Child Maintenance - Assessment of Parents Income Bill

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department for Work and Pensions should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

The Child Maintenance Assessment of Parent's income Bill (https://services.parliament.uk/bills/201...) was originally due to be read for a second time on February 23rd 2018. The reading of the Bill was subsequently delayed and is now due to be read on April 27th 2018.

Heidi Allen, the MP who sponsored the Bill posted this passage on her website by way of explanation for the delay:

"The Bill was due to have its second reading on Friday 23 February. However it has been postponed to 27 April to give the DWP and Ministers more time to work with me to try and reach consensus on the measures provided for in the Bill. I am encouraged by this positive engagement from the Department and met with the Minister, Kit Malthouse on 20 February to begin these discussions.

I left the meeting feeling positive that the Department shares my aspirations and understands the need to make changes. This is only the start of an ongoing negotiation process so do keep checking this website for updates, I hope to bring positive news!"

I am requesting the following under the Freedom of Information Act:

- Copies of minutes or notes taken by the Department of Work and Pensions in the meeting on 20th February.
- Any and all communication relating to the Bill sent by or received to the office of Kit Malthouse
- A list of meetings (and attendees to such meetings) relating to the Bill. Where organisations have fielded representatives to these meetings please provide a list of the organisations.
- Copies of any communications between the Policy department within the Child Maintenance Service and the offices of Heidi Allen or Kit Malthouse.

Yours faithfully,

Mr A Williams

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

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

CLARIFICATION

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

By way of clarification and to avoid any delay;

All materials requested relate to the Child Maintenance Bill and the meeting on the 20th February 2018 that I have requested information on should be the same one referred to by Heidi Allen on her website.

Yours sincerely,

Mr A Williams

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

 

Please find attached our reply to your recent Freedom of Information
request.

 

Thank you

 

DWP Freedom of Information Team

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

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 'Child Maintenance - Assessment of Parents Income Bill'.

I understand that you are alleging the information requested is exempt from disclosure under Section 35(1) of the FOIA "Formulation or Development of Government Policy".

Having regard to the ICO guidance on this issue I would make the following argument for the exemption being misapplied:

The Child Maintenance Assessment of Parents Income Bill 2017-2019 is a Private Members Bill put forward under the Ten Minute Rule by Heidi Allen MP. Ms Allen is does not hold a formal Government position. Being a Private Members Bill and not one advanced by Government it would be an error to consider the Bill as formulation of Government Policy. Whether the DWP wishes to comment on the Bill is also irrelevant for the purposes of the request.

My request therefore did not deal with "Government Policy" formulation as Private Members Bill's are not a mechanism for Government to effect policy changes. Any input into the Bill from Kit Malthouse's office or opinion from the CMG policy department would be suggestions that may or may not be included in the Bill. Ultimately any detail in the Bill will have to go through the Parliamentary Process. This only serves to demonstrate further that there is no basis on which to refuse the information on the grounds of "Policy Formulation".

I would also make the point that even if your rationale is correct (which I don't think it is) there would be no need for a "safe space" once the first draft of the Bill is published and I would simply resubmit my request at that point.

You should be aware that I am prepared to take this matter to the ICO and ultimately to HMCTS if the information is not forthcoming.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mr A Williams

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

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

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

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

show quoted sections

Mr A Williams left an annotation ()

This is now with the ICO. The DWP has recently refused a number of legitimate requests by playing a game of "exemption bingo". They are acting totally conta to the principle of open and transparent govt.

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

10 Attachments

 

 

A Williams

 

Please see revised copy of your FoI request attached

 

DWP Operations FOI Team

 

 

show quoted sections

Mr A Williams left an annotation ()

Interestingly, the ICO action has prompted the DWP to release the originally requested information. On reading it, more questions come to mind.

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

I am pleased that you have disclosed the information in VTR4261. I have read through it.

* In the document with the title "2018 02 20 2 Submission e mail attachment.pdf" in item "6" under the Top Lines heading, mention is made of "Key Stakeholders" and specifically "Gingerbread".

Please provide a list of "Key Stakeholders" and the criteria used to define such.

* In the document with the title "18 e mail chains redacted.pdf":

In the email sent on 14 March 2018 @17.04 it says "PBL Ministers are a bit worried about the Child Maintenance Regs". Please therefore provide all communication and documentation that passed between the PBL Ministers and DWP Child Maintenance Policy in the last 12 months.

In the email sent 09 March 2018 @ 08:27 it says " There are also elements of the Bill that we oppose because they go against our policy, or because they aim to bring back processes which we know do not work, and hence removed from the new child maintenance system" Please provide the documentation referred to as "our policy" in its entirety.

In the email sent 01 March 2018 @ 16:50 an attachment called "parliamentary handling template v8.docx" was appended. Please provide it.

In the email sent 20 February 2018 10:23 an attachment called "HAmeetingbrief.docx". Please provide it.

In the email of 19 February 2018 08:05 from Tom Mccormack, mention is made of "CMG’s
operation’s progress on complex earners". Please provide the overall strategy document as well as the document referred to in this email.

Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Mr A Williams

Operations FOI 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.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

show quoted sections

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

 
Mr Williams,
 
Please see revised response.  The only change is  one date ( was 29
October, changed to November)
 
DWP Operations FOI Team
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

Thanks for your revised response. I had however asked for some further documentation in the follow up. I've reproduced it below:

In the document with the title "2018 02 20 2 Submission e mail attachment.pdf" in item "6" under the Top Lines heading, mention is made of "Key Stakeholders" and specifically "Gingerbread".

Please provide a complete list of "Key Stakeholders" and the criteria used to define such.

* In the document with the title "18 e mail chains redacted.pdf":

In the email sent on 14 March 2018 @17.04 it says "PBL Ministers are a bit worried about the Child Maintenance Regs". Please therefore provide all communication and documentation that passed between the PBL Ministers and DWP Child Maintenance Policy in the last 12 months.

In the email sent 09 March 2018 @ 08:27 it says " There are also elements of the Bill that we oppose because they go against our policy, or because they aim to bring back processes which we know do not work, and hence removed from the new child maintenance system" Please provide the documentation referred to as "our policy" in its entirety.

In the email sent 01 March 2018 @ 16:50 an attachment called "parliamentary handling template v8.docx" was appended. Please provide it.

In the email sent 20 February 2018 10:23 an attachment called "HAmeetingbrief.docx". Please provide it.

In the email of 19 February 2018 08:05 from Tom Mccormack, mention is made of "CMG’s
operation’s progress on complex earners". Please provide the overall strategy document as well as the document referred to in this email*

Yours sincerely,

Mr A Williams

Operations FOI 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.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

show quoted sections

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org