The Department for Work and Pensions is trying to work the same trick with DLA and PIP as it recently tried with IB/SDA and ESA – refusing a Freedom of Information request on the grounds that the facts are scheduled to be published in the future. Here’s Jayne Linney:
today a FOI request asking ‘The percentage of current DLA claimants, who, on conversion to PiP, were reduced in their claims’…was answered by the DWP. Unsurprisingly their response was “I can confirm that the Department holds the information you are seeking. However, Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts this information from disclosure. This is because the information is intended for publication at a future date.Once again the DWP hide behind Section 22, but fail to indicate WHEN these figures are to be produced; could this be because the data once revealed, will show another proven case of how the Welfare Reform Act is persistently failing disabled people?
The recent outcome of the 18 month long fight by Mike Sivier confirmed that “10,000 people lost their lives” after being determined they were well enough to be placed in the Work Related Activity Group! Will this latest refusal for information, demonstrate yet a further number of disabled people, who although surviving, being adversely affected by the decisions of civil servants
This Writer would advise the author of the FoI request to ask for reconsideration at once, demanding to know exactly what information the DWP is planning to publish and in what format. The key word is “exactly”. DWP claimed it was going to publish information that answered my FoI request but the facts prove that the Age-Standardised Mortality Rates that took more than two years to appear had nothing to do with it. Also in the reconsideration request should be a demand to know when, exactly, this information is scheduled for release.
Once the answers (or lack of them) come back, they can write to the Information Commissioner for a ruling. The details of this request will depend on what the DWP provides but she should use the ICO’s own advice, as outlined in my own case (ICO reference number FS50557638) as evidence that the DWP cannot hide behind an indefinite date of publication.
Let’s allow no room for the bureaucrats to manoeuvre.
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