Letter to Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer and ICO Caseworker
ATTN: Daphne Bjerke, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Data Protection Officer
CC: John Francas, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Head of Legal
Lars Mysen, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) General Counsel
Gareth Jones, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Human Resources Manager
Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director
Gottfred Langseth, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) Director
UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Caseworker(s)
RE: Human Resources Personal data being processed in my name, Steven D. Kalavity, by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) and their affiliate, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK).
Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail. I have received recent correspondence and direction from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who oversee UK General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) compliance. I need to provide evidence that I have raised concerns and remain dissatisfied with how PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (PGSUK) is processing my personal data. ICO has related that PGSUK has one-month (30 days) to respond to these concerns. A copy of this letter has been provided to ICO caseworker(s) (GDPR Case Reference Number: ENQxxxxxxx).
Daphne Bjerke, PGS DPO and ICO Caseworker,
I have received a response to my recent subject access request (SAR) submitted to PGS Exploration (UK) Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK) citing the General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR). I remain unsatisfied with the PGSUK processing of what is claimed to be legal and accurate personal data. PGSUK has never actually authenticated – proved the legality of – the data that they are processing in my name within my PGSUK professional personnel file. Likewise, PGSUK have never confirmed that the processes which produced my personnel file data were legal and compliant or confirmed how the data was actually used. The settlement contract agreement (SCA) which terminated my employment with PGSUK, by is supported by the dated documents being processed by PGSUK. PGSUK is projecting that the SCA is a legally binding instrument, but PGS / PGSUK processors, including DPO Bjerke, refuse to actually authenticate the documents which are being processed within my PGSUK professional personnel file. How can the SCA be a legal contract if the documents which support it cannot be authenticated and are, in fact, inaccurate forged instruments? Such a projection by PGSUK processors would be a knowing misrepresentation of the integrity of my personnel file documents to both me and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
PGSUK is taking the position that they have already fulfilled the current 2018 SAR requirement by the data which was provided to me through the 2014 SAR, which cited the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) [ICO DPA Case Reference Number: RFAxxxxxxx]. Again, PGSUK made a similar claim with regard to a 2016 SAR. The truth is that PGSUK has never complied with providing me with my accurate personal data. I have proved so much through presenting e-mail and other time-stamped data that proves that the data being processed in my name cannot possibly be accurate and compliant to DPA/GDPR principles. None of the disputed documents being processed as my personnel file records bear my signature and factually contradict data shared through PGS / PGSUK and external e-mails. I have recently distributed the article Proof of Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) Conspiracy to Defraud to the GDPR DPO Daphne Bjerke, as well as copied it to principals with direct knowledge of the circumstances around the personal data which PGSUK is processing in my name. I was not able to compile all of the information during the relatively short time span between October–December 2014 when I initially received the contents from the 2014 SAR.
To be clear, I have never accepted the personal data contents of my professional personnel file received from the 2014 SAR as legally valid and compliant to DPA principles. In fact, at the time, I identified several documents as inaccurate and non-compliant to standard Human Resources (HR) data processing requirements and standard practices by me as soon as they were received. I made also made a concerted effort to bring up these concerns with ICO caseworkers, as well as Norwegian Data Protection Authority caseworkers. I have begged for a third-party investigation to evaluate DPA / GDPR compliance and personal data integrity. In 2014, I had requested that PGSUK remove several documents from my personnel file because they contained false and unverifiable information which I believed then, and continue to believe, made them non-compliant to DPA principles. Between October-December 2014, I wrote many e-mails to PGSUK HR Manager (2013) David Nicholson and HR Officer, Laura Haswell, stating my concerns as clearly as I could. (I intentionally copied Haswell on these e-mails because of a jaded history that I shared with Nicholson.) The accuracy and compliance of the PGSUK personnel file data was challenged directly within the contents of three (3) e-mails sent from me on 5-Dec-2014, 6-Dec-2014, and 20-Dec-2014. (Copies of these e-mails were also provided to DPO Bjerke with the 2018 SAR.) PGSUK refused to consider or correct knowingly inaccurate and non-compliant personal data.
