The DWP has failed this month in two major battles to keep damaging reports secret. The publication of secret sanctions research and secret deaths reports could both cause major problems for the DWP as it aims to impose a much harsher sanctions regime on UC claimants.

In the first blow, the Information Commissioner has ordered the department to publish a secret report on whether sanctions are effective in getting claimants back in to work.

The report came about after the DWP agreed, at the request of the work and pensions committee to carry out an evaluation of ‘whether the sanctions regime within Universal Credit is effective at supporting claimants to search for work’.

The department originally said it would publish its findings in 2019. Since then, however, it has refused to do so on the grounds that the final report ‘did not present a comprehensive picture of sanctions.’

It seems very likely that the report failed to find any evidence that sanctions were effective and this is why it is deemed to not be ‘comprehensive’.

Given that UC sanctions have now reached a record level, and are set to rise even higher under the proposed ‘computer says no’, regime, publication of this report is vital.

However, this may not be the end of the fight for secrecy by the DWP. They can still appeal the decision further, to the information rights tribunal.

This is exactly what they did in the second major lost battle of the month.

For years, John Pring of the Disability News Service (DNS) has been fighting the DWP over its refusal to publish secret reports into the deaths of claimants.

He has won a number of victories over the years and, in the latest, had been pushing for the DWP to publish recommendations made in 22 secret reports which were intended to reduce the number of suicides and other benefits related deaths.

Publication would allow people to judge whether the DWP has taken the recommendations seriously and followed them in order to reduce the harm the department does to claimants. Or whether the DWP has simply ignored them and carried on with business as usual.

Last October, the information commissioner ordered the publication of the reports.

Subsequently, the DWP appealed the decision to the information rights tribunal. But the DWP has now told DNS that it has now withdrawn its appeal, which means that they will be obliged to publish the reports.

We’ll let readers know when DNS has obtained the documents and reported on their contents.

You can read the full story of the DNS battle with the DWP here.

You can read the information commissioner’s rulings on the secret sanctions report here.

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    Mr Passmore · 10 months ago
    I have taken the DWP to the appeal court armed with a mass of evidence. The judge complimented me on the work I had done to prepare for my case. 
    Held within my documentation was an accusation of attempted murder. 

    I also included undeniable evidence to support my accusation. This caused the judge to ask if I was truly aware of the content held within my submissions. 

    He also mentioned he could not give advice, as every word spoken was being recorded.

    I did confirm that I was completely aware of the content as I had planned every move before I applied to the court of appeals.

    I was extremely careful to stick rigidly to the DWP’s rules, regulations and laws throughout. By doing this, I left them no opportunity to counter my claims or accusation’s.

    When people with specific needs are forced to exist on £27 per week only, they will have been handed a death sentence by the very organisation meant to protect them.

    The DWP have fiduciary. Look this up and see how pathetically they have failed. 


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    naheegan · 11 months ago
    Shout to John Pring for his endless determination to hold DWP to account. Thank you B&W for posting this news here on the site. There are so many people who have died and suffered needlessly, or who are still suffering from the consequences the egregious policies of harmful and useless sanctions. I hope the release of the reports cause an end to the sanctions policies once and for all. Not one more person should suffer or die. 
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    Rapidrabbit · 11 months ago
    The DWP have a lot to hide. They daren't report truth. They've always relied on silence, wooden denial via wooden personalities, to sideline it. 
    Any front line DWP staff could tell you about their own experience of threatened suicides in claimant populations. Face to face or on the phone. Even staff have fallen victim to this intransigent, sterile and negative modus operandi. It's soul destroying for the majority that care. Staff are well accustomed to DWP failings, and methods of harassment and bullying employed by next grade managers. It's caustic. Those that care within the DWP are totally disempowered to change things. The Silence system affects them as much as all taxpayers. And the promotion of really thick, wooden, intransigent people because like surrounds itself with like in the Civil Service all the way to Ministerial level, is a vital requirement for 'success.' They've all got a vested interest in silence, they're sworn to it, bonded by it, and they think by it. The same mentality carefully hand picked all the way up the ladder. 
    Consequently, there is no truth. As one very senior manager once told me. Don't worry about the MPs. They get fed the same shit as everybody else.
    And Therese Coffey fitted that authority exactly in her time. 
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    clearwater · 11 months ago
    Hello j.lee  

    Labour will as bad, possibly worse,  Rachel Reeves Shadow chancellor,  on Radio 4 BBC last Sunday,
    said Labour is not the party for you, if on benefits, its a party for the workers,  fwiw Jeremy Corbyn, had her removed 4-5 years ago from her post, for inflammatory attitude towards people, her husband is one of the DWP heads, that says it all.     
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      welsh val · 11 months ago
      @clearwater Agree Reeves is incredibly right wing but then she used to work for the Bank of England and is totally business orientated,for her people like us should not exist
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    MrFibro · 11 months ago
    (The DWP has failed this month in two major battles to keep damaging reports secret.)

    This just goes to show how much this sickening government has to hide, and have been hiding.

    And yet no one is ever made accountable for causing the deaths of claimants.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    j.lee · 11 months ago
    Really hope Labour get in...
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      John Earle · 11 months ago
      @j.lee The work capability assessment and the employment of ATOS was the brainchild of Yvette Cooper. Nothing will change, but a tinkering around the edges
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Lizzie · 11 months ago
      @j.lee Well sorry, but don't bank on them helping you out of this mess, you have got more chance of meeting Elvis seeing the pope and winning the lottery on the same night.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 11 months ago
      @j.lee hi j.lee,

      Labour wont be any different, they will do the same but in a different way, by spending billions on new systems that do not benefit the claimants at all.

      It will simply be a case of more bad apples replacing rotten apples.


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    Jace · 11 months ago
    CSJ Centre For Social Justice isn't exactly delivering much justice on this. Iain Duncan Smith backs it and helped create this think tank that work makes you healthy.  DWP got away with murder. 
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