DWP hypocrisy FOI

Alongside various postings regarding DWP ‘blood on their hands’HSE limitations  , and  disability aspect  –  this posting  deals with Freedom of Information (FOI) and Department of Works and Pension (DWP) hypocrisy.

Note, DWP’s operation team operates anonymously and go to extreme lengths to avoid answering or providing information. Unsurprisingly this common place, causing vast expense and create many unnecessary jobs – all in the pursuit of not helping people and hiding what DWP doesn’t want the public to know.

Tories spend staggering £100million trying to stop disabled getting help they’re entitled to

Freedom of Information requests exposed how taxpayers’ cash has been spent on futile legal battles to prevent vulnerable people receiving help



Here is the end result of a simple  FOI request I lodged, which DWP manage to turn into a saga and denial of rights….

Dear DWP Operations Freedom of Information Team


I do not accept DWP refusal to provide information regarding my pen name, as this breaches fundamental human rights as per below, apart from common law rights regarding centuries use of pen names etc.

Therefore I have to escalate this matter, here is a copy informing the information commissioner of this FOI request as such:


As pointed out,   I have a website and use accurate sources of information.


Individuals, organisations, companies, charities are allowed to ask for FOI etc   Not only do I have a pen name for my website, but I also took the trouble to explain – given I am subjected to “toxic assault”, I have used this name for many years to protect my personal safety ie. so I will not be further targeted as I have been in the past.  I have established this is my ‘name’ for public purpose and am fully contactable as such, I am not known by my birth name nor do I intend to be etc….

Additionally regarding FOI section 8, NOTE both the information commissioner’s office and DWP have been remiss ie. on an individual’s basic rights to privacy and security – the UK is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so additionally, I suggest all parties review article 19 and background in this area:


– Article 19 (Jun 2015) Right to Online Anonymity


– Kaye, D. (May 2015). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the UN promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.


My Name is Campaign (Oct 2015) campaign against facebook real names


 Facebook changes ‘Real Name’ policy rules after public outcry

Therefore, right to freedom of expression and protection of the individual in a digital world is recognised here in the UK and internationally; ie. basic human rights states need to recognise the right to anonymous speech, the right to read anonymously, and the right to browse online anonymously; and regarding conflict – States should repeal those laws, regulations and policies requiring real-name.

As pointed out regarding my FOI, I comply to section 8.- (1)

  1. Is in writing
  2. States a name that I use, (my registered email address used to make the FOI is circa 20 years old, so is fully traceable)
  3. Asks for specific information under FOI.

And further complies to section (8) – 2, my request is moderated through a reputable website/ organisation, so is capable of being subsequently referenced eg. IP address, email etc !

I further have a right to communicate in a manner that is not harmful to me….. which is digitally, and DWP’s general failure to provide this information in the public domain / nor offer help, already is a breach of disability rights, equality on so many levels etc.   .

If DWP want to try to use loopholes of checking identity of people making the FOI instead of concentrating on responding to the content of request – then it’s for DWP/ government to provide a secure LEGAL means and ensure there are no detrimental consequences to the individual and maintain their rights !

Furthermore, FOI section 16 – this request cannot be discredited, as clearly given the lack of published information in this area, this cannot possibly be construed as vexatious or repeated request, and the request is mediated via a legitimate official website that handles FOI requests/ searches.

As pointed out, regarding the merits of this FOI request   ie. DWP acknowledging claimants applications, H&S aspect of assessment in physically progressing claims, what facilities are available etc, who are the personnel (job titles) responsible – as such a high percentage of the population have problems in this area (asthma, allergies, anaphylaxis), obviously a lot of people will want to know this the same as myself and not be prevented from accessing such basic information or ensure they are afforded suitable rights / help – which I can assure you many like myself have NOT received.

So in a nutshell, as to DWP hypocrisy on privacy and safety; confirmed on public record – DWP staff despite SUPPOSE to be acting in an official capacity use pseudonyms or give no names; therefore it is an utter disgrace – a member of the public cannot ask for FOI without being in fear of being targeted by government employees/ members of the public and DWP’s selective answering to who the individual is rather than merit of content of the request   –   exactly how is this FOI.

