Paul Gray, who carried out two reviews of personal independence payment (PIP) in 2014 and 2017 has slammed the continued lack of transparency and trust in the PIP system. He singled out the failure on the part of the DWP to introduce automatic audio recording and automatic provision of assessment results.

Gray was giving evidence to the commons work and pensions committee at the beginning of the month. He said that the central point he highlighted in his second review was “the serious lack of trust in the system from those who were going through the process of being assessed for PIP.”

He added that a number of his recommendations were “focused on improving transparency within the system, and also seeking to provide greater assurance that the system was producing consistent and fair outcomes for claimants”.

Talking about the fact that the DWP had accepted most of his recommendations but then failed to actually implement them, Gray said:

“The areas I was most disappointed in were the reluctance to introduce much greater transparency through automatic audio recording of assessments and automatic provision of the assessment reports to claimants. In both cases there were processes where people can ask for that, but it seemed the Department’s reluctance to embrace transparency was always going to hold back the development of trust.”

He contrasted the speed with which UC had gone digital with the extraordinary delays in anything being rolled out for PIP:

“I was struck by the contrast between the focus as Universal Credit was being rolled out on digital by default and in relation to PIP it felt like “Digital when we can eventually get round to it”.“

You can read a transcript of Paul Gray’s evidence to the work and pensions committee under oral evidence transcripts.


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