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Benefits Agency

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of claims made to the Benefits Agency were delayed because of papers lost or mislaid by the Agency in the last year for which figures are available. [88534]

The information requested is not available.In April 2002, we launched Jobcentre Plus and the Pensions Service, replacing the Benefits Agency. The Department and its Agencies are committed to providing a high level of customer service and have published customer charters setting out the level of service that customers can expect to receive.Both Agencies treat all post and claim forms as confidential items taking all necessary action resulting from that post, both promptly and accurately. If a customer reports that an item of post has not been actioned, Agency staff will check to ensure that it has not been misplaced within the office. If a claim to benefit is delayed because the Agencies have lost forms or papers they will make every effort to ensure that the customer does not suffer unduly by rectifying the situation as quickly as possible. In a case of maladministration where a customer suffers financial loss, stress or is put to additional inconvenience, the Agencies can, in addition, make financial redress through our special payments schemes.