Public Accounts Committee Press Notice

29 November 2006

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: Jobcentre Plus: Delivering effective services through Personal Advisers

Jobcentre Plus personal advisers have shown themselves to be an effective means of supporting people looking for work; but sadly this is often in spite of, not because of, the help staff receive from their employers.

The system in which they work is a hotchpotch, which means staff spend only half of their time actually helping people to look for work. And it doesn’t help that customers simply don’t turn up for 1.8 million interviews a year at a cost of £16 million. These people must be left in no doubt of the sanctions they face for this kind of behaviour.

When advisers should be devoting their time to helping jobseekers they are bombarded by needless paperwork, left trying to manage countless administrative and ad hoc tasks at the same time as having to battle with an old and incoherent IT system.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Luke Robinson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 5693 or 07917 488549.