UC Programme Board Meetings - Info packs.

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 refused by Department for Work and Pensions.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Previously in April 2017 I asked what deliverables were provided to the Universal Credit Programme Board to allow them to review progress at the programme level and provide direction/guidance to the team.

The Department directed me to a number of large publicly available documents and refused to disclose anything else. Despite a promise to the Information Commissioner that it would disclose “something” in August 2018 nothing has appeared.

The Department’s previous response lacks credibility as the seniority of the members of the programme board is such that it would not be presented with the suggested volume of information at each monthly programme board meeting.

As a direct result of the abject failure of the Department to do as it promised and the Information Commissioner to act, the information I requested is now very old. Therefore:

RFI1 – Please disclose the “packs of information” provided to the UC programme board members for the purpose of the 4 most recent UC programme board meetings. If available please include any presentations made to the programme board or documents distributed “on the day”. If the Department is going to provide links to large publicly available documents it must direct me to the specific parts of those documents that were presented to the programme board or confirm that the whole documents formed part of the packs I have requested.

Please note that my request is for the packs of information provided to the programme board members for each of the last 4 programme board meetings. The scope of this request therefore does not include information that is generally available to the members of the programme board (unless it was specifically referenced during the meetings).

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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

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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 'UC Programme Board Meetings - Info packs.'.

The Department should have issued its response by now. Please provide a response without further delay.

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

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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

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John Slater left an annotation ()

I submitted a complaint to the ICO today as the DWP has failed to provide a response of any kind within 20 working days.

no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 24th
October.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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 'UC Programme Board Meetings - Info packs.'.

Thank you for your response to my IRR of 24 October 2018. As you stated, the Commissioner shared Mr Couling’s letter of 3 August 2018 with me.

The Department explained in its response:
“In relation to use of the Future Publication exemption (s22), on 3 August 2018 the Information Commissioner was advised of our intention to introduce a publication schedule where we will commit to publishing UCPB meeting paper packs 2 years after the date of that PB meeting. This will ensure that a reasonable period of time will have elapsed for discussions to be concluded prior to the publication. I understand that the Information Commissioner’s office has shared the 3 August 2018 letter with you.”

If I have understood this paragraph and Mr Couling’s letter correctly, the Department is relying on its intended 2 year publication scheme as its basis to engage S.22. I would be grateful if you could confirm that my understanding is correct.

In order to avoid submission of future requests for programme board meeting paper packs less than 2 years old and the subsequent work that would be required by the Department, would I be correct in assuming that the Department would engage S.22 to refuse such requests as long as the intended publication scheme was in operation?

In respect of the public interest test provided by the Department I simply remind it of its obligation to comply with the binding Upper Tribunal case of Department of Health v IC and Lewis [2015] UKUT 0159 (AAC).

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

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
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information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
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Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
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no-reply@dwp.ecase.co.uk on behalf of DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 15th
November.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Slater,

Please see attached.

Regards
DWP Central FoI Team

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Dear DWP freedom-of-information-requests,

Thank you for your response of 03 September 2019 regarding section 40(2) FOIA. As the Commissioner stated at [2] in her decision notice FS50820378:

"The Commissioner’s decision is that DWP is not entitled to rely on section 22 to withhold the information. The information withheld under section 40(2) is not in dispute. "

The Commissioner also stated at [3] in her decision notice:
"The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation.
• Disclose the information withheld under section 22 of the Act."

I would be grateful if the Department complied with the Commissioner decision notice without undue delay. I can confirm that I am happy to receive the requested information on CD/DVD by post to avoid the problems that the Department experienced previously when trying to post large amounts of information on WDTK.

Yours sincerely,

John Slater

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

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John Slater left an annotation ()

The Commissioner issued a decision notice FS50820378 on 16 September 20119 finding that the DWP should not have refused my request.

The DWP has decided to appeal the Commissioner's decision notice to the First-Tier Tribunal (case ref: EA/2019/0386). I have asked to be joined as a party to this case.