2 Improving transparency
11. The Department published its performance
data on the Work Programme in the form of a tabulation tool which
it made available through its website. The tool allows an analysis
of performance in a variety of different ways, including by provider,
contract or claimant type. The Department told us its publication
of data was totally transparent. However, the Department did not
publish its own expectations of performance for the period to
July 2012 or the contractually agreed performance targets.
Nor did it publish its own explanation as to why actual performance
differed from its expectations.
The information published by the Department was unclear, and Parliament,
the public, and the media were left confused as to the relevance
and meaning of the information that did enter the public domain.
The Department must present data in such a way that brings clarity
to the performance of the programme.
12. The confusion caused by the Department publishing
insufficient material to provide a full understanding of the Work
Programme's performance was made worse by its decision to
publish unverified data from the body representing welfare to
work providers. The Department accepted that the information was
'not under our [the Department's] control', and it was therefore
making use of information for which it did not have any responsibility.
13. The Department did not release its own information
on performance for four months because, it told us, of the need
for the data to be validated by National Statistics. The Department
also told us that it would have preferred to have released the
first set of performance statistics earlier than it did, but that
the release date was a matter of judgement by national statisticians.
It agreed with the Committee that data to the end of March 2013
should be published before the Parliamentary recess, a timetable
that raises the prospect of another wait of four months to assess
24 Qq 54, 55 Back
Q 79 Back
Qq 78, 79 Back