To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on securing new contracts for (a) personal independence payment and (b) work capability assessments from 1 August 2021.
1 March 2021
We had previously announced that we would be undertaking a procurement exercise to establish contracts for conducting Work and Capability Assessments (WCA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) from 1 August 2021. The impact of Covid-19 meant that it was not possible to launch that procurement.
We recognized that it is vital for our claimants to have a safe and stable service. Consequently, in July last year, the department announced via a VEAT Notice (link attached below) its intention to extend the current contracts for up to two years, which will ensure continuity of services when the current contract ends on 31 July 2021.
The Commercial arrangements for the extension period are subject to ongoing negotiations, which are on plan to complete in the required timeframe.
The PIP Assessment Service Contracts are split into three Lots. An extension has been agreed with Independent Assessment Services for Lots 1 and 3, details of which can be viewed in the VEAT notices that were published in December (links attached below)
Commercial negotiations for the extension of the Lot 2 Contract with Capita are ongoing; our intention to extend these Contracts was issued in July 2020 (link attached below)
The department intends to re-procure Health Assessment Services contracts during this extension period anticipates that these will commence in August 2023.