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Departmental Offices (Social Security Act 1986)

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps his Department's local offices take under the terms of the Social Security Act 1986 to make themselves aware of the objectives of charitable organisations; and if he will make a statement.

It is for local office managers to decide how best to do this. As a matter of good administration, local offices will be expected to keep themselves informed about the objectives of charitable organisation in the future, as they have also had to do in the past.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidelines his Department issues to his Department's local offices on their obligations under the Social Security Act 1986 with regard to the information they keep on charitable organisations, and the use they make of any such information; and if he will make a statement.

Guidance in the social fund manual explains that consideration of help which might be available from another source, including a charity, is mainly appropriate to applications for crisis loans; and then only provided that there is a realistic expectation that the help would be available, and available in time, were the applicant to seek it.