To: Craig Gilding
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Our Ref: FOI 4947
20 December 2017
Dear Craig Gilding
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which we received on 23 November 2017.
Thank you for your slow reply and standard template response.
This brings me to the question, how would a BSL interview/assessment be
recorded on tape or cd?
A few more questions on the subject:
This is a catch 22 situation for the claimants. If ATOS, etc. are allowed to lie if
assessments are recorded, why can the risk not be taken that someone "might edit
it in real-time"? I'm sure things can be analysed and it would be discovered if they
did edit it in real-time, should they try to use that recording.
It is unfair for claimants to have to provide their own equipment. If the DWP want it
to meet a certain standard, they should provide it, not the claimant who probably
can't afford it!
The information you have requested on how a British Sign Language (BSL) assessment would
be recorded on tape or CD, is not information held by DWP.
I would like to outline the scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) to help put this
response into context.
The remit of the Act, is to provide recorded information available at the time of the request. Once
the public authority has provided the information, it has met its obligations under the Act;
interpretation of the information provided is left to the requestor.
Where a person asks a question, rather than requests recorded information, we do our utmost to
provide the recorded information that best answers the question. I would also like to clarify that
written guidance is designed to provide general guidance to a particular policy and it is
impossible to cover every possible scenario or individual circumstance. Consequently, guidance
may not contain the information in the exact wording or format you seek.
However, you may find the following explanation useful, and we provide this outside our
obligations under the FoIA to support your enquiry. CHDA will make interpreters, including BSL,
available for face-to-face consultations. The BSL interpreter communicates with the claimant
using BSL and will provide a verbal response to the Healthcare Professional. For the purposes
of then recording this; the response to your previous FOI 4623 has already provided you with
DWP’s stipulations for how an audio recording of the assessment would be permitted.
In addition, the FoIA does not require DWP to create information to answer requests. Therefore
your additional questions on the perceived risks of editing of real-time recordings, and your belief
that it is unfair for Claimants to use their own recording equipment would fall outside of the
scope of the FoIA.
The FoIA was not introduced to give opinions or views. Anyone can request copies of
information which a public authority already holds in a recorded form, but the FoIA does not
require DWP to provide opinions or explanations, generate answers to questions, or create or
obtain information it does not hold.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact the email address above quoting your
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 freedom-of-information-
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. Please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.
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. General y 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