The lack of Government transparency and accountability is something that has concerned me since 2012. As someone who has used the Freedom of Information Act frequently to try and push for greater transparency and democratic accountability, I can say that there is a deeply concerning gap between the justification narratives being presented by the government for their policies, rational and coherent explanations and the reality of the impact of those policies. My requests to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have not once been met with a coherent, rational response, and the DWP have also regularly refused to meet my requests for information.

Most recently I requested information about the DWP’s ethical guidelines, and was refused on the grounds that meeting the request would cost more than the £600 limit. Yet it’s reasonable to expect that ethical guidelines for any government department are placed in the public domain, and are accessible by service users.

Same Difference

A press release:

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee will next week take oral evidence from the Lord Freud, Minister of State for Welfare Reform on the quality of information that the Department for Work and Pensions has provided in support of statutory instruments.

Since the general election the Committee has published three reports criticising DWP for failing to provide sufficient explanation alongside its Statutory Instruments to enable it to gain a clear understanding of the effect of the instrument under consideration. The Committee has therefore invited the Minister to attend and discuss how his department can do a better job in meeting the Committee’s information requirements.

The Evidence session will start at 12:00 on Tuesday 22 December in Committee Room 3A of the House of Lords

Lord Freud is the Minister for Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and as such may make…

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