To Mr J Newman
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
e-mail: [E-bost cais Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau]
DATE 4th September 2012
Dear Mr Newman
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 28 July
2012 that was received by the
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) freedom-of-information-requests on 30 July 2012
and forwarded for response by DWP Medical Services Contracts Correspondence Team
(MSCCT) Freedom of Information (FoI) Internal Reviewing Officer (IRO).
In your email you asked to be provided with information answering the following questions:-
I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling
of my FOI request 'Atos FFW recommendations overturned by DWP 10/08 – 02/11'.
Whilst my original request was deliberately worded to comply with the stipulations &
limitations of the Act, your responses do not. Although you have accepted your response
was beyond the 20 day limit, you have not dealt with the following issues:
• It did not contain the documented information I requested and the Act requires you
provide if indeed it exists. If it does not, you must say so.
• It includes statements relating to my request that may or may not be correct, but they
are unsupported by any documented information and are therefore only the author’s
opinion or interpretation.
My IRR dated 28th May explains these points in detail. Your response dated 11th July
attempts to transfer the unanswered issues to a new request (VTR2601) although the Act
does not allow you randomly partition requests in this manner. Even if it did, it is already 2
months old (from 28th May), so warrants yet another IRR. You will no doubt suggest that
the 20 day clock did not start running until 11th July, when it actually started on 28th May.
I pointed this all out on 28th June, but after a month I have not had a response to this note
either. The end result is that my original request is still incomplete after over 5 months and
as I have pointed out previously, this is routine management information.
Clearly one for the ICO.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this
The MSCCT IRO has read your letter and accepted this as a request for an Internal Review in
order to check that the handling of your request was dealt with appropriately. May I take this
opportunity to apologise for the delay in fully responding to your request for an internal review
of the response previously supplied.
Your request ‘Atos FFW recommendations overturned by DWP 10/08 – 02/11
’ (FOI 3375-IR351)
was received by the Department on 28 May 2012 and forwarded for response by DWP Medical
Services Contracts Correspondence Team (MSCCT) Freedom of Information (FoI) Internal
Reviewing Officer (IRO).
The Freedom of Information (FoI) Act allows 20 working days from date of receipt of the
request in which to respond. MSCCT endeavour to answer promptly and no later than the 20
day deadline, unless the deadline is extended because the information requested must be
considered under one of the exemptions to which the public interest test applies.
The 20 working day deadline for this request was 27th June 2012 and it is noted that the
response was issued to you via the What Do They Know website on 12 July 2012 (the
response was dated 11 July 2012). In this instance, the Department has failed to respond
within the 20 working days and MSCCT apologise for the delay in replying to your request.
In reviewing your request the MSCCT IRO upholds your complaint as the Department failed to
respond to both your original request and provide you with the reasons for the delay in
responding within 20 days. You may be aware, the Freedom of Information Act in England
does not set a required time limit for answering a "review request" in the same way it does for
the initial requests to be responded to and it is therefore up to public authorities to address the
need to conduct reviews within a reasonable timescale, but delays in this case have occurred
and a response to this request for an Internal Review could not be completed, until such time
as a response to the original request was completed and issued.
The response of the MSCCT IRO dated 11 July 2012 added: The additional issues that you state have either not been addressed or have introduced under
the previous Q 1 will be responded to under a new FOI reference which is VTR 2601, by the
MSCCT FoI Officer.
The reference VTR 2601 was incorrect, the bullet points in your email dated 28 May 2012
were forwarded for response by DWP Medical Services Contracts Correspondence Team
(MSCCT) Freedom of Information Officer. This request was given the reference FOI 3550-
2445 and is currently being considered.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
DWP Central FoI Team
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [E-bost cais Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau]
or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two
months of the date of this letter.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the
Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk