Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

SERCO, Work Programme Providers, and Fraud.

with 27 comments

This is the story that’s caught people’s attention – from the Independent.

In an announcement that throws the Coalition’s privatisation drive into disarray, the Serious Fraud Office was called in to investigate G4S, the world’s largest security company, over contracts dating back over a decade.

Serco, one of Britain’s largest companies, also faces an inquiry by auditors over its charges for operating tagging schemes.

The firms supply an array of services to the public sector from running courts, prisons and immigration removal centres to managing welfare-to-work schemes and the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Between them the two companies receive around £1.5bn a year from the taxpayer, but their contracts are worth billions of pounds because the vast majority run for several years.

We have been waiting for more news on this.

But it’s worth noting (as Private Eye has) that SERCO, under investigation for fraud with G4s, is a leading Work Programme provider.

Serco delivers two Work Programme contracts on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions in:

  • Coventry and Warwickshire, Staffordshire and The Marches; and
  • South Yorkshire.

There is of course no need to worry about SERCO’s involvement with the Work Programme.

Lord Freud himself has said so,

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud visited the Inspire to Independence (i2i) site in Coventry in March, to find out more about Serco, our network of providers and our involvement in the Governments’ Work Programme.

The Minister conveyed how pleased he was with i2i and Serco’s Work Programme involvement and positive impact in supporting people into work.

It is well-known that not a single Work Programme provider (er hum,. except……) has ever been accused of fraudulent practices.

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Written by Andrew Coates

July 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

27 Responses

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  1. This is no surprise to me , I first alerted the Reading Job Centre to Fraud on a significant scale by one of the first contracted providers ; Scout Enterprises at their office in London Street Reading a decade ago back in April 2003 ,when a group of us including me went to Reading Job Centre to point out they might like to look at the Register of names currently being claimed for in the files located in the back office of the Company , a quick cross Reference would show that said company was still claiming fees for individuals some six months and up to a year after they had completed their allocated time and had been refered back to the Job Centre.
    The response of senior Managers at Reading Job Centre was astonishing ; not only were they not interested, they accused us of lying and said if we raised the issue again we would be sanctioned, ever since then I have become convinced that Job Centres around the Country are colluding with so called providers all over the Country to cover up Fraud and malpractice instead of properly managing the Contacts, I have warned the Manageress of Bracknell Job Centre that if this transpires to be the case in this area I will personally be visiting the Economic Crime unit based at Loddon Valley Police station Earley Reading to press for Criminal charges to be bought..
    If readers would like to tell the Man who thought up this open invitation to abuse of public funds ,they may Email him on ; minister.welfarereform@dwp.gsi.gov.uk Keep it clean though as it passes through a Security filtering system as he receives literally Thousands of abusive and threatening Emails from angry disaffected and rightfully hacked off people on a daily basis. David Penson

    David Anthony Penson

    July 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

  2. Oh and Serco are fascist, racist C£££s who run immigration detention centres. Staff at these places are known for racial verbal, and sexual abuse/rape of the detainees. Many staff in these are in EDL or BNP. Serco like the other WPPs are lying scum.

    something survived...

    July 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm

  3. The government lives in a world of its own about this, and many other things.

    I’m proud of our welfare reforms
    I don’t apologise for trying to make the welfare state fair – it’s something only this government can do.

    Ian Duncan Smith.The Guardian.

    We promised a benefit cap and it began, on time, in April in four London areas. It will be completely rolled out by September. We introduced the new personal independence payment as planned and on time. Automatic enrolment started last year, and now 1 million people have been registered into a workplace pension. People are using our Universal Jobmatch website for more than 5m job searches a day. Our Work Programme has launched and the industry tells us that so far 321,000 people have found a job through it.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/28/proud-welfare-reforms-fair-benefits

    Andrew Coates

    July 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

    • Lets ripe apart this 5million search notion shall we. Humans aren’t the only ones looking at this and every other site, theirs something called a bot that does it to. Literally every second zillions of these bots are crawling the net snagging pages all day and night. Humans cannot physically compete with the bot which is infinitely faster so most of this 5 mil is infact computers void of any human contact.

