JULY 2008

Full circle Managers support 360 degree feedback Working a way out New changes to the welfare system

History in the making
DWP time traveller lands in the 15th century!

Your award winning DWP staff magazine


Be safe, be green
Let’s drive for a better world this summer
SOMETIMES it’s nice to leave work behind you and just cruise off to a sunnier climate, without a care in the world. But before you jump in the car and hit the highway, why not give a little thought to the environment. There are several simple steps which can make a real difference – and it won’t stop you from enjoying your holiday. Here are five things that will give Mother Earth a break while you take one as well… • If it’s a short trip to the airport, hotel or station organise alternative transport such as train, bus or even your feet. • After you’ve started your car try to move off immediately. You’d be amazed how many people just sit there with the engine running! • Treat air conditioning as a luxury. Using it all the time will increase fuel consumption. • If travelling at less than 40 miles per hour, roll your window down rather than using air conditioning. • Try not to accelerate and break aggressively. It doesn’t look cool and it wastes petrol.

Car Jack!
WHEN it comes to car usage Jackie Tolan from the corporate governance team at Quarry House is driving change – quite literally! Instead of cluttering up her garage, filling the air with harmful fumes and using the car every time she leaves the house Jackie has discovered a far more effective option. She has joined a car club, in Leeds, that has a number of vehicles that are shared by its members and that are only run as required. Each time Jackie needs her car she simply turns up at the club, pays a small administration fee and away she goes. When she’s finished, she returns it to the club safe in the knowledge that she won’t have to pay any further petrol, insurance or maintenance costs. The reduced usage isn’t the only way that Jackie will be helping the environment. The cars are all fuelled with bio-diesel which is generated from used vegetable oil.

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News in Brief News from across the Department

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15th century girl Hobby of the Month is history

Parental guidance How DWP is helping lone parents get ahead

Team of the Month Ely Jobcentre Plus are this month’s dream team

Teaching you a lesson Staff enjoy Learning at Work Day

Star gazer Yvonne raises thousands for charity

Working a way out DWP’s commitment to welfare reform

Letters Staff views on eye care, recycling and swimming

Full circle 360 degree feedback proves a hit for managers

What’s in it for me?
What staff can expect from

HR over the coming year

Off the beaten track Middle East adventures with Tina Townsend Greaves

Busted! No excuses – Busted! brings fraudsters to justice

Err on the side of caution Getting it right

New quiz page By popular demand: more chances to win

DWPeople – While every effort is made to ensure the reliability of advertisers, DWP cannot accept any liability. The acceptance of advertisements does not imply recommendation by DWP. The advertising for DWPeople is managed by Landmark Publishing Services, 2 Windmill Street, London W1T 2HX. Tel: 020 7692 9292. All locations in DWP should receive enough copies of DWPeople to share around.

News in Brief
DWPeople – back soon
LIKE many staff, DWPeople is looking forward to taking a well-earned summer holiday. The team will be back in September with all the latest news and regular features such as Busted! and the ever-popular quiz page. Until then, keep checking the DWP intranet for news updates and please keep sending in your story ideas to dwpeople@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Summer Livin’
LACK of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue, so this summer DWP’s health and wellbeing team are providing solutions for keeping healthy throughout the hottest months of the year. The look after yourself in summer campaign has advice on drinking more water, staying hydrated and avoiding sunburn. To coincide with the campaign, a hydration chart will be made available to staff – offering a simple way to check that you are drinking

Congratulations from Her Majesty
THE QUEEN’S Birthday Honours have been announced and 26 DWP staff are on the list. Those receiving honours include frontline staff, members of the Senior Civil Service and others associated with the Department’s work. To view the full list, visit the Honours intranet site (find it in the DWP intranet A-Z) and click on ‘Latest Honours’.

enough fluid. Teams can request pocket-size hydration charts from their HR Business Partner. For more information visit the wellbeing portal via the intranet A-Z

All’s well with Askwell
ALL STAFF can now access Askwell, a new interactive health tool. The resource is available 24 hours a day from work or home and gives staff and their families access to hundreds of pages of information, downloadable fact sheets and links to dozens of recognised health sites. The easy-to-use site looks at ten ways to live well. It covers topics such as nutrition, work life balance, sleep, personal feelings and routine health checks. Check out the Balance Wheel to find out how balanced your life is and where you should be making adjustments. For more information visit the wellbeing portal via the intranet A-Z

DWP goes international
STAFF from the Fraud Investigation Service have been on a visit to Ukraine to share their ideas on the best way to tackle benefit fraud and error. DWP is recognised as a world leader in this field and has been asked by The World Bank to help other countries improve their systems.

On the move
NEW 3G technology will soon be available more widely across DWP. The technology improves broadband access and will be a real help to staff with laptops, who frequently work on the move. Look out for more information on the Corporate IT intranet site (find it in the DWP intranet A-Z).

CASPER the friendly pension project
A NEW Pension, Disability and Carers Service project to help pensioners get the money they are entitled to more quickly is now underway. Project CASPER focuses on addressing some of the problems pensioners face when making a claim for Carer’s Allowance. Long standing issues around entitlement, the decision making process and letters are being tackled by the project. The pilots started on 7 July and will test proposals to: • allow Local Service staff to give an immediate decision on entitlements to Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Addition • replace the current entitlement letter with a new plain English version • reduce the average time spent dealing with underlying entitlement from six weeks to two.

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News in Brief

On horse for success
AFTER decorating themselves, their horses and all their bridal gear in pink, Anne Johnson and her daughter embarked on a memorable equine crusade. Anne, from the joint international unit at Caxton House, was taking part in the ‘Think Pink’ charity event, organised by a local saddlery shop. They were raising money for Cancer Research by riding around a cross country course near Brands Hatch. Anne explained: “The horse and rider had to use as much pink as possible. We started preparing for the event weeks ago and Kris has been very busy designing the outfits for the horses. We dyed our hair, painted our nails, wore pink clothes and even coloured the horses’ hooves.” Melody, who belongs to Anne, and the other heroic horses covered the ten mile course effortlessly in just two hours. The final total for the event came in at a whopping £20,000! “We had a really brilliant time and have raised a lot of money for a great cause. After we’d finished it was all the girls could talk about,” added Anne.

Impressive reign: Anne, on the left, and daughter Kris

Talking it over
A PILOT scheme using mediation as an alternative to grievances or making harassment, discrimination and bullying complaints is underway in DWP. Mediation brings both parties together to reach an agreement through a professionally trained mediator. Mediation is completely voluntary and confidential. Nothing said by anyone in the process can be used as evidence in any subsequent action. The pilot runs until January 2009 in Jobcentre Plus’s Contact Centres and Benefits and Fraud Directorates as well as the Disability Contact and Processing Unit in the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service. Mediation is an easier and quicker way to resolve problems in a safe and secure environment. For more information, visit the Mediation pilot policy on The Department and You website.

