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Swale Borough Council

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will ask the Audit Commission to investigate the delays and loss of correspondence in the housing benefits department at Swale Borough Council. [114194]

The Audit Commission's work is restricted to auditing the relevant performance indicators and the housing benefit grant claim, and reviewing internal audit's work on housing benefit. The Audit Commission last undertook direct work on housing benefit delays in Swale in 2000–01. The authority has also been subject to two detailed reviews of the authority's benefit administration by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate—in September/October 1999 and February/March 2002. A further assessment will be made of Swale's performance as part of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment to be undertaken later this year.