Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Defence Business Services - Administer the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Schemes

There are a number of compensation schemes administered by Defence Business Services to serving and former serving personnel who are injured as a result of their service in the armed forces. The scheme that applies to each individual will depend on when and where they served and when they were injured.

the War Pensions Scheme (WPS)

A claim can be considered under the WPS if the individual is no longer serving and their disablement was caused as a result of service in the armed forces before 6 April 2005.

the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

A claim under the AFCS where the illness or injury was caused as a result of service on or after 6 April 2005. The individual does not need to have left the armed forces before claiming.

The rules governing both schemes are extremely complex.

Civil Servants are proud of the work they do in support of our armed forces and the proposal to take DS to the market raises the spectre of a second My Civil Service Pension (MyCSP) disaster, but this time with the WPS and AFCS.

In 2012 the ConDem coalition launched a “new model” of privatisation under the influence of Frances Maude, handing 500 government pension administrators to a “mutual” called MyCSP. The deal ultimately gave private outsourcing firm Equiniti a 51 per cent stake in the “mutual,” with just 25 per cent for staff and 24 per cent for the government.

The mostly Liverpool-based staff felt very un-mutual about being dominated by Equiniti. They went on strike against it. But the “mutual” window dressing let Maude claim this was a John Lewis-style move, saying: “We no longer face a binary choice between public services delivered by state monopoly and straight privatisation. That is why I am a passionate supporter of mutuals which will help Britain grow a more diverse economy.”

A February 2016 National Audit Office report examines his flagship new-style privatisation. The official watchdog found “stories of hardship, distress and inconvenience caused by late payment of pensions, difficulty in getting in touch with MyCSP and failure to provide accurate and timely information on pension entitlement.”

In 2014 MyCSP expanded its management of 1.5 million Civil Service pensions. The results weren’t pretty. The firm “was not able to reply to almost 100,000 member calls” in the next seven months. MyCSP management didn’t have enough staff after cutting numbers to make savings. Their “information technology systems made managing the work more difficult.”

Computing was so poor that MyCSP didn’t know how bad things were until a “manual count” of the backlog.

So the auditors think this privatisation pretending to be “partnerships” needs to be carefully watched. That’s an important message.

Maude ran the Cabinet Office efficiency and reform group, but his reform wasn’t very, erm, efficient. MyCSP sounds exactly like the privatisation failures of previous governments — services sold off cheap, IT failures, no penalties for providers.

Could the MoD be making a similar mistake, taking DBS to the market?

No comments:

Post a Comment