David Johnson

Dear Sir or Madam,

Discussions with a member of staff employed by the Department in the Jobcentreplus network resulted in that member of staff stating to me that "it is Department policy not to reply to enquiries made by customers because it isn't safe to do so. This is even the case where such enquiries do not relate to sensitive information."

Please furnish me with the full particulars of the relevant policy.

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Yours faithfully,

David Johnson

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Johnson,

Please see letter in response to your FoI request.

Kind regards

Central FoI Team

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David Johnson

The discussions related to complaints made by electronic mail to a member of staff who was familiar with me (that is to say, could reaosnably be expected to be aware the complaints were submitted by me, and not by another person impersonating me), which the officer concerned failed to respond to by any means.

The discussions took place within a Jobcentreplus local office, and in person. I do not feel it necessary to identify the specific office location; if a policy exists along the lines stated by the officer (e.g., to comply with data protection legislation and to prevent identity theft/fraud), it should be a national policy.

Yours sincerely,

David Johnson

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct.

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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/foi/

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Stephen Gradwick left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Johnson,

I made a similar request (outside of WDTK) in 2008 following the repeated refusal of the Independent Case Examiner's Office (part of the DWP) to issue me with a report into a complaint by e-mail.

However, my original request to the DWP was: "Please supply a copy of any policy, instruction or other comparable document which details the DWPs' position on sending e-mails to claimants.

I have been informed by one department that documents cannot be e-mailed under any circumstances, yet other departments have been happy to e-mail documents to me. Therefore I wish to know whether there is a departmental wide prohibition on e-mailing people or if there is not."

I received a response from the DWP as follows:

"I am responding to your request for information, which we received on 16 December, in which you asked about the Department’s policy concerning e-mails to claimants.

There is no prohibition on sending e-mails to customers. However, the Department’s policy is that we will only use e-mail to send protected personal information where there are sufficient levels of protection built into the receiving mail systems. E-mails to addresses outside the Government’s Secure Intranet (Gsi) can only be sent if the particular message does not include sensitive or protected personal information, or alternatively if the message has been encrypted. This is consistent with the handling of information risks across Government, and also ensures that the Department seeks to protect personal data in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Data Protection Act.

As you requested, I attach extracts from the relevant security policy at the end of this note."

The policy extract referred to states:

10. Email

Sending emails is not without risk, which will vary according to a number of factors such as the type of information, the volume of information and security of the network over which the information is being sent.

It is acceptable to send PROTECT and RESTRICTED information over the Department’s internal email system, the GSI, GSX, GCSX and GSE networks and to email addresses ending ‘@ombudsman.org.uk’ or ‘pnn.police.uk’, without any additional protection as these are trusted networks. RESTRICTED information emailed outside of these (over the Internet) must be encrypted. PROTECT information may be sent without the need for additional protection. In all cases information can only be sent where there is an appropriate business need and a supporting process.

In all cases prior to sending an email the recipient address should always be checked to ensure no errors have occurred (e.g. correct name chosen from list or that there have been no typing errors) and that the subject line includes the protective marking, this can be anywhere in the subject line to enable messages to be sorted alphabetically by subject, with an associated descriptor. Where an email is being sent to a customer no marking should be shown.

Note that PROTECT can be applied to all types of information with the exception of customer or staff personal information.

My response was provided by David Roper-Newman who is based at: Room GS36, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UA

Hope this helps!

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Where is your response to this request?

Yours sincerely,

David Johnson

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct.

Should you also 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/foi/

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/foi/

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

Dear Mr Johnson

Thank you for your recent request, could you please provide the
reference number to your original request, or forward the original
email. This will enable the team to track down your enquiry .

Thank you

Central FOI Team

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Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

My request, and your responses to date can be viewed at: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/jo...

Yours sincerely,

David Johnson

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct.

Should you also 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/foi/

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/foi/

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Johnson

Please see attached response and attachments to you FoI request.

Kind regards

Central FoI Team

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