Service Records application - MOD response timescale

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by DanMorris1989, May 25, 2015.

  1. GoldmanT

    GoldmanT Member

    Are they actually citing GDPR though? In this FOIA request they specifically state 'The MOD responded on 25 June 2018. It explained that personal information relating to a living individual is subject to the terms of both the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and that until such times as an individual is proven to be deceased, and no longer subject to these regulations, personal information cannot be shared with a third party without the explicit consent of the individual.'

    So they're aware it doesn't apply to the deceased.

    https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2019/2614182/fs50771408.pdf
     
    papiermache likes this.
  2. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    In a news item released on 17th August last The National Archives stated:

    "As these are personnel records, they naturally contain a range of personal data including medical information. To protect the information in these records, closure will apply until 115 years past the date of birth of the individual. Whether or not the material can be open to all or closed fully or in part will be assessed on this basis or upon request under relevant data protection and freedom of information laws."

    For the full item see here:

    MOD Records Project - The National Archives

    In the previous post next above the link given to a decision includes this statement:

    "In a previous decision notice, FS50695574, the Commissioner accepted that the MOD’s policy of assuming an individual was 116 years old was a reasonable approach to requests for service records"

    I think the real reason for the extension from the standard 100 year rule to 115 years is that there will be no 1931 census to digitise because it was destroyed by bombing so 115 years suits Kew's business plan. I expect one of their digitisation "partners" will be involved.

    Kew Directors' meeting minutes are, surprisingly, available online for 2021 up until the end of August, 2021. Usually publication delay is over six months. I cannot find a mention on MOD records in recent minutes. Non-executive Directors' minutes are only online up to the end of April 2021. To find minutes of meetings go to the Kew website, then the A to Z of the site found at the bottom of the calling page, then Directors or Non-executive Directors.
     
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    So chaps, putting all your replies together, does this mean that if the person is deceased the B103 will be included in the files received from the MOD?
     
  4. Markh73

    Markh73 Member

    REME ones are also available through the REME museum.
     
    AB64 likes this.
  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    My reading of the various posts is that a policy decision has been made that MOD now believe they fulfil their disclosure obligations by providing the attestation papers and “high level” statement of services form only. All of those forms can be provided with redactions if appropriate.

    The extended MOD (non) disclosure policy means that B103 will no longer be provided under any circumstances.

    There appear to be a variety of reasons relied on by MOD for withholding the B103 - although I haven’t seen the reasons for the change adequately explained.

    There are various pieces of legislation that may have informed the policy change. The B103 may contain medical information (withheld by applying NHS rules), discipline matters (withheld under Rehabilation of offender act), marriage details (withheld as no proof spouse is deceased), children's details (no proof deceased), etc etc etc.

    The policy change really needs challenging under FOI.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
    J Kubra, SDP and 4jonboy like this.
  6. Ridiculous. When the person is dead its a public record, even a sealed will.

    Sounds like willfully obtuse.

    Why do i feel like they are applying census style rules to military records re living persons listed? They aren't subject to the same laws and regulations governing census privacy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
    4jonboy likes this.
  7. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    I e-mailed APC Glasgow about the lack of the B103 and received the following reply,
    “You have been provided with all the information that we hold about the subject of your enquiry and this office is not resourced to carry out additional research.
    I am sorry for what must be a disappointing response but we have no control over what is or is not held on these records”.​

    So that, it would appear, is that.

    Richard
     
  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Given the change in policy can you accept this excuse - albeit you sadly can’t do much about it.

    Playing devils advocate perhaps this is the slippery slope from the understandable Covid “working from home” excuse for inadequate service to the start of a deliberate wind down to a total non disclosure policy (in the hopefully short term - 2+ years?) on the basis files are in transit between MOD and National Archives?

    Red Cross stopped disclosure for almost 3 years as they digitised their WW1 archive and started on the WW2 papers before abruptly stopping the process.

    I don’t have an axe to grind as I obtained all my family records a long while ago.

    Steve
     
    CL1 likes this.
  9. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Well-Known Member

    So we are going to have to pay more money some time in the future to another organisation so they can profit on our interest in our family’s
     
  10. Markh73

    Markh73 Member

    It could be because of the massive backlog. Bit frustrating as people have paid for something which they are not going to get.
     
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Lazy arsed civil servants thats the issue
    any excuse and the best they have ever had is the pandemic
    they will dine off this for years to come
    sadly they never have nor for the future live in the real world

    lack of accountability/process/procedure and efficient auditing of their working practices

    his/her/it/she/whatever
     
    BrianHall1963 likes this.
  12. BrianHall1963

    BrianHall1963 Well-Known Member

    Your 100% right it’s a dream come true for many (on A autopsy your male or female you go out the same way you came in)
     
  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    MOD Records Project - The National Archives
    2 statements below below do not look good for family or researchers

    As these are personnel records, they naturally contain a range of personal data including medical information. To protect the information in these records, closure will apply until 115 years past the date of birth of the individual. Whether or not the material can be open to all or closed fully or in part will be assessed on this basis or upon request under relevant data protection and freedom of information laws.


    We are aware that many people are keen to access them as soon as possible e.g., military historians and those researching their family tree. However, there is necessarily a lot of work that takes place before these newly acquired records can make it to our reading rooms.


    After discussions spanning a number of years, in February 2021 the Ministry of Defence (MOD) began the transfer of just under 10 million personnel records to The National Archives for permanent preservation.  The records will be transferred to Kew in batches over the next 6 years.

