Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Inquiry into contracted employment programmes

Parliament's Work and Pensions Select Committee has announced an inquiry into "Management and administration of contracted employment programmes" and has invited submissions. They seem to be asking the right questions, obviously prompted by recent revelations.

  • Are there sufficient safeguards in place to prevent providers from making fraudulent claims for outcomes they have not achieved?

• Is there sufficient protection for employees who raise concerns about their employers’ delivery of a contracted employment programme?

• Does DWP’s contract management approach ensure the quality of service received by customers is commensurate with the level required under the contract terms?

• Do DWP and the National Audit Office effectively monitor the accuracy of providers’ management information systems, provider performance against targets, and the evidence on which provider payments are claimed?

• How has the centralisation of contract management in DWP impacted upon the role of Jobcentre Plus and both provider and customer experience of outsourced employment programmes?

• Will the customer charter proposed by DWP ensure that customers, Jobcentre Plus and contractors know what they can expect of employment programmes?

• Will contract management in the prime contractor model be transparent and effective in monitoring quality throughout the supply chain, and in maintaining a role for sub-contractors?

If anyone wants to make a submission - and I just might - they should read the guidelines carefully.


  1. An edited version of New Deal Scandal's comment:
    "Sorry, it is a text box exercise. They need a full fraud inquiry into the scheme - not just the providers but Jobcentre Plus too."

  2. Let's hope the terms of reference of the inquiry are broad enough so they don't leave too many important questions unanswered


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