      As for 321’000 getting work through it, wheres the rest of the math/stat ?
      How do we or they know that this figure actually gained employment ?

      Don’t get me wrong, I want UJ to work and work right, its just that if your going to throw figures at me what with me being a bit of a maths wise, I do expect the full workings including source and equations used if I am to give it any credibility.

      For an informed government I would expect them to be well aware of this very important fact yet no where in this press release did it state what the breakdown was meaning yet another deliberate lie by none other than IDS desperate to hid the folly that is the welfare reforms.

      And as for this make it fair stuff, didn’t he and party start out claiming that they would make WORK PAY, seriously is lowering the amount an individual can claim rather than creating actual jobs for the long term unemployed not to mention only 1% pay rises a year for the working really what the public pictured from the parties comments ?

      Lets face it that they couldn’t make real work pay so made sure not working didn’t, if that isn’t a break of pledge I don’t know what is, If this doesn’t demonstrate IDS s lack of ability to perform the task he was assigned and a direct manipulation of the facts I don’t know what is.

      gaia

      July 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      • Cold hearted machines being used to improve the UC performance figures – and that’s only the JCP employees.

        pauly

        July 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

  4. I’m proud of our welfare reforms
    I don’t apologise for trying to make the welfare state fair – it’s something only this government can do.

    nothing about this is fair.this individual’s crusade to appease his supporters’ and voters’ illustrates how this government has set about to wreck more peoples lives, with stupid beliefs and ideologies whatever the costs financially or to peoples wellbeing.

    he now appears to expect people to jump through hoops to claim benefits,placing huge costs on the claimants with high expectations and unrealistic aims.

    ken

    July 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm

  5. How do you block a Private Provider from recieving a referral fee for a MWA, when the Jobcentre have referred you for said MWA through the Pivate Provider but you don’t go to the Private Provider for an introduction interview, you just go straight to the firm where your MWA will take place?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    • Have you already by-passed the referring agency and went directly to the MWA employer?

      Did you get a sanction for not turning up at the referring agency first – as directed?

      Or are you just speculating on here before actually doing anything!

      Tobanem

      July 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      • I have been referred by JCP through a Private Provider but don’t go to the Private Provider, I just have to turn up at the firm where I’ll be doing my 4 week MWA.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        July 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm

  6. Tobanem:

    the first one

    Have you already by-passed the referring agency and went directly to the MWA employer?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    • Hello again Obi Wan Kenobi

      A case I know about is where a person has been notified that he is to be sent to MWA, and where the person is to report to a referring agency first – even although the referring agency has stated the address of the MWA employer in their initial referral letter to the client!

      I thought this procedure was standard all over the country, although your variation shows that is not the case!

      Mind you, that kind of regional inconsistency is nothing new when dealing with DWP procedures these days!

      Tobanem

      July 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    • hello i am wondering if you could point me in the right direction as i am at a loss of what to do, regarding, letters from work program going to a wrong address, resulting in a sanction a week!! for 9 months, how could i go about getting all this lost money back dated, i can explain in full of the situation, i even have a letter from seetec, stating they have confirmed with dwp that i live at the wrong address , yet upon going to my local jobcenter was informed they have my correct address across all 4 it systems, it appears seetec have blatently lied and changed the address in order for me to incur more sanctions, i can be contacted on tarmac1@hotmail.co.uk kind regards.

      seetecw@nkers

      August 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm

  7. Meanwhile, Judicial Reviews are to be made tougher, ie, it will be tougher to bring cases to court!

    I wonder if the Cait Reilly case has got anything to do with this?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10208078/Judicial-review-process-to-be-made-tougher.html

    Tobanem

    July 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    • Its not about taking things to courts, its about preventing you challenging government policy.

      So much for this making the system fair and equal.

      Democracy defined: Free and equal representation of people: the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people.

