Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Following reports in the media of the very high number of people ruled fit for work, I would like to make a FoI request as follows;
1) Of the claimants ruled fit to work by ATOS and the DWP DM, in the period 2008/09 to the current date, how many have been prosecuted for benefit fraud.
2)In respect of those that have not been prosecuted, what is the reason why they have not been prosecuted.
Mrs G Millward
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Dear G Milward,
Please find attached DWP response to your recent Freedom of Information
Dear DWP OPD COO FOI Requests,
your response to my request (see below) refers;
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
e-mail: [email address].
Our Ref: VTR FOI 1796
DATE April 2013
Dear ,G Millward,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 15 April 2013. You asked:
Following reports in the media of the very high number of people ruled fit for work, I would like
to make a FoI request as follows;
1) Of the claimants ruled fit to work by ATOS and the DWP DM, in
the period 2008/09 to the current date, how many have been
prosecuted for benefit fraud.
2)In respect of those that have not been prosecuted, what is the
reason why they have not been prosecuted.
The Fraud Investigation Service (FIS), part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is
responsible for the investigation of fraud against all benefits administered by DWP
The information of the number of claimants ruled fit to work by ATOS and the DWP DM which have
been prosecuted is not available because no central record is maintained in this format. This information
could only be provided by examining individual investigation files.
We estimate that the cost of complying with this request would exceed the appropriate limit of £600.
The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for central Government it is set at £600. This
represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days in determining whether the
Department holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Under section
12 of the Freedom of Information Act the Department is not obliged to comply with your request and we
will not be processing this part of your request further.
I have to say I am quite astounded that no central record of prosecutions is maintained in respect of IB claimants migrating to ESA and deemed fit for work as a result of the ATOS "assessment"
Surely, by being deemed "fit for work" the claimant should never have been in receipt of IB in the first place and should therefore be prosecuted for fraudulently claiming it.
I find it odd, because the media regularly report the minister for DWP and the Prime Minister using words such as "shirkers" and "fraudsters" when referring to people in receipt of IB/ESA.
Logic would dictate that the DWP should keep details of potential/successful prosecutions in order to report the figures to the minister for DWP.
I therefore wish to make a further FoI request as follows;
1) in the period from 2008/09 to the current date, what details were provided to the minister for DWP regarding potential/successful prosecutions in respect of those claimaints who were deemed fit for work following a work capability assessment.You may of course redact personal information as I only require the total number of such cases.
2)Does the DWP have a procedure in place for taking any action against the GP/NHS specialist of those claimants who were originally told they were not fit for work who subsequently (as a result of the work capability assessment) are found to be fit for work. If such a procedure exists, please provide me with a public print.
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