Work programme providers and FOI: contractual obligations to provide information

An annotation on an FOI request relating to the work programme is worth repeating in full – and quoting – for anyone else considering requesting information:

The DWP Head of Work Programmes Division[1] wrote a memo to Minister for Employment on 24 April 2012 which stated:

There are no “cost limits”[2] for Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests as all of the DWP’s Work Programme’s Providers (employment related support services) have contractual obligations to provide information they hold on behalf of the DWP.

Memo extract:

Full memo:…

All DWP Employment service contractors have to hold a “framework contract”:

Freedom of Information Act obligations in this area are outlined on pages 36 and 37 of the DWP Framework Agreement for the provision of employment related support services.

Framework Agreement Extracts:
pages 36 and 37

Complete Framework Agreement:…

[1] Work Programmes include:

Mandatory Work Activity
The Work Programme
Community Action Programme

[2] Cost limits

An authority can refuse a request if it estimates that it will cost them in excess of the appropriate cost limit to fulfil your request. The limit is £600 for central government…