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Reasons we need Implicit Consent or Signed Consent in Full Service

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Andrew Dutton
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And the circus goes on…..

I mentioned earlier a claimant who had been told he had to put authorisation on to his Journal every month, or UC would not keep the matter open.

He has challenged this.

He was told via the Journal that: ‘Current universal credit policy is that the permissions you just gave will only be valid for one conversation if you would like us to speak to the council after that conversation you will need to give permission to speak with them again via the journal.’

And further that ‘each permission is only valid for a single contact after that you will need to give permission again this system is there to protect you and your claim.’

Now this seems to be a very, very stretched (mis) interpretation of Mr Couling’s letter and the guidance regarding consent. At what point is the ‘item
of business’ or ‘conversation’ fully dealt with? Who decides this?

In this case, I have received a reply to my main query, but have advised DWP that I will return to them when I have discussed said reply with the claimant. I don’t think that concludes any ‘item of business’ or ‘conversation’.

The ICO says that ‘Consent means offering individuals real choice and control. Genuine consent should put individuals in charge, build trust and engagement, and enhance your reputation.’

I just don’t think DWP is fulfilling this in any way - rather, they are creating barriers and frustrating the wish of the claimant to be represented. And they are certainly not protecting his data, just themselves from the need to answer tiresome questions.

DWP spybots -  please feel free to raise with Messrs. Couling and Tomlinson. Thank You.


 

 

Stuart
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Early Day Motion on implicit consent from SNP MP Brendan O’Hara - will need a lot more MPs signing up to get a debate from it but at least a start…

ClairemHodgson
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Andrew Dutton - 29 November 2018 03:49 PM

And the circus goes on…..

I mentioned earlier a claimant who had been told he had to put authorisation on to his Journal every month, or UC would not keep the matter open.

He has challenged this.

He was told via the Journal that: ‘Current universal credit policy is that the permissions you just gave will only be valid for one conversation if you would like us to speak to the council after that conversation you will need to give permission to speak with them again via the journal.’

And further that ‘each permission is only valid for a single contact after that you will need to give permission again this system is there to protect you and your claim.’

Now this seems to be a very, very stretched (mis) interpretation of Mr Couling’s letter and the guidance regarding consent. At what point is the ‘item
of business’ or ‘conversation’ fully dealt with? Who decides this?

In this case, I have received a reply to my main query, but have advised DWP that I will return to them when I have discussed said reply with the claimant. I don’t think that concludes any ‘item of business’ or ‘conversation’.

The ICO says that ‘Consent means offering individuals real choice and control. Genuine consent should put individuals in charge, build trust and engagement, and enhance your reputation.’

I just don’t think DWP is fulfilling this in any way - rather, they are creating barriers and frustrating the wish of the claimant to be represented. And they are certainly not protecting his data, just themselves from the need to answer tiresome questions.

DWP spybots -  please feel free to raise with Messrs. Couling and Tomlinson. Thank You.


 

so, get client’s consent to report the DWP to the ICO pronto.  it’ll need to be a written consent, to go with your letter highlighting the problem.
then sit back and see what happens - can’t see the ICO being over keen on DWP’s attitude on this.

Andrew Dutton
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Action is in hand.

It all reminds me of the episode of ‘Yes Minister’ in which a civil servant is asked how his work on freedom of information is going, and the reply is “I can’t talk about that”......

ClairemHodgson
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Andrew Dutton - 30 November 2018 02:34 PM

Action is in hand.

It all reminds me of the episode of ‘Yes Minister’ in which a civil servant is asked how his work on freedom of information is going, and the reply is “I can’t talk about that”......

definitely…

 

Mr Finch
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Before you all get too excited over Mr Tomlinson’s apparent reverse-ferret, reading it again I do wonder if he understands what ‘implicit’ means as he refers more than once to obtaining consent.

Mike Hughes
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Mike Hughes - 29 October 2018 10:22 AM

One of my tasks for this week is to get a final version of the minutes of the GMWRAG meeting which took place earlier this month and which featured Neil Couling for several hours. One of the big positives which came out of the meeting was a clear statement about the intent behind explicit consent and what we ought to do if it doesn’t work as per that intent. This was one of three positives from a Q and A session. Please bear with me. I don’t want to say anything until I check my notes against those of the minute taker but it did feel very much a positive and if I’m right I’ll post it on here (plus a link to the minutes) as soon as I can.

