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Report cover showing soldiers scambling into a helicopter

Recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces

“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.”

Published:
3 Nov 2006
Report cover image showing a pensioner using the telephone

Progress in tackling pensioner poverty: encouraging take up of entitlements

“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.”

Published:
21 Jul 2006
Report cover showing a global conference

International benchmark of fraud and error in social security systems

“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.”

Published:
20 Jul 2006
Report cover showing a mother and child painting on the table

Child Support Agency – implementation of the child support reforms

“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.”

Published:
30 Jun 2006
Report cover

Department for Work and Pensions Resource Accounts 2004-2005

“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.”

Published:
26 Jan 2006
Report cover showing woman reading a leaflet

Department for Work and Pensions: Using leaflets to communicate with the public about services and entitlements

“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.”

Published:
25 Jan 2006
Report cover showing students at computers

Employers’ perspectives on improving skills for employment

“A more skilled workforce is vital for national productivity and the delivery of public services. Better skills are also important for the country to maintain its position in an increasingly competitive global economy.

“The doubts that some employers have about the value of skills training must be addressed by more streamlined communication with employers, by developing flexible and affordable training genuinely targeted on business needs, through incentives to employers, and effective channels through which employers can influence skills training”.

Published:
14 Dec 2005
Report cover showing a crossword

Dealing with the complexity of the benefits system

“The complexity of the benefits system is one of the most important issues affecting the performance of the Department for Work and Pensions. There is a balance to be struck between a system which is detailed enough to respond to needs and yet straightforward enough to be run efficiently, communicating clearly with customers and minimising error. This balance has not yet been reached. It is not for me to direct specific changes but I recommend that the Department builds on current work to tackle the problem both in the short and long term.”

Published:
18 Nov 2005