A full record storage and retrieval service is currently delivered to DWP by Capita plc. The current file-holding is in the region of 58 million files and the annual contract cost for 2008-09 was £21.2 million. In the main these paper documents form the legal basis on which applications to benefit are determined and must be retained for audit, review, appeal and other business related functions while the claim to benefit is current and for a period after termination of claim.
DWP is actively engaged in a range of initiatives to reduce paper e.g. a scanning solution for documents received from clients. These scanned images will be stored in and retrieved from a single Departmental Document Repository System.
Jobcentre Plus has also set up a Paper Reduction Programme to consider opportunities to reduce the amount of paper that is used and moved around its business.