Nick Hurd defends ban on Work Programme charities publishing data

The Minister for Civil Society says the Department for Work and Pensions wants to control information tightly so that it can deal with any 'teething issues'

Nick Hurd
Nick Hurd

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, has defended the decision of the Department for Work and Pensions not to allow charities and private firms delivering Work Programme contracts to publish their data on the initiative.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Hurd said he had spoken to Chris Grayling, the employment minister, about the policy.

Hurd said: "The Work Programme is at an early stage in its delivery. I think the department wants to control information around it tightly. If there are teething issues, we want to manage those issues tightly without lots of noise."

Third Sector reported yesterday that the DWP had asked organisations delivering its Work Programme to sign contracts that said they could not publish their data on the progress of their schemes.

The Shaw Trust, a charity involved with the programme as a subcontractor, had said it would like to publish the data because this would help it to share its experiences with others.

A DWP spokeswoman said groups had been asked not to publish figures because the proper process had to be followed. She said the Office for National Statistics would publish the information in due course.

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