Fiddler on the TV
THE SECOND series of On the Fiddle, the BBC1 documentary following the work of fraud investigators, started in July. Staff feedback from the last series of On the Fiddle showed that the show’s focus on how DWP helps its customers was particularly popular – and series two continues to give screen time to this aspect of the Department’s work. The series continues throughout July and August on Tuesday evenings. Check regional press and Headline News for times. Staff can report cases where they think customers are acting fraudulently or log suspicions from members of the public via the intranet PPQ referral form on their desktop.

Do you have any news for DWPeople? Email your story to: dwpeople@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

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Parental guidance
Catherine Chan reports on how the Department is helping lone parents to get ahead
COCKNEYS have “bin lids”, the Scots call them “bairns” and they’re “plant” in Welsh. Whatever you call children, the UK is now home to nearly 12 million of them. To make sure every child gets the best start to life, DWP is giving more support to lone parents. In exchange, those who are able to work will be expected to look for jobs. From November 2008, the benefit system will change so lone parents whose youngest child is 12 will no longer be able to claim Income Support solely on the grounds of being a lone parent. This is subject to parliamentary approval. Instead, those lone parents who are able to work will claim Jobseeker’s Allowance and be given help to move into employment. Lone parents can already receive financial help with childcare, training and essential costs. Since April, extra support has been available, such as guaranteed job interviews or attending an Options and Choices event (see next page). And the relationship with DWP doesn’t end when they find work – Jobcentre Plus will continue to offer advice on issues including childcare and financial support such as In Work Credit. The Child Maintenance system is also going through changes so that parents can make arrangements to suit their circumstances – and make sure more children benefit from regular maintenance payments.
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One to one: making plans at the Options and Choices event

Child maintenance is changing…
The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will take over the Child Support Agency. A new service called Child Maintenance Options is being launched. This will help parents to make either a private arrangement or opt for a statutory one. For the first time, parents with care on benefits will be able to set up private child maintenance arrangements – previously they had to use the Child Support Agency. (‘Parents with care’ refers to the parent or carer who the child normally lives with and pays for most of the child’s everyday living costs.) By autumn, all child maintenance payments received by the Child Support Agency will be paid directly to parents with care who will be allowed to keep up to £20 a week before it affects their benefits.

For more updates, visit the Child Support Agency intranet site (available through the DWP intranet homepage).

Making the right choice
JOBCENTRE Plus has been holding a series of events to help lone parents get to grips with the changes to Income Support. Customers with children over 12 are invited to attend the Options and Choices events. DWPeople went to catch the session at John Lewis in Solihull.

Case study: a bright spark
A WORK trial gave April Burton the chance to try out a new job without any risks. The 32-year-old mum from Powys, Wales, was unemployed for a year and wanted to become a welder. But despite getting a City & Guilds qualification at her local college, April felt that her lack of experience was holding her back. Julia Sanderson – April’s adviser at Welshpool Jobcentre Plus – explained that she could go on a work trial and they agreed to set one up. April spent three weeks with Sparks R Flyin, a Shropshire welding company. During this time she was able to keep up with her college course and Jobcentre Plus also gave her a discretionary grant to pay for clothing and equipment. April impressed her bosses so much that they’ve hired her. Work trials are currently available for lone parents for up to three weeks but Jobcentre Plus is looking at how it can extend work trials for up to six weeks. New Deal for Lone Parents participants can get additional help with childcare and travel costs to help them take advantage of this opportunity.

es event in the Options and Choic Jobcentre Plus staff at Solihull, West Midlands

Simon Forrest Tell us about yourself How did you feel before the event?
I’m from Jobcentre Plus Birmingham and Solihull District and I’ve organised today’s event. We’ve run more than 70 events since January but I’m always nervous – attendance is voluntary so we never know what the turnout will be. Good turnout (20 customers). The event gave us the chance to explain the benefit change and options: move on to Jobseeker’s Allowance, get ready for work or find a job. Customers start to think about the future and more than 90 per cent will have a follow-up meeting with an adviser.

Susan Morrison
I’m a single mum and I live in Yardley Wood, Birmingham.

Jo Chatwin
I work for John Lewis in Solihull. My role is to talk about what it’s like to work. I could relate to the audience because I’m a single mum myself. It can be difficult trying to juggle work and home life. Lots of positive feedback! In my presentation I talked about the benefits of working. Our shifts are flexible, we all get a training account and we can sign up for childcare vouchers. Most customers had been out of work for long periods and didn’t know how much modern companies can offer.

I was nervous and shaking! But when I came into the room, it was great to see so many other people here. It’s given me more confidence to go out and get a job. I’ve been out of work for 18 years so I didn’t know I can get help with my CV and training. This was also the first time I’d had a chat with an employer – she helped me to see that I do have skills to offer.

And afterwards?

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That’ll teach you!
earning at work is more popular than ever
THE PHRASE ‘if you stick around you might learn something’ has rarely been more apt. During the annual festival of knowledge that is Learning at Work Day, DWP staff had the opportunity to improve themselves in several different ways. The many opportunities included information about health, technology, education and art. John Pinching searched the country to find out exactly what staff had been learning…

Jobcentre Plus Sheffield
AT THE Sheffield office staff were able to learn about Reiki – an increasingly popular method of spiritual healing – the Red Cross, how to quit smoking and even a ‘Countdown’ game show. The latter was designed to help staff think quickly and problem solve. There were also informative tables from HASSRA, Skills for Business, the British Donor Register and ‘good bacteria’ company Yakult (a healthy yogurt drink). Administrator, Beth Evans said: “I was pleased with the range of activities, from healthy living to environmental issues. During the day I spoke to an organisation offering skills for business and was given a free IT course. “I was also impressed by the items given away such as fruit, pens and quick read books.” Branch learning officer, Richard Boswell, was pleased with the response to Learning at Work Day: “We had a huge turn out. More than 200 staff visited Hartshead Square and the feedback has been very positive.”

Five alive: visitors in Sheffield were given free fruit

Debt Management Centre in Bradford
IN BRADFORD staff were introduced to local colleges about courses they might be able to take in the future. They were also able to find out about energy saving, adult learning and various sports. Some staff were lucky enough to learn the art of head massaging and flower arranging. Recovery team admin officer Rebecca Parnaby ran the flower arranging classes. She said: “Lots of people were really enthusiastic, it was like the generation game! It’s a simple and creative skill to have as well as being a great way to wind down after a tough day at the office.” The Fire Service were also there, raising awareness about safety and how staff should be protecting their homes. As an incentive fire alarms were given away.
Flower power: Rebecca’s floral designs proved popular with staff

Aysha Sidat, a debt management admin officer, organised the day. She said: “This was a good opportunity for staff to learn a range of new skills, and also how they can combine work with a healthy lifestyle.”

