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Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights

Frank Zola made this Freedom of Information request to Cabinet Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

We're waiting for Frank Zola to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Cabinet Office,

Please disclose the information you hold concerning your role in changes made to the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) ESA65B letter which is sent to GPs and Doctors after and ESA claimant is found 'fit for work' and the ESA claim form and ESA Work Capability Assessment form. since 2015

ESA50
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

ESA claim form
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

ESA65B letter: Current version
http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPaper...

ESA65B letter past version
http://www.gpone.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/...

And information on whether any civil servants, contractors, or workers in the Cabinet Office working on the theme of Behavioural Insights or collaboration with BEHAVIOURAL INSIGHTS LTD Company number 08567792 have taken place with regards work on ESA since 2015, including work with any part of the DWP and the DWP's Behavioural Science Team/Unit?

Reference

Employment and Support Allowance:Written question - 237583
Q Asked by Stephen Twigg
(Liverpool, West Derby)
Asked on: 27 March 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment and Support Allowance
237583
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 21 March 2018 to Question 132727, for what reason the revised wording of the ESA65B letters to employment support allowance claimants’ GPs was implemented by a ministerial requirement issued by the Cabinet Secretary instead of the Permanent Secretary of her Department; and if she will make a statement.

A Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 05 April 2019

The Department routinely works with the Cabinet Office, other government departments and stakeholders to ensure its claimant communications are as clear as possible. The final wording in such communications is authorised by DWP Ministers or officials acting on their behalf.
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publi...

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

Dear Cabinet Office,

I wish to amend my request so you disclose relevant information held since 2014.

Reference

'Employment and Support Allowance:Written question - 142517'
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publi...

"The Cabinet Secretary first issued the requirement to revise the ESA65B letter in November 2014.

The wording of the ESA65B was changed to emphasise the benefits of work and to ask GPs to encourage their patients in their efforts to return to some form of work."
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publi...

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  FOI327883

Dear FRANK ZOLA

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received
on 8/4/2019 and we are considering if it is appropriate to deal with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

When corresponding with the Cabinet Office, you may wish to be aware of
how we treat your personal Information.  This is set out in our personal
information charter, at the following
link: [1]https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the FOI team.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

 Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [2][Cabinet Office request email]

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati...
2. mailto:[email address]

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached further information regarding your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached further information regarding your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached further information regarding your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

Dear Cabinet Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights'.

You have not provided any information or explained why and your promise to respond today after requesting more time to consider the public interest twice has not been kept.

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

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached further information regarding your recent FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

 

Email – [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

Dear FOI Team Mailbox,

In your response to my request for internal review, of August 1st 2019* https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e... please explain why you are treating
my 05 April 2019 request as so "exceptional" you need 3 time extensions to consider the public interest, which if you do respond on 30/08/2019 (your latest promise), you will have taken 5 months to respond, noting:

Time limits for compliance under the Freedom of Information Act (Section 10)
"Where required, an authority may claim a reasonable extension of time to consider the public interest test. An extension beyond an additional 20 working days should be exceptional."
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

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URL ttps://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/employment_support_allowance_esa_2#outgoing-925871

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

Dear Cabinet Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights'.

Further to my request for an internal review on August 1st 2019
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...
you have nor provided any response.

And further to your request for more time to consider the Public Interest to disclose the information I have request, dated 01/08/2019, in which you promised to respond by 30/08/2019 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/5... you have not responded to date. Please explain why this is in your request for an internal review.

On September 3rd 2019 the Information Commissioner has written to you giving a deadline to respond to my 6 month old request for information, after I complained to them about your excessive requests for more time to consider my FOI request.

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

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

Dear FOI Team Mailbox,

You have failed to respond to my request for Internal Review and your own 3rd request for more time to consider the public interest to disclose the information I requested.

The Information Commissioner (ICO) also wrote to you on or before September 3rd 2019 saying you had been instructed to respond to me within 10 working days, you have ignored this instruction. 10 working days elapsed on September 17th 2019.

ICO (private email correspondence)
Extract
"I have written to the public authority and instructed them to respond to you within 10 working days from the date of receipt of our letter. I enclose a copy for your information."
Date: 3 Sep 2019
From: casework @ ico.org.uk
To: [redacted]
Subject: Response from ICO - your compliant about the Cabinet Office [Ref. FS50863232]"

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

ICO enforcement notice: Cabinet Office told to release info on experiments to nudge sick and unwell into work
https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2019/0...

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Please find attached the reply to your FOI request

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

E-mail -[1][Cabinet Office request email] 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Cabinet Office,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights'.

I consider you have not considered the Public Interest correctly, you mention exemptions concerning
"formulation and development of policy and communications between ministers". I am unsure all of the information I have requested falls within the exemptions you claim and much of the information I requested concerns actual implementation of policy and changes that have already taken place and do not concern "formulation and development".

I also do not consider you have taken account of the actual level of Public Interest in the information requested. Such interest also highlight significant detriment, financial losses and endangerment to patients associated to the information requested.

Specific Public Interest examples

#ScraptheLetters Campaign
https://www.z2k.org/scrap-the-letters/

Stop sending misleading letters to GPs
118,052 Signed the petition
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/s...

Hansard: Written Questions and Answers on ESA65B
(5 Sep 2019) (23 Jul 2019) (10 Jul 2019) (19 Jun 2019) (11 Jun 2019) (30 Apr 2019) (29 Apr 2019) (25 Apr 2019) (24 Apr 2019) (15 Apr 2019) (8 Apr 2019) (5 Apr 2019) (3 Apr 2019) (22 Mar 2019) (14 Mar 2019) (13 Mar 2019) (24 Jan 2019) (26 Nov 2018) (17 Oct 2018) (3 Jul 2018) (3 Jul 2018) (6 Jun 2018) (30 May 2018) (16 May 2018) (21 Mar 2018) (14 Feb 2018)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?q...

