Unpublished Contracted Social Research Reports

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Health and Social Care, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

At the date of receiving this request, please can you provide a list of unpublished social research reports. I'm only interested where these have been contracted out, when the report output has been paid for but is unpublished. Please provide the following:

-The report title (or working title if not yet finalised)
-The total value of the contract that the report was delivered under
-The month and year that the final milestone was paid in relation to the report
-The month and year this will be published (if known)

Please provide this in an excel table.

Note, separate but identical requests have been raised with the following departments:
-Department for Business & Trade
-Department for Culture, Media & Sport
-Department for Education
-Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
-Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
-Department for Health & Social Care
-Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
-Department for Science, Innovation & Technology
-Department for Transport
-Department for Work & Pensions
-Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
-HM Revenue & Customs
-HM Treasury
-Home Office
-Ministry of Defence
-Ministry of Justice
-Office for National Statistics

Yours faithfully,

Tom Snow

Department of Health and Social Care

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

I would like to provide advice to aid the handling of this request.

The government spends hundreds of millions of tax payers’ pounds on research each year. The government’s own social research publication protocol outlines that responsibility for releasing research reports sits with the head of profession for social research. In line with these principles, they should already hold this information in relation to unpublished research in your department.

The principles in the protocol are: 

1. The products of government social research and analysis will be made publicly available. 

2. There will be prompt release of all government social research and analysis, including advance publication of research protocols and analysis plans. 

3. Government social research must be released in a way that promotes public trust. 

4. Clear communication plans should be developed and maintained for research and analysis produced by government. 

5. Responsibility for the release of social research and analysis produced by government must be clear.

This protocol was last updated in May 2022. However, the public would expect departments to keep a list of reports that remain unpublished regardless of when the protocol was last updated.

If accurate records are not collated to provide this on an historic basis, I would request the department uses best endeavours to provide a list starting from the present and going as far back as possible, whilst remaining within the appropriate limit. I am not in a position to prescribe this given I do not know the number of reports you have commissioned, nor the state of your record keeping.

Please note, if necessary, my team will raise separate FOI requests to achieve a full understanding of unpublished reports paid for since 1st April 2019 (approximately 5 years ago). We understand that the 60 day limit would apply as outlined in section 12 of FOIA. You may wish to provide the full information within this request rather than collating this in separate exercises across your department over time.

Where departments have kept accurate records preceding this 5 year period, we would expect departments to provide this as outlined in the original request.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Snow

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Snow,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1507149).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

I would like to provide advice to aid the handling of this request.

The government spends hundreds of millions of tax payers’ pounds on research each year. The government’s own social research publication protocol outlines that responsibility for releasing research reports sits with the head of profession for social research. In line with these principles, they should already hold this information in relation to unpublished research in your department.

The principles in the protocol are: 

1. The products of government social research and analysis will be made publicly available. 

2. There will be prompt release of all government social research and analysis, including advance publication of research protocols and analysis plans. 

3. Government social research must be released in a way that promotes public trust. 

4. Clear communication plans should be developed and maintained for research and analysis produced by government. 

5. Responsibility for the release of social research and analysis produced by government must be clear.

This protocol was last updated in May 2022. I would accept an initial list going back to this date.

In any case, the public would expect departments to keep a list of reports that remain unpublished regardless of when the protocol was last updated. To not do so would be an admission that your department does not adhere to the government publication protocol.

If accurate records are not collated to provide this on an historic basis, I would request the department uses best endeavours to provide a list starting from the present and going as far back as possible, whilst remaining within the appropriate limit. I am not in a position to prescribe this given I do not know the number of reports you have commissioned, nor the state of your record keeping.

Please note, if necessary, my team will raise separate FOI requests to achieve a full understanding of unpublished reports paid for since 1st April 2019 (approximately 5 years ago). We understand that the 60 day limit would apply as outlined in section 12 of FOIA. You may wish to provide the full information within this request rather than collating this in separate exercises across your department over time.

Where departments have kept accurate records preceding this 5 year period, we would expect departments to provide this as outlined in the original request.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Snow

Department of Health and Social Care

This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Your correspondence is being handled by the appropriate team. 

If you have made an FOI request, DHSC is required under section 10(1) of
the FOIA to provide you with a response within 20 working days. If DHSC is
unable to do this, we will contact you nearer the time.

 

This e-mail and any attachments is intended only for the attention of the
addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not
permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail. Any views expressed in this
message are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social
Care. Please note: Incoming and outgoing email messages are routinely
monitored for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic
communications.