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Jobcentre Plus in East Kilbride
THE STAFF in this area of Scotland were treated to something of an educational extravaganza with representatives from both the University of West Scotland and South Lanarkshire College. Many people signed up for courses including digital photography, sign language and Spanish. The college, which is conveniently situated just across the road, even provided bespoke 12-week courses over the summer, making it easy for staff to commit themselves. Margaret Chapman, an executive officer from Coatbridge, and several colleagues are already enjoying the Spanish lessons. Margaret said: “It all contributes to a work life balance. It’s so convenient because the teacher comes to the office in the evening for the duration of the course. It’s been a great route back into education.” Organiser, Linsey Fairlie from Jobcentre Plus in Motherwell said: “The staff were really enthusiastic about the courses on offer. The day not only helped the staff to learn but also increased the links between DWP and the local community.”

Which way to learn: many staff opted for a return to eduation

The Adelphi in London
IN THE ‘big smoke’ enthusiastic scribes were treated to interactive creative writing lessons from Adam Sharples. The Work Welfare and Equality Group Director General delighted the audience with word quizzes and advice about how they could communicate better. The day included presentations on diversity, sustainable development and childcare salary sacrifice – the DWP scheme which lets staff sacrifice part of their salary in exchange for vouchers which can be used to pay for registered childcare. Culture vultures were shown around the Tate Gallery, while many opted to learn about the wildlife of St James’s Park during specially arranged tours. People and business management team leader Alison Humberstone, said: “The day was a real success. There are 1,100 staff here and at least half attended one or more events. With each year that passes this event seems to get bigger and more popular.”

Dearne Valley Pension Centre

STAFF AT Dearne Valley participated in the mysterious and ancient practice of Tai Chi – a form of martial art, known for its relaxation qualities. The theme of the day was healthy living and work life balance with a range of exciting activities such as slimming club, aromatherapy, reiki, reflexology, tap dancing and tango lessons. There was a complimentary healthy breakfast and staff didn’t need a second invitation – over 40 meals were gratefully consumed. For those who were yet to be convinced, there was also the option of a traditional, and considerably less healthy, fry up. National virtual network team leader Andrea Law said: “I had a splendid time, attending four different events, including tap dancing, salsa and aromatherapy, exercise definitely benefits your performance at work by keeping your brain alert!”
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Class act: Adam Sharples discussed communication with his newly discovered students


Working a way out
David Hall reports on how DWP’s changes to the welfare system will help people out of poverty and support them into work
ALTHOUGH there may be times when we beg to differ – like first thing on a Monday morning – recent research has shown that being in work is better for our quality of life. That’s just one of the reasons DWP is changing the welfare system to get more people into work and off benefits. The financial, health and lifestyle benefits are obvious, but welfare reform isn’t just about getting people into work. The reforms will offer people the best route out of poverty, increasing their sense of self-worth and creating more opportunities. If people can work they are expected to, and they will receive support to help them do so. If they are not able to work then they will continue to receive the support they need. The Department has a target of 80 per cent employment, and the ending of child poverty by 2020. Both are bold aims, but by making links with employers and getting customers access to the right kind of training, DWP can help them find more fulfilling employment, with better prospects for themselves – and their families. Big changes have already happened – such as the new services to support
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“I’m keen to find out more about what the new changes can do for me. I've been bringing up my kids for the last 12 years and would need some help with IT and English before I'd feel ready to get a job.” Lone parent Eileen from Smith’s Wood, Solihull
lone parents and the nationwide roll out of Pathways to Work to help Incapacity Benefit customers back to work. Even bigger developments are expected, such as Employment and Support Allowance, which from October replaces incapacity benefits for new claimants. A new welfare reform Green Paper, with proposals that take these changes further, will be published soon. Over the page there is a timeline, with details of the new changes coming over the next year. And there are quotes from people about what they think of the reforms that have taken place and the changes to come.

Your Say If you have any questions about welfare reform send them to dwpeople@dwp. gsi.gov.uk to get them answered in the September edition of DWPeople. For more information visit the A to Z and look up welfare

ut the changes What YOU think abo
“The welfare reform changes are a good idea. Anything which helps customers get back into work or take the first steps towards working is a positive thing.” Chris Whitehead, Hyde Benefit Delivery Centre “Pathways enable us to promote work and getting back to work to many disadvantaged customers. We can provide people with real opportunities.” Paul Morris, partnership manager, South Wales Jobcentre Plus “We’re publishing a new welfare reform Green Paper as we still need to do more to reach some customers. We want to hear your views on proposals and will let you know how you can feedback later.” Jacquie Wood, long term benefit reform team

A timeline for reform
2007 May July
The Welfare Reform Act 2007 got things started. Royal Assent gave the go-ahead to the Employment and Support Allowance. A DWP Green Paper: In work, better off sets out the next stage of welfare reform proposals – asking for views about the best ways to help individuals support themselves and their families. Plans are then set out by the Government in December 2007.

2008 April-June
Pathways to Work: Pathways are already providing Incapacity Benefit customers with help and support into work – with over 83,000 job entries since the pilots began. City Strategy: Extra funding to 15 areas to provide support to areas of the UK with the highest unemployment rates. Local Housing Allowance: Reform introduces a new way of calculating Housing Benefit for private tenants. Lone parents: see pages 6 and 7 to find out about the changes.


A Green Paper: Further proposals around reducing dependency on welfare and support into work while increasing personal responsibility Child Maintenance redesign: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will take over the Child Support Agency later this year. A new service called Child Maintenance Options will launch to help parents make either a private arrangement or opt for a statutory one. Employment and Support Allowance: will replace incapacity benefits for new claimants, focusing on what people with physical or mental health conditions can do, rather than what they can’t do. Lone parent changes – Subject to parliamentary approval, lone parents who can work will be required to claim Jobseekers Allowance once their youngest child is 12.



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Full circle
David Hall finds out how 360 degree feedback is helping leaders across DWP
THE PERFORMANCE of our leaders is under constant scrutiny – with Staff Survey results showing less than a third of all staff believe their line manager asks for feedback on their managerial style. 360 degree feedback gives managers the opportunity to get the real low-down on their performance – from their team, colleagues and their own manager.
Leadership development carries on whatever level you get to in DWP. Caron Twining, Principal Psychologist, tells us what it’s like to give feedback to the Permanent Secretary. Caron has worked with Leigh Lewis over the past year, reviewing the findings from his 360 degree feedback and helping him put them into practice. She says: “Leigh was keen to take 360 degree feedback once we had developed it in DWP. As you might expect, he knows his strengths and weaknesses. But he was also quick to recognise the areas he needs to work on.” For Caron, reviewing your progress afterwards is just as important as the initial feedback. She adds: “Leigh requested a follow-up review and assessment. It isn’t a compulsory part of the process but I think it’s essential to go back and see if the feedback has resulted in real leadership development and behaviour change.”