Therefore I have no option but to refer this matter to the information commissioner and expect them to review this in a professional manner – in accordance to basic human right regarding privacy and security and the general right of the public/ individuals to be able to access such basic information without harmed or threat of harm !

Yours sincerely

Georgette Orwell


DWP  goes to great lengths to protect and hide the effects of political meddling, poor policies and  service performance.

DWP ignores freedom of information laws in bid to hide universal credit impact

DWP ignores freedom of information laws in bid to hide universal credit impact

DWP’s team are suppose to be there to provide information and are just part of the civil service ie. who should be working for the tax payer and the general public.   DWP staff levels are higher than any other area of the civil service and disgracefully the FOI team failings are notorious, certainly not:

“politically impartial and independent of government and work in central government departments, agencies, and non-departmental public bodies”.


On record, it had to be admitted DWP policies in ‘helping’ people were worse than doing nothing.   DWP latest published antics would be laughable if it didn’t have such a total life destroying effect on hundreds of thousands of people…

The DWP just revealed the results of its new ‘back to work’ project. Oh dear…


Nor is this nothing new Jan 2012: DWP in court: challenged to reveal list it fears could make workfare “collapse” … It is thirty months since the original Freedom of Information request …..

DWP in court: challenged to reveal list it fears could make workfare “collapse”

FOI, Commercial High Street firms that used taxpayer benefits claimants for free unpaid labour (including the now bankrupt Poundland).

Government fought in the courts for four years to keep the companies’ identities a secret, saying it would damage their ‘commercial interests’


As to DWP being found to be a bunch of devious hypocrites:

Jun 2015: number of disabled Brits dying after benefits cut hidden by DWP, requested under Freedom of Information (FoI), are made public.



Apart from the general FOI assault course in trying to hold government accountable UK press freedom is not great as per this  extract:

Journalists in the UK are less free to hold power to account than those working in South Africa, Chile or Lithuania, according to an index of press freedom around the world.” 

“Laws permitting generalised surveillance, as well as a proposal for a new espionage act that could criminalise journalists and whistleblowers as spies, were cited by Reporters Without Borders as it knocked the UK down two places from last year, to 40th out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index.”


Life dealing with the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) is worse than having to pull your own teeth – causing much pain, but with no actual recovery from the ordeal. On poverty and harm, DWP employment hypocrisy is limitless, but that’s a posting for another day.

HSE limitations and failing to hold DWP in check

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on behalf of DWP are failing to protect and help people regarding industry loop holes and ‘tobacco’ style public relations – they cannot even keep DWP in check, let alone industry and public authorities.

From a personal perspective and on a legal basis concerning serious allergies –  DWP has failed to provide facilities, haven’t adhered to H&S rights, disability, equality and legislation compliance.   Given they are suppose to be the department responsible for these –   how do they think people are going to fare in the workplace and in daily life –   exactly how am I protected, when DWP completely ignores legislation themselves.

Disability has serious SOCIAL EFFECTS AND  LIFE CHANGING EVENT” – this H&S case below indicates, just how exposure to harmful substances has serious consequences in being poisoned / injured; even  DWP’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) recognises this, but basically only so they could create revenue and fine the company, but on a personal levels do nothing to actually help persons who have been harmed !

As a result, similar to myself, this guy is basically ostracised from society after  toxic level of chemical exposure developed health problems in further reacting to a wide variety of other substances !

“My entire way of life has had to change. I feel like a prisoner in my own home”


(nb.   this now needs to be accessed under ‘national archives’ if link doesn’t work, it’s dated 12 Nov 2012, title “Worker suffers life changing condition after company ignores ozone danger”)

This guys disability happened, merely because he was exposed to unsafe level of ozone ie. molecules of three oxygen atom (O3), and the company was subject to a Health & Safety prosecution.   The ozone exposure at work, resulted in acute irritant asthma, unable to return to work and struggles with day-to-day activities due to no help and high sensitivity to different chemicals and smells. Anything from perfume to exhaust fumes can trigger an asthma attack.

