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Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (l)how many local authorities use Capita and their software package Academy; [129173](2) how many local authorities who use Capita and their software package Academy for Housing Benefit have made complaints to the Department. [129171]

I have been asked to reply.The seven local authorities who contract out their benefit administration with Capita are Bexley, Blackburn with Darwen, East Cambridgeshire, Havant, Mendip, West Devon and Westminster. A further 65 local authorities have stated that they use Capita's Academy software package.We have received no complaints from local authorities using Capita or their Academy software. Local authorities have complete autonomy to select and contract with the provider of their choice.