volv suggests, it in h you, Like the name ork closest wit ose who w th er. feedback from r own manag including you work? vited How does it m everyone in is gathered fro n of ur performance own perceptio edback on yo ed with your Fe par is is then com ce. to take part. Th your performan elp? affects How can it h what you do aware of how n make you you. The process ca those around e part? Who can tak also an SCS level. It’s s, from EO to er line k to your own All DWP manag rovide feedbac p For more opportunity to performance. ager on their A-Z in man for 360 under rmation, look info the directory.
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degree What is 360 feedback? es getting


f the beaten track Of
Catherine Chan talks to Tina Townsend Greaves about her adventures in the Middle East
AFGHANISTAN, Iraq, Iran. Possibly not the first places that spring to mind for a relaxing holiday. But for Tina Townsend Greaves, these countries have proved fascinating places to visit. Tina, who works in the Risk Assurance Division in Leeds, says: “When my mum died, it made me realise life was passing me by. It pushed me to go out and do things while I still can. “During my travels there were times when I asked myself what I was doing. We heard gunfire at night and on another occasion our minibus disappeared. “But being able to experience different cultures makes it all worthwhile.” Tina travels with a specialist travel company. It’s a delicate balancing act – keeping out of harm’s way while also trying to see as much of the country as possible.

Above: Tina at the Citadel of Herat, Afghanistan. The site was previously used as the Taliban’s headquarters Below: time for a book and a biscuit at a bookstore in Kabul, Afghanistan

“One of my highlights was seeing Hadda, an ancient Buddhist site in Afghanistan. In its heyday it would have been comparable to Pompeii, in terms of importance and beauty. “Unfortunately it’s been ravaged by war and has been totally destroyed.” Luckily Tina has been able to visit other unspoilt areas and find out more about the culture. “In Iran, it was relatively easy to find somewhere to eat and drink but only men are offered menus! “The strict dress code also meant I spent all of the time covered from head to toe. “It felt strange seeing the men taking off their jackets when they sat down to eat but not being able to do the same.” So what next for intrepid Tina? “I’m going to Blackpool!” she jokes.

Staff are entitled to 22-30 days holiday, depending on their grade and length of service. To check your entitlement, visit the HR site (find it in the DWP intranet A-Z) and click on “Time off”).

Travel tips
To check if it’s safe to travel somewhere, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website: www.fco.gov.uk For travel health advice, visit: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk Staying at home? Why not sign up to HASSRA, DWP’s official provider of sports, social and leisure activities: www.hassra.org.uk

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The Gallery
DWP presents the work of Pete Greening
WE ARE always grateful to receive email from our readers, and were very excited when we discovered some of Pete Greening’s art in the DWPeople inbox. Pete, a computer support officer in Watford, uses acrylic and board to create his pictures. It’s not really possible to reproduce the scale of his paintings – they’re often several square feet. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology you can enjoy the artistic merit of his excellent geometric paintings.

DWPeople will feature more galleries in the future, so if you’d like your art exhibited send high-res photos to dwpeople@dwp.gsi.gov.uk


Eight years ago



Pete admits his initial reason for ‘studying’ art at school was to skive! It was while browsing through the art library About one day in 1970 that he encountered the work of his greatest influences Bridget Riley and Victor Vaserely – the artist both leading lights in the Op Art movement. He has had two exhibitions of his work during the early eighties in the UK and one of his paintings currently hangs in a Parisian flat, next to an original Picasso!

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Living poets society
A FEW weeks ago the word ‘poetry’ cropped up in a Headline News story. This was all it took for the Department’s would-be poets to create, and duly send in, some officeinspired verse. In a one-off tribute DWPeople has selected a couple of stanzas for everyone to enjoy. Untitled Here I sit while on a break on Friday afternoon I could have written a short note or read some Mills and Boon, Or better yet, a horror book by good old Stephen King, But no, I thought I'd answer "Have Your Say" and do my thing. Hello to all the merry people reading "Have Your Say", Rejoice, for Monday we're not in, we have Bank Holiday! Will you spend it by the seaside, will you tour the shops? Will you misbehave and be arrested by the cops? Alas my break is over, back to inputting your data, So this poem must be abandoned, I shall have to plague you later. Annie Spencer Employee Services

Life in the Oxford hub Oh happy are we with the daily grind Day in and day out and still trying to find Contentment and happiness we still are looking But while we do this we still keep on booking Appointments and ring rounds oh what bliss If we couldn’t come here daily what fun we would miss Now for the staff that work here, what a mixture Some have been here so long they are part of the fixture There are old ones and young ones, short and tall too Some mad and loopy to name just a few We won’t mention their names you know who you are But we really think that you could go far We are kept in the attic of the jobcentre Hidden away and kept out of sight Although it is spacious but not very bright Please spare a thought for us each day We are here for pleasure not just pay Please come and visit at your own risk You will enter quite slowly but leave very brisk



If all this creativity is inspiring you, why not sign up to HASSRA, DWP’s official provider of sports, social and leisure activities: Go to DWP intranet > A-Z > H> HASSRA or visit www.hassra.org.uk

Wendy Sykes Oxford Nino Hub


Err on the side of caution
Laura Turvey finds out how staff can help to reduce error
WITH thousands of customers to deal with everyday, each with their own complicated situation and varying needs, it’s no wonder that things can sometimes get mixed up or go wrong. DWP paid out more than £126 billion in social security benefits to around 17.6 million customers during 2007/08, and the hard work and dedication of staff helped to keep mistakes to a minimum – with 97 per cent of all these benefits paid correctly. But it is the few that slip through the net that DWP is working hard to resolve. Accuracy is vital in every exchange with customers to make sure they get their full entitlement and won’t have to pay back overpayments later. Chris Whitehead is a debt reassessment team leader, based at Hyde Benefit Delivery Centre and has also worked as an income support training officer. He says: “Hyde dealt with 35,000 cases this year. It’s our responsibility to check the facts when an overpayment referral is raised – from here it is then passed on to the debt centre. “Most cases of overpayment can be prevented by making sure changes in circumstances are actioned on time.” The Department’s aim is to prevent overpayments happening in the first place – but once discovered, putting the claim right, raising any overpayment straight away and keeping it right is the key. Once an overpayment is identified it is referred to the Department’s Debt Management service. In the last financial year 1.3m cases were referred and £271.6m was recovered. Craig Bullimore is a recoveries adviser within Debt Management. He is responsible for contacting customers once an error referral has been made. Craig says: “We get official error referrals from all of the businesses and the local authorities, if there has been a housing benefit error. “Once we’ve received the referral a letter is sent to the customer to let them know that they have been over paid. This usually leads to the customer calling in as they don’t understand what’s happened or they disagree – they can become very upset. “When a mistake is down to us, it is harder to recover and taxpayers’ money is often lost forever.” There are usually lots of reasons for official error, not least the complexity of the benefit system – but sometimes the causes are quite simple. Not entering or checking the full details associated with a claim – for example, that a customer has income and is also claiming another benefit – is one of the factors behind a total of £119 million being overpaid annually across Pension Credit, Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance.

