Govt cites governance as driver behind Capita administration improvement

The government has claimed that “close monitoring” through increased governance has driven the improvement that Capita has made in its administration of the Royal Mail Pension Scheme.

In an answer to a parliamentary written question asking what assessment the government had made of Capita’s performance in administering the scheme, Conservative MP for Hertsmere, Oliver Dowden, said that the company was “now operating closer to the contracted levels”.

He stated: “Following the transition of services from Royal Mail Group to Capita in October 2017, Capita’s performance fell short of expected levels.

“However, due to the close monitoring that has been in place through the governance arrangements, Capita’s performance has improved and is now operating closer to the contracted levels.”

A Capita spokesperson said: “Working collaboratively with the Cabinet Office, we have significantly improved service delivery to members by increasing the resource both in the core delivery team and the member contact team.”

In 2017, Capita was awarded a contract to run the administration for £47bn of benefits in the Royal Mail Pension Scheme in a tender involving four groups.

According to the government, Capita is being paid approximately £31m for the eight-year deal, equating to around £3.9m a year.

Dowden said that there was “robust governance framework” in place that provides the government “with the relevant oversight to manage the contract”.

He continued: “This framework enables Cabinet Office to monitor performance and continuous improvement but also provides an escalation route for any issues that may be encountered throughout the term of the contract.

“The governance model includes an advisory board, called the Royal Mail Pension Scheme Governance Group, which is made up of representatives from stakeholders of the scheme including Union (on behalf of members), employer and pensioner representatives.”

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