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New Deal: Pathways to Work

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) criminal and (b) administrative penalties are available in respect of contractors for work under the (i) New Deal and (ii) Pathways to Work programmes found to have defrauded her Department; and if she will make a statement. (283974)

All DWP Welfare to Work contracts, including Pathways to Work and New Deal programmes, include mandatory clauses outlining the remedies where contractor fraud is committed. Remedies range from a formal warning with the recovery of any amounts paid by the Department in respect of any fraud or financial irregularity and damages that are appropriate through to termination of contract. Contracts will be terminated where the breach of the contract terms is sufficiently serious.

DWP deals with minor irregularities internally. Where the Department believes the matter is more serious, and where there may be sufficient evidence for a prosecution, the matter will be referred to the police.

DWP will always investigate any allegations and take action where there is sufficient evidence for us to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many investigations her Department is undertaking into contracts for (a) New Deal and (b) Pathways to Work. (283975)

The Department is undertaking four investigations into contracts for New Deal and one investigation into contracts for Pathways to Work.