DWP loses another 3 FOI tribunal hearings, must release names of workfare exploiters

The DWP has lost 3* first tier FOI tribunal appeal hearings on disclosure of the names of Mandatory Work Activity (MWA), Work Programme and Day One Support for Young People Trailblazer workfare exploiters. The tribunal’s decision was “unanimous” and found the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) disclosure exemptions claimed by the DWP on The economy s.29; – Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs s.36(2)(c); – Commercial interests/trade secrets s.43 unfounded and “should therefore fail”. Therefore the DWP must disclose the withheld information, or seek an appeal. All of the 3 requesters Sheldon, Sheenan and Chance used WhatDoTheyKnow.com to make these FOI requests, alongside the cited case of Zola, with regards naming MWA workfare exploiters throughout the UK.

“Each of the appeals therefore fails and the DWP should respond to each of
the information requests in the manner indicated in the relevant decision
notice*” View full tribunal decision onlinedownload (pdf)

*Original FOI requests
Sheldon – : Groundworks and work programme placementsICO notice (FS50517872)
Sheenan – : Divine Rescue MWAICO notice (FS50515872)
Chance – : Day One Support for young People TrailblazerICO notice (FS50520380)
Case cited: ZolaSuccessful bidders (MWA), with historical links and full text of decisions.
Your Freedom of Information Act: Making requests, tips and ideas for Campaigns, Media exposure and to know your rights

Hat tip: @FOIkid

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Court orders DWP to name and shame workfare exploiters

View full decision: “The DECISION of the Upper Tribunal is to dismiss the [DWP] appeals” https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bwd25z9g2tFPNzZfbVdQSFRZM3JwZzVwX1hDS01Kc0R0V05z/edit?pli=1 (download as a PDF) and the full history of one of the FOI request’s of 25 January 2012, concerning the names of Mandatory Work Activity placement hosts.

This Upper Tribunal decision concerned the DWP’s First Tier tribunal decision appeal against three ICO decision notices FS50438037, FS50438502 and FS50441818 all requiring the DWP to name workfare placement hosts.

Above via https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/successful_bidders

Two more FOI workfare tribunals for #WorkProgramme and Day One Support for Young People Trailblazer

Following the recent Upper Tribunal hearing into releasing the names of workfare hosts for the Mandatory Work Activity scheme. Two further hearings have been set for Thursday October 30th, for the names of workfare placement hosts under the Work Programme and the Day One Support for Young People Trailblazer (“DOSfYP”).

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Community Work Placement Action Plans: Do not sign?

If a Claimant did not wish to sign an action plan they need not sign an Action Plan. We will review the Community Work Placement provider guidance; and issue an amendment to clarify this.” https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mandatory_to_sign_cwp_action_pla

#DoNotSign resources: http://refuted.org.uk/category/donotsign/

What are the DWP Prime Provider Freedom of Information Act contractual duties?

All DWP Prime Contractors have to sign up to the Employment Related Support Services (ERSS) Framework, below is an extract of Primes/Subcontractors ERSS FOI obligations to the DWP. Older still relevant information can be found at: http://consentarchive.wordpress.com/myinfo/

26.     FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
26.1    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that the Authority is subject to the requirements of the FOIA and the Environmental Information Regulations and shall assist and cooperate with the Authority to enable the Authority to comply with its Information disclosure obligations.
26.2    The Prime Contractor shall and shall procure that its Sub-contractors shall:
(a)    transfer to the Authority all Requests for Information that it receives as soon as practicable and in any event within two (2) Working Days of receiving a Request for Information;
(b)    provide the Authority with a copy of all Information in its possession, or power in the form that the Authority requires within five (5) Working Days (or such other period as the Authority may specify) of the Authority’s request; and
(c)    provide all necessary assistance as reasonably requested by the Authority to enable the Authority to respond to the Request for Information within the time for compliance set out in Section 10 of the FOIA or Regulation 5 of the Environmental Information Regulations.

26.3    The Authority shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion and notwithstanding any other provision in this Framework Agreement or any other agreement whether the Commercially Sensitive Information and/or any other Information is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of the FOIA or the Environmental Information Regulations.
26.4    In no event shall the Prime Contractor respond directly to a Request for Information unless expressly authorised to do so by the Authority.
26.5    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that (notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 26.2) the Authority may, acting in accordance with the Ministry of Justice’s Code of Practice on the Discharge of the Functions of Public Authorities under Part 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Code”), be obliged under the FOIA, or the Environmental Information Regulations to disclose information concerning the Prime Contractor or the Services:
(a)    in certain circumstances without consulting the Prime Contractor; or
(b)    following consultation with the Prime Contractor and having taken their views into account;
provided always that where Clause 26.2 applies the Authority shall, in accordance with any recommendations of the Code, take reasonable steps, where appropriate, to give the Prime Contractor advance notice, or failing that, to draw the disclosure to the Prime Contractor’s attention after any such disclosure.

26.6    The Prime Contractor shall ensure that all Information is retained for disclosure and shall permit the Authority to inspect such records as requested from time to time.
26.7    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that the Commercially Sensitive Information listed in Schedule 5 is of indicative value only and that the Authority may be obliged to disclose it in accordance with this Clause 26.
Framework Agreement Terms & Conditions (Framework Ts&Cs v2.0 final.DOC, 373kb)
Search for “DWP/CD/ERSS/Framework/2010” at http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

Posted in FOI

DWP forced to confirm if it holds info on exploitation of workfare conscripts

“The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation: Confirm or deny whether the requested information is held.” https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://ico.org.uk/~/media/documents/decisionnotices/2014/fs_50517872.pdf

About an FOI request: Groundworks and work programme placements https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/groundworks_and_work_programme_p#outgoing-284978