Joint working with the DWP

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  • #21924
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I am currently on secondment to the DWP from my LA.

    We are looking at areas of joint working between LA and the DWP fraud sections.

    does any one have any good or bad experiences of joint working they would be willing to share?

    maybe you’ve decided you’ll never do any joint working because it was a waste of time, maybe you think its great, maybe you have some suggestions of how it could work better, please let me know.

    If you don’t want to publicise your opinions please reply by PM.

    #6057
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hello Mike,

    I was seconded to the Agricultural Investigation Team , run by DWP from 1997 to 2001 and the only reason I left was that the money needed for this post ran out.
    I enjoyed my time there and after the initial suspicion of ” I bet an LA investigator isn’t as good as a DWP investigator” period was overcome I was accepted as part of the team and even mistaken for a DWP investigator!
    If I can be of any help contact me on john.etherington@boston.gov.uk.
    Good Luck

    #6058
    darrinbrown
    Participant

    I have conducted a number of IUCs jointly with the DWP and everyone of them have ended being a disaster. Until they can turn around an overpayment within a reasonable period of time (not 6 months) and refrain from losing files, then confidence in Joint Working is going to drain away…..if it already has’nt

    #6059
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Darrin,
    That certainley seems to be a popular experience when dealing with joint working and I have made references to it in my report for the area manager.

    Would you consider joint working on the investigation but then conduct decisions and prosecutions seperatley?

    #6060
    stevebaker
    Participant

    We undertake joint working with our local DWP office, normally Redhill, on nearly all appropraite cases. Sometimes this can involve joint investigating, but usually means that we come together at interview stage. The results have been mixed. We have had two big prosecutions get through succesfully, one involving custodial sentences, but have also lossed a couple of sanctions due to delay. On the whole problems do occur due to decision making and O/p calculation, which are unfortunately out of the hands of the CFIS investigators. I’ve found the best way of dealing with this is to badger Fraud Sector Manager on seperate cases at regular intervals. It obviosly makes sense for a joint approach on an investigation that would affect both benefits, and I’ve obtained sanction money before for not doing much more than turning up at IUC. However, I know how frustrating it can be when things drag due to lack of action by DWP.

    #6061
    Chris Cook
    Participant

    Mike

    We try and joint work here in Suffolk.
    At our authority, once our case is investigated, we can get overpayments calculated, go through quality control and sanction decision making, send papers to our external solicitor who issues summons all within an 8 week timescale, sometimes quicker.

    The joint working cases we have going currently have all been investigated and overpayments calculated (6 months minimum) and are awaiting final go ahead decisions from Sol P and court dates (most already another 1/2 months with no update). The DWP system is so slow, delays are rife and they are held up as the example that LA’s should follow.

    CFIS locally will be going through another massive reorganisation of their work and procedures (Gordon Browns job cuts). This is being instigated with very little notice and the staff have no idea at present how things will work 😕

    We want to joint work but delays are horrendous.

    Never mind FPA’s and SLA’s (not worth paper written on), if joint working is to happen properly the DWP need to improve their processes & time keeping otherwise La’s will just not bother.

    New legislation this year puts a lot of emphasis on justice not being delayed. CFIS needs to address this.

    #6062
    darrinbrown
    Participant

    Mike,
    Your proposal is interesting and one that would be worth adopting, however, whether it would work in practise is another matter…..

    #6063
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Darrin – nice to see you are still about, how goes it at Gateshead ????

    Good news I feel about DWP looking at joint working – our cases are a disaster as well, sick of turning up at joint IUC’s only to be told 6 months later DWP closed it because of investigators/solp delay.

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