DWP Central Freedom of
6-12 Tothill Street
Our Ref: IR2021/69347
23 September 2021
Dear Amanda Hart,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 25th August. You
“I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's
handling of my FOI request 'Jobcentre deaths 2019 & 2020 Scotland'.
We do not intend to get into what we have previously requested in terms of jobcentre
deaths, except to say that in all cases the information requested was eventual y provided
despite the fact your department gave us the run around by denying a national request
and wanted to turn back the clock when we subsequently asked for the information in
specific areas when it claimed it shouldn't have in fact denied the national request.
Your claim that this request is vexatious is frankly disrespectful to those claimants who
have lost their lives while in receipt of benefits or similarly lost them after benefit
termination. Furthermore you are not entitled to refuse a request based on how you think
the information may be used. This is because FoI requests are purpose blind. In fact the
only nearest valid basis for refusal would be if we asked for this information within too
short a period from a similar request - and this is not the case.
You are under no legal obligation to complete an internal review, but it is considered
'good practice' to do so. Should you inform us that you are not completing one, or claim
there "is nothing to review", there is no further legal requirement for us to wait any longer.
Be advised we would then pass the matter directly to the Information Commissioner.
We stil require the information requested and wil now al ow up to 40 working days for
the internal review to be carried out.”
In response to your internal review request, we 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 we are satisfied that the original response was handled properly and
that the outcome of your original request was correct. Your complaint is therefore not upheld
and the reason for this is as follows.
Our decision to treat this request as vexatious was not related to how the information may or
may not be used. As stated in our response to you, we have treated the request as vexatious
because we gave, in our response to you (IR2021/50402) the location of the death that was
recorded in 2017 and went on to confirm that no deaths in Jobcentres have been recorded by
DWP since this incident.
I can confirm that it is our opinion that you are already in possession of al of the information
that we hold relating to your request.
We believe that this request is likely to result in a series of requests for information region by
region and given that each of these would elicit an identical response to the current request,
we believe that this intended to cause annoyance to the Department, as we would be unable
to add anything to our previous statement to you.
To this effect, we believe that it is reasonable to apply s14(1) and s17(6) which permits us to
notify you that we will not be issuing refusal notices on any related questions.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us quoting the reference number
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Department for Work and Pensions
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. 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.
Web: ICO Contact Information
or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745