    The records included in this collection cover personnel in all three services, Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, where the individual has a date of birth prior to or up to 1939. They include around 500 000 with First World War service and the vast majority of those who served in the Second World War. These records are of national significance which is why both MOD and The National Archives are working to ensure that their long-term preservation can be assured before they are made accessible to public both online and on site at Kew.
    This is the biggest and most complex transfer of public records in our history. In an average year, we will take in approximately 1.5 linear kilometres of physical records from government departments. These service records will require us to take in an additional 33 linear kilometres of physical records over the life of the project. We know the project carries significant operational and logistical overheads, but this is an incredible opportunity allowing us to develop an understanding of the records and the information they hold.

    We are aware that many people are keen to access them as soon as possible e.g., military historians and those researching their family tree. However, there is necessarily a lot of work that takes place before these newly acquired records can make it to our reading rooms.

    To begin, once the records are transferred to us we must ensure that all the material can be stored safely and to archival standards. In practice, this means removing them from their original packaging and placing them in to specially made archival boxes that will keep the records free from any degradation or damage. In addition, we will index and catalogue all the records so researchers
    As these are personnel records, they naturally contain a range of personal data including medical information. To protect the information in these records, closure will apply until 115 years past the date of birth of the individual. Whether or not the material can be open to all or closed fully or in part will be assessed on this basis or upon request under relevant data protection and freedom of information laws.

    Staff across The National Archives are working hard to ensure that these documents are suitably preserved and kept in conditions which allow researchers to have access to them. To that end, we are also looking at how we can provide the widest possible access to these important documents and are actively exploring various options, such as digitisation. This takes time, which is why, despite the documents beginning to arrive in Kew in February, we have not yet been able to allow access.

    We will give updates via our social media platforms on how our work is progressing and when we expect to make them available in our public reading rooms.
     
  14. BoredPanda

    BoredPanda Member

    I am really glad to see this and potentially horrified at the same time! It gives me a bit of a timeframe, as I submitted my request last October. I enquired and was informed that there are delays due to Covid, which makes sense. I may get my grandparents documents around Feb then! But the check situation! I am based in the US and it is extremely difficult to get checks in foreign currencies where I live, and expensive. I really hope they dont send me the same kind of letter :omg:
     
  15. BoredPanda

    BoredPanda Member

    Although playing catch-up with the rest of the info in this thread, I may end up disappointed? I guess I am confused by the latter replies. Will I still end up finding out what units/formations in which my grandparents served and their potential medal info?
     
  16. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi,

    The brief answer to your questions is maybe yes or maybe no.

    You may see various Regiments noted on the Statement of Service form but it may or not be an accurate full record of service.

    It is a high level document (originally maintained in triplicate where copies were not always mirror images) compiled from details recorded on other army forms - the most helpful of which is the B103 - that will no longer be provided.

    There are occasions when errors and omissions have been made on the Statement of Services form that are only apparent when it is compared to the B103 form.

    Medal entitlement is usually but not always recorded on the Statement of Services form. The detail is usually also recorded on the B103 but such information is sourced from other forms.

    The safest way to gauge a persons medal entitlement is to make an application to The Army Medal Office as they will obtain the individuals full service record from MOD and carefully examine it before coming to a conclusion.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2021
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  17. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    What confuses me about all this B103 form business is this: it used to be supplied years ago (when far more people and relations from the ww2 era were still alive, and therefore arguably more contentious), but now it's apparently not supplied (when most people and relations from the ww2 era are dead and where they have therefore 'passed into history'). It's also basically unfair to be provided with 'full Service Records' when they are not 'full Service Records'.

    Questions:
    1. has anyone here received full Service Records recently, and
    2. Did they include the B103, and, if not,
    3. Was there an explanatory note stating that the B103 hasn't been included, and
    4. Guidance on when and how the B103 can be obtained as anything less than this would be disingenuous.
     
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  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Posts from Richard Lewis & GeorgyB a fortnight ago describe their recent receipt of Attestation Forms/Statement of Services forms only and no B103.

    This topic covers the change of rules -

    Service Records - Online Application Process

    Steve
     
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  19. GeorgyB

    GeorgyB Member

    Yes, I received service records at the beginning of October. They did not include the B103, but no mention of whether it was or wasn't included in the accompanying letter, just 'these are what we have'. I emailed to inquire whether it had somehow been "missed" when the records were photocopied and received an email reply (I emailed the individual who had emailed me to say the records were on their way, not the general email address) saying they would check the file again but it may take up to six weeks as they would have to send for the file again from the archives.

    So I'm still waiting and hoping, as I haven't had a definite 'no'!

    The serviceman was born in 1910 so 111 years ago - not far off the new 115 closure limit stipulated above, although as I supplied a death certificate I would have hoped that over-rides that requirement.
     
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  20. BoredPanda

    BoredPanda Member

    Thanks for the response chaps, look forward to following the thread further and seeing how things turn out. I guess I may have to look forward to being disappointed and trying unsuccessfully to argue with bureaucrats in a few months.

    It really does seem a shame that this change has taken place now. This has been something I have wanted to know more about for so long, but just never got around to actually applying for. Hopefully, even if it is minimal information, I will be able to piece together something a bit more concrete than the family lore has (I've heard multiple contradicting snippets about one grandfather: potentially a REME, potentially a tank driver, potentially at Dunkirk ... potentially doing about anything you see in the movies lol, and another other was labeled a deserter in a very strange mini family reunion when I got to meet my great-grandmother for the first time ... she wasn't even talking to me or about him, and it just oddly cropped up and was about the only thing she ever said!)
     

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