Final Responses To Complaints

James C Kelsall made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

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James C Kelsall

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please provide any policies or guidance which relate to the circumstances in which a final response to a complaint will NOT be issued after a complainant states they are unsatisfied with an initial response.

Yours faithfully,

James C Kelsall

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James C Kelsall left an annotation ()

I should note on this request:

The DWP's public policies do not appear to allow discretion, and internal policies (some of which have been uncovered through FOI requests) would appear to agree - if a complainant is unsatisfied with an initial response, a final response MUST be issued (even if the final response is largely the same as the initial response).

It's worth noting that complaints cannot be escalated to the Independent Case Examiner until a final response has been received, so refusing to issue a final response prevents appropriate escalation.

In my own case (and presumably others too), there have been multiple unjustified refusals to issue a final response, and these refusals are almost impossible to challenge without being subjected to the DWP's Unreasonably Persistent Customer Contact procedures (which also state that a final response MUST be issued, yet this part appears to be routinely ignored).

I've submitted this request to see if, in exceptional circumstances, the DWP is permitted to withhold a final response, and if so, what sort of circumstances those may be. If not, any refusal to issue a final response constitutes a clear breach of the relevant procedures.,

1 Attachment

Dear James Kelsall,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 9th

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

James C Kelsall left an annotation ()

In this instance, I think it's reasonable to assert that not holding the information is effective confirmation that there are no circumstances in which a final response can be refused.