Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
I refer the Department to my request for information (“RFI”) of 08 July 2019 (see URL below)
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
47.2.1. 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.
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