Recording of assessments

Waiting for an internal review by Department for Work and Pensions of their handling of this request.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

A friend of mine is die a PIP assessment soon, and while the first has been cancelled until further notice, I've been doing some research.

Apparently if someone wants to record an assessment (to protect themselves from the liars in the department and atos) a laptop is deemed unacceptable to record with.

Why?

Two cds are able to be burned at the end of the assessment reasonably quickly, it seems to me like the dwp/atos are making it deliberately difficult for claimants to protect themselves.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Gilding

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P. Winterbottom left an annotation ()

Don't expect you'll get a decent answer. I too would like to know why mobile phone recordings aren't allowed. In these days of high incidents of downright illegal activities by the contractors for DWP it is
imperative that people do all to protect themselves.

It only says 'not allowed'. What are the penalities? Just damned hot air from them.
I know many who have recorded....and yes they do ask ''WHY HAVEN'T YOU KILLED YOURSELF?''
even to this day.

I have a recording and it will be used how and as I SEE FIT to get the truth out. Sharing TRUTH isn't
malicious.

John Slater left an annotation ()

I've asked the DWP numerous questions about its recording policy over the years with mixed success. It all comes down to the recording policy for ESA/WCA and PIP is just something that the DWP decided to create and impose. It isn't based on statutory powers or legal precedent. The DWP seeks to rely on 1 Upper Tribunal decision but the Judge deliberately ducked the issue of the DWP policy. Sadly the only way to test it is for someone to challenge it in the courts.

Lee Jefferson left an annotation ()

It's not illegal to record your own assessment but the assessor may stop the assessment claiming you are not co-operating.

Craig Gilding left an annotation ()

But then surely that's the assessor not cooperating?

Lee Jefferson left an annotation ()

I should have stated "for not co-operating with the internal procedure of the assessment company".

Covert recordings are a bit hit and miss though as to whether they are accepted as evidence in court. It seems transcriptions of recordings made by a professional transcription company are more likely to be accepted than the actual recordings - although it's worth submitting both as evidence.

John Slater left an annotation ()

It's worth looking up this case:
[2009] UKUT 56 (AAC)
(Upper Tribunal Case No. CIB/3117/2008)

To the best of my knowledge this is the only UT case that has dealt with recording assessments on the claimant's terms.

DWP Health Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear C Gilding,
 
Please see our response to your recent Freedom of Information request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWP Health Services Correspondence Team
 
 

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Dear DWP Health Services Correspondence,

Thank you for your slow reply and standard template response.

This brings me to the question, how would a BSL interview/assessment be recorded on tape or cd?

A few more questions on the subject:

This is a catch 22 situation for the claimants. If ATOS, etc, are allowed to lie if assessments are recorded, why can the risk not be taken that someone "might edit it in realtime"? I'm sure things can be analyzed and it would be discovered if they did edit it in realtime, should they try to use that recording.

It is unfair for claimants to have to provide their own equipment. If the DWP want it to meet a certain standard, they should provide it, not the claimant who probably can't afford it!

Yours sincerely,

Craig Gilding

Lee Jefferson left an annotation ()

Claimants are not obligated to follow DWP's guidelines. No law exists stating claimants must give anyone a copy of the recording they have made of an assessment.

If WCA provider notices they are being recorded they will ask for the recording to be stopped. If the claimant refuses then the WCA provider will likely terminate the assessment citing 'non-compliance'. It's just a matter of time before the courts pick up on this and rule the WCA provider must allow claimants to record their assessments - without ifs or buts.

John Slater left an annotation ()

The judgement of the only UT case that I am aware of that dealt with audio recording is available at the link below:

https://www.scribd.com/document/95873322...

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Am I correct in thinking that the judge's decision did not help claimants? As long as the DWP's conditions for recording an assessment are made clear to the claimant then the claimant is required to abide by them.

Here is something from another context (employment tribunal) concerning covert recording:

'The law is now established that covert recordings are not inadmissible simply because the way in which they were taken may be regarded as discreditable: see in particular the judgment of this Tribunal, Mr Recorder Luba QC presiding, in Dogherty v Chairman and Governors of Amwell View School UKEAT/0243/06. No doubt because of the effect of that authority, this aspect was not relied on by the Judge as a reason for ruling the evidence inadmissible. '

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/201...

Lee Jefferson left an annotation ()

J Roberts - This may not fully answer your question but I've known one judge to refuse a claimant's audio recording of the wca assessment but accept a professionally transcribed version and later return a verdict in the claimant's favour.

The issue of 'covert' can be dealt with in a letter notifying the provider that a recording may be made (maybe as part of a wider letter - but once they are informed it would allow the claimant to say - if asked by judge - if provider was informed it was being recorded.

It remains the case that there is no law preventing the claimant from making their own recording but whether the judge accepts the recording could go either way.

J Roberts left an annotation ()

Lee Jefferson,

Thanks for your comment. I suppose different tribunal judges will have different opinions. But I suspect the DWP's opinion will be the same - if any recording is to be submitted, make it as expensive as possible for the appellant: perhaps an expert to check whether the recording has been tampered with in some way, and an independent transcriber (name obtained from the HMCTS) to transcribe the whole recording when only a small part may be required?

It would be good to hear from someone who has used a covert recording at a benefits appeal tribunal.

DWP Health Services Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear C Gilding,
 
Please see our response to your recent Freedom of Information request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Correspondence Team
Contracted Health and Employment Services
 

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Dear DWP Health Services Correspondence,

I am requesting information on how to record a signed assessment. If you do not wish to answer then I think that's pretty poor and would like to request complaint contact details again. As I am deaf myself, these things directly affect me and if the DWP is not willing to provide answers to questions like these then I think that is discrimination. There should definitely be procedures in place and I am asking what these procedures are.

If you do not wish to reply via the FOI request, then I'd like to request an email I can direct my questions to.

I also find it disturbing that claimants are expected to provide the equipment that meets such standards set by the DWP.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Craig Gilding

J Roberts left an annotation ()

You might be interested in this request:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/1...

Thirteen people in Northern Ireland have had their PIP assessments recorded in accordance with prescribed procedures. This response provides the outcomes (two have yet to be determined).

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