Managing the Work Programme

Some officials working for A4E have been accused of mis-reporting their success in placing claimants in jobs. I have no way of knowing whether the specific allegations of fraud are justified, but this may be a symptom of a more general problem – what happens in a situation where the DWP cannot oversee the outcomes itself. The Office for Government Commerce commented in 2007 that the DWP did not have ”the commercial capacity, the management information or the appropriate organisational structure in place to manage providers and markets successfully.” In relation to the Pathways project, the National Audit Office found that private contractors had underestimated the difficulties of working with the client group, and that the effect of sub-contracts was to limit the control that DWP commissioners were able to exercise over the work. The same problems seem likely to persist in the Work Programme. This is a structural issue.

One thought on “Managing the Work Programme”

  1. Previous schemes did, at least, allow for some DWP oversight, The Work Programme, as I understand, deliberately and contractually does not. The concept of the programme is to focus solely on outcomes of job placement and continuity, with a lengthier staged payment schedule. The way in which this is achieved does not matter (within legal constraints of course) and thus participants are handed by the DWP into a providers ‘black-box’ form which they emerge into employment. What happens within the black-box is solely at the discretion of the providers.

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