Posts Tagged ‘FND’

The man, the Myth, the legend.

Richard Johnson has left the stage…..

It is indeed true to say, that under the leadership of Richard Johnson, Serco launched itself financially but more importantly, emotionally into the welfare to work sector.

The Batman and Robin duo of Messrs Johnson and Williams strutted impressive figures on the W2W stage.

Serco made its mark during FND1, however it was during FND2 that Serco did indeed begin to soar like an eagle.

I have to declare an interest here… yesMinister were heavily involved and embedded with the Serco team during FND2.. in fact we were indistinguishable and fitted seamlessly into the team which the dynamic duo had put together… by the way we were also paid on time – this bodes well for Serco’s supply chain!!

The ethical Monolith

Having worked in the sector from the TEC days it was reassuring for me to see and hear high ethics and commendable aspirations being enunciated from within the belly of the monolith which is Serco. What was said internally was communicated externally … there were no double messages, hedged bets, or duplicitous actions… this made it easy for Serco but even easier for yesMinister to engage with Serco and its supply chain.

Pastures New

Richard has gone on to pastures new but lets be clear… many Prime contractors stood quietly whilst Richard expounded on the pros and cons of the new commissioning framework, on the impact of payment by results on providers, beneficiaries – now there’s a word that’s rarely used -, and government. Richard has indeed been a ‘critical friend’;  many have silently benefited from his insights. Richard definitely applied his skills of oratory, his attention to detail and his ability to discern which was bolstered by his confidence in the research that his team had been doing on the ground and which was further supported by the modelling, statistical analysis and attention to detail…

The new level of transparency of accounting which is characteristic of the sector came from RJ. The innovative 3 Step Delivery Model was born out of the belly of the Dynamic Duo…


As Machiavelli says.. the innovator is at most risk because on one hand he has those who have benefited from the old system and are fearful of losing out under a new system.

On the other hand, those who ‘could’ benefit from the proposed new system are fearful of that change and of what it will mean….. this leaves the innovator in a precarious position … still innovating but with others waiting, waiting, waiting and trying to time and negotiate their own advantage……

The sector will definitely miss RJ…..

By the way Richard…. ….. lets do lunch … there are new plans emerging,.,.,….. its not over yet……

Seasons greetings………follow this


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Nine of the largest and most experienced disability support organisations have joined forces. Together they have the capacity, specialist expertise and track record to deliver large-scale contracts on behalf of Prime Contractors. Disability Works UK has national reach with local knowledge to work across large areas providing personalised services to a wide customer group.


Disability Works UK is a Not-For-Profit Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) established to deliver employment related services to disabled people.

Disability Works UK is pooling its collective turnover of c£628m, its expertise and resources to;

  • Provide ‘One Stop Shop’ solutions,
  • Enhance the delivery of services,
  • Give national reach with local delivery solutions,
  • Minimise the cost of delivery thereby increasing surplus,
  • Demonstrate added value,
  • Supporting Prime contractors,

READ MORE…. Disability Works UK

For more information call 020 7993 2505 or email…



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Maria Miller MP, Minister for Disabled People, faced questions on changes to disability living allowance, which will see the end of the £49.85-a-week mobility component for working-age people in residential care.

Controversially, the plans to halt mobility payments were not subject any public consultation, a point that Frank Roy MP suggested Ms. Millet may face problems answering when confronted by her disabled constituents.

Ms. Miller however stressed that schemes such as Work Choice and Access to Work provide alternative financial assistance to disabled people.

Following the publication of DWP’s White Paper on welfare reform, ministers have repeated the importance of moving away from a one size fits all benefits system to a personalised system of government support. Ms. Miller also stated that the DWP has been working with the Department for Health to improve social care. The expertise and good work of disability focussed organisations such as the Shaw Trust were hailed as examples of local user groups that have succeeded.
MPs, including Tracey Crouch, raised concerns over the current work capability assessment which has been criticised for not taking into account the fluctuating symptoms of mental illness. Professor Harrington’s report on improving the current work capability assessment will be published tomorrow and Chris Grayling has called for both sides of the House to consult on Professor Harrington’s findings, and reach consensus on the best steps forward. Mr. Grayling stated that a new assessment was of:

“Paramount importance…we must continue to review issues and make further improvements as when necessary”.

His colleague Ms. Miller concurred:
“We need an assessment that identifies people’s real need for support”.
Professor Harrington has compiled his report following consultations with specialist organisations, such as Mind, that have experience and expertise in supporting and empowering disabled people. Mind’s Chief Executive, Paul Farmer was cited as an integral contributor to the discussions regarding the new assessment. Mr. Grayling is also working closely with the Ministry of Justice to ensure work capability assessment tribunals operate with greater efficiency and expediency.