Chris Whitehead’s tips for reducing error
Even though Chris works in Jobcentre Plus there are some basic things that apply across all the businesses: • If you’re dealing with a change of circumstance make sure you action it as quickly as possible – whether you’re taking the change from the customer/third party or processing it • Make sure you pass on all relevant information to colleagues who need it as soon as possible and that you also fully update information on relevant systems as quickly as you can.

Reasons for overpayments
Official error – Where a mistake by staff results in payment of benefit to someone who is not entitled or where a payment occurs at a wro ng rate Customer error – Where a custome r inadvertently provides incorrect information abo ut their situation or fails to notify the Department of a change in their circumstances which results in ben efit being paid at the wrong rate or to someone who is not eligible Fraud – Where a customer deliberat ely misinforms or deliberately fails to inform the Department of relevant information to obtain ben efits to which they are not entitled.

Other things to consider:
• Keep on top of guidance • Let the customer know that they should talk to their local authority about any changes in circumstance • Raise an overpayment at the same time as you action the change of circumstance. 16 | dwpeople | June 2008

Look out for more news on how DWP is improving the referral and recovery process of overpayments, coming soon in DWPeople.

Hobby of the month

Y ou’re history

Jennie lives life in the 15th century

LIFE is pretty hectic in the 21st century. Mobile phones, laptops and the need to get everywhere at breakneck speed, have seen to that. Is it any wonder some people turn to the past for a simpler life? Jennie Haynes, from the estates team in Bradford, regularly escapes to the 15th century. She wears the clothes, uses the language and even eats the food of our ancestors. After starting off with traditional village fairs 11 years ago, Jennie and her friends now specialise in civilian and military life – recreating medieval events on a grand scale. They concentrate particularly on the Wars of the Roses (a series of battles between the good folk of York and Lancashire). With the increasing level of interest in ancestry there is never any shortage of people who want to get involved, with

many volunteers coming from the local universities. “It’s a great way of meeting new people and there is such a great sense of camaraderie,“ said Jennie. “I make much of the period clothing myself and have even been known to create costumes during my lunch hour. We really strive for a high level of authenticity. “Sometimes people arrive at the reenactments in their masses. We were in Tewksbury to commemorate a battle from 1471 and 3000 people turned up,” she said. Even the weapons used in the battles are made to the exact specifications of the era. They are made from original materials and forged using cast iron. The blades are blunted but people, including the women, don’t hold back during attacks. People often sustain injuries

during the brutal exchanges, but nothing too serious! Using traditional techniques, it is Jennie’s job to create authentic cuisine for all the other re-enactors during the summer weekends. She often cooks for up to 20 people with everything being prepared on a wood fire. Her favourite dishes include the curious ‘erbolat’ which consists of baked eggs with herbs and the more appetising ‘madira’ – a lamb number cooked with onions and spices. “By cooking this way I have become a good judge of how hot a fire is, and how long to cook things for,” said Jennie. Although she uses most of the original utensils Jennie does allow herself the use of one Kitchen Devil knife. Well as long as she keeps going back in time, it’s unlikely her past will catch up with her!

July 2008 | dwpeople | 17

Achieving the best




Sitting left to right: Sue Rooke (deputy PA manager), Dale Brumby (FJR/FA), Mags McGowen (PA). Standing left to right: Sara Watts (PA), Jeanette James (FJR), Carla Buey (PA), Janet Curry (half hidden – CSO), Jenny Lazzari (CSM, FAM, FJR line manager), Pauline Beresford (FA), Katrina Spilsbury (PA), Alison Andrews (PA), and Eithne Clements (FA). Also part of the team: Brenda Radcliffe (FJR), Anne Cutts (front of house manager -– Cambridge, Ely Mildenhall and Newmarket and Neil Nineham (PA manager Cambridge and Ely).

DWPeople’s Team of the Month didn’t let a major fire stop them from helping their customers
WHEN the staff at Ely Jobcentre Plus locked up for the night, they never expected their small rural office to be the target of an arson attack. “We have very few incidents, so it was quite a shock for staff to arrive at work to find that the office had been burned out,” says Jenny Lazzari, the front of house line manager at the office. “I hadn’t registered the enormity of damage to our office until I saw it. It was very upsetting and I was in shock,” adds personal adviser Carla Buey. “Three members of staff spent two weeks working from the hotel and then moved into temporary accommodation in a tiny room inside the local housing office.” Across their two temporary locations the team were able to continue providing a service to their customers for the eight months that the Ely office was out of bounds. “The team responded very well to the incident. Although we were in two separate offices, we remained in touch with each other by email and phone. Some of the staff who were in Cambridge helped other colleagues who could not drive with lifts to and from work,” says enquirers officer Janet Curry.

Brenda Radcliffe, reception “I was the first person to know. At 3.30am my son had received a call from his fireman friend and when he woke me to tell me, I thought he was joking. I couldn’t believe this could happen in Ely – it has so little trouble and was totally unexpected.”

But the shock was not enough to stop the team from leaping into action and getting things up and running again for their customers.

I hadn’t registered the enormity of the damage to our office until I saw it

Sara Watts, Personal Adviser

Jenny says: “Within a matter of hours we had front of house staff working out of a coach house at a local hotel and the rest of the staff were moved to Cambridge around 16 miles away.

“I work term-time only and the the fire happened at the beginning of summer holidays. I walked ing past the office and saw a sign say daughter ‘arson attack’. My young ’s who was with me said: “Mummy lly work has burned down!” I felt rea this shocked and worried about what “This was a difficult time made easier meant for the future, but my by the support of colleagues and we very supportive and are really thankful to our colleagues at colleagues were gave me lifts to and from work for Cambridge Jobcentre Plus who e supported us during this time and which I am so grateful. It would hav this helped us continue to provide a good been very difficult for me without service,” added Jenny. consideration and kindness.”

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St rs in her eyes
Fake That – above: Gary Bailey as Robbie Williams. Left: Yvonne Hughes

David Hall meets Yvonne Hughes – charity fundraiser and friend to the ‘stars’
IT’S CLEAR that DWP people are a generous bunch, but one staff member has real star quality when it comes to charity work. Since 1999, Yvonne Hughes from Jobcentre Plus, Caernarfon, has been arranging – and taking part in – charity nights based on TV’s Stars in their Eyes. In total she has raised an amazing £30,000 for local charities. It all started in August 1999 when Yvonne joined the committee of Caernarfon Town Football Supporters Club and asked them if she could organise a fun charity event. “I put on an 80s night, bringing in friends and colleagues from the club to take part,” says Yvonne. “The tickets were £1 each, and we held games of bingo and sold raffle tickets. Everyone who took part was sponsored and the total money raised was nearly £1,000. From then on I had the bug!” Since then, Yvonne has organised up to three nights a year at the club. Each night features around 30 different acts – including tribute singers and bands, dancers and stand-up comedians. One of Yvonne’s singers even made it
With a little help from her friends: Yvonne’s nights have seen some ‘fab’ acts

on to the ‘real’ Stars in their Eyes. Gary Bailey won his individual heat on the show – as Robbie Williams singing ‘Angels’ – and eventually made it to the final. Yvonne says: “The gang were so proud of him, especially as we had persuaded him to send off the application form to the show!” Next year Yvonne and her team will celebrate 10 years of organising these events and she is already planning something special.

