11% People In the Support Group

Department for Work and Pensions did not have the information requested.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In its response (DWP Ref FOI 0391, 20th February 2013) to my question regarding 11% of people falling into the support group the DWP referred to data in Appendix 8 of the contract documentation. Unfortunately this data is itself and estimate and as such the answer, whilst technically accurate, was unhelpful.

Please provide the documentation that explains the basis for and derivation of the estimated data that the DWP referred to in its previous answer (and listed in Appendix 8 of the contract documentation) that was used generate the estimate of 11% of people falling into the support group.

Please confirm if the estimate of 11% refers to the proportion of people being placed into the support group without having gone through a WCA or the total proportion of all claimants that are placed into the support group.

The data listed in appendix 8 of the contract documentation under ‘ESA NEW & REPEAT CLAIMS’ shows a year on year decrease in the estimated growth in new and repeat ESA claims. Please provide the documentation that explains and justifies the estimated year on year decrease in growth.

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Slater

Please see your FOI response attached

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

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Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

Does this mean that it is held by another department, or that it has been archived?
Anita Bellows

Gerald Jones left an annotation ()

I believe the DWP is saying that the documents no longer exist or it doesn't know where they are held if they do. I suspect that the documents never existed and the DWP simply made up the numbers at the time.

It is interesting that it didn't answer the question about the 11% and didn't provide the documents that show how the 11% was derived. I will address that in another IRR.

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 '11% People In the Support Group'.

The DWP response to my FOIA request was incomplete and actually ignored some of the questions.

Question 1
I asked “Please provide the documentation that explains the basis for and derivation of the estimated data that the DWP referred to in its previous answer (and listed in Appendix 8 of the contract documentation) that was used generate the estimate of 11% of people falling into the support group. “

The DWP responded with an opinion (see below) rather than the requested documentation.

DWP opinion “In response, I would refer you back to the reply provided in Ref FOI 0391, 20th February 2013 and provide clarification. The estimates provided in the ESA RFP September 2007 and
Appendix 8-Volumes were based on the prevailing numbers of the Incapacity Benefit (IB) Personal Capability Assessment (PCA) report recommendations. Likewise, the estimates for new and repeat Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims were based on IB new and repeat claim volumes.”

It is reasonable to assume that someone bothered to document the numbers referenced, assumptions made and anything else that contributed to the estimation process into a single document in order for them to be approved for use in the RFP. Therefore, please provide the documentation requested or state that the DWP doesn’t hold any (it can then be assumed that the DWP simply made up the estimates and cannot actually justify them).

Question 2
I asked “Please confirm if the estimate of 11% refers to the proportion of people being placed into the support group without having gone through a WCA or the total proportion of all claimants that are placed into the support group.”

The DWP ignored this. Please answer it.

Question 3
I asked “The data listed in appendix 8 of the contract documentation under ‘ESA NEW & REPEAT CLAIMS’ shows a year on year decrease in the estimated growth in new and repeat ESA claims. Please provide the documentation that explains and justifies the estimated year on year decrease in growth.”

The DWP ignored this. Please provide the requested documentation.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/11...

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.

By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 

If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.

Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

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J Newman left an annotation ()

How on earth can the financial projections regularly quoted be calculated without estimates of basic data like this? I do however suspect that DWP has decided that it is vulnerable to FoI requests and is adopting a more aggressive approach to not recording information and destroying anything potentially embarrassing asap.

I did at one stage try to establish the protocol for the latter which contained far more discretion (and hence variability) than one would expect with no auditing to ensure process integrity is maintained

John Slater left an annotation ()

I think the DWP follows the usual public sector protocol for statistics associated with policy. Make them up to provide the answer that the Minister wants so they will approve the policy and enact the regulations.

This approach is why large public sector projects and programmes go over budget (especially in defence). The private sector companies 'get told' what the Minister will approve and everyone knows that future 'changes' result in at least the original price being charged.

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

Sorry, my comment is not relevant to this request but I know that some of you do not follow Twitter and I wanted to communicate the information as widely as possible.
I just wanted to inform you that Army investigator SIB are apparently investigating Atos healthcare as their HP do not have mandatory medical qualifications for assessing soldiers suffering from combat illnesses. The tweet mentions unauthentic med.docs. I am wondering whether it could possible to obtain medical protocols and mandatory HP qualifications for assessing soldiers from the Ministry of Defense through an FOI request? If HP need specific qualifications for the army and not the civilians, there is maybe a discrimination case to answer.
I am also wondering how to follow up on this story as the soldier on twitter "declined" to engage with me.
Anita Bellows

John Slater left an annotation ()

Hi
Soldiers will not get involved in anything like this. If they get found out the MoD and the Military will make their lives hell.

I suggest making a FOIA request to the MoD citing what you have found out and asking the MoD to provide the mandatory medical qualifications for assessing soldiers suffering from combat illnesses. The MoD is a public authority just like the DWP so unless the documents are a threat to natioanl security it should provide them.

Anita Bellows left an annotation ()

Yes, I think I will do this. I did check the MoD FOI requests and nothing has ever been asked about it.
Thank you John

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Slater

Please see your FOI response attached

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

To put it in a nutshell........

The DWP made up the 11% figures to appease a government request.

It was then used to distort the truth when an announcement was made in parliament.

Suffice to say, the DWP CANNOT FIND ANY RECORD OF HOW THE FIGURES CAME ABOUT.

MAKING IT EVIDENT FROM THE OUTSET THAT THEY ARE TRULY CORRUPT, AS IS THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER THAT BLOCKS THE TRUTH FROM EMERGING........

A TOOL OF THE STATE, WORKING FOR THE CORRUPT GOVERNMENT..............