Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In February 2016, Junior DWP minister Justin Tomlinson said: “All benefit new claims lines have 0800 numbers and are therefore free whether claimants call from mobile phones or landlines – with the exception of Universal Credit, which has an 0345 number as the expectation is that claims are made online.

Clearly a conscious decision was taken within the DWP to impose an 0345 helpline on Universal Credit claimants rather than a ‘normal’ 0800 service. Therefore:

RFI1 – What was the justification for imposing the 0345 based helpline (e.g. perhaps it was to deter people from using telephones and manage their claim online)? If available please provide the written record of the decision.

RFI2 – At what level was the decision to impose the 0345 based helpline taken (i.e. Ministerial level or operational level)

RFI3 – Which company provides the telephone service for the Universal Credit helpline?

RFI3a – Does any revenue raised from the 0345 number stay with the service provider or is it paid to the DWP?

RFI4 – Was imposing an 0345 based helpline rather than an 0800 service raised as a risk and/or issue as part of the Universal Credit programme? If so please disclose the relevant entries in the risk register and issues log.

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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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 9th November 2017 unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

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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

Ian left an annotation ()

The 03 range of numbers was introduced in 2007. These are non-geographic numbers. Ofcom regulations in place since that time require retail call charges for calls to 03 numbers to be no more than the caller would pay for an equivalent call to a geographic 01 or 02 number.

Call charges for 03 numbers are set by the caller's landline or mobile provider and are retained by that provider. Revenue sharing is not permitted.

The usual way we pay for calls to UK geographic numbers starting 01 or 02, non-geographic numbers starting 03, and UK mobile numbers starting 071 to 075 and 077 to 079 is through an inclusive calls allowance. These are available on landlines and on mobiles, both on contract and on pay-as-you-go. Where calls are made as part of an inclusive allowance there is no charge for individual calls.

Callers pay a per-minute rate only if they exceed their inclusive allowance or choose a call plan with no inclusive allowance. Those rates are set by the caller's phone provider and they retain that revenue.

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 'Universal Credit Helpline Service'.

The Department should have provided a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful for a response or an explanation for the 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
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

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

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

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

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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

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 'Universal Credit Helpline Service'.

As a New Year's resolution is there any chance that the DWP will actually provide an answer to this request?

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 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...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

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

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

FoI 4372 - Reply

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request.
 

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

IR 577 - Reply

We apologise for the delay in responding.
Please see the attached reply to your Internal Review request on FoI 4372.
 

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

IR 1 - Reply

We apologise for the delay in responding.
Please see the attached reply to your Internal Review request on FoI 4372 & IR 577.
 

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

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