“I would love to get a local TV company involved in filming the whole event from start to finish, showing how much organisation goes on leading up to the event itself and the presentation of the cheque at the end,“ she says. It’s been a busy year for Yvonne who has already organised two successful nights – raising £1,100 for Caernarfon Town Floodlight Appeal and £850 for Age Concern. Yvonne added: “Over the years we have had such great fun organising and putting on the shows, it’s great to get so much support from friends and put something back into the community.”

July 2008 | dwpeople | 19

Sharing the love
LOVING the influx of human interest stories in this month’s DWPeople, especially the ones about rugby hunk Danny Price, the belly dancer and the lovely Veterans Day tribute, which treated a difficult subject with great dignity. I did find it unusual though to see Danny’s front cover story tucked away in the inside cover. Mystery caller I REALLY enjoyed the June edition of DWPeople...not so sure about the instant interview column though. It’s not so much the idea of a Q and A – which is a good one – but the thought of being randomly called up in my day-to-day job.

S 15 M& Wins £ ers vouch

Don’t hide your great stories In fact on first glance I away – get missed it entirely – as that them in the page is normally reserved centre pages for dreary stories about old buildings, dubious where they competitions or adverts belong for menopause

treatments! Don't hide your great stories away DWPeople, get them in the centre pages where they belong...! Pamela Brie, Corporate, London

I have enough to worry about listening out for potential scams or bogus callers without being stalked by someone inside the Department. How is this being regulated? And how do we know we are talking to the mystery interviewer and not on the receiving end of some dubious scam or cruel prank? Mark Pie, Jobcentre Plus, Dundee John Pinching, writer DWPeople responds:

Firstly, I’m glad you enjoy reading the magazine. Thank you for your concern regarding the instant interview. You’ll be reassured to hear that whenever I select a member of staff I always send an email confirming exactly who I am, before the interview begins. Furthermore, the person is under no obligation to take part and this is made clear from the beginning.

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What do you think? Send your letters on any subject to: letters@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Encouragingly, the participants so far have been more than happy to be involved.

BEING one of the many people who have to wear glasses, I am very grateful that the Department has a contract which enables us to get a free eye test and specs. I wonder if any thought has been given to funding laser eye surgery?

training building which had recycling bins and also a Government Communications Network (GCN) building that had this. If another government department can sort out a scheme, is this purely a DWP problem?

denying opportunities for communities. Phil Reynolds, Jobcentre Plus, Newquay

A reason to hope
MY SON James Rigby, was Rhys Jones’s best friend. You may recall Rhys, an 11 year old boy who was shot dead whilst walking home from football practice last August. All of Rhys’s friends have had a really difficult time dealing with their loss, however they are a good bunch, and have remained positive, throwing their full weight behind the Liverpool Unites anti-gun campaign. My son and the rest of Rhys’s friends are taking part in the Liverpool Unites ‘Run for Rhys’ on 6 July. The purpose of the 5km run is to raise funds for the Rhys Jones Memorial Community Centre, hopefully to be built to help the young people of Liverpool. Rhys’s parents, Melanie and Stephen are fully backing this cause. I was hoping to publicise this and communicate to people how to sponsor my son and his friends. You can see my son’s website about Rhys at: www.lovingmemoryof rhys.piczo.com. Also details of the Run for Rhys at: www.runforrhys.org.uk Rose Rigby, Corporate IT, Birchwood

Using commercial figures (I’m sure the contract gets a hefty discount) – each eye test and specs costs upwards of £100. I’m looking into the possibility of getting both my eyes ‘lasered’ at a cost of about £700. Therefore seven years of specs and the laser looks to be a money spinner. I’m sure the majority of staff serve longer than seven years. Mike Eyre, Jobcentre Plus, Market Place

It’s all very well saying people should take their own waste home but let’s face it – most people are too lazy to. The amount of waste I see in the bins in our kitchens is amazing. Why can we not have a recycling facility in our offices? Simon Hurst, Corporate, Peel Park

I REALISE this is a subject that’s been covered time and again but I still think it is worth discussing. I recently went to a meeting at the Lytham St Annes site. This is now a purely EDS building having been vacated by DWP earlier this year. What amazed me is that every couple of hundred metres, there were five or six recycle bins for various waste including cans, plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and glass. Why can’t a government department get its act together and start recycling the huge amounts of waste we generate in our offices? Speaking to a colleague about it, he advised that he had been to a Parity

IT’S A good idea to promote the healthy benefits of swimming – but it would be better if it was free for all and that pools were available to use throughout the UK.

Too many pools are lined up for closure

For your chance to win a £15 M&S voucher send your letters on any of this month’s topics or something new to letters@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

July 2008 | dwpeople | 21


What’s in it for me?
DWPeople finds out what staff can expect from HR over the coming year
WHETHER you’re looking forward to a week off to relax on the beach, taking part of your pension early or saving money on your summer holiday childcare costs, it’s the benefits offered by your employer that helps make these things a reality. It’s important to make the most of the benefits of working at DWP. Whether it’s flexible working, training opportunities or health and wellbeing care, the benefits and opportunities offered by your employer can be as important to many people as their annual salary. HR is currently developing a new range of opportunities and benefits for staff – making the benefits currently available clearer and easier to access. By autumn this year, staff will be able to access a newly revamped employee benefits site, making it even easier to find out what benefits are available. And with the introduction of a new Total Reward Statement staff can also work out what all of their benefits are worth. The hard copy, one off statement will show staff the total value of the reward package they have received in the previous 12 months. The statement will include both financial and non-financial benefits including salary, allowances, bonuses and salary sacrifice. At the same time DWP will also
22 | dwpeople | July 2008

introduce a new employee discount scheme, giving all staff the opportunity to get money off at major leisure and retail outlets across the country. DWP’s new HR Director General Chris Last says: “Our aim in HR is to develop a culture where people deliver great customer service even while the number of employees at DWP reduces. “We also need to make sure that our employees feel valued and rewarded and have plenty of opportunities to develop their skills. “DWP has some innovative policies around leave, equality and diversity and pensions but we also have a lot of rigid policies that can’t be tailored to individual needs. We need to get the balance right – focusing on what’s important in a big organisation but still giving managers the freedom to manage. We get a lot of feedback that the balance isn’t quite right yet and there’s more to be done.” A number of policies are currently being reviewed, developed and changed within HR. A review of PDS has already begun, with feedback from employees again being key to this process. “The changes that were made last year have improved some aspects of the system, but people are also telling us

about remaining concerns,” says Chris. “The review involves looking at what other organisations do, how our own businesses are changing, and how we could improve and modernise the appraisal system so it meets our requirements more effectively, now and for the future. Employees will have the opportunity to provide feedback as part of this review.” The Learning and Development (L&D) improvement programme is also underway to create easier access to learning for staff when they need it – and in a way that’s most useful to them. Chris said: “We are running a programme called ‘Making a Difference’ which pilots in July and then launches across DWP in early 2009. The programme will target around 7,000 employees in management roles and grades and give them the confidence and skills to effectively lead their teams during a time of ongoing change.” Chris added: “This is an exciting time and some of the changes we have planned will make a significant difference for staff.” For more information visit the Department and You intranet site and look out for further details coming soon to Headline News.

