How many INITIAL payments of a Debt Management plan have been suspended?

Mark Abraham 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.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

How many INITIAL payments of a Debt Management plan have been suspended?

There are contradictory reports about this from the DWP. Staff say it isn't possible in practice, and other supervisory and managerial staff say it does happen. If it does, how many are there, and in what circumstances? Are these particular Debt Management plans, paying back overpaid tax credits via universal credit deductions, or could it be in respect of overpayments, court fines, HMRC activity.

I'm trying to find concrete evidence that an INITIAL repayment of a debt management plan has ever happened. If the DWP through Will Quince the Under-Secretary of State for Welfare Delivery, where are the facts that prove that this has happened?

I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Abraham

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.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
However please be advised that due to the current situation with COVID-19
we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Mark Abraham,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 24th
May.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Thanks for your letter - may I also request you take into account your departments response: Our Ref: FOI2020/58101. It might help to link up the two.

I'd suggest narrowing my need for information down to two parts:

1) one single person - myself, and for the period June 2018 to March 2019.

2) the number 160,000 or so that had DWP plans instituted - for whatever reason, and the number of those people, who had their payments suspended for the initial month, if any.

As my enquiry is based around whether it is actually possible to stop or suspend an initial debt management plan payment being taken from a claimant, for whatever reason (in my individual case, it would be for hardship), then I'd be grateful for your response on this basis.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Abraham

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.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
However please be advised that due to the current situation with COVID-19
we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Mark Abraham,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 8th
June.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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 handling of my FOI request 'How many INITIAL payments of a Debt Management plan have been suspended?'.

1. I'd made a suggestion for myself as the test person to carry out the enquiry - to limit the scope and cost for your enquiry down to one person, lest any concern arise about issues of access to an individuals data, etc. That's why, and I apologise that it wasn't clear for you, and you may have misunderstood my purpose for shaping that enquiry that way.

My intent was purely to find an affordable way under FOI to proceed to examine data here. I'm not as knowledgeable as the DWP in the way to extract this information. To remind you my enquiry is 'How many INITIAL payments of a Debt Management plan have been suspended?

There seems no way to get an answer to this question so far. So please if you've any way to suggest rewording the way to narrow down the scope of the enquiry, to draw out this information, I'd be obliged.

It's worth pointing out again, I've had contrary answers within the DWP itself whether it is in fact possible to suspend an initial repayment. As the situation is confusing, my enquiry is to look for an indication in the relevant data here, to establish if in fact ANY initial payment has actually been suspended, from the statistical information available. Will Quince has said that is possible. I'm not sure he's been correctly advised. I'd prefer to respond to him with the information I'm seeking, not least because it would both the DWP and myself to know what the facts are. I'm asking the DWP if it's just a claim, or a provable fact.

So far, I have only made limited progress. For my failings in finding a way to clearly find a way to put this enquiry clearly, I apologise. But when Will Quince makes a claim, I'm sure he'll have factual evidence to back up his statement. So perhaps you could ask the people who advised him here, what proof do they have?

I'm asking in the internal review, that should the matter be able to be reconsidered, that the DWP contact me by telephone; it may be a way to make progress here. As the DWP invites me to contact them by phone is any of what is written isn't clear; so I ask you also to do the same. Conversation may be a way of progressing this matter.

2. On the question of cost, and time, I am a little puzzled. If you look at the date of the 160,000 debt repayment plans referred to, it seems possible to me, with a modicum of effort and using the available data to establish if any initial repayment from that planned recovery schedule was suspended by the DWP itself. If not, then I'd request all the instances out of that 160,000 where a repayment hadn't been made. I understand that you've made an estimate. But if it takes more than a day to extract the information from the data you have available, I really truly don't understand. Perhaps you could explain your reasons for your estimation please?

I look forward to hearing from you in response.

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

Yours faithfully,

Mark Abraham

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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a valid Freedom of Information request, as per Section 8
of the FOI Act 2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working
days.
 
Please note that email FOI responses will be issued from
[1][email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request please
contact us.
 
Information on the Department for Work and Pensions can be accessed on
gov.uk here - [2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Mark Abraham,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 18th
June.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Thanks for your help, and further explanation. I'm obliged.

I'm sorry not to have sufficiently separated my own personal information as part of this request. I've tried, as it isn't the point.

Please could you clarify two points:

Were those statistics quoted by a colleague of yours about how many people had a debt earlier part of a 'manual' search too? If so,

Which department and/or sub-section handles the work that would involve a manual search to provide this information? Is it more than one?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Abraham

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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a valid Freedom of Information request, as per Section 8
of the FOI Act 2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working
days.
 
Please note that email FOI responses will be issued from
[1][email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request please
contact us.
 
Information on the Department for Work and Pensions can be accessed on
gov.uk here - [2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a valid Freedom of Information request, as per Section 8
of the FOI Act 2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working
days.
 
Please note that email FOI responses will be issued from
[1][email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request please
contact us.
 
Information on the Department for Work and Pensions can be accessed on
gov.uk here - [2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear Mark Abraham,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 7th
July.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team