Select Committee on Works and Pensions Minutes of Evidence

Annex C

Letter to the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities

  Dear Minister,

  Thank you for your time on 11 July 2000. At our meeting I agreed to set out Deloitte Consulting's proposals for changes to the funding for the Leeds and Suffolk ONE PVS pilots. I must apologise for the delay in responding to you. As I formulated a response on this matter following our meeting, it became increasingly apparent that it might be more helpful to provide a wider review of our concerns around the likely outcome of the pilot exercise rather than focussing solely on our reservations around the Output Related Funding regime. The Output Related Funding regime is one of a number of interrelated issues. I am therefore attaching a paper to this letter for your consideration.

  You are doubtless aware that the integration of customer facing services, previously provided independently by the Employment Service, Benefits Agency and Local Authorities presents a complex operational challenge. We believe that we are gaining a thorough understanding of the issues and are providing an increasingly robust service. This opinion is substantiated by feedback from the public in the form of the conversations they have with staff, the feedback they provide to lobby groups, and through thank you letters.

  It is also increasingly apparent that fulfilling pre-existing performance regimes will not allow a more fulsome exploration of the opportunity to excel in the sustainable employment performance dimension. Furthermore, the time-driven rather than evidence-driven gateway to benefits is providing a sub-optimal process with regard to benefit security.

  We hope that the attached paper will provide some insight into our recent experience on the two pilots. I would be happy to meet with you and Officials at your convenience if you felt there would be value in discussing these matters further.

Richard Granger


15 August 2000

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