apparent contradiction in info re how long Universal Credit data is kept

Glenys Harriman made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In response to FOI 4843 you stated:

"UC claims are kept open for 6 months in live service. The UC claimant can then retrieve their data via a Data Protection Request.
UC full service accounts can currently be accessed indefinitely."

Whereas in FOI 4859/IR 196 you state:
"The legislative reference you have asked for relates to the Fifth Principle of the Data Protection Act which states: 'Personal data for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than necessary for that purpose or those purposes.'
Depending on the data involved the Department will decide how long that data needs to be retained, according to the retention policy, whether it be for 6 months or 14 months or any other period of time.
But for UC, new claims will be held open for 14 months if there are no changes in circumstances."

1. Could you confirm whether the indefinite period of UC full service accounts as referred to under comes under FOI 4843 also comes under the Fifth Principle of the Data Protection Act and is thereby subject to the discretion of the DWP or if it comes under another section.

2.Please confirm whether under FOI 4859 this is purely talking about keeping a UC claim open ( eg so that it can be returned to under a Rapid Reclaim) or whether it also applies to the retention of data including journal entries.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Glenys Harriman

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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