The department informed PCS that Capita would be invited to undertake Income Support New Claims information gathering owing to the decline of this work as more claims are moved over to Universal Credit. Capita is also completing Carer’s Allowance claim pack requests and the DWP staff currently undertaking this work are to be redeployed on to other DWP work.
Capita also takes Employee Support Allowance New Claims and Jobcentre Enquiry Line (JEL). This work is to be re-tendered for other private sector providers to bid for under the Crown Commercial Framework.
DWP claimed that no DWP colleagues would be moved into the private sector but the effect is unchanged as in PCS’ view that work which should be delivered in-house by our members, will be undertaken by the private sector. We have raised our firm objection to this as PCS’ conference policy places us in direct opposition to these plans.
PCS DWP group assistant secretary Steve Swainston told Voice: “PCS completely oppose the department’s intention to outsource or re-tender any public sector work into the private sector.
We have a clear position that public sector work is best delivered by our members, as part of properly funded and resourced welfare provision. Our members have repeatedly shown that they provide a higher quality and better value service to the public. The recent collapse of Carillion only goes to emphasise the deep and serious concerns which we have highlighted both in the DWP and across the civil service regarding outsourcing of our members work.
We have demanded that this work is delivered in-house by our members and are calling for all work which has been outsourced previously by successive governments to be returned to public sector provision”.
We will continue to oppose both ongoing and any future outsourcing proposals and are working closely with the PCS parliamentary group and the Labour leadership to strengthen the opposition to private sector provision of public sector work. In the wake of the Carillion collapse, the reportedly shaky state of Interserve, as well as the previous historical failures of private sector contracts such as the Action 4 Employment scandal, ensuring public sector provision is more relevant and important than ever for our members and the public which we serve.