Apologies. Taken a while longer than anticipated.

https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/the-minutes-of-the-trafford-gmwrag-meeting-with-neil-couling-are-finally-available-but-theyre-really-in-draft-form-only/

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Mike Hughes - 03 December 2018 08:43 PM
Mike Hughes - 29 October 2018 10:22 AM

One of my tasks for this week is to get a final version of the minutes of the GMWRAG meeting which took place earlier this month and which featured Neil Couling for several hours. One of the big positives which came out of the meeting was a clear statement about the intent behind explicit consent and what we ought to do if it doesn’t work as per that intent. This was one of three positives from a Q and A session. Please bear with me. I don’t want to say anything until I check my notes against those of the minute taker but it did feel very much a positive and if I’m right I’ll post it on here (plus a link to the minutes) as soon as I can.

Apologies. Taken a while longer than anticipated.

https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/the-minutes-of-the-trafford-gmwrag-meeting-with-neil-couling-are-finally-available-but-theyre-really-in-draft-form-only/

you sure you should be sharing everyone’s email address like that Mike?

Mike Hughes
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Are you about to make an argument for explicit consent? 😊

All the email addresses are public domain to the best of my knowledge but our minutes are password protected.. However, thank you for alerting me as I hadn’t noticed that the post itself wasn’t protected on this occasion. I’ve just fixed that and the post/minutes are now only accessible using a password. That password is known to GMWRAG members but if anyone else on here wants it just DM me.

I’m not around for the rest of today as I’m on flexi leave in order to go to a 100,000 Genome Celebration event. I just wanted to write that as I can’t foresee any other circumstances in which I might do so 😊

Will answer DMs as soon as I can.

Keith S Adviser
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Password please, as Fylde coast UC still refusing to share the toolkit !!

Mike Hughes
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Current line on the tookit appears to be that it’s just a list of places where vulnerable people can be signposted/dumped and impossible to share in its current form.

My take FWIW is that we need to challenge this less from the perspective of “let us see it”  and more from an angle of “if that’s all it is then it’s woefully insufficient and we need to work with you to create something meaningful”. The harah reality is that they want see the vulnerable as exceptional rather than a sizable majority. Even deaths don’t seem to move them away from that perspective.

DM me a password request as a reminder.

Vonny
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Mike - reading your minutes, my basic response is how is so much not sorted yet when 2013 is so long ago?

Andrew Dutton
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I have today been refused a response on a claimant’s UC claim even though DWP is perfectly aware we are his reps for PIP and ESA, even though they know perfectly well he cannot get access to IT and does not understand it, that he is very anxious, and in to the bargain even after they have been very recently made by ICE to pay him compensation for poor service, which included their previous refusal to communicate with us as reps.

GDPR is the cover, as ever. The message refusing to speak to us even includes a boast about the DWP’s excellent customer service.

The warm words of Messrs. Tomlinson and Couling ring hollow…....off to the Information Commissioner I go.

Andrew Dutton
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In case after case I continue to be refused any information by UC and I continue to be blocked from assisting the claimant. If anything, it is getting worse.

Dan_Manville
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Can anyone inbox me the password for the minutes please?

Daphne
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Sent :)

ClairemHodgson
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Andrew Dutton - 13 December 2018 04:36 PM

The warm words of Messrs. Tomlinson and Couling ring hollow…....off to the Information Commissioner I go.

earlier today i was discussing with a defendants solicitor the desire for the ICO to have another go at the DWP…..

Keith S Adviser
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Unfortunately I predicted the farce “or circus” of any form of consent, way before rollout on the 05th Dec 2018, in this area !
Of course the re-assurances, from UC/JCP and DWP, came loud and clear. That consent would be adhered to in the interests of the customer and particularly in cases where a client/customer would identify as having or requiring additional support. We even had a pretty piece of paper, called the escalation route, it may as well been have called a guide on how to use an escalator !!
DWP/UC are in an undeniable mess over consent, it now appears to be the case, that individual work coaches and some call centre staff, also decide when consent will be accepted and more to the point, when it expires.
So with due regard to comments made by the Caxton house hierarchy, the waving of the royal two fingers to guidance, is ever more present, in conjunction with blatant incompetence.
With regard to incompetence, after rollout here on the above date, at least one JCP shut its doors to customer’s, as demand out stripped resources.

Andrew Dutton
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Today’s treat is that DWP has refused to communicate with me on behalf of a vulnerable claimant because the claimant named one of our managers in their online authorisation.

DWP is insisting that I obtain separate authorisation in my own name, which will then only last until the end of the following AP.

This is in defiance of their own guidance -  and of common sense.  They also know perfectly well who I am, for whom I work and that the named person is a line manager who is perfectly entitled to delegate work to staff and who will not be available all the time, being really rather busy, especially with the mess that is UC.

