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Information Exchange between Citizens and the Department of Work and Pensions

Information Exchange between Citizens and the Department of Work and Pensions

Project Contents


The Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and the LSE Public Policy Group at the London School of Economics are carrying out a value for money study for the National Audit Office (NAO) looking at information exchange between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its benefit customers. Publication of the NAO report is scheduled for March 2009.

The study will examine:

  • How easy is it for customers to find out how and where to claim benefits and what information they will be required to submit
  • How straightforward it is for citizens to submit information to the DWP by their preferred channel, eg face to face, telephone, paper forms or online
  • The quality of information provision by the DWP both during and after application
  • Whether the DWP makes maximum use of the information provided by benefit applications to make subsequent contacts easier for customers

Research Methods

Our research methods are:

  • Case studies of four benefits: Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Maternity Allowance
  • Detailed analysis of a sample of files from each of the case study benefits
  • Focus groups with existing and potential benefit customers
  • Experiments in the Oxford eXperimental Laboratory (OxLab) to explore potential customers experiences of finding and using online information
  • Interviews with DWP staff and visits to DWP offices along with interactions with stakeholder groups
  • Comparisons with governments from other countries and the private sector

Key Information

Project dates:
September 2008 - March 2009