Reply To: Appeals Process

Peter Barker

I suppose the best example to illustrate these principles would be that of an overpayment made after the claimant moved elsewhere. The landlord says the claimant was still living in the accommodation, the Council says he wasn’t and that we think the landlord also knew, making the o/p recoverable from both of them.

The Tribunal is going to say: what makes you think the claimant moved out on x date?
The answer is: because I know he was living somewhere else no later than X date
Tribunal: How do you know?
Council: Because this document here proves it, or at least is evidence in support of that proposition.

But the key document reveals the claimant’s current whereabouts, which is personal information that you are worried about revealing to the landlord.

This evidence is pretty central to the appeal and needs to be included. Rule 24(4)(b) requires that it be included, and this I think is what engages s8 of the DPA. But, if in doubt, apply to the Tribunal for a direction. The application for directions could for example suggest that it is unnecessary for the other party to the appeal to know precisely where the claimant moved to, their case will not be prejudiced by seeing only a redacted version of the document – the appeal turns on when rather than where. But the Tribunal must see the original and I think you are covered by s8 there. If the Tribunal directs you to provide the document to the other party without alteration, that also engages s8.

I have just had a hearing exactly like that where the evidence was not redacted and no-one batted an eyelid. I suppose the risk is that the claimant complains to the ICO, and maybe the directions application ensures that there is a solid defence to the complaint should it ever come to that.

*Edited to add: this was a rehearing following a UT appeal, and the UT didn’t bat an eyelid either

  • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Peter Barker.