Coroner states that death of claimant was as a direct result of a fit for work decision by DWP

G Millward 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 refused by Department for Work and Pensions.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I would refer you to the following article in which the coroner stated that the death of the claimant was as a direct result of a DWP decision that he was fit for work

https://glynismillward189.wordpress.com/...

DWP finally promised in March this year – at the conclusion of the legal case – that it would work with Maximus, the controversial US outsourcing giant that took over the WCA contract from Atos this year, to develop a pilot programme to test new ways of collecting evidence for ESA claimants with mental health conditions.

But so far – more than six months after that promise, and more than 18 months after the coroner’s report was sent to DWP – there has been no sign of a pilot.

Can you provide me with the following information;

1) Will the DWP be undertaking a pilot programme to test new ways of collecting evidence for ESA claimants with mental health conditions?

2) If the answer to 1) is yes, when will the pilot take place?

3) If the answer to 1) is yes, how will the pilot be conducted?

4) If the answer to 1) is no, why not.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours faithfully,

G Millward

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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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 16 October unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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refuted left an annotation ()

Coroner has published DWP 15 page "Official sensitive" response to death of Michael O’Sullivan https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publication... Read online https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https...

G Millward left an annotation ()

Thanks refuted, I actually found this after I sent in my request. I will keep it in abeyance though in case **cough cough ** the DWP refuse to provide information and I have to submit a further request for an internal review. Funny old game isn't it?

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

On 21 September 2015, following my FoI request to the DWP in respect of the Coroner stating that a claimants death was as a DIRECT result of a fit for work decision by the DWP, I was advised that I could expect a reply by 16 October 2015.

By law, public authorities must respond promptly to requests.

This e - mail is to remind you to respond to my original request.

Yours sincerely,

G Millward

G Millward left an annotation ()

Tick tock, tick tock **waiting**

JayneL left an annotation ()

Oh the Lies & Spin are playing out as always - spiralling to bite bite at the source

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

**** SECOND REMINDER ****

On 21 September 2015, following my FoI request to the DWP in
respect of the Coroner stating that a claimants death was as a
DIRECT result of a fit for work decision by the DWP, I was advised
that I could expect a reply by 16 October 2015.

By law, public authorities must respond promptly to requests.

This e - mail is to remind you to respond to my original request.

The above request was sent on 17 October 2015 and as yet, I have received no acknowledgement friom you, so I am re submitting the request.

Yours sincerely,

G Millward

G Millward left an annotation ()

Right ... not even an auto acknowledgement! So if I get no response by Thursday, then I shall be contacting the ICO.

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,
I am very disappointed, that despite the DWP FoI team advising me that I could expect a response by 16 October 2015, no such response has been received.

As I feel that sufficient time has now elapsed for DWP FoI team to respond, I wish to inform you that I shall be contacting the ICO concerning this breach of the FoI Act.

Yours sincerely,

G Millward

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

G Millward left an annotation ()

Just sent this to ICO

Dear Sir/Madam

On 18 September 2015, I made a FoI request to the DWP

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

I received a response advising me that the matter would be dealt with by 16 October 2015.

Despite issuing reminders, I have not yet received a response.
With respect, a large public organisation with vast resources should not be allowed to conduct itself in such a tardy manner.

Would you please contact the DWP and advise them that they are in breach of the FoI Act and ask them to respond to my original request of 18 September 2015.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request - 3988

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI 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 'Coroner states that death of claimant was as a direct result of a fit for work decision by DWP'.

I have received a response, which was delayed, outside of the 20 day statutory time limit, with no good reason.

The response has invoked Section 35 of the FOIA which states;
"However, the exemptions are qualified by the public interest test. Even if an exemption is engaged, departments can only withhold the information if the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure."

As the Act states, Section 35 is a qualified exemption.
It is my belief that the public interest outweighs the continuing with holding of the information, on the grounds that claimants with a mental health condition and the wider public have a right to know that taxpayers money is being used efficiently, that the pilot itself is fit for purpose and what if any, mental health specialists will be consulted with in providing the formulation of the pilot.

There is ample case law which supports the disclosure of the requested information;

DfES v Information Commissioner & the Evening Standard (EA/2006/0006, 19 February 2007).
DWP v Information Commissioner (EA/2006/0040, 5 March 2007)
Makin v Information Commissioner (EA/2010/0080, 5 January 2012)
DWP v Information Commissioner (EA/2006/0040, 5 March 2007)
Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner & Aitchison (EA/2011/0263, 15 October 2012)
OGC v Information Commissioner & the Attorney General [2008] EWHC 737 (Admin).

It should be noted, that anything labelled a ‘pilot scheme’ is not automatically covered by S35 . It is a decision on the facts of each case and there will be limits. Some schemes may more accurately be seen as implementation of an initial policy decision, even if the government intends to review the scheme after a short time, or is making regular adjustments to the details as it goes. If a decision has been made to roll a scheme out indefinitely, or it will apply across the board (even for a relatively short period of time), it is more likely that a provisional policy decision has been made and the scheme is implementing that decision.

I would respectfully ask you again, as internal reviewer, to release the requested information.

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,

G Millward

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...

