Jobcentre Plus telling lies and delaying Subject Access Requests
Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Because of the great difficulty I am having in obtaining copies of my personal information from Jobcentre Plus, I need to ask whether the DWP (and therefore Jobcentre Plus also) have an 'arrangement' with the Information Commissioner's Office, whereby they can repeatedly and deliberately delay a persons Subject Access Request, and receive no penalties for doing so at all?
I have just had to send the following email to the Deputy Data Protection Officer for the Thames Valley Area; who is participating in these delay tactics.
Dear Ms Alomenu
You refer to ‘our letter dated 15 August 2011’ in your latest e-mail.
However, you contacted ‘me’ on 16 September 2011 (one month after the letter you refer to had been written) twice on that same day in fact, at both 11:29 and 17:30, which appears somewhat odd.
This is no more than a delay tactic and one of many already exercised by Jobcentre Plus, and having been given Andy Du Gay’s telephone number to call, it comes as no surprise to me to discover that it is permanently on voicemail, and when you leave a message, no one calls you back.
It is also indeed remarkable, that a man who could not make a management decision all by himself when my letter of 12 July 2011 was received at the Bracknell JCP Office, and one who had also participated in trying to force me to attend A4E earlier this year by totally dishonest means, by pretending that I had reached the point in my JSA Claim when I was eligible to be referred to a Provider in relation to a programme that was never operational in the Bracknell Forest, Thames Valley Area at all (Flexible New Deal) and supporting the fact that I had been told by Patricia Harrison in her 13 April 2011 letter, that my attendance at a Flexible New Deal Pre-provision Review appointment was mandatory (when they both knew that Flexible New Deal was non-operational in my JSA Area) remains in his publicly funded job (and her in hers.
Clearly Jobcentre Plus appear to pride themselves in telling the most outrageous lies to Jobseekers, which appear to have the full approval of their most Senior and Executive Managers.
It is any wonder their employees must sign the Official Secrets Act?
Ms M Jackson
I ask this question because more than one SAR I have made to Jobcentre Plus has been met with delays and lies, with my legal right to be provided with that information within the 40-day timescale, as legislated in the Data Protection Act, having been totally flouted.
Clearly, as with the Rioters (in the recent news), if a person (or an organisation) continually breaks the law with no real concern for the consequences, they will only do it again, and again, and again, if they remain unchallenged (is this not why the rioters were given such heavy sentences?).
But not so Government Officials it seems.
Jobcentre Plus appear to be doing this in relation to my Subject Access Requests with alarming regularity, and in consideration of the blatant dishonesty I was subject to earlier this year (please read between the two lines above)the abuse handed out to certain Jobseekers (as in my case) sees no one held accountable for that dishoest behaviour.
This is why I have to ask this question.
Does Jobcentre Plus (a Government Department) have an 'understanding' with the Information Commissioner's Office (another Government Department) that they can flout Data Protection legislation repeatedly, and not be challenged on that repeated behaviour?
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Dear Ms Jackson,
Please find attached a response to your request.
Central FoI Team
Department for Work and Pensions