To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to the reply to the hon. Member for Monklands, West, Official Report, 26 March, column 31, on the social fund, how many personnel in his Department are involved in reviews; and where they are located.
In 447 local offices, there are social fund officers whose statutory functions include first-tier reviews. In addition, there are 44 social fund inspectors whose sole function is to undertake second-tier reviews. Social fund inspectors are independent of the Department. They are appointed by and accountable to the social fund commissioner, and their office is located in Birmingham.