DWP Central Freedom of
6-12 Tothil Street
Michel e Watts
Our Ref: FOI2022/99152
11 January 2023
Dear Michel e Watts,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 11 December. You
“Thank you for your response.
I am not sure if this needs to be put in to a new request of not? In light of the information
you have provided:
"I can confirm that during the 6-month period February 2022 to July 2022, there were
Universal Credit (UC) claims that were made but not subsequently put into payment due
the claimant holding in excess of £16,000 not declared on their application."
Of the 1760 claims refereed to above, how many were deemed fraudulent? What action
if any was taken against the claimants?”
As previously explained in our response of 26 October 2022, to FOI2022/82317,
12(2) of the Freedom of Information Act exempts a public authority from its obligations to
confirm if the information being requested is held, if to provide that confirmation alone would
exceed the cost limit set down in law.
That limit is set at £600, which represents one person spending 3.5 working days in locating,
extracting and col ating the information being requested, or, for the purposes of Section12(2),
determining if the information being requested is held.
In this instance the above cost exemption applies to your request in its entirety, as we could
not establish whether or not the Department holds the requested information within the
prescribed cost limit.
I appreciate that this response may appear contrary to the one we subsequently provided in
relation to IR2022/85127, dated 11 November 2022, (which we have taken to be the basis for
your current request), in which we stated:
“I can confirm that during the 6-month period February 2022 to July 2022, there were 1760
Universal Credit (UC) claims that were made but not subsequently put into payment due to
the claimant holding in excess of £16,000 not declared on their application”.
Unfortunately, the underlined wording in the above sentence was included in error, as we
cannot in fact establish if the capital information was or was not declared at the outset of the
claim without carrying out the extensive manual checks previously detailed. I apologise
sincerely for this error and for any confusion caused.
As required by Section 16 of the FoI Act, I have again considered how I might help you to
bring your request within the cost limit.
If you were simply to request the number of people prosecuted for fraud relating to
undeclared capital within a given period, we may be able to provide you with an answer,
although I cannot guarantee that this would be the case.
I trust that the above information clarifies our previous response, and the explanation above
explains why we would be unable to provide fraud statistics for the previously quoted figures.
I can only again apologise for the incorrectness on our part.
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 happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to: DWP Central FoI Team, Caxton
House, 6-12 Tothil Street, London, SW1H 9NA.
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. 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.
Website: ICO FOI and EIR complaints or telephone 0303 123 1113.