When the CSA get it wrong which is more often than not then you need to know what to do. To date there have been so many NRPs being unlawfully treated by this Agency who seem to think they can get away with telling lies in order to obtain more money. An insider has informed us that case workers are told by their line managers to tell lies in order to rake in more money and ,”if you cannot answer the clients question when they ring up then just hang up on them”. This seems to be true as my recordings of my calls the CSA when I ask them a simple question as to why they have not followed procedure, they either ignore the question or hang up, they also tell you that your down as correspondence only, but don’t expect a reply when you write into them requesting answers because they tend to hide behind the fact that there is a back log of post, how convenient of them.
Ok first thing you need to do is request your DPA (Data Protection Act) prints. These prints hold everything the CSA hold about you and your case, they include all phone call logs letters sent to you letters you send in to them, this is normally where you catch them out lying because most of the letters they send to you contradicts what is in your DPA pack.
You need to write in requesting your DPA which comes under the Data Protection Act Section 7 subsection (2) A data controller is not obliged to supply any information under subsection (1) unless he has received— (a) a request in writing. So having done that you have adhered to the Data Protection Act. Make sure you send it in Special Delivery because the day the CSA receive your written request is the day the 40 days start. The CSA will try and lie to you stating they have 40 working days to send the information to you, that is absolute rubbish because the Data Protection Act states
(10) In this section—“prescribed” means prescribed by the Secretary of State by regulations;“the prescribed maximum” means such amount as may be prescribed;“the prescribed period” means forty days or such other period as may be prescribed;“the relevant day”, in relation to a request under this section, means the day on which the data controller receives the request or, if later, the first day on which the data controller has both the required fee and the information referred to in subsection. This is a section you can throw back at them when they try to lie to you about the 40 days, if they have any problems getting your DPA prints to you then they should inform you that they will be longer than the forty days. If the CSA fail to get your DPA prints to you within the forty days then you can use that against them when or if they summons you to court for Liability Orders. Next you need to get your MP involved and keep on at him. Your MP can open doors we can’t but also be prepared to be knocked back by your MP it just depends whose side they are on. You can find your MP by clicking here http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alms.cfm. You can also ask for your case to be looked through the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) http://www.ind-case-exam.org.uk/ and they will assess your case for you but the ICE will only look at your case if you have exhausted every complaints procedure within the CSA or if they have tried to fob you off with excuses as to why they refuse to give you your DPA Prints.
The latest delay tactic as of 29th October 2008 is that when you request your DPA prints they are writing back asking what particular or specific items of your data protection prints you are wanting to know as different parts of your DPA prints are held at different departments. they seem to have great difficulty in reading what we would call “Plain English” especially when we do templates for members and it clear states You are requesting all the data held about myself including all computer records all notepad records from the date when the case was opened to the present day. So if you write back stating that your first request CLEARLY states what information and from what periods and that the 40 consecutive days start from the date when they received your first request. They are also demanding a payment of £10 for your prints, this is not mandatory as it clearly states that they MAY charge a fee of £10, the word may in the legal dictionary means that it is not mandatory.—PLEASE NOTE THAT CMS have removed the fee for supplying Data Print requests.
If you are requesting all the evidence in the Data Pack after they have summoned you to court then they have a duty to disclose all the evidence that you request and that is case law see Archbold 16-83. A Magistrate nor a district judge can override case law, neither can the CSA