- Judge rules there would be no chilling effect in releasing Universal Credit reports
- FOI tribunal refuses Iain Duncan Smith leave to appeal against the court’s decision
- DWP continues to pour thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money into failing legal attempt to keep files secret
A judge has smashed Iain Duncan Smith’s attempt to keep potentially damning reports on Universal Credit secret.
The ruling completely undermines the DWP’s claim that there would be a ‘chilling effect’ if the reports were published.
It’s thought the documents could provide a ‘smoking gun’ which proves conclusively that Duncan Smith and the DWP misled parliament with their optimistic assessments of progress on the programme.
As Scrapbook reported, the documents were requested by campaigners under the Freedom of Information act in March last year.
After a year of pouring thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money into a failing legal attempt to keep the reports secret, the ICO gave a final decision in March that all four reports should be published.
The documents include:
- Project Assessment Review — periodic high level review of large project
- Issues Register — details of problems and failures
- High Level Milestone Schedule — sequence of activities and timings
The DWP were hopping mad at the ICO tribunal’s decision – describing it as “perverse”, and claiming they’d made “errors of law.”
But a second tier tribunal upheld the decision to order disclosure yesterday, with Judge David Farrer QC saying there was no evidence of a chilling effect.
The DWP now has 28 days to decide whether it wants to throw yet more taxpayers’ cash at a losing battle.