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DWP fails to meet Information Commissioner deadline for possible benefit related deaths

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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Daphne - 03 March 2016 12:31 PM

According to DNS there was a tribunal last week where they were asking the DWP again to publish information about the reviews into deaths of 49 benefit claimants -

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dns-to-ask-tribunal-to-force-dwp-to-publish-secret-benefit-deaths-information/

Tribunal is today Daphne.

The DNS appeal against that decision by the ICO will take place in London in front of the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) on 3 March, although a decision is not expected until a later date.

Daphne
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Cheers Paul

shawn mach
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Letter from Lord Freud to Baroness Meacher regarding the issue of claimant suicide, it having been rasied during the passage of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in the Lords:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2016-0266/2016-03-15_LF_to_Bns_Meacher_WRAW_Bill.pdf

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Daphne - 03 March 2016 03:30 PM

Cheers Paul

still no decision? They’re not rushing on this.

Daphne
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Tribunal rules DWP must release information from secret benefit deaths reviews -

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/tribunal-rules-dwp-must-release-information-from-secret-benefit-deaths-reviews/

Daphne
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Decision is out - http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/GRC/2016/2015_0237.html

Seems that DWP lost but seems can’t be sent back to Commissioner to be re-determined due to another decision. However Judge says -

We express the hope that DWP will revisit Mr Pring’s information request in the light of our decision to allow the appeal and set aside the Decision Notice and, under the oversight of the Commissioner, disclose what should have been disclosed in answer to his request. If the parties are not able to resolve the matter by agreement within 5 weeks after the date of this decision, we invite them to make further submissions as to what, if any, further order or orders we ought to make, consequent upon our decision.

shawn mach
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The DWP has now published redacted copies of the 49 Peer Reviews ..

The Peer Reviews have been redacted in line with the guidance provided by the First Tier Tribunal in relation to what information can lawfully be disclosed – in particular, we have paid close attention to the table provided at paragraph 49 of the judgment. Any information which is about a particular person has been redacted but, for example, recommendations have been disclosed to the extent that they are not so specific as to reveal something about the individual.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-foi-releases-for-may-2016

 

Owen Stevens
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From the letter: “A Peer Review was a tool for staff to look the handling of a specific case. Its purpose was to scrutinize the department’s handling of particular cases to identify whether processes have been properly followed and if appropriate, identify recommendations for changes to the process.”

“...was a tool…”? Have they been scrapped?

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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When I download the zip file full of the pdf’s, I can’t open any of them.

I get an error message saying:

Windows cannot complete the extraction.

The destination file could not be created.

Anyone else having problems opening them or is it just me?

robverco
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Ditto.

Rwkitch
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Try unzipping/ extracting the whole folder you downloaded, not the individual files. Then you should be able to go to the new, extracted, folder and open the files from there.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Thanks Rick, sorted now.

They are so redacted, it’s virtually pointless though.

Elliot Kent
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My computer was struggling to extract them itself so I downloaded WinRAR which handled it no problem. Your mileage may vary.

The first document seems to set the tone:

“Evidence of medical conditions and vulnerability:

[REDACTED]

ESA Processes:

[REDACTED]

Lessons Learned:

[REDACTED]”

Elliot Kent
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I attach the two reviews which actually appear to have some content in them.

File Attachments

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Number 46 seems to have some quite serious failings on part of DWP.

Recommendations

* That the guidance for handling vulnerable customers is reviewed and that staff are reminded of the correct process[REDACTED]
* That we empower staff to use some discretion in cases involving vulnerable people, instead of doing everything ‘by the book’[REDACTED]
* That staff on the ESA helpline are provided with refresher training to help them better understand the claim process, [REDACTED] Equally, benefit processors need to update system notes promptly so that operators have the most up to date information available.
* That the process for sending documentation between Jobcentres and BDCs, particularly by fax, is reviewed. [REDACTED]
* That the call back process is reviewed, particularly the need for customers to be with their representative at the call back when they were with them during the initial call.
* [REDACTED]

There are some others with failings at ESA helplines and shoddy local practice highlighted in a few others also.

File Attachments