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Report cover showing a doctor talking to an elderly patient

The Medical Assessment of Incapacity and Disability Benefits

“This has been an innovative project for the Department of Social Security, involving the outsourcing of a service which is close to the department’s core business. The Benefits Agency medical service was underachieving and operated within tight resource constraints. Outsourcing has cut costs and speeded up the processing of the work, but the Department, with SEMA Group, must concentrate on improving the quality of assessments and customer service.

“Bottlenecks and delays throughout the system for paying these benefits also need to be addressed. The aim should be to ensure that disability benefits are speedily paid to those entitled to them, as well as reducing losses to the public purse from payments to those who are no longer eligible for benefit.”

Published:
9 Mar 2001
Report cover showing young people's images on playing cards

The New Deal for Young People

“The New Deal for Young People has been successful in placing 339,000 unemployed young people into jobs, and the programme has also had a beneficial effect on the economy.

“The programme must continue to evolve to meet the needs of the increasing proportion of clients with severe or multiple barriers to employment and the changing economic climate. It is therefore vital that the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus continue to monitor and evaluate the programme’s effectiveness. In particular, they must evaluate the changes introduced to the programme to ensure that it continues to help these vulnerable young people and provide good value for taxpayers’ money.”

Published:
28 Feb 2002
Report cover showing pensioners on bicycles

The Pensions Regulator: Progress in establishing its new regulatory approach

“My report in 2002 into Opra detailed a number of failings, so to be able to report good progress by its successor in establishing new regulatory arrangements is very welcome.

“The Pensions Regulator has successfully put in place a framework to identify and address the key issues and risks to private sector final salary pension scheme members. Central to that has been the strategy of addressing the areas of greatest risk. The next step for the Regulator is to continue its push to roll out the same level of regulatory oversight to money purchase schemes as it has for final salary schemes.”

Published:
26 Oct 2007
Report cover showing a Job Centre

The roll-out of the Jobcentre Plus office network

“My report recognises the considerable achievement that has been made delivering over 800 centres to a high quality standard, under budget. The project team controlled costs effectively and achieved savings against the budget – for example by introducing better procurement arrangements. There are lessons here for other Government departments undertaking major procurement projects.”

Published:
22 Feb 2008
Interview

The Work Programme

After a poor start, the performance of the Work Programme is at similar levels to previous programmes but is less than original forecast. The Department has struggled to improve outcomes for harder-to-help groups. The Programme has the potential to offer value for money if it can achieve the higher rates of performance the Department now expects.

Published:
2 Jul 2014
Cover of NAO Report Train to Gain: Developing the skills of the workforce

Train to Gain: Developing the skills of the workforce

“Train to Gain is achieving growth in training that employers value, but taxpayers have a right to expect that much more than half of the public funding should result in training that would not otherwise have occurred. Inconsistent management contributed to a slow start to the programme, followed by rapid growth and now the risk of demand exceeding budgets. We also need to see evidence that money is directed more to areas of greatest need, with training providers who do the best job for their learners and on bringing the whole range of business benefits to employers.”

Published:
21 Jul 2009