Claimants' personal audio-recording equipment. Expenses for additional appointments required by the DWP.

Jim Otram made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Claimants' personal audio-recording equipment. Expenses for additional appointments required by the DWP.

ESA claimants are currently being told by Atos that, if they want to use 'personal' audio-recording equipment to record a WCA, they will have to attend an additional appointment in order to have their equipment 'corroborated' or otherwise 'verified', on a separate date prior to the WCA appointment.

Under CURRENTLY RECORDED policy or arrangements made by the DWP, are claimants entitled to claim the re-imbursement out of public funds of their travels expenses for such stressful additional 'corroboration appointments', or are they not so entitled?

Yours faithfully,

Jim Otram

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

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DWP OPD COO FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see copy of your FoI request attached

<<0645 FOI Response.pdf>>

DWP Freedom of Information Request 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 'Claimants' personal audio-recording equipment. Expenses for additional appointments required by the DWP.'.

Your Reference: FOI 0645

Claimants' personal audio-recording equipment. Expenses for additional appointments required by the DWP.

Your response calls black white probably because the junior clerk who produced it has no idea what claimants are currently being told by Atos.

Pleas pass this review to someone of an appropriate level of seniority who will bother to find out and then answer the question I actually asked.

I have personally been told twice by Atos that the claimants on behalf of whom I was enquiring would have to make such separate appointments to have their equipment 'corroborated'.

Hint. Looking at the Guidance document Atos have agreed with the DWP and to which the Atos employees concerned are referring when they so require may help you.

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

Yours faithfully,

Jim Otram

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

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J Newman left an annotation ()

Amazing!

DWP DWP Medical Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Otram

Please see your FOI response attached

Kind regards

Health & Disability Assessments (Operations)/Department for Work and Pensions/Room 306/Block 31/Norcross/Norcross Lane/Blackpool/FY5 3TA

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J Newman left an annotation ()

Incompetent or dishonest? Right hand/left hand?

Some initiative would not be out of place - i.e. DWP offering to staighten Atos out rather than leaving it to claimants to manage the contract.

Jim Otram left an annotation ()

It is extraordinary. I have been specifically told the contray by Atos.

Ah, well - at least this request may be of some use the next time a claimant\advisor is told about 'corroboration appointments'.

Margaret Stone left an annotation ()

Between us, a friend and I have spoken to three different staff on the ever unhelpful desk, and a resources clerk. All four went to seek advice and all four came back with different answers!! Trying to get a definitive yes/no answer I've had a snail mail freedom of info request into Caxton House since January but they're not telling me, despite their stint in the naughty chair.

Really get an impression that Atos are dealing with this prior approval issue on an ad hoc, whatever suits at the time, basis. Resources clerk said it'd depend on what I wanted to use and to phone back, with a national insurance number, when I'd decided.