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DWP Code of Conduct - Merlin

For the cynics amongst  you, DWP are picking up speed in taking forward the promise in the government response to fND (see our news on 17 May) with regard to the providers Code of Conduct. 

The response stated that an advisory board would be put in place to provide the equivalent of an "ombudsman service" to mediate cases where providers have shown capricious behaviour.  Lucy Williams from DWP presented at the ALP conference recently and explained that DWP would be running a two year pilot to develop a certification process linking with other quality systems (including Ofsted), and providing this mediation service.

DWP have now posted an contract notice in the OJEU (ref 2009/S 103-148699) for:

Merlin - The provision of quality standard design, assessment and review services to support the development of a new Code of Conduct standard.   

The notice is for Development of a Code of Conduct which spells out the key values and principles of behaviour which DWP expects from it's Welfare to Work providers.  Merlin is the development of a bespoke accreditation based standard, assessment process and mediation service. 

Don’t read too much into the name - we’re sure they don’t need a magician to manage the Code of Conduct! 

There is little additional information available on the contract notice, but the contact details for those of you are interested are DWP, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA. Tel 0207 4495553. E-mail: Lucy.Williams@dwp.gsi.gov.uk (Merlin Project Manager).

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