      While on the subject of government cock blocking, remember all those figures given out by IDS that the stats don’t back up or even highlight, well their at it again but this time on the subject of immigrants.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23489925

      Notice how again its claimed its working yet we have again absolutely NO FIGURES to back it up by government ?

      IS IT NOT TIME MINISTERS INCLUDING THE PM have to display the figures/stats before being allowed to make such a claim to the public in future.

      WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL MPs DEMANDING AN ADDRESS TO THESE QUESTIONABLE CLAIMS, DEMAND UTTER TRANSPARENCY AS CAMERON HIMSELF PROMISED THIS GOVERNMENT WOULD BE.

      gaia

      July 30, 2013 at 7:01 am

  8. just went through the paper work/ letters for appointments they sent me and i have 5.

    thats a massive 6hrs id have spent there if i went that is pmsl.

    going to take all 5 and put them on desk when im of the wp and say this is your work programme i went 2 time last year and 3 this 1 fucking good value that was had to wait a hole year just for my 3rd appointment 😉 and here it is in black and white you dum fucks.

    super ted

    July 29, 2013 at 7:33 pm

  9. and i just found the paperwork for two sanctions i had and 1 that has now gone walkeys from the jcp system :0

    super ted

    July 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

  10. also the letter for the sanctions dont match the dates for the letters i received there out by months so just random sanctions being made against me for not going to an interview that never existed in the first place.

    funny they gone from the jcp n it wonder what they will say when i drop this on them?

    super ted

    July 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm

  11. and i just found the 3rd sanction that i received also does not match any of the letters from my provider and now none of them are on the jcp system only 1 that is pre wp now.

    super ted

    July 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm

  12. steady on old boy , its just the natural order of things. Evry one knows you cant have access to the courts to buy justice if you have no money.

    God foribid the gentle men working in the law professions have to mix with commoners.

    growls

    July 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm

  13. G4S are like the proverbial rash – they’re everywhere: from the security guards in my local jobcentre to the bloke who turned up a few days’ ago to read my gas meter. It’s all beginning to resemble the world portrayed in the RoboCop movies where megabuck corporations run and control everything.

    Democracy? My arse!

    Trevor

    July 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

  14. (PART 1)

    For any facing this MWA the scheme is aimed towards those not doing enough to find,gain and keep work or those be it deliberate or through a lack of skill or barrier who are deemed NOT WORK READY.

    To assess this your advisor must carry out whats known as Customer Assessment Tool (CAT). Like all things DWP/JCP their are rules that the advisor must abide by.

    Here are what they must assess


    There is good evidence that the customer believes that they can work, find specific jobs, has the capability to do that job, and is confident of being able to gain and keep employment in that job.

    There is good evidence that the customer has a specific and realistic job goal and specific alternatives.

    There is good evidence that those specific goals are available in the local market.

    There is good evidence that the customer has the knowledge, skills and experience to do that job.

    There is good evidence that the customer is willing to carry out effective and sustained jobsearch.

    There is good evidence that the customer has essential resources for sustained jobsearch.

    There is good evidence that the customer is able to demonstrate their capability effectively to employers.

    There is good evidence that the customer is able to present themselves effectively to potential employers.

    There is good evidence that the customer is successfully managing, or has not got, any barriers to sustained employment.

    There is good evidence that the customer could keep a job offered by an employer.

    IF YOUR ASSESSED AS NEGATIVE TO ANY POINT THEN YOU CAN BE MANDATED TO MWA.

    YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THE EXACT NATURE OF WHY YOU QUALIFY FOR MWA AS IT IS NOT TO BE USED AS A TOOL FOR ALL CLAIMANTS AND OR BE ADMINISTERED AS A FORM OF PUNISHMENT.

    In fairness even here I constantly hear how claimants cant get good access to resources for a sustained jobsearch and as valid as that maybe for some it does open them up to a negative mark which isn’t necessary as no one has defined SUSTAINED in any legal document I can find SO STICK TO WHAT YOUR JOBSEEKERS AGREEMENT STATES YOU SHOULD DO AS REGARDS POINTS OF ACTION AS THIS WILL ACT AS A REFERENCE UNTILL DEMONSTRATED DIFFERENTLY AS TO FOR THAT CLAIMANT WHAT IS DEEMED AS SUSTAINED.

