12 November 2008
An influential committee of MPs has asked for further information we have gathered on possible links between a senior Government official and a benefits calculation website.
We contacted the Work and Pensions Committee at the House of Commons after the failure of the Department for Work and Pensions to answer a series of questions about benefitsupermarket.com.
Despite issuing a denial that the website was an official, Government-sanctioned site, it has so far failed to confirm whether the DWP knew it was registered to the wife of Roger Westerbeek, listed on a business networking site as Head of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) for the Pensions Service based in Warrington.
We contacted the chairman (Terry Rooney, MP) and individual members of the Committee highlighting the original investigation and the DWP’s failure to provide a fuller response. Now the chairman has written back asking for further details of our enquiries.
Our investigation began after concerns were raised on our own forum and two other sites about this calculation website providing inaccurate, partial and out-of-date information. We also found it may have plagiarised material from other sites.
Within hours of trying to establish contact with Mr Westerbeek as part of our investigation into the website, benefitsupermarket.com was taken down.
We contacted the DWP and were provided with a brief statement stating that it was not an official Government website.