8 January 2016
The Department for Work and Pensions has not achieved value for money in its management of health and disability assessments for employment and support allowance and personal independence payments, the National Audit Office says.
The union says in only considering the value for money of contract management, not of the government's wider reforms and policies, the NAO has disappointingly missed an opportunity to properly scrutinise the merits of a system that claimants feel is unfairly targeting them.
It adds it is striking and deeply troubling that, 10 years on from the ESA predecessor contract first being let, the DWP still does not appear to be on top of its contract management.
Key findings in the report include:
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This report, while disappointingly limited in its scope, casts grave doubts on the policy of privatising this very sensitive public service.
"Claimants need to feel they are being supported, not targeted, and we will continue to press for this work to be brought back in-house."