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Jobcentres: Courier Services

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department spent on sending customer documents by courier between jobcentres and benefit delivery centres in the last financial year for which figures are available; which courier companies were used; how much was paid to each; and if she will make a statement. (316961)

[holding answer 22 February 2010]: TNT UK Ltd. is DWP's contracted courier provider that delivers a single dedicated network service that is accessed jointly by DWP and HMRC. In 2008-09 DWP courier service expenditure with TNT was £9.5 million.

Our latest volume information confirms that TNT transport around 13 million items per year for DWP alone—around 11 million standard service (undocumented) where items are not recorded or tracked; and around two million consignments fully tracked (documented) where they are recorded at all stages of their transfer from collection to delivery through the TNT network. DWP has recently moved to a combined DWP/HMRC dedicated courier service which now carries both standard and fully tracked mail. This new service was introduced on 18 January 2010 . This service provides an industry standard and more secure courier service, provide improved value for money and will reduce the risk associated with the transfer of our courier mail.

Our MI data do not provide specific details of the courier traffic between Jobcentre Plus and Benefit Delivery Centres—although Jobcentre Plus accounts for approximately 90 per cent. of all DWP business courier transfers. However, please note that the level of information available does not detail courier transfers between Jobcentres and Benefit Delivery Centres.