The Work and Health Programme: levelling the playing field

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The Government will fail to create a level playing field in the competition between bidders for the Work and Health programme, according to new research published by the independent think tank Reform. Bidding has started for the Work and Health Programme, which will provide back-to-work services for long term unemployed and disabled people from October 2017. According to the report ( supported by Big Society Capital) , risk aversion in government threatens to shut out charities and smaller organisations from the process. The DWP’s use of parent-company guarantees along with the administrative burden associated with these contracts has resulted in few but the largest bidders being successful in securing central government contracts . The report makes recommendations regarding improvements in the process of engaging providers, refinements to contract design , weighting in bid assessment and makes suggestions for creating a long-term market.