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Survey Regarding Child Maintenance

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Dear Child Maintenance Service,

You are currently running a research survey entitled "Survey Regarding Child Maintenance" in association with IFF Research. You have written to a number of parents asking them to take part and I have copies of several of your standard letters in this regard. I also note that parents have also been asked to take part in the survey when on calls with the CMS.

Please would you provide:

1. A copy of the research questions

2. A copy of your briefing and/or engagement documents provided to IFF Research in order to brief and engage them for this project

3. A copy of your RFP and supplier provision process

4. A copy of your selection criteria that led to the appointment of IFF for this project

5. The numbers of Receiving Parents that you and IFF have asked to take part in this survey

6. The numbers of Paying Parents that you and IFF have asked to take part in this survey

7. Please provide a breakdown, if you can, of how many of these Parents are in an arrears situation - either as Receiving Parents or as Paying Parents and confirm whether you have provided this information to IFF

8. Please provide a list of case-specific data fields or categories that you have provided to IFF for use by them in this survey

9. Please confirm which of these data fields will have a bearing on the survey report

10. A copy of your internal documents that show the reasons why you have launched this survey

11. A list of individuals and/or organisations that you are planning to provide the outcomes of this survey to

12. Please confirm the expected date of conclusion of this survey and provide an expected date for the results to be provided to you by IFF

13. Please provide the date of any expected publication of this survey results and the planned channels or publications that you expect to use for this publication

I look forward to your response

Yours faithfully,

G. Harrison

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Child Maintenance Service

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Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

1 Attachment

 
 
 
Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 

Dear Child Maintenance Service,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Child Maintenance Service's handling of my FOI request 'Survey Regarding Child Maintenance'.

I asked:

You are currently running a research survey entitled "Survey Regarding Child
Maintenance" in association with IFF Research. You have written to a number of
parents asking them to take part and I have copies of several of your standard letters
in this regard. I also note that parents have also been asked to take part in the survey
when on calls with the CMS.

Please would you provide:

1. A copy of the research questions

2. A copy of your briefing and/or engagement documents provided to IFF Research
in order to brief and engage them for this project

3. A copy of your RFP and supplier provision process

4. A copy of your selection criteria that led to the appointment of IFF for this project

5. The numbers of Receiving Parents that you and IFF have asked to take part in this
survey

6. The numbers of Paying Parents that you and IFF have asked to take part in this
survey

7. Please provide a breakdown, if you can, of how many of these Parents are in an
arrears situation - either as Receiving Parents or as Paying Parents and confirm
whether you have provided this information to IFF

8. Please provide a list of case-specific data fields or categories that you have
provided to IFF for use by them in this survey

9. Please confirm which of these data fields will have a bearing on the survey report

10. A copy of your internal documents that show the reasons why you have launched
this survey

11. A list of individuals and/or organisations that you are planning to provide the
outcomes of this survey to

12. Please confirm the expected date of conclusion of this survey and provide an
expected date for the results to be provided to you by IFF

13. Please provide the date of any expected publication of this survey results and the
planned channels or publications that you expect to use for this publication

The DWP Central Freedom of Information Team rather than the The Child Maintenance Service themselves have replied to claim an exemption under Section 22A of the FOI Act saying:

"Under section 22A of the Freedom of Information Act the Department applies a
“Qualified” exemption and we are therefore unable to process your request further.
Section 22A gives specific protection for information obtained in the course of, or
derived from, a programme of current research."

As you know Section 22A states:

Section 22A
(1) Information obtained in the course of, or derived from, a
programme of research is exempt information if —
(a) the programme is continuing with a view to the
publication, by a public authority or any other person, of a
report of the research (whether or not including a statement
of that information), and
(b) disclosure of the information under this Act before the
date of publication would, or would be likely to, prejudice —
(i) the programme,
(ii) the interests of any individual participating in the
programme,
(iii) the interests of the authority which holds the
information, or
(iv) the interests of the authority mentioned in paragraph
(a) (if it is a different authority from that which holds the
information).
(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to
information which is (or if it were held by the public authority
would be) exempt information by virtue of subsection (1) if, or
to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or
would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in
subsection (1)(b).

My questions do not relate to the Information obtained in the course of, or derived from, a
programme of research. My questions relate to the background to the survey, to the structure of the survey, to the recruitment of participants to the survey, and as such, the exemption under Section 22A cannot be applied.

The DWP Central Freedom of Information Team are therefore applying an exemption in error and Iam asking for an internal review on this basis.

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,

G. Harrison

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Child Maintenance Service

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...
 

References

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

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

1 Attachment

 
Dear G Harrison
 
Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

Thank you for coming back to me and for advising me to revise the questions to a shorter list.

Please would you provide:

1. A copy of the research questions

Yours sincerely,

G. Harrison

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

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.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Harrison,
 
Please find attached the reply to your recent Freedom of Information
request reference number FOI 3872 with one associated documents:
 
 
Thank you,
 
DWP Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

Thank you.