I dearly wish that the claimant hadn’t named names, but I can understand why they did.  What enrages me is that DWP has simply leapt on to the first available excuse in order to refuse to communicate. No consideration given to the interests of the claimant.

Cui bono? Absolutely nobody.


Mr Couling, can we have actions to follow your fine words please? C’mon DWP spybots, flag this up for him! Thank You!

My patience is exhausted. Truly.

ClairemHodgson
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I’ve just been talking to a CoP visitor (visiting me as deputy for my ma) and after business done we got on to UC.  he is NOT looking forward to it - had one so far, which so far has been pain free - but is aware of the issues round DWP not talking to anyone….

Andrew Dutton
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.......and yet again today I have been blocked from getting any information on a claim, with GDPR offered as the excuse. It would be a data breach, apparently, to respond to anything I have asked about, even though I have full authorisation.

The response also tries to claim I have only complained about policy matters and so it isn’t a valid complaint. In fact I raised incorrect advice from DWP to the claimant, official error by DWP causing an overpayment and failure to respond to a request for an APA.

This is just so frustrating, all their efforts go in to giving reasons for refusing to help, leaving the client up a certain creek.

 

Daphne
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Written answer yesterday says DWP will explore explicit consent with SSAC but no mention of implicit consent as requested by SSAC at recommendation 5 of their report

Mike Hughes
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Maybe it was implicit 😊

Andrew Dutton
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Another day, another ramping-up of Operation:Obstruct.

Client’s UC was stopped. Client given two different reasons, nothing in writing. I requested the written decision and was told someone would be in touch - there is a decision, says DWP at last, we sent it to the Journal, get it from the client. Thus wasting time, and of course working on the assumption the client is capable of sharing it.

On another one, a decision was made a year ago, MR requested. No further contact in spite of repeated requests. Complaint made. No reply for ages, then a response consisting of a refusal to reply - the authorisation is out of date and now DWP want updated authorisation plus a specific list of things we are ‘advocating on’. I have written to them repeatedly to describe what i am ‘advocating on’! That is the point of the complaint!!!!

The latter isn’t even UC, it’s NSESA, and the authorisation is ‘out of date’ because it was sent a year ago and they never replied!

It seems to me that this culture of obstruction is not improving; indeed, the opposite applies. I admire DWP’s inventiveness in finding ways to refuse to co-operate, but that is the absolute limit of my admiration.  I am furious.

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Andrew Dutton - 05 February 2019 09:37 AM

Another day, another ramping-up of Operation:Obstruct.

Admittedly not UC but a new one to me this morning - ESA Bridgend contact centre - under implicit consent we cannot provide you with information, only answer yes or no to your specific questions (complex casual self-employed term term only p/t work with issue of earnings on occasion exceeding CA limit and major delays with CA processing disclosure).

Andrew Dutton
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Operation:Obstruct yet again.

Claimant’s rent element (managed payment) is being eaten in to by deductions for more than one advance payment and arrears are mounting. First UC payment was also affected by his final payment from work, but details and dates are not clear. Asked claimant what happened and he just knows that there were ‘problems’.

Asked DWP how and why more than one advance had to be made, and could they show how the final earnings were treated (what date they landed, assessment period etc etc)

This information could prevent an eviction - e.g. by showing that claimant did what he could to get the right money but the way that UC works means that even a managed payment can be eaten in to.

DWP say ask the claimant, we’re not telling you.

Gad…...

 

Andrew Dutton
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I would be grateful if as many people as possible could advise if they are still getting problems with explicit consent - most of the recent postings here have been me getting seriously grumpy.

Our latest is that we have complained of claimants being told they must refresh authorisation every month or the matter will be closed, and of authorisations lasting for ‘one conversation’. We have had an offer from DWP of discussions about our ‘differing interpretations’ on the explicit consent policy.

As far as I know, monthly refreshment of the online authorisation was never part of the mix and nor were such micro-limits on ‘conversations’, and I seem to recall Neil Couling specifically ruling such things out.

So is it just local to us, or do problems persist nationally?

Mike Hughes
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Deffo not just you. I profoundly object to the time-limiting. It’s the claimant giving consent and not the DWP granting it. Needs legal challenge.

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I agree it should be challenged - their guidance says it lasts the assessment period you give it and one more and then it needs to be given again - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-detailed-information-for-claimants/universal-credit-consent-and-disclosure-of-information

Mike Hughes
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Daphne - 12 February 2019 04:13 PM

I agree it should be challenged - their guidance says it lasts the assessment period you give it and one more and then it needs to be given again - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-detailed-information-for-claimants/universal-credit-consent-and-disclosure-of-information

The basis for this seems to me to be… precisely nothing.