[holding answer 2 March 2010]: When provider led Pathways to Work was first introduced the Department did not have a system in place which allowed the secure electronic transfer of customer data to external organisations.
The Department ensures that safeguards are built into the process to protect personal customer details by restricting the number of individual customer details. In some areas, Jobcentre Plus conducts the initial interview on provider premises. Where this happens the referral is immediately handed to the provider.
The Department is now in the process of rolling out a more efficient and secure IT based solution to refer customers from Jobcentre Plus to external providers for all commercial employment programmes. The Provider Referrals and Payments (PRaP) System began operating in October 2009 in support of the flexible new deal programme. At the point of contract award or renewal it is intended that all commercial employment programmes will adopt the PRaP IT solution both for referring individual customers and to make the associated payments to providers.