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DCLG under fire over delivery of HIPs

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The Department for Communities & Local Government has come under fire over its “tortuous” handling of home information packs (HIPs), missing the 2010 decent homes target and failing to tackle internal bullying and harassment.

MPs on the local government select committee have launched a scathing attack on the department that questions its fundamental ability to deliver. But in its second report of session 2007-08 it acknowledges that it is heavily reliant on other departments as well as local authorities.

The report said: “The department needs urgently to tackle persistent concerns about its ability to deliver across the range of policies for which it is responsible and its ability to influence its strategic partners.”

MPs have attacked its failure to introduce HIPs “because there was not enough inspectors”, saying that this was because the DCLG first watered down and then repeatedly delayed its introduction.

It commends its work with partners to meet decent homes standards but then expresses “deep disappointment” that it was unable to co-ordinate the work required. The MPs “seek a clear indication of what will be done to improve those homes which will not be upgraded by then”.

The department said: “We note the committee's concerns relating to some aspects of specific policies. We will continue to work with the Committee closely on these issues. However, we do not agree with some of the committee's views on the implementation of HIPs.”

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