benefit, claimant, Conservative, contract, dead, death, Department, die, DWP, ICO, Information Commissioner's Office, Mike Sivier, NAO, national audit office, Pensions, political, Tories, Tory, Vox, Vox Political, work
We should be asking why the Department for Work and Pensions gets away with failing in its duty of service to the public – especially as the failures are causing multiple deaths.
We are seeing evidence that the DWP failed to safeguard its clients – extremely vulnerable benefit claimants – and that these claimants died as a result.
We are seeing evidence that the DWP failed to implement the recommendations of its own secret reviews into benefit-related deaths.
And we are seeing evidence that the DWP lied to two watchdog organisations (the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Audit Office), saying it had corrected these failings when it had not.
This is deliberate misdirection with only one possible aim: to continue causing the deaths of benefit claimants.
Anyone learning of this would be justified in asking two questions:
- Why have those responsible for causing these deaths never been brought to justice?
- Why are they allowed to cause these deaths? In other words, why is the DWP not forbidden by its own rules from doing anything that may lead to a claimant’s death?
Having had some experience in such matters lately, This Writer considered whether a court case for breach of contract would be in order – but there would have to be evidence to show that the DWP had indeed breached its contract with claimants.
Where is this contract defined? I don’t know. Why don’t I know? I write stories about the DWP all the time; if I don’t know, I have no reason to expect the vast bulk of the population to have a clue about it either.
So it seems to me that we – all – need to have a much clearer explanation of exactly what the DWP is expected to do for benefit claimants in return for all the draconian demands it makes of them.
Now: How do we achieve that?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been failing to track recommendations made by its own secret reviews into benefit-related deaths, it has told the spending watchdog, three years after claiming it had corrected the same failings.
The “appalling” revelation that DWP appears to have misled both the National Audit Office (NAO) and – three years ago – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will add to mounting evidence of the need for an independent inquiry into deaths caused by the department over the last decade.
NAO is now examining a letter provided by Disability News Service (DNS) and has asked for permission to share it with parliament and government departments.
Meanwhile, DWP has refused to provide assurances that its failure to track progress on implementing recommendations from its secret internal reviews has not caused any further deaths.
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