Milestone Schedule for Universal Credit Programme Showing 2021 completion

John Slater made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

The Office for Budget Responsibility stated in its analysis of the latest spending review:

“Universal credit has been substantively delayed on at least three separate occasions in the past three years. Chart 4.8 in Chapter 4 shows that relative to our first formal inclusion of spending on universal credit in our December 2012 forecast, the rollout schedule is now around three years later than expected. In 2016-17 we now expect 330,000 claimants on universal credit rather than the 6.1 million expected in our forecast three years ago.”

It has also been widely reported that the programme will not now complete until 2021.

RFI: Please supply the current milestone schedule/plan for Universal Credit that shows the 2021 completion date.

Should the DWP rely on a qualified exemption I would expect it to provide a copy of its public interest test and for it to specifically address the facts that the UCP has slipped ‘substantively’ each year for the last 3 years and that its milestone schedule of April 2012 showed completion as being the end of September 2014.

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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

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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 05 January 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

Strategy Freedom of Information 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.
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.gov.uk

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached update to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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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 'Milestone Schedule for Universal Credit Programme Showing 2021 completion'.

The DWP stated "Accordingly, I hope to let you have a response by 1 February 2016. " Given that it is now the 24th February 2016 does the DWP have any intention of responding (and complying with the FOIA) or should I just refer the matter to the Commissioner?

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,

John Slater

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

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been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
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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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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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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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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 'Milestone Schedule for Universal Credit Programme Showing 2021 completion'.

Thank you for your very late response which I find puzzling and not credible. A milestone is simply a target date for a task or activity that needs to be completed by the Universal Credit Programme Team. A plan or schedule is simply a document that contains activities to be completed and associated target dates.

I did not request the information to be provided in a specific format. I am concerned that the DWP may have interpreted my RFI too narrowly and assumed that I wanted a document in exactly the same format as the document containing milestones previously disclosed. This is not the case and not borne out by the text of my RFI. My request should have been considered in the broadest sense covering information used by the programme management team (e.g. SRO, programme board, programme director, programme manager etc) to set target dates for activities and measure progress against. Therefore please:

Q1: Confirm that the Department does not hold any information (activities and associated target completion dates) showing a completion date circa 2021 for the Universal Credit Programme? The Department has ignored this aspect of RFI. (Covered by duty to confirm or deny)

Q2: Confirm that, other than the information to which the Department provided a link to, the DWP has no other information containing target dates that is used by the programme management team to establish target dates for activities and monitor progress against. (Covered by duty to confirm or deny)

Q3: If the Department does hold information containing information (activities and associated target dates) that is used by the programme management team to establish target dates for activities and monitor progress against please supply it as that clearly falls within the scope of my RFI. (Falls under clarification of my request to help the Department when it has clearly misinterpreted my RFI)

I hope that the DWP won’t take as long to reply to this IRR and I remind it that it has already breached the time to respond prescribed by FOIA.

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,

John Slater

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.
 
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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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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

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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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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 'Milestone Schedule for Universal Credit Programme Showing 2021 completion'.

The DWP is aware hat the Commissioner states it should respond to an IRR within 20 working days and offer its final response within a maximum of 40 working days (including considering the public interest). Once again the Department has breached this limit. Please respond to my IRR of 22nd March 2016 or I will be left with no choice but to complain to the Commissioner.

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,

John Slater

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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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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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 'Milestone Schedule for Universal Credit Programme Showing 2021 completion'.

Thank you for your response (IR123 and IR 193) dated 23 June 2016.

Unfortunately the Department’s response is woeful and incompatible with the FOIA. My earlier explanation has clearly been deliberately misinterpreted in order to allow the claim that s.12 applies.

My earlier clarification obviously explained that my RFI is for the set of high level dates used by the senior management team of the programme to establish targets and monitor progress. By definition these are not detailed.

As the author correctly states I do have considerable experience in running large complex programmes and projects. Unlike the author I am also aware of how Agile techniques should be applied. The DSDM Handbook covers this situation at “8.2.6 Delivery Plan”. It states

“The delivery plan is an evolutionary product. It provides a high-level schedule of Project [or in this case programme] Increments and, at least for the first/imminent Increment, Timeboxes that make up that Increment. It rarely deals with task-level detail unless there are tasks being carried out by people who are not part of the Solution Development Team or before the Solution Development Team is formed.”

Therefore if the DWP is claiming that no high level delivery plan (high level milestone plan or any other reasonable variation in title) exists for the UC programme then that is clearly an admission that it is not applying Agile techniques correctly and the programme is being managed incorrectly. Is this what the Department is stating?

It is also not credible that the Treasury or the Cabinet Office would approve funding unless it had sight of a high level set of target dates for the programme. A final point is that my RFI referred to the Office for Budget Responsibility analysis of the programme in its spending review. It stated:

“Universal credit has been substantively delayed on at least three separate occasions in the past three years. Chart 4.8 in Chapter 4 shows that relative to our first formal inclusion of spending on universal credit in our December 2012 forecast, the rollout schedule is now around three years later than expected. In 2016-17 we now expect 330,000 claimants on universal credit rather than the 6.1 million expected in our forecast three years ago.”

The OBR clearly did not simply invent the 2021 date and the expected number of claimants. Therefore it must have had sight of a high level plan of some sort.

I am now fed up of the games being used by the Department to delay complying with this and other RFIs and will now leave the matter with the Commissioner to resolve.

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,

John Slater

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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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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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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John Slater left an annotation ()

The ICO is now investigating the DWP handling of this request for information.

John Slater left an annotation ()

I understand that the Commissioner is due to issue a Decision Notice on this case in the near future.

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 'Milestone Schedule for Universal Credit Programme Showing 2021 completion'.

The Information Commissioner has issued her Decision Notice FS50637830. She has decided that the DWP has breached section 10 of the FOIA. The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation:

- Issue a substantive response to the complainant under the FOIA by either complying with section 1(1) or issuing a valid refusal notice.

The DWP must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.

In light of the Commissioner's decision and the Department's prior agreement on the revised scope of the RFI I felt it appropriate to submit this IRR to the DWP to ask that it comply sooner rather than later.

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,

John Slater

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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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Reference: IR 139

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

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Slater,

Please see attached letter following the Information Commissioner's Decision Notice regarding this case.

Regards

DWP Central FoI Team.

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