Royal Mail and disability benefit claims

The request was successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

According to the Daily Telegraph confidential medical information from people applying for disability benefits is opened and sorted by Royal Mail staff. The news item can be found at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/hom...

In light of the sensitive and confidential nature of these claims:

1. Why is it necessary for these posts to be opened and sorted by the Royal Mail?
2. What team within the Royal Mail is responsible for sorting these claims?
3. In response to the Telegraph article, a DWP spokesperson said 'We are a large organisation that handles all kinds of sensitive information. We use Royal Mail to sort and direct our mail to the appropriate processing centre. We hold the contract and ensure they abide by the same data protection and security checks as any DWP employee.".
3a. Are these Royal Mail employees subject to an Enhanced CRB check?
3b. When did this contract commence? Please provide specific date.
3c. Why are claimants not made aware of this?
3d. What authority has the DWP to grant Royal Mail access to claimants' sensitive information without the knowledge/consent of the claimant? If there's any legislation relevant to this, please provide details.

Yours faithfully,

A C Smithson

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

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CD Official Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear A C Smithson,

 

Please see the attached letter.

 

<<FOI - 3466 WDTK Acknowledgement Letter.pdf>>

 

Communications Team

Commercial Directorate | Communications Team | Leeds and Sheffield |
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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's handling of my FOI request 'Royal Mail and disability benefit claims'.

The DWP has failed to respond to my request by their own deadline of 8 October 2012 (as stated in their acknowledgement letter).

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

Yours faithfully,

A C Smithson

CD Official Correspondence, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear A C Smithson,

 

Please see the attached letter.

 

<<FOI 3466 - Response 151012.pdf>>  

Communications Team

Commercial Directorate | Communications Team | Leeds and Sheffield |
Please consider the environment before printing.

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