Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
In respect of the DWP reply, ref: VTR 90 dated 12 February 2015 to my previous RFI (link below).

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

In its response to Q4-6 the DWP stated that it does not require consent from claimants to share data.

Q1. Please specify the data on the list within its consultation document that it plans to share without the consent of the data subject.

Q1a. Does the DWP plan to share any data without the data subject’s knowledge?

Q1b. Please direct me to the relevant legislation (including the relevant clauses within the Data Protection Act 1998) that enables the DWP to share this data without the consent or knowledge of the data subject.

In respect of the Universal Support provision the DWP stated that “If someone prefers not to share information, there is categorically no impact on their claim for Universal Credit.”

Q2. Will the DWP share any sensitive personal data (as defined in the DPA) whatsoever of a UC claimant without their knowledge or explicit consent?

Q2a. If so please direct me to the relevant legislation that makes this action lawful.

The DWP stated “We will be taking steps to ensure that data sharing complies with data protection principles; that claimant confidentiality is not compromised; and that no claimant is inadvertently put at risk. We are developing procedures and guidance that will clarify this.”

Q3. What steps will the DWP be taking to make sure that the data sharing complies with the data protection principles?

Q4. When will the procedures and guidance referred to above be completed?

Q5. Why didn’t the DWP invite the Information Commissioner to take part in the consultation exercise?

Q6. Given the Information Commissioner’s response to the DWP Consultation document does the DWP have any plans to discuss the changes as requested by the Commissioner?

In respect of the “the opportunity to build a secure platform for the introduction of Universal Support by mobilising local partnerships nationwide and putting in place a robust infrastructure ready for all claimant groups, in particular the more complex and vulnerable.”

Q7. At what stage of development is this platform (i.e. design, implementation, testing, etc) and when is it planned to be fully operational?

Q7a. What measures have been put in place to share data without the secure platform?

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Dear John Slater,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 19/3/15 unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

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

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Dear John Slater,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. Please find enclosed our reply, my apologies for the delay.

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

Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Thank you for the requested information, I am grateful.

I do think it is a bit rich of the DWP to present the involvement of the ICO in the consultation process as though it were planned. I know that the Commissioner only responded as a result of a complaint about the DWP consultation document and not because the DWP invited him.

Yours sincerely,

John Slater

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