Your ref: FS50438037

The request was partially successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

Concerning the FOI appeal I sent to the ICO by email on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 8:44 AM, please supply me with a copy of all the correspondence between yourselves and the DWP.

Extract from my original appeal:

I wish to appeal against the DWP refusal to provide any disclosures in connection to the information request below...

Successful bidders

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) acknowledges that there is a public interest in
organisations involved in providing work placements for the Work Programme; we have in fact
released this information following previous FOI requests. More recently however, we have
become aware of various campaigns aimed at harming the commercial interests of companies
involved in delivering the Work Programme as well as a potentially undermining Government
policy. For that reason the Department will not comply with further FOI requests to release
information about companies who provide, or have provided, work placements.

Yours faithfully,

Frank Zola

Information Commissioner's Office


15th May 2012

Case Reference Number IRQ0448551

Dear Mr Zola

Request for Information
Thank you for your correspondence which we received on 14 May 2012, in
which you have made a request for information held by the Information
Commissioner's Office (ICO).  Your request has been passed to the
Information Governance Department to deal with.
In relation to your case Reference FS50438037, you have asked us to
provide you with "a copy of all the correspondence between yourselves
(ICO) and the DWP." 

Because the records we hold in connection with your complaint relate to
you, they comprise your ‘personal data’.  As a result we are treating your
request as a ‘subject access request’ made under the Data Protection Act
1998 (DPA).
However, if there is additional information held that falls in the scope
of your request which is not your personal data, we will still consider
whether this should be provided to you under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA).  As you are probably aware the FOIA provides
individuals with the right of access to other information, other than the
information about themselves to which they have the right of access under
the DPA. It is important to note that a release under FOI is applicant
blind and therefore effectively a release to the wider world. We will
therefore also consider the release of any information that it might be
reasonable to disclose on a discretionary basis, given your own knowledge
and involvement of this matter.
Whilst an organisation must respond to a subject access request promptly,
and in any event within 40 calendar days, we would hope to be in a
position to respond to your request within the shorter timeframe required
by the FOIA (20 working days from the day after we received your
request).  Therefore, as we received your request on 14 May 2012 we hope
to respond by 12 June 2012. 
Should you wish to reply to this email, please be careful not to amend the
information in the ‘subject’ field. This will ensure that the information
is added directly to your case. However, please be aware that this is an
automated process; the information will not be read by a member of our
staff until your case is allocated to a request handler.

Yours sincerely

Jolyon Stone
Lead Information Governance Officer

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web:

Information Commissioner's Office

2 Attachments


12th June 2012

Case Reference Number IRQ0448551

Dear Mr Zola

Further to our acknowledgment dated 15 May 2012 we are now in a position
to respond to your request for information.
On 14 May 2012 you requested the following information in relation to your
complaint handled under the reference number FS50438037:
“Concerning the FOI appeal I sent to the ICO by email on Thu, Mar 1, 2012
at 8:44 AM, please supply me with a copy of all the
correspondence between yourselves and the DWP.”
In response to your request we have considered all the correspondence
between the DWP and the Information Commissioner's Office in relation to
your complaint, up to the date of receipt of your request.
Please find attached:

* All the correspondence from Information Commissioner's Office to the
DWP in relation to FS50438037
* Email from DWP dated 28/3/12 asking for an extension
* Covering email from DWP and response
* Email from DWP dated 1 May 12 advising about section 36 application
and document detailing the application of section 36

Withheld information
Section 40 (2) by virtue of section 40 (3) (a) (I)
You will note that we have redacted names and contact details and personal
information pertaining to third parties from the attached correspondence.
As this information relates to identifiable individuals it constitutes
their ‘personal data’. We have therefore considered whether the disclosure
of this personal data is subject to the exemption at section 40(2) of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (by virtue of s40 (3) (a) (i)).  If the
disclosure of the personal data would contravene any of the eight data
protection principles contained within the Data Protection Act 1998 the
exemption at section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will
It is unlikely that it would be within the expectations of the third
parties that their names and contact details be put into the public
domain, as they will have provided these details for internal use within
the ICO. Therefore disclosure would be in contravention of the first Data
Protection Principle. This requires personal data to be processed ‘fairly
and lawfully’.  It is therefore appropriate for us to withhold this
information under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by
virtue of section 40(3) (a) (I).  This section of the Act states:-
“(2)   Any information to which a request for information relates is also
exempt information if

 1. it constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1),
 2. Either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.

(3)  The first condition is –

 1. in a case where the information falls within any of paragraphs (a)  to
(d) of the definition of “data” in section 1(1) of the Data Protection
Act 1998, that the disclosure of the information to a

Member of the public otherwise than under this Act would contravene –

 1. any of the data protection principles …”

Section 44 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
We have withheld the attachments containing the withheld information
subject to your complaint in reliance on section 44 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 by virtue of section 59 of the Data Protection Act.
Section 44(1) of the FOIA places prohibitions on disclosure, and states:
‘(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure (otherwise than
under this Act) by the public authority holding it -
(a) is prohibited by or under any enactment’
The enactment in question is the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA),
specifically Section 59 of the DPA. Section 59 states that neither the
Commissioner nor his staff shall disclose:
“Any information which:

 1. Has been obtained by, or furnished to, the Commissioner under or for
the purposes of the information Acts.
 2. relates to an identified or identifiable individual business, and
 3. is not at the time of disclosure, and has not been available to the
public from other sources,

Unless the disclosure is made with lawful authority.”
This provision prevents us from disclosing information which has been
collected or provided to the ICO for the purpose of our regulatory
functions, unless we have lawful authority to do so. We do not have the
authority to disclose these submissions to you. As you appreciate the
withheld information by DWP is subject to the complaint currently under
investigation by Information Commissioner's Office and was supplied to the
ICO in confidence to allow us to carry out our investigations..
Finally, as you may have noticed we have acknowledged your request under
both DPA and FOI. On this occasion we were able to respond to you on a
public website due to the nature of the information disclosed. However,
should you in the future require information on your case that might
potentially contain personal data about you, please write to
[1][email address].uk   and provide us with a private
address for communication.
I hope you find the provided information and explanation of assistance
If you are dissatisfied with the response you have received and wish to
request a review of our decision or make a complaint about how your
request has been handled you should write to the Information Governance
department at the address below or e-mail
 [2][email address]
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response.  Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation.  To make such an application, please write
to the Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the ‘Complaints’
section of our website to make a Freedom of Information Act or
Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
A copy of our review procedure is available [3]here
Yours sincerely,
Iman Elmehdawy
Lead Information Governance Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office

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Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 Fax: 01625 524 510 Web:


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2. mailto:[email address]
3. blocked:: (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

The DWP Head of Work Programmes Division[1] wrote a memo to Minister for Employment on 24 April 2012 which stated:

There are no "cost limits"[2] for Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests as all of the DWP's Work Programme's Providers (employment related support services) have contractual obligations to provide information they hold on behalf of the DWP.

Memo extract:

Full memo:

All DWP Employment service contractors have to hold a "framework contract":

Freedom of Information Act obligations in this area are outlined on pages 36 and 37 of the DWP Framework Agreement for the provision of employment related support services.

Framework Agreement Extracts:
pages 36 and 37

Complete Framework Agreement:

[1] Work Programmes include:

Mandatory Work Activity
The Work Programme
Community Action Programme

[2] Cost limits

An authority can refuse a request if it estimates that it will cost them in excess of the appropriate cost limit to fulfil your request. The limit is £600 for central government