Recording meeting with Jobcentre plus/DWP employees

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please refer to the document "Recordings by claimants v17 FINAL 30 Aug 2011.doc" provided in this FOI from the DWP: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Please provide the most up to date version of this document. If the document is no longer being produced please provide its replacement or equivalent.

Specifically please confirm that a Jobseeker may request, and expect to be granted, permission to record any meeting with Jobcentre or DWP staff.

Also please confirm that if such a meeting is held that it must be conducted in a private room provided for the purpose.

Yours faithfully,

Jason Davies

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

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

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Dear Jason Davies,

Please see attached response to your FoI request.

Kind regards,

DWP Central FoI Team

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John Slater left an annotation ()

This DWP response is a big change from what it has stated previously. It is about time that the DWP started to use words such as it 'requests' that people agree in advance and that such recordings are covered by Section 36 of the DPA.

www.consent.me.uk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

A routine worth remembering:
"For guidance about the Department’s own routine recording of telephone calls with claimants please"
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

Jason Davies left an annotation ()

@John slater - when you say the DWP should say "requests" are you suggesting that they have no choice in whether we record our meetings with them. If so do you have any links to back this up please?

John Slater left an annotation ()

@Jason Davies

There are a number of problems with a person recording their interaction with the DWP or any organisation, whether than be WCA, JSA interviews, meetings etc. There is no law that states a person can or cannot do this as long as it is for person use. The rights we all have derive from Common Law. The current DWP recording policy has not statutory basis whatsoever, therefore it is relying on the Secretary of State’s Common Law rights to have such a policy and these rights are exactly the same as ours. In effect there is a stalemate which would need to be resolved by a Court/Tribunal.

If someone turns up and starts to openly record a meeting or WCA or JSA interview the DWP staff can refuse to take part. However, if you record any such meeting covertly for the purposes defined in Section 36 or the DPA you shouldn’t be breaking any laws.

Section 36 or the DPA provides an exemption for some parts of the DPA and for most recordings people make during their interaction with the DWP this will apply. The potential problem for people is what they use any recording for and what it contains. If the information contained in the recording is all about you and any other people heard on it (DWP employees, Atos HCP, etc) cannot be uniquely identified then you should be ok to publish it online and use it as evidence at a Tribunal.

Look at the following links for more information:

http://www.mddus.com/mddus/news-and-medi...

http://www.dentalrepublic.co.uk/news/art...

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/for...

Look up this case - Chairman and Governors of Amwell View School v Mrs C Dogherty

Also look up this case - CIB 3117 2008-01 – This was the case where a claimant demanded that his medical examination be recorded on his terms. Judge Wikeley ducted issue of whether the DWP recording policy was reasonable but did make the point that it was not law. This case doesn’t resolve the matter one way or the other but the DWP cites it when challenged about its recording policy.

I also believe that the DWP stated policy of demanding a claimant show ‘good cause’ if they get caught covertly recording their medical examination (and refuse to stop) or insist that it be recorded on the claimant’s terms is unlawful. As the policy is not statutory based then the DWP decision maker is ‘considering’ the claimant’s ‘good cause’ against the DWP own policy which makes the DWP the Judge in deciding if its own policy is fair and reasonable and this is unlawful. Look up:

R v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy ([1924] 1 KB 256, [1923] All ER Rep 233)

The reason for my comment in my earlier annotation is that the DWP has made a lot of statements previously that were not compatible with the DPA and Common Law rights.

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

I agree with John's comments.

DWP guidance:
"Claimants may seek to record a telephone conversation or an interview with DWP either openly or covertly using digital recording devices such as cameras, microphones and mobile phones. There are a number of reasons why the Department should stop this happening in open plan public spaces. Jobcentre Plus has particular guidance on this here."

You will note the use of the word should and not MUST.

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

I can hear everything being said in Jobcentres including private ID information, therefore DWP are failing to protect their clients Confidential
information every single day.

A respectful individual would not record other clients and would choose a private location to record covertly or openly.

Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

Thank you for your prompt response.

The document you have provided in response to my request, i.e., "Recordings by claimants1.pdf" is quite foreshortened in comparison to the one I referred to in my original request. Please provide the full document and its full title/reference if not obvious.

Also please confirm that if a Jobseeker requests that a meeting be recorded and the Jobcentre finds it necessary to conduct the meeting in another Jobcentre or on a day which is not the Jobseeker's normal signing day that:

1. The Jobcentre will meet the reasonable transport costs of the Jobseeker in getting to the alternative location on any day, or the Jobseeker's own Jobcentre if it is not their normal signing day.

2. These costs will be paid to the Jobseeker ahead of the meeting so that an undue financial burden is not placed on the Jobseeker, potentially making it impossible for the Jobseeker to attend the relocated meeting.

If either of these are not the case please reference any legislation that explains the situation.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Davies

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

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

Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team.
 
 
 
 

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Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

2 Attachments

 
Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team.
 
 
 
 

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