Did you know? Classroom learning accounts for 70 per cent of all training. 18 per cent comes from e-learning.

staff – team spirit PDCS contact centre
• Employee discount scheme with money off at The major retailers and leisure outlets benefits • Surgery sessions and one-to-one support and that work coaching from HR for you • Team leader events offering colleagues support over common issues • Masterclasses on topics such as attendance management, handling difficult conversations and skills practice • Opportunities to feedback and influence decision making e.g. Framing the Future. Ayshea Myers, EO team leader, Seaham Pension Centre “I’ve worked for DWP for a number of years and I’ve seen many changes within HR policy – they’ve all focused on giving as much support and freedom to staff to be able to manage their own expectations and feel confident in providing the optimum customer service. I think this shows that DWP supports its employees, motivates self-belief and encourages individual’s views.”

Climbing the ladder
The Learning and Development improvement programme is underway to create easier access to learning for staff – when they need it and in a way that’s most useful to them. Initatives iinclude:

HEO manager – leading the wa y
• Improved early talent development • Better advice about wellbeing money off at • Employee discount scheme with leisure outlets major retailers and through the LEP • Simplified recruitment into DWP programme. ingham Simon Forrest, Jobcentre Plus Birm e leadership training available “I’m glad to hear there will be mor become a better manager. because I’d like more support to help loyee discount scheme – that’s I’m also keen on the idea of an emp your flexi-time and pension a brilliant idea! It’s a bit different from e to staff and their families.” and could make a financial differenc

• Access for all staff to a new DWP framework for building leadership and management skills – providing more opportunities for people to gain relevant accreditations • Quick and easy access to a single catalogue of learning products on the intranet no matter where you work in DWP • More focused training and support for operations staff in customer facing roles • Skills for Life – better staff support for gaining appropriate qualifications – including apprenticeships.

The professionals
Changes are taking place within HR to increase the function’s professionalism and improve the service offered to staff. Chris Last said: “When staff come to a HR business partner they want someone who is like a GP and knows enough to either identify remedies to the problem or tell them where they need to go for more specialist help. “That’s what I want my HR business partners to be, and this requires a depth and breadth of skills to deliver that GP role. We need to help them achieve this and to develop more specialist knowledge where appropriate.”

back to Basecamp Senior Civil Service –
• Improved executive talent programme • Childcare vouchers • Improved service to support organisational development • Consulting and coaching for change management. Paul Williams, Customer Services director “It is each individual’s responsibility to take ownership of their development. But DWP supports this with a development framework which encourages individuals to flourish. For me, new to the SCS, Basecamp was a terrific foundation. I’m hoping the new strategy for addressing SCS development needs provides the next steps.”

All things being equal
Diversity Week is taking place in November. The week will include a wide range of regional events and activities to help all staff learn more about diversity, share knowledge and think about how they can make a difference to the lives of their colleagues and customers. The week ends with a conference in Birmingham on 28 November.

JCP customer facing staff – a healthy workplace
ery • Support and training for ESA deliv • Total Reward Statements • Access to wellbeing advice opportunities – 40 per cent of • More apprenticeships and NVQ ice and Guidance NVQs and personal advisers already have Adv towards their NVQs at any one more than 400 advisers are working time work. It as many people as possible attend • Focus 4000 – a programme to help g and personal consultation and health screenin includes Right Core Care access to sickness cases. tors available to advise on long term senior ATOS doc iser from Bolton Gail Stocks, Jobcentre Plus adv entre Plus initiative. at Work’ group which is a new Jobc “I am already part of a ‘Wellbeing in the office. Our wellbeing ideas that we can use We meet each week to discuss new the local market to we buy different kinds of fruit from ideas include a fruit day – where th tests, diabetes tests and also advise on free hea get staff to try something new. We about it.” yone in the team is really enthusiastic NHS health checks. Ever

July 2008 | dwpeople | 23


Read all about it!
FINDING a new job, catching up with gossip or holding your fish and chips – newspapers come in handy for all sorts of things. In Carlisle the local press has definitely had its uses, helping DWP to track down a benefit thief and bring her to justice. In August 2006 Sonya Kennedy, aged 45, was given a suspended sentence. While working as a door-to-door saleswoman she robbed a pensioner in his own home, taking a wallet containing £790. Carlisle’s local paper – The News and Star – published the court report. An eagle-eyed investigator raised the alarm, as the article said Kennedy was claiming benefits as well as working. DWP records show Kennedy started claiming Income Support for herself, her partner and two children in August 2002. She began claiming Disability Living Allowance in April 2003 and also received Housing and Council Tax benefits. In total, she fraudulently claimed £23,071.95. DWP’s Alan Robinson and Ann Fyfe worked on the investigation. Alan says: “We started surveillance and saw Kennedy and her partner going door to door trying to get people to sign up for satellite TV and phone packages. “The couple were self-employed so their hours varied but it was obvious that Kennedy was able to work. She didn’t need these benefits and we had the perfect evidence to support our case.”


Caught in the act: Sonya Kennedy

DWP traced financial records that showed Kennedy and her partner earned more than £9,000 between January 2006 and April 2007. Kennedy was brought in and interviewed under caution. She admitted making false benefit claims and explained that she had started

claiming because she had a debt of approximately £1,500. At Carlisle Crown Court, Kennedy was sentenced to 36 weeks for the DWP offences. The 12-week suspended sentence was also invoked, giving a total sentence of 48 weeks.

