Disability News Service (DNS) has seen a series of letters that show that the coroner gave the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) all the information it needed to carry out an urgent review of the safety of key aspects of the work capability assessment (WCA) in 2010.
But that review – ordered by coroner Tom Osborne through a process known as a Rule 43 letter – appears never to have been carried out.
Legislation updated in 2008 makes it clear that a copy of the DWP response to Osborne’s report should have been sent to the Lord Chancellor [whose relevant duties are now covered by the justice secretary].
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) appeared unaware this week that the work and pensions secretary – Iain Duncan Smith** – had a legal duty under the relevant legislation to produce a response to that Rule 43 report and send a copy of it to the Lord Chancellor.
MoJ has so far refused to say whether the Lord Chancellor received a response to the coroner’s report from DWP in 2010.
Instead, an MoJ spokesman insisted that any questions about the report were a matter for DWP.
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