    Don’t forget if you live in an area where jobs are short including the 90 min travel to agreement that prospecting potential employers is also counted as evidence, however it doesn’t supplement actual vacancies if the advisor can prove such exist.

    Also don’t shy away from looking for work at this 90 min mark or further despite the fact of overwhelming evidence that employers only and often tend to recruit locally, that on a minimum wage before tax and NI that your travel costs will be greater thus making the job itself not only NOT COST EFFECTIVE WHEN CONSIDERING LIVING BUT ALSO STILL MAKING YOU RELIANT ON THE STATE FOR MOST OF THE BENEFITS YOUR ALREADY CLAIMING.

    Lastly theirs this habit by claimants to go for vacancies that certain requirements are governed by law such as fork lift driving which requires a licence for such work activity. Now they might well be capable of such a task, may even have performed this very function abroad, well these are not grounds for justifying your applying for said vacancy.

    THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY BEFORE YOU SAY IT CLAIMANTS

    gaia

    July 30, 2013 at 9:57 am

  15. (PART 2)

    For anyone not in the know these providers that act for government as regards this MWA are to be treated like those running the WP and that the actual activity (where the 30 hours is done) is a THIRD PARTY in respect to your PERSONAL AND SENSITIVE DATA whether you attend the PROVIDER interview first or not.

    Under law you are NOT DUTY BOUND to supply personal and sensitive data to a THIRD PARTY

    15. A JSA claimant potentially suitable for MWA is one identified through the work targeted interview process, supported by use of the Customer Assessment Tool, as lacking ,or failing to demonstrate, the focus and discipline that is necessary to effectively:

    1: seek out and pursue job opportunities

    2: secure and retain employment

    16. MWA may be beneficial for a claimant that has recently received a labour market related sanction/disallowance, providing an opportunity for them to develop the skills, disciplines and behaviours sought by employers.

    19. If a lack of recent work experience is proving to be a barrier to finding work for an otherwise well-focused claimant, Advisory Teams must seek to address this through appropriate measures eg Work Together; MWA is not an appropriate measure in such cases

    This implies that the activity is nothing to do with actual work, meaning that while on the activity you should only need to follow orders by the activity (pound shop,etc) that improve your FOCUS AND DISCIPLINE IN RESPECT TO 15(1) AND 15(2).

    As for point 16 DO ASK YOUR ADVISOR EXACTLY WHAT SKILLS AND DISCIPLINES AND BEHAVIOURS SOUGHT BY EMPLOYERS THAT YOU NEED TO LEARN AND HOW THEY EXACTLY ASSESSED EACH AND EVERY POINT THEIR MAKING.

    For instance just because you verbally swear at an advisor and as a result get sanctioned doesn’t imply you would to someone else and is unless proved without doubt a defamatory comment thus making those that claim it OPEN TO CIVIL ACTION.
    The same can be said for physical threatening behaviour and in both cases these are criminal offences so DWP/JCP would have to EXPLAIN WHY THEY DIDNT REPORT IT TO THE CORRECT AUTHORITY IF THEY BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE.

    LIKE I SAID THEIR LOOKING AT YOUR EFFORTS TO FIND WORK OR SHOULD I SAY THE LACK OF IT AS GROUNDS FOR ENTRANCE TO MWA

    gaia

    July 30, 2013 at 10:26 am

  16. Reblogged this on this 'n that.

    richardbroomhall

    July 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

  17. The BBC Trust has just published a landmark judgement about treating benefit claimants fairly in BBC programmes. For anyone who has been worried about the BBC’s anti-claimant bias, it’s a hopeful moment.

