You may have missed it. It certainly wasn't well publicised. But then the report into Jobcentre Plus by the Work & Pensions select committee wasn't going to excite the media. You can read the full report and a good summary on parliament's own site. The few news sites which did pick this up highlighted the judgement that jobcentres assess claimants "haphazardly" (BBC) and that "Jobcentre staff are sanctioning benefits claimants inappropriately for minor infringements" (the Independent).
One of the most important of its recommendations was that JCP should continue to be a public service, i.e. not outsourced. The committee also picked up on the fact that its targets are focussed on getting people off benefits, rather than into work. They recognise that the two aims are different, and the focus should be on helping claimants to find work, not pushing them off the books by means of sanctions or putting them on another benefit. The jobcentres often don't know enough about the "barriers" which individuals face, such as homelessness.
The report is scathing about sanctions. The committee wants an independent enquiry into the regime, as well as the urgent monitoring of the financial hardship they cause. They say that data on the numbers "signposted" by JCP to food banks should be collected and published (Iain Duncan Smith has refused to do this). And the stress on conditionality must be balanced by greater efforts to actually help and support people.
Finally, they point to the increasing work-load being pushed onto the jobcentres (including making people on in-work benefits sign on), with no indication of what extra resources will be put in to cope with it.
It's a good report. What a pity that it will be ignored.
We've all noticed the rubbish uttered by the anonymous DWP spokeswoman (or, occasionally, spokesperson) in response to media stories. None of the media ever name her, although they will all know who she is. She is part of a sinister trend in the DWP, well covered by Simon Barrow on the Ekklesia website, for people who are paid to be neutral civil servants to, instead, play a party-political role in the way it churns out propaganda. Since this is so obvious, there is no reason to maintain the anonymity.
Those getting by on £71 a week JSA will have been amused (or not) to read about the £75,000 of taxpayers' money spent on media training for Lord Freud and others at the DWP. The Huffington Post lists what it calls "the 5 crassest statements made by ministers" at the DWP, to show how much they need this training. Alternatively, of course, you could just sack them and hire somebody competent.