Legal cost of withholding information

The request was successful.

It has been widely reported that the DWP has been forced to reveal the list of over 500 firms using benefit claimants for unpaid work after 4-year legal fight (with the DWP having no further appeal options left).

Case ref Department for Work And Pensions v The Information Commissioner & Zola [2016] EWCA Civ 758 (27 July 2016)

The list of firms involved

My request:
Please kindly provide the total legal cost incurred by the DWP in trying to withhold this information from the public domain specifically within the realms of the request detailed here: (backup held here )

James Powell.

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.
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
Should you 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.

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Frank Zola left an annotation ()

Suggesting asking ICO similar question and Government Legal Department HMCTS may also be able to give info on estimated or typical costs they incurred for the first tier tribunal, the upper tribunal and the court of appeal

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 31 August 2016 unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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jimmy3 left an annotation ()

Legal cost incurred by DWP (taxpayer) £92, 249.86. This figure includes litigation costs as well as Counsel and court fees.

Answer goes on to state additional information which was not requested and moreover not agreed by the courts.

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Thanks for providing the information I asked for. However you go on to make a claim which wasn't actually upheld by the courts thus it was hardly appropriate for you to repeat that same claim on your response.

Yours sincerely,


jimmy3 left an annotation ()

The additional information provided which I didn't ask for (and which was dismissed as untrue by the courts) has now been reported to the ICO. DWP should not be presenting information dismissed as untrue by courts.

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

" The Department [DWP] challenged the decision to release the names of employers involved in the initiative to protect the employment schemes from the negative lobbying of a
small number of individuals who want to stop us helping people get into work."

Like the 600+ organisations who signed an agreement not to be involved in such workfare employment schemes? This "small number" can be seen at