PGSUK summarized a final response to the 2014 SAR within a 22-Dec-2014 letter sent by post and e-mail to me on behalf of PGSUK which referenced these e-mails. The 22-Dec-2014 letter threatened legal action if I did not acquiesce and accept the inaccurate and non-compliant data that PGSUK was processing in my name. PGSUK was determined to continue to process the incorrect and unverifiable personal data. As the 22-Dec-2014 letter was written on behalf of PGSUK, it stands to reason that the directors and secretary of PGSUK were also aware of the contents and claims that it made. They were also aware of the true events relevant to the SCA and the personal data which supported it. In other words, they were completely aware that the data being processed within my PGSUK personnel file was false and inaccurate. The directors of PGSUK, when the 22-Dec-2014 letter was sent, were PGS President and CEO, Jon Erik Reinhardsen; PGS EVP and CFO, Gottfred Langseth; PGS SVP and Chief Accountant, Christin Steen-Nilsen, and secretary, PGSUK Head of Legal, Carl Richards. The 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter effectively ended the interrogatories regarding the integrity of my PGSUK personnel file data. However, at no time did PGSUK demonstrate that my personal data was, in fact, accurate. Since receiving the 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter, I have done most everything that the 22-Dec-2014 letter threatened me not to do.
I have also violated the SCAs non-disparagement clauses on multiple occasions hoping that PGSUK would take this case into a legal venue. I have published multiple internet articles revealing PGSUK non-compliance and personnel file contents inaccuracies. These issues have also been related to ICO caseworkers. Since the 2014 SAR response from PGSUK, I have created a dedicated website, http://nopgs.com/nopgs-blog/ , whose mission has been to reveal the truth narrative of my work history which PGSUK has worked to suppress through complaining to social media’s uninformed gatekeepers. However, PGSUK has never tried to prove to the public that the SCA is, in fact, a legally binding instrument itself, and PGSUK has never used the SCA an instrument to stop publications that have publicly very critical of PGS / PGSUK management. It seems a dereliction of fiduciary duty under the UK Companies Act 2006. PGS / PGSUK has allowed the reputation of several agents to be impugned by not confronting these criticisms. This inaction damages the reputation of PGS / PGSUK. However, PGS / PGSUK continuing to process inaccurate data and not defend their processing has damaged my reputation even more. Every inaction by PGSUK points to a knowledge that PGSUK is processing inaccurate and non-compliant personal data in my name.
The SCA was proffered to me as a response to a formal grievance which was delivered by me on 20-Sep-2013. PGSUK does not process the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document within my PGSUK personnel file, nor acknowledge any of its claims within any of the disputed documents except the SCA. It is the only document specifically referenced within the final SCA, and it is the central reason for the collective silence and inaction by PGS / PGSUK. I now believe that the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document, which identified non-compliant and illicit behaviors, was tantamount to whistle blowing and that it was never properly handled in respect to PGSUK policy guidelines and UK employment law. PGS SVP Global HR and compliance officer, Terje Bjølseth, is completely aware that the data being processed as my personal data is non-compliant and inaccurate because he was a recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document that contradicts the documented narrative being processed within my PGSUK personnel file. The PGSUK HR Manager (2013) David Nicholson is also completely aware that the data being processed as my personal data is non-compliant and inaccurate because Nicholson was a recipient, as well as one of the principal subjects of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document.
Bjølseth was a recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance mostly, because he the superior of PGSUK HR Manager, David Nicholson. PGS EVP Marine Contract (2013), Per Arild Reksnes was also a recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document because he was the superior of Simon Cather, Regional President, Marine Contract – Africa, who was the superior of my boss, Edward von Abendorff, VP Contract Sales – Africa. Nicholson, Cather, and von Abendorff were the three subjects specifically accused of workplace harassment and bullying. Every recipient of the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document knows that my personnel file data is non-compliant and inaccurate. The grievance claimed that Nicholson, Cather, and von Abendorff management practices were in contravention to prescribed PGSUK policy and UK employment and contract law and also breached PGSUKs contractual duty of care responsibilities, as well as abrogated their duty of mutual trust and confidence. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document claimed that the bullies von Abendorff, Cather and Nicholson all abused their positions, did not abide by published and contractual PGS Core Values, misused the performance management system, and disseminated defamatory information about me. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document also noted that harassment and bullying are classified as significant workplace health and safety hazards.