    Back in October 2011, the BBC broadcast The Future of the Welfare State with John Humphrys, a programme where the presenter travelled the country, building up a picture of “a growing sense of entitlement among some groups claiming benefits”. Once, he argued, people in working class communities in places like Cardiff where he grew up, would have been ashamed to rely on benefits, now they saw it as a lifestyle choice. Iain Duncan Smith described it as an “excellent programme“; Humphrys himself parlayed it into a Daily Mail article, where he was even clearer about his attack on benefits and the people who claim them:

    In the words of an old lady who lived opposite my house when I was born and who lives there still: “If they can get money without working, they will.” Times have changed, she told me sadly, and the ‘pride in working’ has gone.

    The Child Poverty Action Group complained to the BBC Trust Editorial Standards Committee about the programme in November 2011 and the Trust finally published its ruling this morning. The Committee found that the programme didn’t break BBC guidelines on impartiality directly, but it did break guidelines on accuracy, which also had an effect on whether or not the programme was impartial.

    The Committee concluded that viewers would be likely to form the conclusion that the benefits being targeted by the Government were largely responsible for the view held by some that “the welfare state is in crisis”. The Committee also concluded that viewers would be likely to form the impression, despite the anecdotal testimonies of job seekers heard in the programme, that there was a healthy supply of jobs overall. As both issues are central to the viewers’ understanding of the key issues discussed in the programme, and because this was a controversial issue which was also a major matter within the meaning of the Editorial Guidelines, the Committee concluded that the failure of accuracy had also led to a breach of impartiality on this occasion.

    The decision on impartiality is a judgement call, and I have to say I disagree with the Committee’s judgement. On one side of the argument (the government’s) they interviewed several authority figures; on the other side they mainly relied on the comments of claimants themselves. They were, in effect, ‘in the dock’ in this programme and the Committee does suggest that the programme would not have been impartial if there had been no authority figures on their side, but there were interviews with a number of New York critics of Anerican welfare reforms and the Committee judged that this was enough for balance.

    This is a really important ruling, and it vindicates the Child Poverty Action Group’s decision to complain and then appeal. It shows that, even at a time when not much is going our way, there’s still room for victories every day.

    http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2013/07/claimant-bashing-at-the-beeb

    Andrew Coates

    July 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

  18. What victory, they still report exactly how they want as only recently they were accused of the opposite by government. For instance I read a story the other day regarding the installation of solar panels on a block of flats where it was claimed both in writing and in the video that the system would power the blocks needs.

    As an engineer I can tell you that’s a load of bull as for one the figures claimed are based on a sunny day (100’000 lumens) which we all know isn’t a regular occurrence in the UK what with our often cloudy skies (15’000 lumens). The next thing against this is that nothing stays clean for long and just like us birds enjoy the comfort of heat as well so will often perch on such a structure but even if not the PVs will get dirty and so unless someone cleans them with a special solution everyday OUTPUT will be reduced.

    Then theirs the NAIL IN THE COFFIN in that appliances that produce heat drain the most electricity so a block of showers is going to cause quite a drain and I haven’t included the IRON,THE KETTLE AND THE HAIRDRYER which are routinely used of a morning.

    This isn’t the first as look at CLIMATE CHANGE AND FRACKING where the BBC have routinely down played the inaccuracies and side effects as have our respective government.

    To put it correctly

    HOW CAN YOU CLAIM TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE IF YOU ARE APPROVING FRACKING WHICH WHEN ADDED UP POLLUTES MORE THAN ANY OTHER FOSSIL FUEL EXTRACTION TO OUR ATOMSPHERE AND THATS BEFORE INCLUDING CONTAMINATION OF OUR WATER AQUIFERS.

    gaia

    July 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  19. can somebody possibly please help in my situation with the work program provider seetec manchester, regarding mandotory appoinment letters going to the wrong address for months resulting in sanctions sanctions sanctions!! funny thing is they had my correct address up untill the letters stopped arriving around Christmas 2012 i will explain all whats gone on in full should somebody see this and reply thank you so much in advance, i can be contacted on tarmac1@hotmail.co.uk

    scotty

    August 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

  20. Hi
    I’m looking work experience if you have any
    Please e-mail me back.thanks

    Muna Sharif

    November 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm


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