12 September 2008
The £1.9bn modernisation of Jobcentre Plus offices was praised by the Public Accounts Committee this week for coming in under budget and on time.
The PAC report, The roll-out of the Jobcentre Plus office network, published on September 11, cited staff competence as being pivotal to the success of one of the biggest public sector construction projects in recent years.
PAC chair Edward Leigh said: 'Other public sector organisations taking forward big procurement and change projects cannot afford to ignore this exemplary good practice.'
Over the past six years, the Department for Work and Pensions has merged 1,500 Employment Service and Benefits Agency offices, replacing them with more than 800 Jobcentre Plus offices.
According to the PAC, the project was successful in delivering almost all the offices, while making savings against the original budget of £2.2bn.
The estate rationalisation generated savings of £135m a year, and the DWP estimates that the roll-out will lead to cumulative benefits of £6bn.