Because of these facts, I believe that it has been completely inappropriate and non-compliant for Nicholson to have been involved with any processing of my personal data and handling of the SAR. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document claimed that Nicholson was producing and disseminating defamatory information about me. But, it gets worse. Nicholson as a principal subject within the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document claiming his professional misconduct was also allowed to be the person who scheduled the grievance hearing for 14-Oct-2013. Most notable by me, at this point, was Bjølseth’s absence and silence from the grievance process following its delivery. On 10-Oct-2013, four days before a scheduled grievance hearing, Nicholson called me to his office and proffered an initial SCA to end the grievance process. Nicholson also related that I would need to engage a solicitor to approve any SCA. I refused this SCA and wanted to follow through the grievance stages. Nicholson was allowed to proffer an SCA to stop a grievance process in which he was a key subject. The entire reason that the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document was submitted to Bjølseth and Reksnes was to get Nicholson out of the process because he was mismanaging and not following the PGS Policy Handbook practices.
There were so many problems with my personal data received in the 2014 SAR. There is no way that I – or anyone – could have anticipated the mass of these issues. I believe that PGSUK could not have imagined that their foreign worker would submit and SAR followed by a blog article campaign. But, here we are. Therefore, for PGSUK to suggest that they have already addressed the 2014 SAR issue is ridiculous. The 2016 SAR followed my submitting a report to the PGS Compliance Hotline (CH) in which I again raised the many concerns with the processing of my personal data. The PGS compliance team at the time when I submitted the CH report was composed of PGS General Counsel, Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS SVP Global HR, Terje Bjølseth and Silke Hitschke. CH stated that my report had been investigated. However, no evidence of an investigation or report was ever provided to me. By this time I had compiled information and published articles for their consideration. However, PGS again refused to review my concerns and authenticate the data being processed as my personal data or the processes which it was derived from as legal and compliant. What I have always requested is for PGS to demonstrate DPA / GDPR compliance, with regard to my personal data, with evidence.
In addition to multiple unanswered e-mails addressed to CH, DPO Bjerke also received copies of several inquiries made through the PGS LinkedIn™ posts comment sections. This comments, and this data, was obviously sent after the 2014 SAR. The PGS practice is to not answer. When PGS does answer, the say that they have already answered, so quit asking. However, this is yet another example of the hypocrisy and disconnect between their lauded PGS Core Values and their actual opaque business practices. For PGS to contend that they have already responded to my 2014 SAR in a legal and responsible way is ludicrous. PGS has taken every conceivable measure to suppress any new information and has continued their processing of knowingly false and inaccurate data which has been very damaging for me personally, physically, and professionally. But, this has always been their intention.
The 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter raised other issues, as well. These issues regard the omission of real data that should have dictated actions prescribed by the PGSUK Policy Handbook, but didn’t and therefore impacted the health and safety of my family. The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document is not being processed, but is referenced within the SCA. The 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter also does not explain why a report issued by a third-party occupational health nurse (OHN) while SCA negotiations were ongoing is not part of my personnel file record. The final report and recommendation for a follow-up visit was never delivered to me, as the OHN requested. Among other things, the report confirmed increased stress levels and also divulged the fact that I was involved in SCA negotiation regarding bullying. The PGSUK Policy Handbook prescribes practices for distressed employees. However, I was not provided with any consideration. E-mail records show that Nicholson and von Abendorff had requested the check-up. HR Officer Anna Stokle communicated directly with the OHN and me regarding the health check-up. E-mail correspondence between me and my legal advisor, who was supposed to be helping me confirm that he was made aware of the health check-up and report. Why was this report withheld and not considered during SCA negotiations?
Another issue that seems inconsistent with standard practice is that I was employed by PGSUK on a company sponsored Tier 2 visa (shortage occupation list criteria). PGSUK hired legal advisers from firm Watson, Farley and Williams (WFW) to help complete the application and processing of the Tier 2 visa application documents. I was very involved in providing documentation to support the application to UK Border Agency for the visas for me and my family members. I was never provided with, nor was I aware of any of the dated documents that were received from the 2014 SAR. WFW also advised PGSUK during the SCA negotiation process. In 2016 I submitted an SAR to WFW and it was related to me that the basis for my legal employment as a foreign worker with PGSUK was not even considered during SCA negotiations. However, e-mail records between me and my adviser show that I inquired how my termination from employment would be reported to UK Border Agency. The visa application documents to UK Border also seem to contradict the contents of the documents being processed within my personnel file. These documents are not processed within my personnel file as appendices to my curriculum vitae, which is being processed.
