This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'REED and my CV'.

 
 
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Annex A 
 
e-mail: freedom-of-information-re
 
[email address]
 
Our Ref: VTR 2839
 
 

8 November 2011
Annex A 
 
Dear Mr Houston, 
 
Thank you for your letter dated 26 September in which you comment on the approach which 
the Department for Work and Pensions and its providers should take in relation to data 
protection issues.  
 
You will know that the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) is not a complaints mechanism and 
does not require us to undertake new work to create information or deal with a complaint. If an 
individual has a complaint about the way their Work Programme provider is supporting them, 
they should contact their provider to find out about their complaints procedure. If, having gone 
through the Provider's full complaints procedure, the complaint remains unresolved, the 
claimant can take their case to the Independent Case Examiner (www.ind-case-exam.org.uk).  
Below, I have set out some of the background to our legal powers, for your information. 
 
Where a Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant has been referred to the Work Programme, they 
must undertake the activity required of them by their Work Programme provider as a condition 
of continuing to receive benefits.  
 
The powers we use to impose such requirements are those in the Jobseeker's Allowance 
(Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011. When a Jobseeker’s 
Allowance claimant is referred to the Work Programme, they are also selected for participation 
in the Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme. The claimant must undertake the activities 
that we require by way of participation in the Scheme. A failure to do so could affect their 
benefits.  
 
Where an Employment and Support Allowance claimant in the work-related activity group has 
been referred to the Work Programme they may be required to undertake certain activities 
which will make it more likely that the person will obtain or remain in work, or be able to do so. 
The powers we use to impose such requirements are those in the Employment and Support 
Allowance (Work-Related Activity) Regulations 2011. 
 
Work Programme providers are providing services to the DWP and require access to personal 
information held by the Department in order to undertake those services.  
 
Section 3 of the Social Security Act 1998 allows DWP to reuse personal information relating to 
social security and employment and training for another social security function. This includes 
reuse by persons providing services to DWP, such as Work Programme providers, where 
acting as the DWP's data processor. 
 

In addition, in order to carry out their functions under the Employment, Skills and Enterprise 
Scheme, the Work Programme provider may need additional personal information from the 
claimant. If the claimant does not wish to provide this information it may be the case that, with 
the provider, they can investigate ways in which they can still participate in the Scheme, 
without the additional information being provided.  
 
However, there may come a point when the Work Programme provider becomes concerned 
that the claimant’s withholding of information potentially amounts to non-participation in the 
Scheme. If this is the case, they will refer the matter to a decision maker who will consider all 
the facts of the case, including any good cause issues the claimant wishes to raise, and 
determine whether the claimant has failed to participate. If the decision maker considers that 
the claimant has failed to participate, their benefit will be sanctioned.  
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me 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 happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing freedom-of-information-
[email address] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, 5th Floor The Adelphi, 1-11, John Adam Street, 
London WC2N 6HT. 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.gov.uk