G Millward left an annotation ()

Seriously though ... Section 35 ... seriously!!!???

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

COMPLAINT

On 26th October 2015, I requested an internal review of the DWP decision to withhold information on the grounds that the information was exempt within the provisions of S35 .
I received an auto acknowledgement on the same date, informing me that I would receive a response within 20 working days.

The date for the internal review has now been exceeded.

I must say, that these delays in response seem to be a regular feature by DWP. I find them very tedious, which may well be the intention of the department.

Will you please now, without further delay respond to my request by 5pm on Monday 30th November.
Yours sincerely,

G Millward

G Millward left an annotation ()

They are seriously extracting the urine now ...

JayneL left an annotation ()

It is as if the DWP are utilising the as yet unapproved limitation of FOI??

G Millward left an annotation ()

It would certainly seem that way Jayne.
However, a very nice man from the ICO office has told me that if DWP do not respond by 5pm tomorrow, then I am to contact him and he will get in touch with them.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Millward

We replied to this IR on 3/11/15 and I attach a copy of the email and reply in pdf format for your info

DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

COMPLAINT

I refer to your response of todays date.

I think some confusion has arisen.

I asked for an internal review regarding the S35 exemption, you only responded to my further request for the matter to be looked at because of the delay in responding to the internal review outside of the 20 day statutory time limit with no good reason.

Will you please now undertake an internal review into DWP use of S35 exemption in relation to my request ONLY and not the further request to deal with the delayed response outside of the statutory 30 day time limit.

I hope that this clarifies the position.
Please note I am not prepared to wait a further 20 days in respect of my request for an internal review into DWP use of S35 and for your convenience, I give below details of that request which was made on 26 October 2015 and I trust that you will deal with this issue immediately. If exceptionally you cannot, then I expect to receive a written response as to why that is and confirmation of a date by which I can expect a full response.

From: G Millward

26 October 2015

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 'Coroner states that
death of claimant was as a direct result of a fit for work decision
by DWP'.

I have received a response, which was delayed, outside of the 20
day statutory time limit, with no good reason.

The response has invoked Section 35 of the FOIA which states;
"However, the exemptions are qualified by the public interest test.
Even if an exemption is engaged, departments can only withhold the
information if the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in disclosure."

As the Act states, Section 35 is a qualified exemption.
It is my belief that the public interest outweighs the continuing
with holding of the information, on the grounds that claimants with
a mental health condition and the wider public have a right to know
that taxpayers money is being used efficiently, that the pilot
itself is fit for purpose and what if any, mental health
specialists will be consulted with in providing the formulation of
the pilot.

There is ample case law which supports the disclosure of the
requested information;

DfES v Information Commissioner & the Evening Standard
(EA/2006/0006, 19 February 2007).
DWP v Information Commissioner (EA/2006/0040, 5 March 2007)
Makin v Information Commissioner (EA/2010/0080, 5 January 2012)
DWP v Information Commissioner (EA/2006/0040, 5 March 2007)
Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner & Aitchison
(EA/2011/0263, 15 October 2012)
OGC v Information Commissioner & the Attorney General [2008] EWHC
737 (Admin).

It should be noted, that anything labelled a ‘pilot scheme’ is not
automatically covered by S35 . It is a decision on the facts of
each case and there will be limits. Some schemes may more
accurately be seen as implementation of an initial policy decision,
even if the government intends to review the scheme after a short
time, or is making regular adjustments to the details as it goes.
If a decision has been made to roll a scheme out indefinitely, or
it will apply across the board (even for a relatively short period
of time), it is more likely that a provisional policy decision has
been made and the scheme is implementing that decision.

I would respectfully ask you again, as internal reviewer, to
release the requested information.

Yours sincerely,

G Millward

G Millward left an annotation ()

More obfuscation!

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Mr Milward

This IR was received and given the number IR 608. The reply should be with you in the next couple of days. Apologies for any confusion.

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI team

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G Millward left an annotation ()

Pffffft we just KNOW that the internal review will uphold the original decision; we just KNOW that this will end up being referred to the ICO - why must DWP prolong the agony?

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,
On 30 November 2015, I was advised by DWP Strategy FoI team that I would receive a response "in the next couple of days"
As a week has now elapsed, I once again request a response to the internal review request that I made on 26 October 2015.

Yours sincerely,

G Millward

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Despite you initially advising me that my request would be dealt with in "a couple of days" on 30 November 2015, no such response has been received.

Out of courtesy, (despite no such courtesy being extended to me) I am advising you that I will be writing to the Information Commissioner concerning this unacceptable gross breach of the FoI Act by the DWP.

Yours sincerely,

G Millward

G Millward left an annotation ()

Well, well, well, still no response from the DWP ... anyway, here is a copy of an e mail sent to the ICO Commissioner;

Further to our previous correspondence, (see below)I wish to inform you that the DWP have STILL not replied to my request for an internal review.

I would be grateful if you could contact the DWP on my behalf and instruct them that they must respond without further delay.

I must say I am flabbergasted by the non - response of the DWP and the unacceptable delays and obfuscation that they employ and I trust that you will treat my e - mail as a formal complaint against the DWP and take the necessary enforcement action against them.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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