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Work Programme Prospectus

 DWP have sneakily added a new document to their previous notice this week inviting expressions of interest for their Framework Agreement.

The new document is the Work Programme Prospectus and provides a bit more detail on the taster we've had so far.  FND will be folded into the Work Programme asap and news will be out shortly re the future of JCP Support Contract, NDLP, Work Choice and similar existing programmes.

An interesting reason for DWP using the Framework is to help the government drive up performance and value for money.  An example is that DWP will be able to quickly move packages of work to the best performing delivery partners to incentivise delivery partners to achieve more.  That's an interesting concept to keep an eye on as things unfold.

Timescales have been issued which include:

  • Framework to be let by November 2010
  • Competition for Work Programme to start November/December
  • Contracts to be awarded in January!  

For such high value contracts that really is a short turnaround, even by DWP standards.  And that's another Christmas ruined for countless people.  What is it with government departments and Christmas?!  Were they not there when Christmas Spirit was handed out?

Anyway, onto the funding.

They are still "exploring" DEL/AME but our interpretation of the intentions outlined is:

  • payment by results (exclusively or largely)
  • having to prove that your help led to the customer moving off benefits
  • varied job outcome payments for different groups but the price will not exceed benefit savings generated
  • providers can do what they like with customers - there will be no specification (?)

The prospectus finishes with the now common statement that DWP recognise the crucial role that the voluntary sector in particular has to play in tackling worklessness, and our plans reflect this.  But still no detail on how the plans actually do reflect this.  Another space to watch.


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