Benefit sanctions are a "last resort" & Jobcentre staff have discretion not to apply sanctions?

Frank Zola made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please disclose a copy of your Jobcentre staff and Decision Maker guidance that uses the words "as a last resort" with regards benefit sanctions and details of the discretion DWP and Jobcentre staff have when it comes too applying sanctions.

The SSAC https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... are apparently saying that current DWP policy is to "apply a sanction sooner rather than later whenever a failure in compliance has been identified", implying the phrase "as a last resort" has no meaning or affect in reality and there is in effect no actual discretion whatsoever.
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/...

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

4 Attachments

 
Dear Mr Zola
 
Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request.
 
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 
 

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Benefit sanctions are a "last resort" & Jobcentre staff have discretion not to apply sanctions?'.

I requested:

"Please disclose a copy of your Jobcentre staff and Decision Maker
guidance that uses the words "as a last resort" with regards
benefit sanctions and details of the discretion DWP and Jobcentre
staff have when it comes too applying sanctions."
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

In the DWP information you disclosed, specifically:

Considering JSA LM doubts.pdf
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Attachment Considering ESA Labour Market doubts.pdf
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

Attachment Considering IS LM doubts.pdf
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

there is no incidence of the words "as a last resort" or "last resort" and therefore you have not responded to this aspect of my request in a lawful manner, as you have not stated that you do not hold any Jobcentre staff and Decision Maker guidance that uses the words "as a last resort".

In your response letter https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2... to my request for information you have merely created new information that did not exist. In this letter, you talk of "evidence", this has no relevance to my request for specific information containing the in closed quote words "as a last resort" .

Your response is merely using the Freedom of Information Act to deliver comment on your own benefit sanctions policies as a form of propaganda rather than addressing my request for specific information. If you do not hold the information being request please so say. IE: Confirm it's existence or not, noting:

Section 1(1)(a) of FOIA requires a public authority to inform a requester whether it holds
the information specified in the request.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Zola,
 
Please find attached the reply to your Freedom of Information internal
request, reference number - IR478:
 
 
Thank you,
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 

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