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MINISTER WELCOMES NAO REPORT ON MOTABILITY

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Alistair Burt, minister for disabled people, today welcomed the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on the Mot...
Alistair Burt, minister for disabled people, today welcomed the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on the Motability Scheme.

The NAO report examines whether the scheme offers value-for money to disabled people and how Motability monitors the quality of service it provides. The report also looks at how the department of social security monitors Motability's activities against the conditions of the grant-in-aid which it gives to the charity.

Mr Burt said: 'The Motability Scheme was founded in 1977 by the late Lord Goodman and Lord Sterling with all party support. It is a unique example of collaboration between public, voluntary and private sectors, established to enable severely disabled people, to gain access to personal transport at favourable terms. I am pleased to see this positive report about the Scheme which currently benefits over a quarter of a million disabled people.

'The department's objective in supporting Motability is to enable disabled people entitled to either the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioners Mobility Supplement, to gain access to personal transport in partnership with an independent provider at terms which represent value-for-money.'

Motability is an independent charity. DSS has two responsibilities with respect to the scheme: to ensure that Motability comply with the conditions of the grant-in-aid, and to be satisfied that its objective in supporting the scheme is met.

Motability are responsible for overseeing the scheme and for ensuring that it provides value-for-money to customers.

The NAO report concludes that the scheme provides good value-for-money.

It also notes that the department has improved its oversight of Motability by setting out in a financial memorandum the accountability arrangements for the grant-in-aid towards Motability's administration costs, and holding six-monthly review meetings to monitor progress.

The NAO makes various recommendations most of which have already been actioned and the remainder are being implemented by Motability.

These include:

-- setting customer service targets for Motability and their service provider Motability Finance Limited, and monitoring performance against them

-- drawing up agreements with the funding banks and Motability Finance Ltd which document roles and responsibilities more clearly

-- reviewing the scope for increasing the level of competition in the Scheme

Motability is an independent charity which was set up in 1977 to work with the private sector to enable disabled people to obtain a vehicle in exchange for all or part of their mobility benefit now Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, and War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement).

The department of social security supports the Motability Scheme by providing grant-in-aid for Motability's (the charity) administration (£4.6m in 1995/6), for the Mobility Equipment Fund which provides grants for complex vehicle adaptations for the most severely disabled people(£3m in 1995/6),and for two smaller funds.

Copies of the report can be obtained from HMSO quoting NAO Report on Motability HC 552 session 1995-96. Price £10.75.

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