Poor pensioners falling through DWP data holes
Don't know who's got a pot to pee in
Gaps in information are hindering the Department for Work and Pensions' efforts to help pensioners who live in poverty.
The department's latest performance report (pdf) says that it does not have sufficient information about the circumstances of all individual pensioners to identify their entitlement to benefits.
Although the Pension Service is using data matching and sharing information between agencies, it does not include people outside the benefits system.
New approaches to reach these people will be needed, says the report. These include outreach through trusted service providers and local voluntary groups, as well as more cooperation with health professionals.
"The best strategy will vary between areas and the department should encourage discretion to develop imaginative ideas which fit local needs," says the report, published on 18 December 2008.
The report also finds that little progress has been made getting pension trustees to use online training. Only 15 per cent of pensions trustees are registered on the Pensions Regulator's trustee web-based training toolkit and most do not complete all the modules. In an effort to increase take-up of the toolkit and guidance materials, a database of pensions schemes should be used to identify trustees who have not yet completed the toolkit, it says.
The department, which is one of the largest users of IT in government, had better news on its work to improve efficiency, having exceeded all its Spending Review 2004 efficiency targets. By March 2008 total financial efficiencies were about £1.4bn, exceeding the target by more than £480m.
Net headcount reduction by March 2008 was 31,101, also in excess of the target, while the relocation target of 4,000 was met by December 2007, more than two years before the date set by the Lyons review.
"The over achievement of the efficiency targets, delivered while the department was going through a significant modernisation programme and change, put the department in a sound position to start the next Spending Review period," says the report.
This article was originally published at Kablenet.
Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.
Having suffered the local DWP minions, I'd say your definition is more accurate than ours.
Work? Not much help finding anything useful.
Pensions? They recently told my grandmother she has to pay for her Meals-on-Wheels because she has a private pension. If she hadn't saved all her working life and just relied on the pitiful State Pension, she could have had them for free. Of course, then she'd have to go without practically everything else, but at least she'd get one meal a day for free...
Still, the Department bit is accurate.
Some of them (not all - some of them are actually decent human beings!) seem to think they should be able to walk on water and have all the power...
If they are "outside the benefit system" then surely they don't want benefits? How many people don't know about benefits? How many poor old people, presumably with nothing else to do think "I won't bother calling the benefits people"
Find out who they are...
...so they can say "No, you can't have any money. Even though you fought/lived through the war, you can die without any heating or sufficient food or any dignity while we throw 50 billion into a large hole in the ground/fund a new database project."
They probably want to find out who they are so they can investigate them for benefits fraud, even though they're not currently gettting any benefits, it won't stop them; the benefit thieves are EVERYWHERE!!!
They also probably want to know who they are so they can say no and thus count it effectively as a saving of benefits.
People called the government they go the house.