UC Programme Board Papers

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

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The request was refused by Department for Work and Pensions.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Universal Credit Programme Board Papers – committed on 28 October 2021

The papers can be found here:
https://depositedpapers.parliament.uk/de...

Papers:
- 54H-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper7a-How_Effective_is_Support.pdf
- 55H-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper7b-PMIU_Report.pdf

Have been redacted relying on Section 36 FOIA. The Department has not provided any justification for its reliance on Section 36.

RFI1: Please disclose unredacted versions of these 2 papers.

Papers:
- 43F-UCPB_24-09-19-Paper_5-Remote_Digital_Identity_Verification.pdf
- 48B-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper1-Remote_Digital_ID_Verification.pdf
- 50D-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper3-Final_PB_Mins_24_Sep_2019.pdf

Have been redacted relying on Section 43 FOIA. The Department has not provided any justification for its reliance on Section 43.

RFI2: Please disclose unredacted versions of these 3 papers.

Universal Credit Programme Board Papers 01 Jan to 31 Aug 2021

RFI3: Please disclose the Universal Credit Programme Board Papers covering the period 01 January 2021 to 31 August 2021.

Section 40 FOIA
Please note that any information exempt from publication under Section 40 FOIA is to be considered outside the scope of these requests for information.

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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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 Papers'.

The Department should have provided its response on 13 December 2021 and is therefore in breach of the FOIA. I would be grateful for 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

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
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This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
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John Slater left an annotation ()

Complaint submitted to ICO as the DWP has failed to provide its response within 20 working days

DWP Central FOI Team,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 14th
November You asked for:

Universal Credit Programme Board Papers – committed on 28 October 2021

The papers can be found here:

https://depositedpapers.parliament.uk/de...

Papers:

- 54H-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper7a-How_Effective_is_Support.pdf

- 55H-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper7b-PMIU_Report.pdf

Have been redacted relying on Section 36 FOIA. The Department has not
provided any justification for its reliance on Section 36.

RFI1: Please disclose unredacted versions of these 2 papers.

Papers:

- 43F-UCPB_24-09-19-Paper_5-Remote_Digital_Identity_Verification.pdf

- 48B-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper1-Remote_Digital_ID_Verification.pdf

- 50D-UCPB_22-10-19-Paper3-Final_PB_Mins_24_Sep_2019.pdf

Have been redacted relying on Section 43 FOIA. The Department has not
provided any justification for its reliance on Section 43.

RFI2: Please disclose unredacted versions of these 3 papers.

Universal Credit Programme Board Papers 01 Jan to 31 Aug 2021

RFI3: Please disclose the Universal Credit Programme Board Papers covering
the period 01 January 2021 to 31 August 2021.

Section 40 FOIA

Please note that any information exempt from publication under Section 40
FOIA is to be considered outside the scope of these requests for
information.

Unfortunately due to an error in the registration process we missed our
deadline of 13 December to respond to your request. However we had planned
to advise you that whilst we do hold information falling within the terms
of your request we need more time to consider your request.

We wish to advise you that the following exemption applies to the
information that you have requested:

Section 36 - Damage to public affairs

The Department has not yet reached a decision on the balance of the public
interest. Due to the need to consider, in all the circumstances of the
case, where the balance of the public interest lies in relation to the
information that you have requested, the Department will not be able to
respond to your request in full within the next 20 wo rking days.

Accordingly, I hope to let you have a response as soon as possible.

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

Yours sincerely,

Central FOI Team,
Department for Work and Pensions

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 Papers'.

Thank you for your response of 14 December 2021. As you acknowledge, this was issued after the statutory 20 working day limit.

Unfortunately, on this occasion I do not believe the Department’s response is entirely candid for the following reasons:

RFI1 – Papers redacted relying on Section 36 (Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs)

On 07 December 2021 the Department responded to a different RFI for the same papers (“Owen Request”):

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

It relied on Section 36 to refuse and claimed that it had completed the public interest test.

There was a 6-day gap between the submission of the 2 requests, therefore the public interest test carried out for the Owen Request would be applicable to my RFI.

In conclusion, I do not believe that the Department is acting in good faith and is yet again attempting to introduce unnecessary delays into the process. It remains my position that the Department is in breach of the FOIA.

RFI2: - Papers redacted relying on Section 43

The Department hasn’t provided a response to this RFI and therefore remains in breach of the FOIA.

RFI3: UC Programme Board Papers 01 Jan to 31 Aug 2021

Unless Neil Couling has changed the publication scheme for these papers, the Department will rely on Section 22 for refuse this RFI. This is because it has unilaterally imposed a minimum 2-year moratorium on the publication of these papers.

Given that it is highly unlikely that the Department will suddenly rely on Section 36 to refuse disclosure, I can reasonably conclude that it hasn’t provided a response to this RFI and remains in breach of the FOIA.

Complaint to ICO
I complained to the ICO on 14 December 2021 about the Department’s handling of these requests. I warned the Commissioner that the Department is likely to be engaging in delaying tactics and I see no reason to amend my complaint.

The Commissioner’s Solicitor (in FTT appeal EA/2021/0118) explained that she will expedite cases related to the information I have requested. Therefore, I expect that the Department will be contacted by the Commissioner sooner than it expected.

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
been received by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a valid Freedom of Information request, as per Section 8
of the FOI Act 2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working
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Please note that email FOI responses will be issued from
[1][email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request please
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Information on the Department for Work and Pensions can be accessed on
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DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received by the DWP FOI mailbox.
 
If your email is a valid Freedom of Information request, as per Section 8
of the FOI Act 2000, you can normally expect a response within 20 working
days.
 
Please note that email FOI responses will be issued from
[1][email address]
 
We recommend that you add this address to your email contacts otherwise
the response may be treated as Spam or Junk mail.  
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request please
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Information on the Department for Work and Pensions can be accessed on
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DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 14th
November.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

DWP Central FOI Team,

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

I am writing in response to your request for information, received 14th
December.

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

John Slater left an annotation ()

I submitted a complaint to the ICO about this RFI on 19 January 2022.

John Slater left an annotation ()

The Commissioner has expedited this case and is currently investigating my complaint. As Commissioner has issued 2 prior DNs against DWP's use of Section 22 previously I can only hope she does the same again.