PIP Contract Meetings - Minutes & Change Requests 2019-20

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I refer the Department to my request for information (“RFI”) of 08 July 2019 (see URL below)

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

Over a year later and after the involvement of the Information Commissioner the Department disclosed the meeting minutes I requested on 01 October 2020.

Please interpret my new RFI (see RFI1 at the bottom of this document) using the following guidance (please do not interpret my critique of the Department’s reliance on exemptions in my earlier RFI as a request for an IRR):

* S.40 - Any personal information that is exempt under S.40 FOIA is to be considered out of scope for RFI1.

* S.38 – I consider the Department’s reliance on S.38 for its disclosure of 01 October 2020 to be excessive. I accept the redaction of the location of meetings was reasonable. Therefore, the location of any meetings is out of scope for RFI1. Without location information there is no need to redact meeting dates, dates of future meetings and Action Point (AP) reference numbers. Therefore, the Department cannot rely on S.38 to redact this information in disclosures related to RFI1.

* S.43 – I consider the Department’s reliance on S.43 for its disclosure of 01 October 2020 to be unjustified. Appendix 14 of the published PIP contract documents list the service credits in detail, including the financial value. Therefore, using the information that is already in the public domain it is possible to calculate an accurate estimate of the redacted information. I also believe it is firmly in the public interest for this type of information to be disclosed. If the Department relies on S.43 to redact the same information for RFI1 I will ask the Information Commissioner to make a decision under S.50 FOIA.

* ICO Guidance on interpretation – Please use the Information Commissioner’s interpretation as described in the Department’s response FOI2019/30040(ICO) of 01 October 2020.

I assume that the type of meetings (see below) described in the published PIP contracts, or the equivalent in the revised contracts, still take place.

“PART M - ONGOING CONTRACT AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

47.2. Engagement

47.2.1. Monthly meetings will be held between the representatives of the Authority and the Contractor. The Contractor will ensure that a suitably empowered representative attends these meetings. Such activity will be at no cost to the Authority.

47.2.2. The Contractor will attend strategic meetings to review the overall success of the Contract Lot at the frequency to be determined to discuss:
- operational strategies;
- efficiency opportunities.

47.2.3. The Contractor will attend a monthly contract management meeting to manage this contract and discussions will include but not be limited to:
- agreeing contractual change;
- reviewing contractual performance;
- resolving operational and contractual problems;
- transferring and exchanging information.”

RFI1 – Please disclose the meeting minutes for the meetings prescribed in 47.2.1, 47.2.2 and 47.2.3 (or their current equivalent) between DWP and Capita and DWP and Atos that took place in 2019 and between 01 January 2020 to 31 August 2020.

RFI2 - If it is possible within S.12 costs limits please tell me how many change requests were agreed in 2019 & 2020 for the 3 PIP contracts.

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.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
However please be advised that due to the current situation with COVID-19
we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 13th
October

FOI2020/60946

We can confirm that we hold information falling within the terms of your
request; however, we need more time to consider aspects of your request.

We are writing to advise you that the following exemptions apply to the
information that you have requested:

Section 30 Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities
Section 38 Health and Safety
Section 40 Personal Information
Section 43 Commercial Interests

Section 10(3) of the FoI Act provides that, where public authorities have
to consider the balance of the public interest in relation to a request,
they do not have to comply with the request until such a time as is
reasonable in the circumstances.

We have not yet reached a decision on the balance of the public interest.
We need to consider all the circumstances of the case, to determine where
the balance of the public interest lies in relation to the information
that you have requested. Therefore, we will not be able to respond to your
request in full within 20 working days of the initial receipt of your
request.

We are therefore aiming to let you have a full response by 8 December.

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

Yours sincerely,

Central FOI Team,
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP Central FOI Team,

38 Attachments

Dear John Slater,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 13th
October.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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' handling of my FOI request 'PIP Contract Meetings - Minutes & Change Requests 2019-20'.

Thank you for your response. I am grateful to the Department for releasing the redacted documents without unreasonable delays in these challenging times.

However, I do not believe that the Department’s reliance on the various exemptions can be justified. I have no wish for any information to be disclosed that would genuinely cause harm. As with the previous release I do not believe that the Department has met the bar to prove that disclosure would cause the prejudice it claims.

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

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.
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally expect
a response within 20 working days.
 
However please be advised that due to the current situation with COVID-19
we cannot guarantee a response within this timescale.
 
Every effort is being made to respond to FOIs as we would usually but the
current situation means that available Departmental resources will be
needed on other high priority areas.
 
We kindly ask for your understanding during this unprecedented situation
and we will aim to deal with your FOI request as soon as is practically
possible.
 
Email FOI responses will be issued from [1][email address]
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
[2]http://www.gov.uk/dwp
 
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gov.uk/dwp

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 8th
December.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

John Slater left an annotation ()

On 19 January 2021 I submitted a complaint to the ICO to challenged the DWP reliance on

S.40(2)
S.30
S.38
S.43