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Q&A: Delivery partnership agreements explained

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Every council implementing universal credit will have a contract with the Department for Work & Pensions. Here we explain what you need to know about delivery partnership agreements.

What is a delivery partnership agreement (DPA)?

It’s a contract between a local authority and the Department for Work & Pensions in relation to the implementation of universal credit in an area. It outlines exactly what councils are expected to do and the role they will play.

What does a DPA cover?

The contents of a DPA vary from council to council. Typically, they include agreements to share information about claimants with the DWP and local landlords. They often give councils a leading role to get residents online. The DPAs can also include a right to terminate the agreement. They also specify the financial settlement for each council for its part in implementing universal credit.

Are the contents of a DPA imposed?

No. Councils are able to discuss the contents of a DPA with the DWP. Emma Alexander, executive director of commercial services at Oldham MBC, said: “It’s really important councils have a dialogue with the DWP about what’s in the DPA and what the funding will deliver.”

Are DPAs long-term contracts?

The timeframe of a DPA will differ between councils. The length of time they cover will usually depend on when universal credit is being rolled out in an area in relation to the financial year. DPAs to date have, however, been regularly revisited and updated. It is anticipated that DPAs will eventually be replaced with grant funding settlements once universal credit has been fully rolled out and the DWP has a better understanding of how much it costs to deliver.

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