DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Our Ref: FOI 699
01 March 2012
Dear Mr Smith,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which we received on 16 February 2012.
In that request, you asked:
Please could you provide a list of organisations signed up to provide
unpaid work placements under the Mandatory Work Activity and
Mandatory Work Programme schemes as referred by Jobcentre Plus,
and the name of the linked providers in the Poole and Bournemouth area.
The information you have requested is being withheld under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, this exemption relates to the commercial interests of the Department for
Work and Pensions and any other company or organisation delivering services on our behalf. I
consider that the exemption applies because disclosure could, or would be likely to, prejudice
the commercial interests of companies providing work-experience placements and the ability of
the Department and its contracted providers to work in partnership with these companies to
secure such opportunities.
In line with the Department’s transparency commitments, we have previously provided
information about companies who participate in a number of our programmes that offer work
experience, where we can collect this information without disproportionate cost. However, we
are now invoking the exemption because it has become clear in recent weeks that there are a
minority of people who appear to be seeking to undermine the goodwill of employers who are
prepared to offer opportunities to unemployed people by attempting to harm those companies’
These actions are not only intended to harm those companies, but could also have an adverse
impact on jobseekers who want to get experience in a real working environment to improve
their chances of getting employment. They could also deter employers from committing their
time and resources to providing such opportunities to people who are keen to make a positive
step towards finding a job. Because of this we have had to reconsider our position on releasing
information on the employers we work with.
As required by the Section 2 of the Act, I have considered whether there is a public interest in
complying with your request. I conclude that while there is a general public interest argument
in favour of releasing, the public interest in withholding this information is greater for the
the release of the information as requested could potentially damage the commercial
interests of organisations providing work experience placements; and
The release of the information could inhibit or limit the ability of the Department to obtain
the best services to improve people’s chances of securing employment.
The release of the information could inhibit or limit the ability of our contractors to
successfully deliver their contract obligations to support Jobseekers into employment.
The release could limit the opportunity for Jobseekers to gain real experience which
would assist them to gain employment.
In Bournemouth and Poole the Work Programme providers are Prospects Services Ltd and
Working Links, Mandatory Work Activity is delivered by the Rehab Group.
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 freedom-of-information-
or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, 5th Floor The Adelphi, 1-11, John Adam Street,
London WC2N 6HT. 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