‘Instructions ’ from DWP to GP Surgeries
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/view...

DWP finally scraps 'misleading' fit-for-work letters to GPs - but faces new row
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/d...

Scrap 'misleading' fit-for-work letter to GPs, says Labour
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019...

'Misleading' DWP letter causing ill and disabled people to lose benefits
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019...

MPs support campaign to stop misleading benefits letters being sent to GPs
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/politic...

Patients risk homelessness after DWP sends GPs misleading benefits letters
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/gp-topi...

DWP under fire over 'fit for work' letters which could 'endanger vulnerable patients' lives'
https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/nor...

DWP blasted by doctors over 'fit for work' letters that 'endanger patients'
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/d...

Health of vulnerable patients ‘endangered’ by benefit advice given to GPs by government
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho...

Doctors Tell DWP: We Didn't Approve Wording Of 'Misleading' Benefits Letter
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/d...

DWP benefits advice for GPs puts health of vulnerable people at risk, doctors say
https://inews.co.uk/news/dwp-benefits-ad...

Revised benefits letter still 'misleading' GPs about issuing fit notes
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/all-new...

The DWP has been caught trying to ‘coerce’ GPs into saying their patients are fit-for-work
https://www.thecanary.co/discovery/analy...

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

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

Dear Mr Zola
Thank you for your email.  Could you provide us with the correct FOI
Reference number together with your query; without it we are unable to
process your request.
Many thanks,
FOI Team

show quoted sections

Dear Cabinet Office,

Your ref: FOI327883
My ref: Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Cabinet Office's handling of my FOI request 'Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights'.

I consider you have not considered the Public Interest correctly, you mention exemptions concerning
"formulation and development of policy and communications between ministers". I am unsure all of the information I have requested falls within the exemptions you claim and much of the information I requested concerns actual implementation of policy and changes that have already taken place and do not concern "formulation and development".

I also do not consider you have taken account of the actual level of Public Interest in the information requested. Such interest also highlight significant detriment, financial losses and endangerment to patients associated to the information requested.

Specific Public Interest examples

#ScraptheLetters Campaign
https://www.z2k.org/scrap-the-letters/

Stop sending misleading letters to GPs
118,052 Signed the petition
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/s...

Hansard: Written Questions and Answers on ESA65B
(5 Sep 2019) (23 Jul 2019) (10 Jul 2019) (19 Jun 2019) (11 Jun 2019) (30 Apr 2019) (29 Apr 2019) (25 Apr 2019) (24 Apr 2019) (15 Apr 2019) (8 Apr 2019) (5 Apr 2019) (3 Apr 2019) (22 Mar 2019) (14 Mar 2019) (13 Mar 2019) (24 Jan 2019) (26 Nov 2018) (17 Oct 2018) (3 Jul 2018) (3 Jul 2018) (6 Jun 2018) (30 May 2018) (16 May 2018) (21 Mar 2018) (14 Feb 2018)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?q...

‘Instructions ’ from DWP to GP Surgeries
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/view...

DWP finally scraps 'misleading' fit-for-work letters to GPs - but faces new row
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/d...

Scrap 'misleading' fit-for-work letter to GPs, says Labour
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019...

'Misleading' DWP letter causing ill and disabled people to lose benefits
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019...

MPs support campaign to stop misleading benefits letters being sent to GPs
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/politic...

Patients risk homelessness after DWP sends GPs misleading benefits letters
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/gp-topi...

DWP under fire over 'fit for work' letters which could 'endanger vulnerable patients' lives'
https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/nor...

DWP blasted by doctors over 'fit for work' letters that 'endanger patients'
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/d...

Health of vulnerable patients ‘endangered’ by benefit advice given to GPs by government
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho...

Doctors Tell DWP: We Didn't Approve Wording Of 'Misleading' Benefits Letter
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/d...

DWP benefits advice for GPs puts health of vulnerable people at risk, doctors say
https://inews.co.uk/news/dwp-benefits-ad...

Revised benefits letter still 'misleading' GPs about issuing fit notes
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/all-new...

The DWP has been caught trying to ‘coerce’ GPs into saying their patients are fit-for-work
https://www.thecanary.co/discovery/analy...

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

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

CABINET OFFICE REFERENCE:  IR327883

Dear FRANK ZOLA

Thank you for your request for an internal review. Your request was
received on 18/11/2019 and is being dealt with under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

This email is just a short acknowledgement of your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the FOI team.
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely,

Knowledge and Information Management Unit

Cabinet Office

E: [1][Cabinet Office request email]

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Cabinet Office request email]

Dear FOI Team Mailbox,

Your ref: FOI327883
My ref: Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

A complaint has been lodged with the ICO, as you have not responded to my request for Internal Review within 20 days, nor provided any explanation for your non reply or asked for further time to consider my request.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

Dear FOI Team Mailbox,

Your ref: IR327883 and FOI327883
My ref: Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Behavioural Insights
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

A complain*t has been lodged with the ICO, as you have not responded to my request for Internal Review within 20 days, nor provided any explanation for your non reply or asked for further time to consider my request.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Zola

*Sent 18 Dec 2019, 16:51

FOI Team Mailbox, Cabinet Office

1 Attachment

Dear Frank Zola, 
We have been notified of your complaint to the ICO and as a result we are
re-sending our response to IR327883, initially sent to you on 20/12/2019. 
If you have any further questions please let us know. 
Kind regards, 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Frank Zola please sign in and let everyone know.