The DWP’s Refusal to Give the Death Stats for ATOS: A Political Decision

I’ve blogged several times about my brother Mike’s attempts to get the government to release the statistics for the people, who have committed suicide following their assessment by ATOS over at his blog, Vox Political. His requests under the Freedom of Information Act have been refused, on the spurious grounds that they were ‘vexatious’. Sparaszczukster, of Granny’s Last Mix and Johndeee have had exactly the same experience. They note that the replies sent to them appear to have been written by someone else, although the reply is signed ‘from the FOI team’.
Sparaszczukster states

‘What John says is interesting. My original FOI request was addressed ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ and the reply was signed , as was John’s, ‘from the FOI Team’. The reply sent in response to my request for internal review was written in the first person in such a way as to give the impression that someone outside the FOI Team had scrutinised their decision. However, this letter was also signed off ‘from the FOI Team’. I’m hoping the ICO will take note of this sloppiness and make some comment.The ICO complaint form asks specifically for both the organisation complained about and the name of the person who dealt with the FOI request which suggests there is an expectation of more than the vague reference to ‘FOI Team’ which the DWP relies on.’

Mike’s request, and the consequent refusal by the Department to release the figures, was raised in parliament in a series of questions asked by Anne Begg and Frazer and Shield of the DWP. Mike says of this part of the meeting that

‘The next factette knocked this one into a proverbial cocked hat: It seems my request was most probably refused by a Conservative DWP Minister, for political reasons. Take a look at this exchange between Dame Anne Begg, chairing the meeting, and Messrs Frazer and Shield.

Anne Begg: Who makes the decision of whether to answer a Freedom of Information request?

David Frazer: In some cases the decision is finally down to the Minister, but on a routine basis it is officials that will routinely answer and prepare them.

Anne Begg: Recently there has been a Freedom of Information request and a reply came back saying that it was a ‘vexatious’ request, and the department wasn’t going to provide the information. Who would make that decision?

David Frazer: In the first instance we have officials who will look at what the request is; they will look at whether it would produce a disproportionate cost for what it is – they will make that judgement, but I believe it will come down to Ministers to make that call. (He is saying it was a political decision).’

So Mike’s request, along with those of Sparaszczukster and Johndeee, have been refused on political reasons why a Conservative minister. The trail of corruption goes all the way to the top, as they say in Hollywood thrillers.
Mike’s article is entitled ‘Revealed: The Facts about DWP Lies’ and can be read here

Johndeee also says ‘Note also, I wrote to an individual but was replied to from the ‘FOI team’ although *I didn’t make an FOI request*! I just wrote a “what’s going on?” request for info. Seems like more than a few other requests for this information were made if they’re now answering with a form letter from the ‘FOI team’….’

It seems from this that a lot of people are asking for the same information, which makes the DWP’s refusal to publish the figures even more reprehensible and scandalous. The Freedom of Information Act was a piece of Labour legislation, modelled on Clinton’s over in America. It seems that the Tories don’t like it, and instead have retreated into their old position of cover-ups and obfuscation in order to protect themselves.

The Conservatives: Definitely not the party of open government.

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One Response to “The DWP’s Refusal to Give the Death Stats for ATOS: A Political Decision”

  1. jeffrey davies Says:

    did you think otherwise if truth be known then perhaps they rise up and listen to whot we say its only a few back my life long friend took me fishing and we had a great day but slowly through the day he had to say to me that hed been to atos and now been put into the wrag well after a ear bashing off me I said right we got to appeal it so after getting home late left it to Monday to phone her ,has now she would nt be having that nice man in neath cab helping her shut down ,but told her whot to do ,wensday night in bed and wiffy comes up saying Richards dead I told her to calm down crying her eyes out well she was right his daughter phoned saying that her father died that evening but whot comes to mind is atos yes hes fit for work dead on his kitchen floor you bet I was mad straight up to jcp in the morning guesss whot security wouldn’t leave me pass so shouted out into the room are they now going to sanction my mate for not turning up for his appointment then straight to mps office doing it all again but atleast they listened and emailed a few mps about this callous way he was treated another deadee by this atos but hold on another one dies last week and after talking to his mates they told his sorry story yep been atossed fit to work his story finished work goes for his couple of pints after work but this night falls down with no feelings in his body rushed to hospital but discharged later on has his body came back to feeling is legs and so but his doctor the following day tells him nah hes not liking the hospital ways and to go back for further test so he did gues then when they finished he had to go to his doctor surgery were he give him the death certificate has such forgotten this name of it v90 v60 but having this in his hand went back to have a pint with his mates but one saw this form he had and asked him whose it was he replied its his sorry nevil he says its bad isn’t it ,but from his telling he had brain tumor and lung cancer take your pick but his treated started guess whot found fit to work after being found sick terminaly but then some cancer charity step in and fought for his moneys back is this right to treat those who are dying this way but gladly after 12weeks his suffering went to him not knowing whot they doing to him and by 16 week he died but now his benefits were given back but then he didn’t know this 16weeks to death after being diagnosed fast but then this government couldnt even get this right jeff3

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