UC113 Obtaining and Validating Consent

James C Kelsall made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

The DWP (via the CHDA) asks GPs to complete a UC113 form in relation to Universal Credit Work Capability Assessments. The letter asking a GP to complete a UC113 form states that "your patient has given consent to allow us to approach you for this information".

Please provide any policy, guidance, or other documents you may hold which describe the procedures which the DWP (and the CHDA) follows in order to obtain and validate consent from claimants for UC113 forms.

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

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freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gov.uk,

1 Atodiad

Dear James Kelsall,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 15th
August.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'UC113 Obtaining and Validating Consent' (FOI2023/62837).

My request stated "Please provide any policy, guidance, or other documents you may hold which describe the procedures which the DWP (and the CHDA) follows in order to obtain and validate consent from claimants for UC113 forms."

Guidance for GPs completing the UC113 form is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio.... Footnote 1 for that guidance states "Consent may be provided either in writing, electronically or verbally. DWP has procedures in place to ensure that consent is valid."

Clearly there are multiple methods for obtaining consent (your response only relates to one such method), and the procedures for validating consent are described separately from those for obtaining consent (while your response makes no reference to validating consent).

Your response does not provide any policy, guidance, or other documents you may hold which describe the procedures which the DWP (and the CHDA) follows in order to obtain consent in cases where the UC50 form is not returned.

Your response also does not provide any policy, guidance, or other documents you may hold which describe the methods that are used to "ensure that consent is valid".

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Thank you for contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
 
This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP Freedom of Information mailbox and will be
processed accordingly.
 
Please note that this mailbox is for Freedom of Information (FOI) or
Internal Review (IR) requests only – If you have submitted a non FOI or IR
related email then we may not be able to action it.
 
 
Timescales for responding
 
Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests
 
If your email is a valid FOI request, as per Section 8 of the FOI Act
2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Internal Review (IR) Requests
 
You can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
We will respond to all valid FOI and IR requests within our statutory
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why. Please note that we are not able to process your FOI or IR request in
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Should you have any further queries in connection with your FOI or IR
request please contact us.
 
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freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gov.uk,

1 Atodiad

Dear James Kelsall,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 1st
September.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

You state that "We may sometimes ask for permission or consent to do something, but only when there is a genuine choice."

DWP routinely contacts GPs for more information about a claimant’s health in cases where a UC50 has not been returned.

If DWP policy is to contact GPs for more information without consent in cases where the UC50 is not returned, there has not been a genuine choice, meaning that the contact is unlawful.

What is the process for obtaining consent to contact a GP for more information where a claimant does not return a UC50?

For the purposes of that question, you may presume that the mental health flag is ticked (that is to say that the WCA will be continuing without a UC50).

This is clearly within the scope of my original request, yet neither your original response nor your internal review address that matter in any way.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Thank you for contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
 
This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP Freedom of Information mailbox and will be
processed accordingly.
 
Please note that this mailbox is for Freedom of Information (FOI) or
Internal Review (IR) requests only – If you have submitted a non FOI or IR
related email then we may not be able to action it.
 
 
Timescales for responding
 
Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests
 
If your email is a valid FOI request, as per Section 8 of the FOI Act
2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Internal Review (IR) Requests
 
You can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
We will respond to all valid FOI and IR requests within our statutory
timescales, if we are unable to do so then we will contact you to explain
why. Please note that we are not able to process your FOI or IR request in
any shorter timescales that you may indicate.
 
 
Receiving a response from us
 
Please note that email FOI and IR responses will be issued from
[email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk by your email account
provider.  
 
 
Further Information
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with your FOI or IR
request please contact us.
 
More information on the DWP can be accessed on gov.uk here –
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gov.uk,

1 Atodiad

Dear James Kelsall,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 15th
September.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request FOI2023/70865.

In your response, you state that "As explained, if the Mental Health Flag is set, the claimant will continue on the Work Capability Assessment journey even if they have not returned a completed questionnaire. In these circumstances, the Centre for Health and Disability Assessment (CHDA) may [...] approach the claimant’s doctor or healthcare professional if the claimant has provided consent."

