Mae hwn yn fersiwn HTML o atodiad i'r cais Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 'Follow up to "Sign here, or face benefit sanctions?"'.



 
 
 
 
 
  
 
Central FoI Team 
 
www.dwp.gov.uk  
Caxton House 
6-12 Tothill Street    
London 
SW1H 9NA 
 
 
 
Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx 
 
 
Date 2/4/15 
Our Ref: IR 129 
 
 
 
Dear Frank Zola,  
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) internal review request received on 9/3/15. 
You asked:  
 
I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's 
handling of my FOI request 'Follow up to "Sign here, or face benefit sanctions?"'. 
 
You claim request VTR 638 is similar or identical or substantially similar to request VTR 
5063, this is patently incorrect as question 1 of VTR 638 concerns your "flexible support 
fund" (FSF) which is not mentioned in VTR 5063.  
 
The FSF gives Jobcentre Plus Districts greater freedom to tailor back to work support to 
individual and local need. 
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/briefing-
papers/SN06079/jobcentre-plus-flexible-support-fund and bears little direct connection to 
specific back-to-work (btw) and help-to-work (htw) schemes. The FSF enables individual 
Jobcentre Plus areas to develop unique provision and contracts/tenders that don't easily 
fit within the remit of VTR 5063. 

 
 
DWP Response  
 
In response to your request, I can confirm that the handling of your original request and 
response has now been appropriately reviewed by someone unconnected with the handling of 
your original request.   
 
As a result of this review I am satisfied that the original response was handled properly and that 
the outcome of your request was correct. The reasoning behind this decision is as follows. 
 
The letter dated 16th December 2014, sent to you in response to your FOI request (our 
reference 5063) stated: 
 
‘There is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms when participating in 
Back to Work (BtW) schemes, including Help to Work (HtW).  
 
 

 
Participants who do not undertake reasonable activity to move toward employment may risk 
losing their benefit. A sanction on Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit may occur as a consequence 
of a claimant failing to participate in BtW schemes. The referral letters and placement letter 
make this clear.  Failure to participate in BtW schemes and HtW could result in Jobseeker’s 
Allowance and National Insurance credits not being paid (or being paid at a reduced rate, 
depending on the claimant’s circumstances)’. 
 
It may be helpful if I clarify that there are no mandatory requirements to sign forms created by 
external providers for any DWP mandatory work related activities and this includes those 
funded through the Flexible Support Fund. As there is no requirement to sign such forms, a 
sanction would not apply in these circumstances.  
 
You have asked an additional question in your request for the review, sent to us on 9 March, 
about the Flexible Support Fund, and you repeated this question again in your FOI request on 
14th March. This FOI request has been answered separately.  
If you have any queries about this letter please contact the Department quoting the reference 
number above.   
 
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
DWP Central FoI Team 
 
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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act 
 
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