelopes, addressed for the personal attention of one of your board members. My intention in so doing was to bring to their attention governance issues that I felt were very important. A copy of that letter is attached again.
On 12 April, I was contacted by Alex O’Donoghue who apologised for the failure to respond to that earlier email and took steps for matters to be progressed. She made no reference in that exchange to my letters of 11 April.
It seemed to me that the flurry of activity on 12th April was probably caused by the letters having arrived. Whilst this is supposition, since it is the only correspondence in April that Alex can have been referring to in her latest email when she talks about my having written in April, that position seems to be established.
With more than a further two months having passed, I decided to follow up again and was horrified to receive an email on 23 June 2017 from Alex in which she seems to say that my letters were intercepted and handled by office-based staff.
It seems to me entirely wrong that letters personally addressed to board members are opened by someone other than the addressee. It is I suggest similarly wrong that no reference has been made to receipt and no form of acknowledgement given. If board members were not to acknowledge or reply to those letters, then I would have expected someone to have explained that to me.
I believe that it is perfectly clear that I was, in that letter, raising issues of governance not simply seeking movement on my case.
If, as seems to be the case, it is your normal practice to pass such correspondence to operational staff for them to simply deal with as they see fit, that seems to me as totally unacceptable. As Alex’s latest response shows, she dealt with this at a superficial level.
I wish to place it on record that the purpose of my letter of 11 April was to draw to the attention of your executive board issues around the way members of the public who make complaints are treated and of course specifically how I had been dealt with. I would like an assurance that my letter, which it remains my intention to publish as widely as I possibly can, has been passed to each board member.
I would like too some assurances from those responsible for governance that steps will be taken to improve interactions with members of the public who raise concerns with you.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a complaint about the way my case has been handled since September 2016. It is a complaint about the way in which my open letter to your board members has been handled. In so far as my complaint itself is concerned, I will decide whether I consider the time taken to resolve these issues reasonable or not, when I know the outcome. Whilst I remain disappointed that it is now 30 months since I first raised issues with you and approaching 10 months since Paula Sussex gave her reassurance to me, I think it would be inappropriate to raise any complaint in that respect at this time.