Stated: he can no longer carry out normal activities like taking the dog for a walk or wandering to the pub without worrying about what is round the corner, from a garden fire to chimney smoke to car fumes. They could all start the asthma, struggles to go to people’s houses as things like air fresheners, candles, strong perfumes, deodorants can all trigger an attack.

Note, Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £11,565 – nothing to the actual victim, consumer cases do not even get prosecuted eg. Lynx spray deaths as they have hazard warning labels !


Apart from Disability convention, Equality act, DWP are certainly out of order on basic legislation that still applies Health & Safety Act 1974


Section 2(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: 

“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

Section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states:


Note,  ‘INVISIBLE ILL’ CASES LIKE MYSELF ARE IGNORED BY ALL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS.   Any prosecution, HSE fines goes to the government coffers NOT to the injured (who gets no help) !


As to allergies / asthma and general harmful effects of AIR FRESHENERS and other such products –   widely sold as innocuous, but do have HAZARD LABELS, are TOXIC and do cause long term health problems. They also contain POTENT SENSITISERS regarding allergies and asthma;   that’s without mentioning found to have carcinogenic and mutagenic properties etc.

US government agency’s 2006 research, highlighted apart from toxic nature of chemicals contained in Air-Fresheners, a further ‘toxic-soup’ was created of secondary harmful by-products eg. formaldehyde is  created via interaction air freshners and ozone (O3), that is given off many indoor appliances and naturally occurring.

MANUFACTURERS HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH DEATHS AND HARM – pathetically due to having HAZARD labels.   A prime example of lax regulation – Lynx deodorant a kid’s death, apparently bathrooms are ‘confined’ spaces in which it should NOT be used; note, advertising gives the opposite impression, ie. that it is completely innocuous showing models freely spraying Lynx all over their bodies with no restraint, no wonder kids are mislead.

It is inexcusable that Government and public sector agencies fail to protect people like myself.

As to CONSUMER AWARENESS : government agencies promote false security, ie.   that unsafe products wouldn’t be allowed to be sold;  trade organisation even make public statement to that extent.  Like pharmaceuticals, harm is hidden,  data manipulated and  mostly nothing is done, at best perhaps a fine or restriction and quietly change product composition or take it off the market – but, only  when  it is becoming publically obvious to causing vast amount of harm to people !

On CONSUMER SAFETY :   manufacturers couldn’t care less while profitable, Lynx is particularly notorious at causing health problems for people that are not even particularly sensitive. Likewise hair dyes – Methylisothiazolinone, it was first registered in the US in 1977 and widely used in UK despite evidence it is harmful.  Likewise many other harmful chemicals get fleetingly reported  in  the press., but mostly nothing is done…   or alternate products get promoted until the fuss dies down, forgetting the harm that has been inflicted and the people who are left having to live with this.


NHS KNOW OF HEALTH PROBLEMS BUT COMPLETELY FAILS TO PROTECT PATIENTS –   maybe acknowledging ill health or that reactions occurs, but does virtually NOTHING regarding prevention or protect from other people being harmed in this way.

Regarding vast array of products containing harmful ingredients, this is reflected in the epidemic of allergy, asthma, skin problems etc.   DWP –   HSE as failing in this respect.

Nb, TOXIC products are advertised as innocuous and desirable ! Consumer ignorance is cultivated by sham advertising and PR manipulation; using the same tactics as the tobacco industry – chronic health problems are hidden and ignore, the NHS on a medical basis has to pick up the tab, not the profiteering companies.

Regarding exposure, many people like myself DO NOT KNOW OR CONSENT TO WHAT THEY ARE BEING SUBJECTED TO, IN THE CHEMICAL PRODUCTS USED BY THIRD PARTIES OR ORGANISATIONS, especially endemic airborne chemicals.


As to harmful products and general ‘denial’/ ignorance of NHS – over zealous use of antibacterial chemicals like triclosan is contributing to surge in drug-resistant germs and superbugs contributing to making antibiotics ineffective.

In March 2010, the European Union banned triclosan chemical from all products that come into contact with food, such as containers and silverware.

