Ms D Sayers Sent by email DWP Central Freedom of Information Team

Annex A

e-mail: Our Ref: FOI 2600 DATE: 06 August 2012
Annex A

Dear Ms Sayers, Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 02 July 2012. You asked: “I would like to request the following information. -What company supplies and maintains their recording devices. - How many recording devices suitable for recording interviews they currently posses. - What are the devices, product name, manufacturer, individual costing. - What is the yearly budget for supply and maintenance of recording devices. -How many of these devices are currently not in use, and why”. There are three areas of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that use audio recording devices. Fraud Investigation Service The Fraud Investigation Service (FIS), is responsible for the investigation of fraud against all benefits administered by DWP. The audio recording devices used by FIS are used when interviews under caution (IUC) are conducted as part of the investigation process. This is done to comply with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act’s Code of Practice. 1. The company that supplies and maintains the recording devices for FIS is AV Niche. 2. FIS currently has 1284 recording devices that are used for recording IUCs. 3. The manufacturer of the recording devices is AV Niche, the product names is Portable P2B Dual Deck Audio Recorder and the cost per device is £695 + VAT. 4. There is no annual budget allocation for supply or maintenance of the recording devices and repairs are commissioned as and when required.

5. There are currently 263 devices currently not in use because they are broken. Some of these devices are unrepairable, obsolete and will cost too much to repair. The devices that have broken in the last twelve to eighteen months have not been repaired because they are about to be replaced by digital recorders. Medical Services In response to questions 1, 2 & 3 there are currently 11 recording devices used on the DWP Medical Services Contract, these devices were manufactured and supplied by Neal PLC which is part of the Canford Group. The recording device currently used by the Contractor is the Neal 9102 Dual CD Audio Interview Recorder, and purchased for use by Atos Healthcare in conducting the Audio Recording of Work Capability Assessments (WCA) Pilot scheme at Newcastle Medical Assessment Centre, that was conducted in April to June 2011. This Pilot was conducted as a result of the recommendations made by Professor Malcolm Harrington in the 1st independent review of the WCA process. The cost per device of the 11 Neal 9102 devices was £1400 + VAT In answer to question 4, there is no annual budget for supply and maintenance of the devices used on the Medical Services Contract. The recording devices are covered by a warranty relating to machine failure during the first year. In reply to question 5, currently 6 of the 11 recording devices operated on the Medical Services Contract are not in use as they require repair. Risk Assurance Division The Department’s Internal Audit & Investigations team investigates allegations of fraud and abuse by the Department’s staff and contractors. The table below details the recording equipment held and used for the purpose of recording interviews conducted during investigations. Interviews are recorded digitally on 23 One Digital AirLight portable digital recorders. There is no annual budget (or charge) for the supply or maintenance of this equipment. Repairs are commissioned when required. 38 analogue machines are also held for contingency purposes only. There is no annual budget for the maintenance or repair of these devices. Due to the age of the analogue tape machines, original cost information is no longer held. Supplier/Manufacturer & Product name One Digital AirLight Portable 2 Drive Recorder Neal 7000 series tape recorder Neal 8000 series tape recorder Neal Portable recorder 8221P Rolec Recorder P2B Total No held 23 9 12 5 9 Cost per unit Currently not in active use 0 9 12 5 9

£2068.00 ex VAT N/K N/K N/K N/K

Supplier/Manufacturer & Product name ATIS UHER DCR-2 Conference Niche P2

Total No held 1 2

Cost per unit


Currently not in active use 1 2

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above. Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, 6-12 Tothill Street, London. SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF