Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Central Freedom of Information Team
[DWP request email] Our reference:
VTR 4535 Date:
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.
What is the current Reconsideration process?
If customers are not satisfied with a decision from the Reconsideration
Panel, what is the process for customers re further Reconsideration and/or
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
I have checked the current AtW Guidance, previous FoI requests and
responses, and searched the DWP website, and this is not available there.
1. The AtW guidance relating to reconsiderations is currently under
review and will be updated in the near future. The current process is
• 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
If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the
reference number above.
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