26 June 2015
What: DWP is asked how it makes sure that letters from coroners expressing concern about the deaths of benefit claimants are dealt with at a senior level within the department, who is responsible for dealing with such letters, and how many such letters have been received for every year from 2005 to 2015. DWP responds by saying that it “may” hold this information but that “coroner’s letters are not handled by one specific official in the Department”. It says it would be too expensive to comply with the request as it covers 10 years.
Why significant: Further evidence of lack of processes within DWP for liaising with coroners over deaths that may be linked to its policies or procedures. But it also makes no mention of the two prevention of future deaths reports that were sent to DWP in April 2010 and January 2014, and which at this point had yet to emerge publicly.