Reblogged from the excellent Stop Changes 2 AtW campaign: https://stopchanges2atw.com/?s=letter+from+dwp
You may remember our letter which we sent to DWP in response to the article in the Mirror last week about the privatisation of Access to Work. See our post here: https://stopchanges2atw.com/2016/02/04/privatisation-of-atw-letter-to-mr-duncan-smith/
Thank you for your email of 4 February to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, concerning Access to Work.
I hope that you will understand that Government Ministers receive a large volume of correspondence and are unable to reply personally on every occasion. I have therefore been asked to respond and I hope that the following is helpful.
On behalf of this Department, I would like to confirm that no decisions have been made on the future delivery model of Access to Work and there are no current plans to privatise the service.
The Autumn Spending Review settlement awarded Access to Work with a real-terms increase in resources and, as a result, the Minister for Disabled People has commissioned a feasibility study to explore how Access to Work can help the greatest number of customers possible. Part of this feasibility study will include investigating potential future delivery models and whether any could extend customer reach beyond what Government can deliver, by having the capacity to leverage additional external funding for example.
We have published an Invitation to Tender for an external Consultancy firm to conduct the study. Independent experts are removed from Government and can therefore impartially explore the various potential delivery options and will have previous experience in this area of work.
The independent experts may liase with external stakeholders, as well as key staff amongst Access to Work Operational and Strategic divisions, to identify challenges and opportunities of the various potential delivery options.
It is important to remind stakeholders that officials are still in the commercial process of inviting tenders from potential suppliers and subsequently the study has not started yet. Furthermore, this means that no decisions on the future delivery of the scheme have been made.
Stakeholders will be kept well informed of any significant Access to Work related changes.
Ministerial Correspondence Team