Universal Credit:Written question - HL10674

Asked by Lord Myners
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any contracts drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions for suppliers working on Universal Credit include a clause requiring the supplier to do nothing that will attract adverse publicity to the Secretary of State or harm public confidence in her.
Answered by: Baroness Buscombe
Answered on: 24 October 2018

In contracts used across government, including at the Department for Work and Pensions and its Universal Credit programme, there are clauses that vary in different forms, typically these clauses require the supplier to ensure that neither it, nor any of its Affiliates, bring the Authority into disrepute by engaging in any act or omission which is reasonably likely to diminish the trust that the public places in the Authority, regardless of whether or not such act or omission is related to the Supplier’s obligations under said Agreement.

These clauses do not prevent the contracting bodies from making statements critical of government policy, or programmes such as Universal Credit or politicians, and certainly do not prevent whistle-blowing (as this would be unlawful). They are designed to protect government, to ensure that contractors adhere to good working practices and do not engage in activities that will bring the Authority into disrepute or otherwise harm the confidence of the public in Government.

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