21 February 2020
What: DWP admits (in response to a freedom of information request) to destroying some or all of its pre-2015 peer reviews into suicides and other deaths of benefit claimants. It says: “Records prior to 2015-16 have been destroyed or are incomplete in line with GDPR/data retention policies.” The response also reveals that, in 2019-20, DWP reviewed its approach to IPRs, “broadening the range of cases that were considered, including reviewing cases from previous years”. And it shows that 131 IPRs have been commissioned in the four-and-a-half years since June 2015, although not all of these will have followed the death of a claimant.
Why significant: An admission that may be connected with DWP attempting again to ensure that as little incriminating evidence as possible is available to both families seeking justice and any inquiry into benefit-related deaths.