[holding answer 12 February 2009]: The competition for contracts to deliver Flexible New Deal is under way; 124 bids were submitted and these are being evaluated. The number of people expected to start the programme is likely to increase from the numbers provided to bidders earlier in the competition. DWP believe it prudent to now ask bidders to submit an additional bid.
This consultation will delay the announcement of preferred bidders. However the Government remains committed to bringing in the Flexible New Deal phase 1 from October 2009.