Checks of outsourced housing benefit decisions undertaken by the council

The request was successful.

Dear Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1, the number of checks undertaken by the council of outsourced housing benefit decisions over the last two years
2, the proportion of checked decisions that were considered by the council to be erroneous
3, the efforts made by outsourced providers to prevent such errors from recurring.

Such checks are required under the Contracting Out (Functions of Local Authorities: Income-Related Benefits) Order 2002, rule 4.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Thomas

Alison Marston, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Classification: Unrestricted

Good morning,

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 13 November 2019.

 

The Council’s policy is to release information unless an exemption can be
reasonably applied. The Council will respond within 20 working days by
either releasing the information or letting you know why it cannot release
the information. If for any reason it is not possible to respond within
the 20 days, we will let you know as soon as possible with the date by
which we anticipate we are able to respond.  

 

For your information, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 defines a number
of exemptions, which may prevent release of the information you have
requested. There will be an assessment of your request and if any of the
exemption categories apply then the information may not be released. You
will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal
against the refusal to disclose the information.

 

If the information you request concerns a third party then they may be
consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the
information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.

 

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact Alison Marston,
Freedom of Information Officer, Welwyn Hatfield Council, Council Offices,
The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts. AL8 6LA, Tel: 01707 357413, Email:
[1][Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council request email]

 

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

 

Kind regards,

 

Alison Marston

Principal Governance Officer

Freedom of Information Officer

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Tel: 01707 357413

Email: [2][email address]

 

Working better, together

 

[3]www.welhat.gov.uk

[4]@WelHatCouncil

[5]Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

 

 

 

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
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Alison Marston, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

1 Attachment

Classification: Unrestricted

Good afternoon,

 

Following your request for information received on 13 November 2019 please
see below response.

 

1.    The number of checks undertaken by the council of outsourced housing
benefit decisions over the last two years  -

Financial Years

2017-2018  - 19,385

2018-2019  - 20,167

Total over 2 Financial years -39,552

 

2.    The proportion of checked decisions that were considered by the
council to be erroneous

Financial Years

2017-2018  - 69

2018-2019  - 102

Total over 2 Financial  years -171

 

3.    The efforts made by outsourced providers to prevent such errors from
recurring.

Sopra Steria work in conjunction with the Council’s Client teams to review
cases and correct any errors where they are found. Records are kept of
specific errors which then form the basis of training plans. A mechanism
exists to correct cases where errors have occurred which involves the
officer who made the initial error. The overall summary of errors is part
of the contractual management reporting.

Sopra Steria also conduct their own sample checks to seek to minimise
incidences of assessment errors. Where specific errors or officers are
discovered work is done to provide targeted training to address

Matters

 

I hope this satisfies your request but if you have any queries or concerns
then please contact Alison Marston, Freedom of Information Officer, Welwyn
Hatfield Council, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City,
Hertfordshire AL8 6LA, Telephone: 01707 357413,
Email:[Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council request email]. I attach a copy of the Freedom of Information
complaint procedure.

 

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[1]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

 

Regards,

 

Alison Marston

Principal Governance Officer

Freedom of Information Officer

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Tel: 01707 357413

Email: [2][email address]

 

Working better, together

 

[3]www.welhat.gov.uk

[4]@WelHatCouncil

[5]Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

 

 

 

 

 

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

You can report missed bins, abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping, litter,
graffiti and flyposting as well as tell us about problems with litter and
dog bins Online. The information in this email is intended for the named
recipients only. It may be subject to public disclosure under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000. Unless the information is legally exempt from
disclosure, the confidentiality of this email and your reply cannot be
guaranteed. This email and any attachments may contain confidential
information and intellectual property (including copyright material). It
is only for the use of the addressee(s) in accordance with any
instructions contained within it. Please treat any personal and
sensitivity data that may be contained within this email in accordance
with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and
the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Such data should only be processed and
retained where there is a legitimate need to do so. Should you have a
legitimate need to share this information please make the recipient aware
of their responsibilities for handling this data in accordance with the
GDPR and DPA. If you are not the addressee, you are prohibited from
copying, forwarding, disclosing, saving or otherwise using it in any way.
If you receive this email in error, please immediately advise the sender
and delete it. Our IT supplier Sopra Steria may monitor the content of
emails within Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's network to ensure
compliance with the Council's policies and procedures. Emails are
susceptible to alteration and their integrity (including origin) cannot be
assured. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Sopra Steria shall not be
liable for any modification to a message, or for messages falsely sent.

The full Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council email disclaimer can be viewed at
www.welhat.gov.uk/emaildisclaimer.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is committed to protecting your privacy
when you use our services. The Privacy Notice below explains how we use
information about you and how we protect your privacy.
http://www.welhat.gov.uk/privacy-notice

    

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.welhat.gov.uk/
4. http://www.twitter.com/WelHatCouncil
5. http://www.facebook.com/welwynhatfield/

Alison Marston, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Classification: Unrestricted
Good afternoon,
 
Following my email, below, sent to you on Tuesday, I have been advised
that the information supplied to you was incorrect.  The figures stated
under question 1 in the initial response related to the number of
assessments, which is not what was asked for.
 
The correct figures for the number of checks undertaken by the council of
outsourced housing benefit decision over the last two years are as
follows:
Financial Years
2017-2018  - 2170
2018-2019  - 2569
Total over 2 Financial years -4739
 
All other information provided was correct.
Apologies for the error.
 
Kind regards,
 
Alison Marston
Principal Governance Officer
Freedom of Information Officer
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Tel: 01707 357413
Email: [1][email address]
 
Working better, together
 
[2]www.welhat.gov.uk
[3]@WelHatCouncil
[4]Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
 
 
 
 

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