LONDON, February 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
*This statement supersedes the last statement posted on 20.02.12
The company was criticised for its performance in a recent parliamentary accounts committee (PAC) hearing based on certain inaccuracies. Whist openly welcoming transparency in performance and the important role played by PAC in ensuring value for the taxpayer, we want to make clear that PAC members mistakenly claimed that we had delivered only nine per cent success rate in a recent back to work programme (Pathways to Work). That figure is incorrect, it referred to performance by a completely different provider.
We are proud of the work we do which means that every seven minutes we are supporting someone back to work. Many of those we help are the long-term unemployed who suffer from a series of complex issues. We do not cherry pick or choose the 'easier' cases to work with.
We fully anticipate meeting the minimum performance levels set by DWP on Work Programme. This means that for every £1 spent by the Government on our Work Programme services, we will deliver back £1.95 in revenue to the taxpayer. The DWP has also published research that indicates a return to the Treasury - and therefore the taxpayer - of over £3 for every £1 invested in the Pathways to Work programme referred to by the PAC (DWP Research Report 498, 27 May 2008).
As a welfare to work provider, A4e performed better than the market average on the Pathways to Work and New Deal for Disabled programmes and better than 4 out of 5 providers in the areas where we delivered Flexible New Deal.
At the weekend there were media reports suggesting police had 'demanded' we hand over documents to enable them to investigate an alleged fraud. This is an exaggeration of the true facts.
The alleged fraud dates back to 2010 and was uncovered by A4e through its own internal processes. We reported it to the authorities and the DWP have known about it since November 2010.
We have co-operated fully with the police from the time the investigation was referred to them, including those officers who visited our premises by appointment on Friday and were given all the assistance we could provide. The allegations centre around four individuals who are no longer with the business. They are not allegations against A4e.