Session 2002-03   

First witnesses in its service delivery inquiry - further input sought"

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee took oral evidence from the first witnesses in its inquiry into service delivery on Wednesday 29 October. The inquiry into the standards of service delivery by DWP of services to minority ethnic customers was announced in March 2003.

The next oral evidence session is not scheduled until early in the new year and the Committee will continue to accept written evidence until 5th December 2003.  Future evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

Commenting on the Committee's new inquiry the Chairman, Sir Archy Kirkwood MP, said: "This inquiry forms an essential part of our work and it has become clear from previous inquiries that the successful delivery of its services by DWP to those customers from minority ethnic backgrounds is crucial to the success of the Department's policies.  We have taken the slightly unusual step of delaying more oral evidence sessions in order to encourage further written evidence and comment.  We would welcome further information on this subject, but especially from individuals and organisations from minority ethnic groups who have direct experience of the Department for Work and Pensions."

The witnesses who gave evidence on Wednesday 29 October  2003 were Katie Lane and Fosuah Poku (Citizens Advice); Richard Wilson (Help the Aged) and Dee springer (Frontline Housing and Advice);Frank Bonner and Roland Biosah (Public and Commercial Services  Union); Trevor Phillips and Angela Hannaway (Commission for Racial Equality)