Tender row over New Deal cash

for the government to reopen the tendering process for New Deal for
Disabled People money have been rejected, prompting claims that it
may not meet its target of getting 30,000 disabled people into

Association for Supported Employment (Afse), whose members work
with the Employment Service to place and support disabled people at
work, are calling for the tendering process to be reopened. Most of
the organisation’s 200-plus members did not bid because they
objected to part of the scheme, which wasÊdropped in December

Chairperson of Afse Donna Kenny said: “A lot of good agencies,
people with specialist knowledge, didn’t bid. It will be difficult
for the government now to meet its target for getting disabled
people into work. Despite what the government has said Afse will
continue to put pressure on them to re-tender so that our members
can bid this time around.”

But a
spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We
won’t re-tender. The Job Broker service is now up and running. To
reopen the tendering process would be too costly and cause
disruption. We are happy that we will be able to meet the

original proposals every fifth disabled person who approached a
supported employment organisation for the Job Broker service would
have had their help deferred for a year as the control group. The
government could compare the success of those who received the
service against those who had it deferred.

association members raised concerns about the policy, writing to
MPs and Hugh Bayley, then minister with responsibility for the
deal, arguing it was unethical to deny immediate help to people who
had sought it.

who attended government briefings before the tendering process
began, said: “Most of us felt that it wasn’t ethical to turn people
away. But senior civil servants told us that the only way the
Treasury would release money for the scheme was if we used the
control group.”

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