But, like pesticides, it is still used in UK ( ignoring EU directives), and  is even used despite there is NO evidence of Triclosan actually prevents spread of germs ……     instead of protection ‘antibacterial’ triclosan has been found to damage health.   Easy to read summary on Triclosan:

  • Chemicals are, at best, ineffective, and at worst, a threat to public heath
  • Chemicals like triclosan could interfere with hormone levels and spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria
  • FDA is looking at only antibacterial soaps and body washes used with water – not hand sanitizers and hand wipes (nb. these are ignored, despite research finding soap and water found to be more effective)



To repeat again, in my case concerning toxicity   –   HSE failed to restrict dichlorobenzene on behalf of DWP regarding ventilation and product safety in the workplace. Alongside dichlorobenzene, fragrance (perfume) chemicals and many other chemicals in commercial products are sensitizers and are extremely harmful too – some recently banned by EU, but many others still ignored.

HSE Extract – Air Freshener REACH consultations 2012 and EU actual now restricted 2015 regarding dichlorobenzene  (legislation doesn’t go far enough and it’s too regarding protection of myself ):

“Consumers are exposed to the substance when they use 1,4-dichlorobenzene based products at home or when they visit public toilets deodorised with these products…… “

1,4-dichlorobenzene has been classified as a category 2 carcinogen (liver tumours). It also affects the kidneys and respiratory tract.

“The dossier demonstrates that consumers using 1,4-dichlorobenzene products at home, and professionals employed in public toilets where 1,4-dichlorobenzene products are used are exposed above safe levels, i.e. the risks from the substance in these population groups are not adequately controlled. “

It is estimated that the benefits of the restriction would be between 9 and 22 times higher than the costs –      

ARCHIVED HSE REFERENCE  (scroll down to section 2)




Health concerns confirmed 2012 by EU REACH and restriction came into force 2015:    Excessive exposure to 1,4-dichlorobenzene may affect the blood, brain, eye, kidney, liver, lung and skin.   And HSE previously Feb 2006, knew this but had done nothing.


The only thing to be thankful for on my behalf is the EU, who have actually been steps taken to protect people with allergies and restrict such hazardous chemicals.   Although, now HSE are running consultations to try and get this overturned as soon as UK leaves the EU.

There may be problems with the national archived weblinks (as they often break and are quite an assault course trying to access these);  alternatively HSE archives can be searched manually by month/ year  regarding 1.4-dichlorobenzene or better source of info go direct to EU Reach archives.


As to case law:

On risk of harm, this is actually helpful in protection  of  recognising the problem – this lady,  probably doesn’t release, that she has highlighted and helped the plight on many people  –  despite, it’s continually ignored by government departments (anyone that is inconvenient to them is ghosted in not existing ).

Dyer v London Ambulance NHS Trust  UKEAT/0500/13


Discussion article below – EAT considered whether any reasonable adjustment could have been made for an employee who had a potentially life-threatening sensitivity to cosmetics.


Aerosols, perfume and reasonable adjustments


Discussion Article 1 December 2014 extract:

Is it possible to have a situation when no reasonable adjustments can be made for a disabled person?

 Yes, but only rarely, held the Appeal Tribunal in the recent case of Dyer v. London Ambulance NHS Trust 2014.

 Background:   Mrs Dyer, after working 7 years for the NHS Trust, developed a severe reaction to aerosol body spray. This had resulted in a near-death experience requiring hospitalisation for 4 days. Since then (2009) she had not returned to work.

 Mrs Dyer claimed that, as her condition amounted to a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, the NHS Trust was obliged to make reasonable adjustments so that she could return to work. It is the ‘provision criterion or practice’ put in place by the employer that needs to be reasonably adjusted. In this case, the PCP Mrs Dyer claimed was in place, was the practice of allowing people to spray cosmetic products in working areas, and, potentially, that the mere wearing of perfume in the workplace may cause an adverse reaction. Could reasonable adjustments be made to this?

 The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with the Employment Tribunal, who found that it was not reasonable or practicable for the NHS Trust to enforce an aerosol and perfume free workplace. Although it might be possible to have such a policy, and in a small place it may be possible to enforce it, this was not the case in this particular (large) workplace.

It was significant that the possible consequences were fatal if someone didn’t observe a ban, even if this was by mistake.

…..Nothing they could reasonably do to accommodate it.  extract end.