Thursday, 4 February 2010
The Conservative MP for North East Milton Keynes has been quite persistent lately in asking written questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about unemployment issues, with a particular focus on A4e. On 25 January he asked "how many hours of training A4e staff working on contracts let by her Department undertake annually" and was told by Jim Knight that "Staff training is an internal matter for A4E and therefore not one that the Secretary of State can offer information about, or comment on." Yesterday Mr Lancaster homed in on results, asking more or less the same question in two ways: "what percentage of people who have attended A4e meetings as part of programmes delivered under contract to her Department have found work within six months since the inception of those contracts in (a) England and (b) Milton Keynes?" and "how many people who have attended A4e meetings in Milton Keynes as part of programmes delivered under contract to her Department have found work within six months since the inception of those contracts?" Reasonable questions, one might think. But he got the same answer from Jim Knight to both: "This information is not available in the format requested." One hopes that Mr Lancaster is not satisfied with this non-answer.