Tag Archives: Information Commissioner’s Office

DWP misled two watchdogs over benefit deaths. Time to tighten up the rules?

Faceless: and is the DWP totally unaccountable as well?

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:

  1. Why have those responsible for causing these deaths never been brought to justice?
  2. 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.

Source: Letter shows ‘appalling’ DWP misled two watchdogs over benefit deaths – Disability News Service

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Political party notorious for data breaches accuses leader candidate team of data breach

Keir Frowner: and well he might – does he know what his team members have been doing?

This is a rum affair, and no mistake.

It seems the organisations that run the Labour Party – the NEC and its officers, for example – have no compunctions about breaking data protection rules when it suits them.

They did it in their disciplinary procedures against me (and I have a letter saying as much from the Information Commissioner’s Office), and I read that they have done it in their investigation (if you can call it that) of Asa Winstanley too.

But now they’re making themselves out to have been the wronged party in a data breach by leadership candidate Keir Starmer’s campaign team.

The hypocrisy is astonishing.

This Writer would hope that the Information Commissioner’s Office – which has said it would discuss Labour’s data breaches with the party, although nothing tangible seems to have materialised from that claim – will use this as leverage.

Now that the party itself is complaining, the argument could go, will it not accept that it has data responsibilities of its own?

All of the above having been said, of course it should be noted that any data breach by Starmer’s people should be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted to the limits of the ICO’s ability.

My experience, though, is that those limits are very limited indeed.

The Labour party has formally reported members of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign team to the Information Commissioner, accusing them of hacking into the party’s membership database, the BBC has learned.

The allegations were made against two members of Sir Keir’s team – one of them is his compliance official.

They were passed to the Information Commissioner’s Office on Thursday.

Sir Keir and his team said the claims were “utter nonsense”.

Source: Labour accuses Keir Starmer campaign team of data breach – BBC News

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