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Report cover showing colleagues laughing and joking

Gaining and retaining a job: the Department for Work and Pensions’ support for disabled people

“Whilst not everyone with a disability is able to work, with the right support at the right time many disabled people can – and they deserve the opportunity to do so. The Department offers effective packages of support that enable people to overcome the barriers to employment and which are greatly appreciated by the people who participate in them.

“In order to reach more people, the Department needs to adopt a more flexible, cost-conscious, quality driven approach to enable the Department to make more progress towards its target for improving the employment rates of disabled people. Placing greater emphasis on helping people retain existing employment, could help individuals avoid distress and financial hardship while reducing the impact on public spending.”

Published:
13 Oct 2005
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Department for Work and Pensions Resource Accounts 2003-2004

“I welcome the Department’s achievement in meeting the Government’s target to reduce fraud and error in Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, in 2003-2004, as a result of fraud and error, an estimated £3 billion of welfare benefit was paid to people who were not properly entitled to the money. Therefore the challenges the Department faces in reducing the scale of fraud and error across the benefit system to an acceptable level still remain very large indeed.”

Published:
18 Jan 2005
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Helping Those in Financial Hardship: The Running of the Social Fund

“The Social Fund provides an important safety net for some of the most vulnerable in society, many of whom will have limited or no access to affordable credit and mainstream financial services. The Social Fund is reaching many people in need. But the Department needs to raise awareness of it both with potentially eligible customers and its own staff.

“I am pleased that the Department is improving its debt recovery procedures and standardising the process for dealing with Social Fund applications across the country. But I am concerned about the standard of decision-making on Social Fund applications, as evidenced by the high number of errors on certain awards.”

Published:
13 Jan 2005
Report cover showing people working around at table

Skills for life: improving adult literacy and numeracy

“Higher levels of literacy and numeracy will benefit England both socially and economically. More people will have the opportunity to live richer lives. The Department has made substantial progress since 2001 in improving the teaching of literacy and numeracy and making more people aware of the options and wanting to learn. But this is only the beginning. The Department and its partners will need to be creative and responsive if they are to reach another 1.5 million people by 2010. My report sets out some of the steps they need to take if they are to succeed.”

Published:
15 Dec 2004
Cover of report showing four images of people at work

Welfare to Work: Tackling the Barriers to the Employment of Older People

“Good progress has been made in increasing the employment rate for older people. As people are living longer it is important that they have better opportunities to continue working for longer, should they wish to do so, than has been the case in the past. There is scope for government agencies to focus their efforts on improving the employability of older people and for targeting disadvantaged groups. Success will bring benefits not only for the individual, but also for business, the taxpayer and the economy at large.”

Published:
15 Sep 2004
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Child Support Agency Client Funds Account 2003-2004

“Once again I have had to qualify this account because of the high levels of historic error in maintenance assessments that completion of the Child Support Agency’s reforms are intended to remove. The operation of the new arrangements with their simplified methodology for calculating maintenance assessments has so far been disappointing. In 2003-2004, the first year of operation of the reform programme, the accuracy of maintenance assessments has not matched performance levels under the old scheme.

“I intend to report later on what the Agency is doing to achieve its agreed targets and to provide a faster and improved service to all parties and to complete the Reform programme.”

Published:
22 Jul 2004
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Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund 2002-2003

“I have qualified this account because of high levels of estimated fraud and official error in the payment of benefits from the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund. I note the measures being taken by the Department to reduce fraud and error, and will review progress as part of my audit of the 2003-04 account to see whether the desired outcomes are being achieved.”

Published:
21 May 2004
Report cover showing two people reading leaflet

Department of Education and Skills – Connexions Service for all Young People

“In a relatively short period of time the Connexions Service has made significant progress towards reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training. The costs of not tackling this issue are huge, both to society and to the individuals affected. Connexions is providing valuable services to help young people make important life decisions but more can be done to ensure that all young people obtain the support they need and my report makes recommendations to help build on the very good results achieved to date.”

Published:
31 Mar 2004
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Department of Work and Pensions: Departmental Resource Accounts 2002-2003

“The amount of welfare benefit being lost through fraud and error is continuing to run at an estimated £3 billion each year. Once again I must point out that Parliament intends that this money should go only to those who are properly entitled. The challenge which the Department faces in reducing the scale of fraud and error to an acceptable level is very large indeed. However, it is crucial that as much of the money as possible goes to those who are in real need.”

Published:
16 Dec 2003