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Meaning of Failure to Participate.

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Having studied the DMG chapter 20 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
it would seem that the definition of "failure to participate" in this context is very narrow and is essentially that a claimant fails to attend a meeting of which he has been notified. Several examples of failure to participate are given and all relate specifically to failure to attend meetings.

In practice however jobcentre employees, work coaches etc., use a very broad interpretation of "failure to participate" which, in summary, boils down to a claimant failing to comply with anything that the Jobcentre employee has told them to do.

1. Bearing that in mind please provide the legislation and all other documentary evidence you have that allows this broader definition of "failure to participate" to be used than that which DMG chapter 20 (and legislation) provides for.

2. Furthermore I have read in answers to other FOI requests that because "failure to participate" is not defined in legislation that it should take its ordinary everyday meaning. I do not agree. That it is not defined in legislation means it has no force in law and so cannot be interpreted liberally as the Jobcentres are doing. Please provide any information you have that allows (in a legal sense) the DWP's interpretation that it should take its ordinary everyday meaning.

Yours faithfully,

Liz Snearer

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Liz Snearer left an annotation ()

Dear DWP,
Please add to my FOI request the following.

Please provide any and all information you have that gives examples of behaviour and/or actions which would constitute failure to participate (other than those examples already referred to in DMG ch20).

Thank you.

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

Liz Snearer
Annotations, like yours https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...
do not go to DWP. Use the reply function https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4... to amend your request

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,
Please add to my FOI request the following.

3. Please provide any and all information you have that gives examples of behaviour and/or actions which would constitute failure to participate (other than those examples already referred to in DMG ch20).

Yours sincerely,

Liz Snearer

Liz Snearer left an annotation ()

Thanks for the tip Frank.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 6 June 2017 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

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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
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 6 June 2017 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
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Your response should have been received by 6th June and by law, the authority should normally have responded promptly. Please respond.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Snearer

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Here is a good example of the DWP's wide interpretation of the term 'failure to participate':

"In a recent Mandatory Reconsideration decision concerning a claimant who gave neither his date of birth nor his CV to a Work Programme provider it is stated:

"'It would have been reasonable – as well as a requirement - to give this information to the provider who is assisting you in finding work...As you did not co-operate in providing a CV or your date of birth, I can not accept that good reason has been shown on this occasion for your failure to participate in your appointment.' "

(This Whatdotheyknow request was made in 2014)

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

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's handling of my FOI request 'Meaning of Failure to Participate.'.

You have failed to meet the lawful deadline for responding to my request for information and ignored my reminder to you. Please respond without any further delay.

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

Yours faithfully,

Liz Snearer

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.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

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
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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J Roberts left an annotation ()

You might be interested in this:

"126. The Jobseeker’s Allowance regulations (1996), specifically regulation  3, require claimants to participate in an interview in such manner, time and place as an employment officer may specify by a notification which is given or sent to the claimant and which may be 
in writing, by telephone or by electronic means. 
127...
128...
NB: Although regulations refer to ‘participation’, no DMA action can be taken against claimants for failing to participate. Only failing to attend action can be considered. In this section, therefore, ‘participate’ should be read as ‘attend’ only. "

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

Liz Snearer left an annotation ()

@J.Roberts,
Thanks for that, it confirms what I suspected. I would be interested to find out now when that explanation of ftp was added ... I wonder if it was in the original version or whether it is a recent addition?

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please accept our apologies for the delay and see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request.
 

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

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