We had perfect evidence

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DWP staff can report benefit fraud using the PPQ form on the desktop


Lair of the dog
To paraphrase DWP’s benefit fraud adverts, perhaps it’s a case of ‘No ifs, no mutts’ as Busted! reports on an extraordinary ‘tail’
ion trat illus ople WPe D

Audacious dishonesty

Kevin Montague, of Montpelier Place, Brighton, was jailed for making false statements in order to obtain benefits. In total he claimed £10,690 in Income Support, £28,691 in Housing Benefit and £2,287 in Council Tax benefit. Prosecuting Counsel Lawrence Henderson told Lewes Crown Court how the case against Montague – who sometimes operates under the surname Gibney – came to light. In May 2007, Montague was on probation for another crime. He breached his conditions and was sent to prison to serve the rest of his sentence. An associate was asked to look after his dog. But as arrangements were being made for the pet’s care, £34,000 was found hidden in the cushion of the dog’s bed. The money was handed in to Sussex Police and Montague was further arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

The police started an investigation to find out where the money had come from. It quickly became clear that he was committing benefit fraud too so DWP and Brighton & Hove City Council joined the operation. As well as the money in the dog basket, investigators found that Montague had nearly £300,000 of undeclared money in various bank accounts. At sentencing, His Honour Judge Niblett said that the public expected Montague to be dealt with severely and that he had shown “audacious dishonesty”. Montague was given three years in prison for the Income Support fraud, two years for the Housing Benefit fraud and one year for the Council Tax Benefit fraud. All sentences will run concurrently. A confiscation hearing will also take place in September 2008.

Members of the public can report suspicions on the National Benefit Fraud Hotline (0800 854 440)

A BRIGHTON man is facing three years in prison (or should that be the doghouse?) – after DWP investigators were given a very unusual lead.

Joining forces
IN APRIL, local authorities were given new powers to bring even more benefit thieves to justice. The new laws mean that local authorities can now investigate and prosecute on DWP’s behalf. So if someone is committing fraud against one of DWP’s benefits and either Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, they can be dealt with in one case. The legislation covers cases involving Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, State Pension Credit, and the new Employment and Support Allowance when it launches in October. In each case, the Fraud Investigation Service will work closely with the relevant local authority to supply information and support the case. DWP and local authorities have already worked on many joint prosecutions and the recent changes will lead to even more successful convictions.

July 2008 | dwpeople | 25

Quiz Time

the fantastic film fact finder take 2

1. Central character in the 1978 biopic The Buddy Holly Story (5,5) 2. Woody Allen’s ‘Hall’ of fame (5) 3. Planes, _______, and Automobiles (6) 4. Rockstar that put in a memorable ‘performance’ (4,6) 5. Sounds better than silence (3,9) 6. Talented, but a Coward (4)

A hearty pat on the back to everybody who responded to last month’s tricky film quiz. The answers were Danny, Ronnie Kray, Alec Guinness, Carry On Films, Uma Thurman, Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now. Taking the first letter from each would form a name that still strikes fear into mankind – the original prince of darkness, Dracula. Nearly all of you impressed with your excellent knowledge of the movies but, alas, there can only be one winner. Take a bow, Melanie Paisley. £15 of HMV vouchers are on their way to you! For another chance to win the prize why not try your luck this time. The rules are the same as last time. Answer all the questions and take the first letter from each to form the name of a box-office smash hit from 1989.


Please email your answers – showing all your working – to john.pinching@dwp.gsi.gov.uk by 30 July 2008


Across 6. Julia, female star of hit movie ‘Charlie Wilson's War’ (7) 7. Jomo Kenyatta was this country's first president (5) 9. Leona, who had a massive hit single with ‘Bleeding Love’ (5) 10. ‘The _______ Boys’, a hit play written by Alan Bennett (7) 12. Country noted for its neutrality in the world wars of the 20th Century (11) 14. Dramatic production (11) 18. Certificate which allows people to purchase goods (7) 19. Boris Johnson’s London job (5) Send in your completed crossword, 21. One of twelve in a year (5) details and answer to the question 22. Earnest attempts (7) below to: Down 1. John Paul ______, an American naval commander in the American Revolution (5) 2. Critical article on a play or film (6) 3. Enclosure for pigs (3) 4. Plant whose seeds are favoured by vegetarians (6) 5. Pipe at the side of the road, connected to the main water system (7) 8. Sharp-tasting liquid sprinkled on chips (7) 11. Person who gets a race underway (7) 13. Metal container in which liquids are kept under pressure and forced out in a spray (7) 15. Flat, polished surfaces cut on a gemstone (6) 16. Stick of coloured wax (6) 17. Musical _____ had a big hit single in 1992 with ‘Pass The Dutchie’ (5) 20. Immature newt (3)
DWPeople Crossword Competition, Laura Turvey, Room 650, Caxton House, 6 -12 Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NA. Competition closes on 15 August. To be in with a chance of winning please tell us what your favourite feature in this issue was? _______________________________ _______________________________ Name: ........................................................ Full address: ....................................................... ........................................................ ........................................................ ........................................................

The winner of the £15 Marks and Spencer voucher was Jane Smith from Hastings BDC.

Last month’s answers Across 1. Disturbance 9. Reading 10. Birch 11. Noose 12. Artwork 13. Soweto 15. Adults 18. Tabloid 20. Ankle 22. Evita 23. Equator 24. Kevin Spacey Down 2. Idaho 3. Trident 4. Reggae 5. Abbot 6. Carroll 7. Trendsetter 8. Shakespeare 14. Website 16. Dracula 17. Adders 19. Okapi 21. Katie


The instant interview
EVERY month an interviewee is selected at random from the DWP global address book. This month our subject is…
How long have you worked for the Department? Nearly three years. What do you do? First contact officer at Jobcentre Plus Bootle, I am also branch officer for PCS. What is the best aspect of your job? Dealing with customers from all walks of life. Is there anything about your job that you dislike? I am too busy to engage with my colleagues and team as much as I would like. What’s been the highlight of your career? Receiving recognition from customers, thanking me for my help. From a PCS aspect it has been reaching level 2 in health and safety. What was the last film you watched? Sex and the City Which music would you use for the soundtrack of your life? Candi Staton - You’ve Got the Love What is your favourite meal? Anything Chinese, favourite would probably be fillet steak Cantonese. If you could paint your office in the colour of your choice, what would it be? Red for Liverpool. Do you have any hobbies? Socialising with my friends, running, and reading Dan Brown books. What are you doing tonight? I am going to the local pub for my tea, with my mum and sister, and then will be going home in time for Big Brother (sad, but I’m addicted).

from Jobcentre Plus in Liverpool

DWPeople classifieds
NEW FOREST. LODGES. Traditional Victorian farmhouse has cosy, 1 double bedroom lodge, with glass doors leading from lounge onto large wooden decked area, sleeps four and separate large two bedroom lodge, sleeps six, both have uninterrupted views of gorgeous countryside. Access to forest, trailway for cycling, walking and horse riding. Swimming pool (heated). Within easy reach of beautiful award winning South coast beaches. For info 01425 472115 ROME CITY CENTRE, Testaccio. Two new apartments sleep four people in each. From 90 Euros per apartment per night. 10 per cent discount to DWP employees. For further info: http://rentintestaccio.googlepag es.com email: rentintestaccio@googlemail.com

July 2008 | dwpeople | 27

DWPeople is taking a break for the summer – but we will be back in September with more features, staff stories and favourites such as Busted!, Team of the Month and the monthly quizzes. The September issue will include features on: • • • • 100 years of state pensions Community 5000 Wellbeing at work Making a difference and lots more… Have a great summer – see you in September, from the team at DWPeople.

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