SoS: 75% of people who have been sanctioned claimed it helped them "focus and get on."

John Slater made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

As the Department will be aware the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions ("SoS") stated in his official capacity as SoS that 75% of people who have had their benefits sanctioned said it helped them "focus and get on."

Please provide or direct me to the data and/or reports (official or otherwise) upon which the Secretary of State based his statement.

If the Department holds no such information I respectfully remind it that it does have an obligation to confirm or deny.

Yours faithfully,
John Slater

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

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

J Newman left an annotation ()

If I were a betting man I'd wager this is based on even less than a wet finger in the air.

John Slater left an annotation ()

I agree with you. If the DWP does have any data I suspect it won't show what IDS claimed.

DWP CAXTON HOUSE Communications, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. Please find enclosed our reply.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Focal Point for DWP Communications 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us  or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745   

show quoted sections

Mr Harris left an annotation ()

Great FOI request and inadequate response by DWP that should be challenged.

The original request asked about the 75% of people WHO HAVE HAD THEIR BENEFITS SANCTIONED said it helped them "focus and get on." (my emphasis) but the reply concerns "over 70% of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants..". The DWP is fond of saying that only a tiny minority of claimants receive sanctions so most of their 70% will never have had a sanction that helped them "focus and get on."

So unfortunately the DWP have sent you the wrong evidence. I suggest asking for a review and ask again about the 75% of people WHO HAVE HAD THEIR BENEFITS SANCTIONED said it helped them "focus and get on."

In my experience, a review can get the DWP to answer correctly in the end.

John Slater left an annotation ()

Thanks for that. I suspect that the passage the DWP is relying on is on page 157 of the report:

"Women were more likely than men to say that knowledge of the impact of JSA conditions had affected their behaviour. This applied in relation to both following the rules (78 per cent compared with 69 per cent) and looking for work (68 per cent compared with 61 per cent). Claimants who had spent longer out of work were also more likely to say that knowledge of conditions had affected them: among those who had not worked for more than two years (or at all), 79 per cent said that they were more likely to follow the rules, and 75 per cent more likely to look for work. By contrast, those who had worked in the previous three months were much less likely to say they were affected by this knowledge (66 per cent for following the rules, and 55 per cent for looking for work)."

However, you raise a good point so it might be worth asking the DWP to direct me to the relevant part of the report it is relying on.

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 'SoS: 75% of people who have been sanctioned claimed it helped them "focus and get on."'.

Thank you for the link to the report. Given that it is 194 pages long and I haven't been able to find any mention of the phrase "focus and get on", or any close variants , please direct me to the relevant part or parts of the report that the Department is relying on to stand up the Secretary of State's claim.

Please note that this is an obligation under the FOIA as the Department cannot simply 'dump' a 200 page document on a requester and tell them the requested information is in there somewhere.

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

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

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

J Newman left an annotation ()

The problem as always is that by the time a politician is proved to have said something that is "inaccurate", everything has moved on so they continually get away with it. Shameful.

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 'SoS: 75% of people who have been sanctioned claimed it helped them "focus and get on."'.

The Department has failed to respond to my IRR of 12 April 2016. It is aware of the Commissioner's requirement to provide a final response with 40 working days from the original receipt of the RFI. Does the Department intend to comply with the FOIA?

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

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

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