Please would you confirm:

5. The numbers of Receiving Parents that you and IFF have asked to take part in this
survey

6. The numbers of Paying Parents that you and IFF have asked to take part in this
survey

Yours sincerely,

G. Harrison

G. Harrison left an annotation ()

Questions supplied only relate to Receiving Parents.

there is also a reference in the questions sheet to a DWP letter being sent to Receiving Parents informing them of this survey prior to the telephone call.

The last section asks for permission to connect the DWP survey data with the CSA/CMS account and also asks for contact details for a friend or relative.

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

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.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

1 Attachment

 
 
 
Mr Harrison
 
Please see copy of your FoI request attached
 
 
 
 

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

Thank you for your reply.

In your response you say:

"The FoI Act provides that requests can be aggregated for the purpose of estimating whether the cost limits apply. This is where more than one request has been made within 60 consecutive working days relating to the same or similar information and the requests have been made by the same person. This includes adding to the estimated costs of complying with a later request, the cost of complying with a request that has already been
answered.

In this instance the Department has decided to aggregate the below requests for cost purposes. FOI – VTR3340, VTR3421, VTR3419, IR433, VTR3626, VTR3676, VTR3872 and VTR4331"

I am disappointed that you have decided to approach this request in this manner.

First I will address the requests that you are saying you are aggregating:

VTR3340 - this was your original response to my request to which you attempted to apply an incorrect exemption under the law.
IR433 - this was your response to my request for an initial internal review where you removed your exemption claim and asked me to provide a smaller set of questions on a cost basis
VTR3872 - this was your response to a single question
VTR4331 - this was your response to small supplemental question where you have replied today to refuse my request on the basis of aggregated costs

All of the requests and responses in the list above are contained within this single request on What Do They Know.

As for the other requests you mention, these are different requests and relate to different information:

VTR3626 - relates to DOEs and arrears recovery
VTR3676 - relates to asking universal credit claimants to make cms claims - which you denied you were doing
VTR3421 - relates to a request for your special expenses variations fuel policy - which you couldn't or wouldn't provide
VTR3419 - relates to special expenses variations and case studies that you claimed you had and have since lost or destroyed as part of your records management policy

As these are different requests for unrelated information you should not be including these in your aggregated exemption and therefore your claim for an exemption is again without merit.

In any event I also dispute that it would take you more than 3.5 days to:

1. provide me with a list of questions (in response to VTR3872)
2. provide me with the numbers of Paying Parents that you and your survey agency have surveyed (in response to VTR4331)

I also do not believe that you are permitted to include time spent in drafting your initial exemption refusal especially as this was an erroneous exemption on your part, or your subsequent Internal Review.

I believe that you are again attempting to apply an exemption without foundation to avoid providing the information requested under the FOI Act.

On this basis I am requesting an internal review of your response. Should I not receive the information I have requested in a timely manner or a satisfactory response to my request I will have no alternative but to ask the Information Commissioner to review your responses and to instruct you to disclose the information requested.

Yours sincerely,

G. Harrison

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

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.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

G. Harrison left an annotation ()

They're trying everything not to release this information - I suspect because, like earlier "surveys" that they've performed, the information will show a non-empirical approach to the survey questions.

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

1 Attachment

 
 
 
Please find attached our response to your recent Freedom of Information
request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

The VoiceOfTheChild.org.uk left an annotation ()

The DWP are incorrect in trying to apply this exemption - we have taken a look at the requests that they cite in their response to you and you may want to challenge them again on this as we cannot see any similar requests made by either account, whether colluding or not, on the request to which they are responding.

We can see that they're also attempting to deny a number of requests from other people, not just you, that are digging into the details behind the policies and procedures or survey data that the CMS and DWP hold.

You are not alone. Do not give up.

We have annotated a number of your requests today, and those from others dating back over the last two years, where details of Child Maintenance Service Policies and Procedures have been requested to say that we have published a set on our website.

If you have obtained any copies of documents yourself under any FOI request please contact us as we would like to cross-reference these and publish them alongside our own index.

They will not want you to have this set of full policies and procedures:
https://voiceofthechild.org.uk/cms-full-...

Hope this helps

Voice of the Child

Dear Operations FOI Requests,

I have checked: None of R Harrison's requests, so far as I am aware, made using the reference numbers you cite, relate in ANY way to my reasonable request for information about the Survey regarding Child Maintenance that you are running.

As such, and regardless of any collusion or "in concert", alleged or otherwise, you cannot apply an exemption on this basis.

Neither are you permitted to apply a blanket exemption across any and all requests to the Child Maintenance Service or Child Maintenance Group from one or more persons.

I believe that you are again attempting to apply an exemption without foundation to avoid providing the information requested under the FOI Act.

On this basis I am requesting an internal review of your response. Should I not receive the information I have requested in a timely manner or a satisfactory response to my request I will have no alternative but to ask the Information Commissioner to review your responses and to instruct you to disclose the information requested.

Yours sincerely,

G. Harrison

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

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.
  
For further information on making Freedom of Information requests please click on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-inf...

show quoted sections

Operations FOI Requests, Child Maintenance Service

1 Attachment

 
 
 
Mr
 
Please see copy of your FoI request attached
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

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