Welsh Language Commissioner has published an investigation report into
Maintenance and Enforcement Commission’s Welsh Language Scheme,
operated by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The investigation was held following a complaint
by a member of the public.
complainant alleged that Welsh copies of correspondence did not arrive at the
same time as the English versions (if at all) and that they had not been
The Welsh Language Scheme made the following
commitments: to issue a reply
in Welsh to correspondence received in Welsh; to ensure that the target time
for publishing or replying to correspondence is the same in Welsh and in English;
to initiate correspondence with an individual, group or organisation in Wales
bilingually; and to ensure that all hard-copy Welsh correspondence issued will
Commissioner concluded that the DWP had failed to comply with the Child Maintenance and Enforcement
Commission’s Welsh Language
the basis that many letters sent to them by the complainant in Welsh were not
replied to, that Welsh letters were sent after the English letters, that
initial correspondence with the other party was not bilingual and that the letters
sent were not signed.
Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, said:
“DWP acknowledges it has failed to implement
clauses in the language scheme. The case had an effect on the wellbeing of the
individual and those dependent on him. The complainant told me that the process of having to
fight for a service through the medium of Welsh had affected him, and that the
whole experience had caused him mental strain and had impacted on his health,
and that the language failings of this organisation had been a central part of
Commissioner has recommended practical steps the organisation can take to
ensure that every correspondence will be sent bilingually in the future until
they have established an individual’s language choice. She also recommended that
arrangements are adopted to
monitor whether letters received regarding child maintenance in Welsh receive a
Welsh response within the organisation's normal response deadline.