30th September 2019 Huffington post opinion piece

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In her opinion piece on 30th September, 2019 your new Secretary of State made various claims without backing them up with supporting evidence.

Probably the most intriguing claim was "Those receiving benefits could make more than those going out to work, with some claimants receiving over £100,000 a year."

Our request:

Please kindly provide us with a copy of the source which supports her £100,000 a year claim.

Please kindly indicate whether the Secretary of State plans to use helpful links in her content so people can easily verify the claims she made are not politically motivated.

We shall send a copy of the article to your email address.

For public reference:
Opinion piece
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/t...
Backup https://d.pr/i/UNGbUb

Yours faithfully,

Gemma Partridge
for Stop UK lies and Corruption.

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

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no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Gemma Partridge,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 30th
September.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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 '30th September 2019 Huffington post opinion piece'.

FOI2019/35745

Thanks for the response dated 28th October 2019. Unfortunately there are problems with the response so we must ask for an internal review for the reasons set out below.

The Freedom of Information request we submitted via WDTK was just that - a request for information under the FoIA. However the document we sent to you via email was just that - a supporting document - and was not in itself a request for information as it didn't ask you for anything. If you refer to our email it states "Please find the document attached to support our FoI request" and we inserted a link back to our request above. Meanwhile our WDTK request stated "We shall send a copy of the article to your email address" so you knew there was a document to look at.

Therefore the response stating "You have indicated that you want your email of 30th September 2019 to be treated as a Freedom of Information request" could not possibly have been the case and we require your review to acknowledge this fact.

In the beginning when we asked your department for information via WDTK under the FoIA the department informed us you were unable to read links to online content and advised us to send them separately via email. Ever since we did as you requested and up until this point there were no issues with that. Please kindly clarify this is still the case, and if so confirm you have co-ordinated with the previous responder so he or she knows this.

Moving on to the next problem with the response. It ended without providing all the information we asked for in our request without any valid explanation recognised by the FoIA.

We asked "Please kindly indicate whether the Secretary of State plans to use helpful links in her content so people can easily verify the claims she made are not politically motivated". To clarify, we are asking for relevant letters or memos, etc, on file. The FoIA is clear a valid response must be provided to each request. Please kindly address this in your review and inform the responder that the FoIA requires a valid response to each request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/3...

Yours faithfully,

Gemma Partridge
for Stop UK lies and corruption.

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.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Gemma Partridge,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 28th
October.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Unnamed internal reviewer

Ref IR2019/39425

We require another internal review on the response to our request.

What the law says - Section 1 (1)
1.—(1) Any person making a request for information to a public authority is entitled—
(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information of the description specified in the request, and
(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

In brief we asked for 'X' and 'Y'. The authority addressed 'X' and ignored 'Y'.

Look at our request where it asks for 'Y' [Please kindly indicate whether the Secretary of State plans to use helpful links in her content so people can easily verify the claims she made are not politically motivated] and look for a valid response to that. As you can see there is none - which is why we asked for the internal review.

Your initial internal review FAILED TO ACKNOWLEDGE there was zero response to our request for 'Y'. Section 1 (1) applies to a request from beginning to end. Therefore if the authority does not hold the information it MUST state so in the response. If the authority considers the request to be invalid, again, it must state so in the response as opposed to ignoring it completely. The requester should not have to wait for an internal review to explain why the information was not present - the explanation must be in the original response as per Section 1.

It's no good telling us why it wasn't there in an internal review without admitting that bit of information should have been included in the original response in the first place.

https://ico.org.uk/media/1169/determinin...

We await the internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Gemma Partridge
for Stop UK lies and corruption.

Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your email.

DWP email addresses are changing and @dwp.gsi.gov.uk email addresses will soon cease to exist.

All future emails should be addressed @dwp.gov.uk. Please update any records you have.

Your email has been redirected, so you do not need to send it again.

For further information refer to : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/goodb...

Please do not reply to this email, as it has been automatically generated from an unmonitored account.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Dear Gemma Partridge

As advised in our response to your internal review request dated 10 October (IR2019/39425), if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for an independent review. Generally, the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Civil Service Commission. We confirm that you have now exhausted that procedure.

Details of how to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner can be found at the foot of your internal review reply, however to be helpful you can access this via the link here:

https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/offi...

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Policy Group FoI Team

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

As requested, this matter has been sent to the ICO. It would have been cheaper for the taxpayer however had the initial responder complied with Section 1. The fact the internal reviewer sees no problem in that initial response is frankly astounding.

Yours sincerely,

Gemma Partridge
for Stop UK lies and corruption.

Gemma Partridge left an annotation ()

Case FS50890160 resolved