This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'What is the current Reconsideration process, and how does it interact with the new Complaints process'.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 
Central Freedom of Information Team 
 
[DWP request email] 
 
Our reference: VTR 4535 
Date: 23/10/2014 
 
Dear Mr Townsend-Handscomb, 
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 12 October 
2014. You asked:  
Thank you for your reply re the AtW Complaints process, dated 29/8/14, your 
reference VTR FOI 3293. 
 
This FoI request concerns the current AtW Reconsideration process. 
Recently a number of Deaf AtW users have had responses from the 
Reconsideration Panel that say “following the Reconsideration Panel decision, 
no further request for Reconsideration is possible”. 
 
This is not in line with the Reconsideration process as described in Appendix 
5 of the current AtW Guidance, where customers may ask for a Review 4 
times before approaching ICE. 
 
It is also not clear from the Guidance how the Reconsideration process sits 
alongside the current complaints process. 
 
So, can I ask for all written information at AtW / DWP re the following 
questions.  If there is no written information, please confirm that, and in your 
reply answer the questions. 
 
1) 
What is the current Reconsideration process? 
 
2) 
If customers are not satisfied with a decision from the Reconsideration 
Panel, what is the process for customers re further Reconsideration and/or 
Complaining? 
 
3) 
How do the Reconsideration Process and Complaints Process sit along 
side and interact with each? 
 
For example, if customers are unhappy with the way a decision is made 
and/or the decision itself, should they ask for a Reconsideration, and 
Complain at the same time?  Or should they ask for a Reconsideration, and, if 
that is not successful, make a complaint beginning at Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the 
Complaints process? 
I have checked the current AtW Guidance, previous FoI requests and 
responses, and searched the DWP website, and this is not available there. 
 
 
Response 

1.   The AtW guidance relating to reconsiderations is currently under 
review and will be updated in the near future.  The current process is 
as follows: 
•  When a customer receives a decision letter outlining their 
approved support they are also informed of the reconsideration 
process.  A customer has 28 days from the date of the letter to 
contact the reconsideration team.  
•  The request is allocated to an adviser on the reconsideration 
team who will look at the original decision again, taking account 
of any additional information provided. 
•  The customer is advised of the decision in writing. 
•  If the customer remains dissatisfied with the decision they 
cannot ask for another reconsideration but can ask for the 
reconsideration team manager to conduct a review. 
•  The manager reviews both the original decision and the 
reconsideration decision and decides whether it should be 
upheld, partially upheld or overturned.   
•  The customer is informed of this decision in writing. 
 
2.  Once the customer has had a reconsideration decision and a review by 
the manager this is the end of the process.  The decision stands unless 
there is a change in the persons circumstances.   
3.  The reconsideration process and the complaints process are two 
separate entities.  The reconsideration process applies to decisions 
and the complaints process applies to other aspects of our service 
delivery as explained in the answer to FOI 3293.  If a customer is 
unhappy with a decision they should request a reconsideration or, for 
example, if they are unhappy with the service they received they 
should complain.  Once the reconsideration process is complete a 
customer cannot make a complaint about the decision at tier one or 
two.  
  
If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the 
reference number above.   
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
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 
[DWP request email] 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.org.uk/Global/contact_us  or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745