Volunteering will have a higher profile under the Work Programme than it did in the Flexible New Deal. Volunteer positions will be used as another vehicle to help people gain the skills and confidence to obtain sustainable employment.

The Secretary of State, Iain Duncan-Smith closed by declaring:
“Employment growth is at the heart of all we do…This is the most comprehensive work programme since the war”.

Website: Parliament UK (TV) Here

Kuki Taylor

Project Support Officer


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As we move towards the Work programme there are valuable lessons to learn and there is much that we can build on.

It s a while ago, but I think it is still very relevant.  On 3rd March 2010 The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee published its report on the Management and Administration of Contracted Employment Programmes. The Committee examined DWP Commissioning Strategy and FND in 2009.

One of the conclusions drawn was that whilst DWP saw itself as having a “market stewardship” role “there was no evidence of this happening in practice’. The report examined several examples of potentially unfair treatment of sub-contractors and added ‘….Whilst we do not know how widespread this problem is, neither does the Department and we call on them to clarify what constitutes fair treatment of subcontractors and ensure that prime contractors meet these standards. [the statement goes on]………the Department has shown no willingness to get involved with even the most serious cases”.

However in response to the question;

“…If there was evidence that a subcontractor was not making enough money to be able to run the service that they were providing, [or if] they were effectively subsidising the work that they were doing as part of the contract from other sources of income, would you ever want to be involved in that?”

Alan Cave responded;

“If that situation were arising because of a breach of a code of conduct, we would be involved.

Again the commercial relationship is with the prime contractor. They are responsible for delivering what that contract needs to deliver in totality, so we hold the prime contractor to account for that”.

Mr Heald: In Glasgow we met one company who had been delivering a particular contract for seven years, they did not get the subcontract, and now what has happened is the large prime company has taken over their offices and their staff and so they have lost out. Is that not a bad example to be setting?”

Mr Cave:That is an example of competition, is it not? They have lost to competition and the consequence of that is that the prime contractor who ran the competition has had the staff and the..”

Mr Heald:This is exactly the attitude that I was hoping you might push back on. In Scotland one of the things that rather surprised us was that in the first round of Flexible New Deal the three prime contractors who had put in had each named the other two as their main subcontractors, so it did not matter who won, the big boys did. That is what worries us. Some of these small organisations which have done very good work and which are the most innovative in the niches and really delivering on the streets may end up getting parked”.


VERY Interesting……  we need to be mindful of this.  See our piece on “Threshold Providers”

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Is it still the rule that public sector contracts must not account for more than 50% of a providers income ?

The average contract is likely to be between £20m £25m. How many providers can leverage £20 or £30 million contracts in single or multiple lots?

It is difficult to square the massive Geographic areas with the financials. If –as the framework agreement suggests – there are 3 primes each holding sizeable contracts in a lot how deep can the supply chain really be?

Greater Manchester with the  largest FND contract, with its larger areas is possibly the closest model.  SERCO may well have the most pragmatic knowledge of how and whether the 11 Lots can work.

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JCP is under pressure to cut costs…. this will inevitably mean jobs… the 6,000 people taken on by JCP last year to assist with the increased FND flows are obviously high on the hit list.

Under the Work Programme JCP no longer has the guarantee of clients (under 25)  for 12 months.  Whilst a ‘fair’ number of JCP staff could be TUPED across to the Work Programme ‘The Word on the Street‘ is that across the board we are likely to see significant job losses across the department.
We understand that a number of areas have now been identified.

The other question that is been asked is whether The Work Programme signals the beginning of the privatisation of JCP.
More thoughts and news on this coming soon….

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The Birth of The Work Programme has lifted the cloud. Due to PEP, staff employed to deliver New Deal contracts faced uncertainty about their jobs. Even with TUPE undertaking, many staff believed that – come October – they would either be out of work or be negotiating terms!

However, as a result of the Birth of The Work Programme these employees are now in a position of having secure work to June 2010 -when The Work Programme goes live – and beyond. These workers will also be TUPED across to The Work Programme which is a 4 year programme (even though it will only run for 3 and a half years), so theoretically they will be in work until the end of the Coalition government.

Providers delivering New Deal have also breathed a sigh of relief….. The birth of The Work Programme and the cancellation of other programmes has played to their strength and given them 12 month of security.

The challenge for these providers is that they need to significantly increase their performance or else they could find themselves without contracts from June 2010.

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