[holding answer 31 March 2009]: The financial viability of providers is assessed before we award a contract, and throughout the contract life. Where any financial viability risks are identified the Department’s financial specialists seek robust and appropriate mitigation and ensure that management plans are put in place.
The Department, working in consultation with providers, has been looking at approaches to improve performance of Pathways to Work contracts. Among the actions agreed, we have been prepared to consider re-profiling the payment of the service fee element, to reflect more closely the expenditure and income generation of providers. This re-profiling does not, overall, change the contractual terms, the value or the total amount payable for outcomes against the service fee or the overall performance expectations. Each contract is being looked at on an individual basis and of the 11 providers involved, we have agreed to re-profile in nine cases.