The British government is reportedly considering outsourcing the running of the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) to the private sector after in-house administration resulted in a catalog of embarrassing mistakes.
The FAS was set up by the current Labour government in the UK to provide a financial safety net to those who had lost their company pension savings due to the collapse of their employers. However, since its instigation over two years ago, many thousands of people it was designed to help are still out of pocket.
Therefore, in a move that effectively concedes the government’s failure to be able to manage the scheme, The Independent newspaper has reported that ministers are now looking for a private organization to take over the day-to-day running of the FAS.
According to the newspaper’s report, pensions minister James Purnell has said that an outside private administrator would be sort or a merger with the recently-created Pensions Protection Fund could be implemented.
The failings of the FAS are the latest in a catalog of examples of the current government’s inability to administer public services effectively. They come hot on the heels of ministerial admissions that the Home Office is in disarray and concerns over the tax credit system.