19 Jul 2007
Welfare, Pensions and Employment
19 Jul 2007
“Overall my findings are encouraging. Personal advisers have proved themselves an effective means of supporting people on benefits looking for work and they are delivering a good service. But, as my report shows, the benefits could be even greater. Better support for personal advisers would allow them more time to do what they do best – actually sitting down with the people who need guidance.”
29 Nov 2006
“The Department for Work and Pensions has shown a clear determination to resolve these long standing problems and early signs suggest some real reductions in the volume of fraud and error can be expected. It is always encouraging to see such progress, but the scale of the challenge ahead remains considerable.
“The fact is that, in 2005-06, an estimated £2.7 billion was paid out to people who weren’t entitled to the money.”
7 Nov 2006
“The Ministry of Defence is working hard to tackle the issues in recruitment and retention to ensure there are sufficient levels of personnel in the Armed Forces. But, given current levels of operational deployment, workloads on Service men and women in some areas are heavy.”
“Armed Forces personnel told us that the key reasons they were leaving early included the pressures on their family life. It is therefore vital that, in addition to the financial incentives offered, the Ministry of Defence maintains its focus on longer term measures.”
3 Nov 2006
“Since I reported in 2002, the Department has made significant progress in encouraging pensioners to take-up the benefits they are entitled to. Reaching those who are still not claiming is a formidable challenge, and requires the use of a number of different approaches, tailored to meet the needs of particular groups.
“I am pleased to see that more than one million more households receive Pension Credit than received its predecessor. Similar progress with other benefits should be the next step in pursuit of further progress towards what must be the overall goal: reducing pensioner poverty.”
21 Jul 2006
“Social security fraud and error is a problem not only for the UK, but also across the world. While we always want to see further progress, the international picture tells us that DWP is at the forefront in identifying, measuring and reducing this kind of fraud and error. I am encouraged that it will be able to pass on some of the lessons it has learnt, and gain from the experiences of other countries.”
20 Jul 2006
“The Child Support reforms were a final but, in the event, unsuccessful attempt to deliver the policy behind the creation of Child Support Agency in 1993. While they have benefited a number of the poorest parents and children, overall they have not achieved value for money and have not achieved what they were designed to do.
“These problems will have caused genuine hardship and distress to many parents and their children. From design to delivery and operation, the programme to reform the Agency has been beset with problems which the Department for Work and Pensions, the Agency and its IT supplier EDS, have struggled to deal with.
“The Agency’s new Operational Improvement Plan is a significant step towards addressing these difficulties and is showing signs of improving the Agency’s performance, but, given the scale of the problems, there will be no quick fix.”
30 Jun 2006
1 Apr 2006
“I welcome the progress made by the Department for Work and Pensions in establishing contact centres across the organisation. However, if this major transformation in the way the DWP serves many of its customers is to be successful, the centres must be managed more flexibly and the service provided should be seamless and easy to use.”
15 Feb 2006
“It is vital that people can rely on the accuracy of the leaflets the government produces to make informed choices about their lives. And it is vital that they can get hold of these leaflets and easily understand them when they do. The Department for Work and Pensions has made progress in these respects but needs to manage better the leaflets it produces to ensure those needing information can access it when they need to.”
26 Jan 2006