If you submit a Subject Access Request, do not be fobbed off by the likes of the following (highlighted in my bold
) I received in the 25 November 2010 response from British Masters Athletics Federation (BMAF) Secretary Bridget Cushen:
“Dear Mr Treacher,
I refer to your request for copies of Minutes of BMAF Meetings at which your disagreement with the BMAF Team Manager on the selection and running order of the BMAF M65 4 x 200m relay team during the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships was discussed.
We hold only two Meetings per year, normally in March and November, plus the AGM and as you did not lodge a complaint against our Team Manager until June 2006, your complaint was raised at our November 2006 meeting.
Although the information you have requested is outside the scope of the Data Protection Act, we are a voluntary Organisation run entirely by enthusiasts and our work on behalf of our members is therefore open and Meetings are conducted in a friendly manner. We have nothing to hide and hereunder are the extracts from our November 2006 and March 2007 Meetings. Incidentally, the only information that we hold on our members on our central database is members’ name, address, DoB, sex and Club registration number.
I am returning your cheque for £30 herewith.
Thank you Bridget Cushen for the “friendly” BMAF minutes, which were highly informative and thank you for refunding my £30. But the information I requested was not outside
the scope of the British Data Protection Act (DPA). Ref:
http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/privacy/data-protection/definition-of-personal-data.shtmlPersonal data is anything which identifies you as an individual, either on its own or by reference to other information. It can include expressions of opinion about you.
Personal data is defined in the DPA (at section 1(1)), as “data which relate to a living individual who can be identified from those data; or from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.”
BMAF Secretary Bridget Cushen, and certain posters on this forum, should carefully note the above.
As to the other points in Bridget Cushen’s covering letter above:
1. “….your disagreement with the BMAF Team Manager on the selection and running order of the GBR M65 200m relay team...” That is typical BMAF disingenuousness. I had absolutely no disagreement with BMAF Team Manager Maurice Doogan who of course selected and decided on the running order of the team long before the team entered the Call Room. Any athlete knows that is the way it works.
My complaint was that BMAF Team Manager Maurice Doogan later bypassed the Call Room and actually entered the track with the runner who was formally disqualified because he arrived too late at the Call Room. That runner was not on the Final Call Room List and by insisting that he run the GBR Team Manager thus risked disqualification of his own GBR relay team.
2. My complaint was not “discussed” at all at the meeting. Instead it was arbitrarily dismissed – apparently without any discussion at all by the delegates - with: “Treacher said MD (Maurice Doogan)
had broken an IAAF rule. WT (Winston Thomas) )
had checked it out, this is not so.”
But it is so. IAAF 170.18 is currently the applicable rule. And every single BMAF delegate at the meeting should have known that - provided of course that they were accurately presented with the actual details of my complaint. Which I doubt.
3. “….as you did not lodge a complaint against our Team Manager until June 2006….” Bridget Cushen knows perfectly well that in a conciliatory attempt to arrive at an offline settlement, I filed an equivalent complaint about Maurice Doogan’s conduct at Linz to BMAF President Paul Dickenson immediately the Linz incident happened in March 2006. Paul Dickenson botched it but he insists he notified his BMAF Executive immediately.
4. “…We have nothing to hide…” Really? A little self-knowledge and humility would do certain BMAF officers a world of good. The minutes came as a revelation to me. My case, from my complaint against the BMAF Team Manager to suspension of myself instead, is one long catalogue of proven BMAF procrastination, lies and disingenuousness. A true scandal. The trouble is that having succeeded in entering their own BMAF Team Manager’s and BMAF Chairman’s version into the formal BMAF minutes without informing me and thus completely unchallenged, all BMAF officers now believe their own official BMAF story.
But any psychologist will tell you that this is how organisation mentality works in these situations.
Even Arthur Kimber, my SCVAC club Chairman and a fellow relay team-mate at Linz who did support me back in 2006, now as new BMAF Chairman finds it more opportune to parrot the official BMAF excuse that “The BMAF Team Manager was entitled to field the team members he selected” – that familiar BMAF-established and thoroughly inane non-sequitor response to my valid complaint that GBR Team Manager Maurice Doogan bypassed the Call Room contrary to the IAAF rules and thus risked the disqualification of the GBR team.
Sorry - my original point in this particular harangue was that you should not be fobbed off when applying for your personal data to which you are entitled under a DPA Subject Access Request. Personal data is a much wider concept than simple name, date of birth, etc. held on the computer of your data controller.