The 20-Sep-2013 grievance document had also highlighted my foreign worker status and was the basis to elevate my claims of bullying to harassment, due to nationality (race). How could the legal basis for why I was able to work in the UK not considered when terminating my employment? Anyone who has been a target of workplace gang-bullying (mobbing) should sympathize with someone who is a target of such despicable mistreatment in a foreign land by an employer lauding core values. These people are the most cowardly and evil kind of miscreant. The 22-Dec-2014 letter also states that only five data processors had processed my professional personnel file data. These processors were Nicholson, and HR officers Haswell, Anna Stokle, Gareth Jones, and Marine Contract Africa Regional President, Simon Cather. This list struck me as implausible. How could Reksnes and Bjølseth chair a grievance hearing and compose a Memo stating a conclusion from that hearing and not have processed my personnel file data? Von Abendorff, my boss, did not sign any of the disputed personnel file records and is not listed as a processor of my personnel file data. According to Nicholson, as related to my legal advisor in e-mail records, PGS lawyers in both Norway and England read the grievance and decided to proffer the SCA. E-mail records indicate that PGSUK Head of Legal, Richard, as well as his subordinate, Ben Kelly, had read the 20-Sep-2013 grievance document. How could Richards and Kelly provide any guidance on the SCA without processing the personnel file data?
Another concern of mine which the 22-Dec-2014 extortion letter addressed was that my personnel file was processed by Gareth Jones. Jones was working at the PGS offices in Houston, Texas, US. Jones was not working at PGSUK when I was. I recognized his name because I would submit time sheets and expense forms to him when I was working on vessel rotations. Houston was my decided US destination. Nicholson stated that Jones was a PGSUK data processor. However, I have located data stating that Jones was working in the US with a PGS US sponsored H1B visa. I do not understand how Jones can be both a PGSUK and PGS US data processor at the same time. I cannot understand the business case for sharing my personnel file data with him either when we never interacted with each other in the over-three years I worked with PGSUK. DPA places restrictions on how data is shared outside the European Union with DPA. However, since the personnel file documents are defamatory, and Nicholson knew this, I assume Jones was enlisted to sabotage my job search with the blessings of the PGS hierarchy who had the whistle blown on them. Whatever Jones did with my data was deliberate with full knowledge the data being processed in my personnel file was non-compliant. No seasoned HR – or other – employee would process noticeably non-compliant documents which had no subject and subject supervisor signature. E-mails received from the 2014 SAR show that Haswell and Jones were discussing my move to Houston while SCA negotiations were ongoing without my knowledge.
In 2015, I submitted a report to UK Action Fraud (police). This report has been updated since then, as new facts came available. However, there was no thorough investigation. Similarly, in 2017 a report was submitted to the UK Serious Fraud Office as well. This was done as it became apparent to me that my legal adviser and PGSUKs legal adviser processed the fake data created by PGSUK HR. PGS has relied on an umbrella of deceit propagated by the PGS board of directors and PGSUK directors that protects them from acting on the tempest of allegations of wrong doing. PGS / PGSUK would need no such umbrella if the final SCA is a legal instrument. PGS / PGSUK could find shelter from the deluge of accusations and repudiations through invoking the non-disparagement clauses contained within the SCA, which are legally enforceable in the courts of England. PGS / PGSUK instead complain anonymously to social media and search engine gatekeepers. It is obvious the PGSUK have little faith in their negotiated SCA. This is because PGS / PGSUK know, as I know, the data being processed within my PGSUK personnel file is inaccurate and not compliant to DPA / GDPR principles. PGS / PGSUK are just gaslighting me and ICO. If my PGSUK personnel file date was accurate and compliant, then PGS would have provided such evidence by now. This is why a third-party needs to be involved. It is time for DPO Bjerke to do the right thing and authenticate my personnel file documents and end the blog writing campaign for the future good of PGS and their stakeholders.
Steven D. Kalavity
PGS Exploration (UK) Limited data subject and former employee