This paragraph contains a clear acknowledgement that consent CAN be obtained without the UC50 form. My request was for the policy documents describing how consent may be obtained in such circumstances, and you have not provided any such policy.

It is clearly absurd to suggest that there is no such policy while your response clearly acknowledges the circumstances in which the policy is used.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Thank you for contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
 
This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP Freedom of Information mailbox and will be
processed accordingly.
 
Please note that this mailbox is for Freedom of Information (FOI) or
Internal Review (IR) requests only – If you have submitted a non FOI or IR
related email then we may not be able to action it.
 
 
Timescales for responding
 
Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests
 
If your email is a valid FOI request, as per Section 8 of the FOI Act
2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Internal Review (IR) Requests
 
You can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
We will respond to all valid FOI and IR requests within our statutory
timescales, if we are unable to do so then we will contact you to explain
why. Please note that we are not able to process your FOI or IR request in
any shorter timescales that you may indicate.
 
 
Receiving a response from us
 
Please note that email FOI and IR responses will be issued from
[email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk by your email account
provider.  
 
 
Further Information
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with your FOI or IR
request please contact us.
 
More information on the DWP can be accessed on gov.uk here –
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gov.uk,

1 Atodiad

Dear James Kelsall,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 28th
September.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

THIS MESSAGE IS PURELY INFORMATIONAL AND DOES NOT REQUIRE A RESPONSE. IT IS NEITHER A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST NOR AN INTERNAL REVIEW REQUEST.

It is now clear that you never had any intent to respond appropriately to my original request on this matter, and you are now lying about your prior responses. I intend to make a complaint to the ICO. I have included my reasoning for this complaint below.

My original request was for "any policy, guidance, or other documents you may hold which describe the procedures which the DWP (and the CHDA) follows in order to obtain and validate consent from claimants for UC113 forms."

You responded to this request by directing me to the UC50 form, with no acknowledgement of any other methods for obtaining consent. I requested Internal Review on the basis that the UC50 form is not the only way that consent can be obtained, and your Internal Review found that your response was correct and complete. This was a clear and indisputable suggestion that the UC50 form is the only way that consent can be obtained.

You now state that "At no point have we suggested that the UC50 form is the only way a claimant can provide consent" (I will separately note that I find the specific wording of this highly suspicious in the context of at least one other ongoing complaint investigation.

Your claim that your initial response (which only refers to the UC50 form) is a valid and complete response to a request for "the procedures which the DWP (and the CHDA) follows in order to obtain and validate consent" clearly suggests that the UC50 form is the only way a claimant can provide consent, yet you now claim that this did not happen.

Rather than apologising for issuing incomplete earlier responses, you have instead made the bewildering choice to claim that they were complete while providing information which was wrongfully withheld from those earlier responses.

In any case, you have still not provided any policy relating to the validation of consent which the DWP claims it carries out. I presume that is because the claim that validation is carried out is also a lie.

Your responses have been contradictory, and each response has uncovered more information which should have been included in the original response (for example your most recent IR response provides details of two methods for obtaining consent which have not previously been referred to in any way).

You have handled this request in a grossly incompetent manner.

I will remind you that the complete chain of correspondence is available publicly at https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u....

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Thank you for contacting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
 
This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP Freedom of Information mailbox and will be
processed accordingly.
 
Please note that this mailbox is for Freedom of Information (FOI) or
Internal Review (IR) requests only – If you have submitted a non FOI or IR
related email then we may not be able to action it.
 
 
Timescales for responding
 
Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests
 
If your email is a valid FOI request, as per Section 8 of the FOI Act
2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Internal Review (IR) Requests
 
You can normally expect a response within 20 working days.
 
We will respond to all valid FOI and IR requests within our statutory
timescales, if we are unable to do so then we will contact you to explain
why. Please note that we are not able to process your FOI or IR request in
any shorter timescales that you may indicate.
 
 
Receiving a response from us
 
Please note that email FOI and IR responses will be issued from
[email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk by your email account
provider.  
 
 
Further Information
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with your FOI or IR
request please contact us.
 
More information on the DWP can be accessed on gov.uk here –
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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Gadawodd James C Kelsall anodiad ()

ICO Case Reference: IC-272521-Z2H4