Public Accounts Committee report - Preventing fraud in contracted employment programmes

The Public Accounts Committee has published its report Preventing fraud in contracted employment programmes. The report was conducted following allegations of potential fraud and poor service from employment programme clients and whistleblowers.

The report's conclusions are:
* The Department has not exercised sufficient oversight of its contractors to identify potential fraud and improper practice.
* The Department's recent investigation into A4e did not establish whether the company was a 'fit and proper' contractor.

Report concludes that DWP commissioning model stifles innovation

A study by Manchester Business School's Institute for Innovation Research has concluded that the Work Programme appears to be inadequate as a framework for service innovation. It concludes that "a better strategic alignment between government’s welfare reform strategy and locality commissioning could stimulate innovative services for all claimants in spite of austerity".

This is a case study of the UK government’s Work Programme procurement process between 2011 and 2012 and is part of a larger Manchester Institute for Innovation Research Project on Public Procurement and Innovation.

Written ministerial statement on A4e

Chris Grayling has issued a ministerial statement following an audit of the Department's commercial relationship with A4e.

Changes to Work Choice provider guidance

DWP has made some changes to its Work Choice provider guidance. The changes cover supported business protected places and a variety of other issues.

Paul Farmer quits Harrington advisory group

The head of the mental health charity, Mind, has left the Harrington Scrutiny Panel which advises DWP on implementing changes to the Work Capability Assessment, describing them as "deeply flawed". Chief executive, Paul Farmer, says he quit because ministers refused to listen to his criticism of the current fitness-to-work test.

First official stats published for Work Programme

DWP has released the first official statistics of referrals and attachments to the Work Programme.

emqc Ltd wins Merlin tender

Carley Consult is reporting that DWP has awarded the new concession agreement for the delivery of the Merlin Standard Assessment, Accreditation and Web Portal Service to emqc Ltd.

Harrington's second review of work capability assessment published

DWP has published Professor Harrington's second review of the work capability assessment process. Chris Grayling has pledged to accept Professor Harrington’s recommendations and to further consult on how best to support people with cancer.

Work Choice - first evaluation of transition/commissioning

DWP has published the first evaluation of Work Choice, its specialist employment programme for disabled jobseekers.

BASE publishes Sayce response

BASE has submitted its response to the DWP consultation on the recommendations of Liz Sayce's report "Getting in, Staying in and Getting on". The review looked at proposals affecting Access to Work, Remploy provision and residential training colleges but also produced proposals to move towards using personal budgets. The closing date for responses is 17 October.


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