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Benefits System (Decision Making)

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath) has made the following written ministerial statement.

The Secretary of State’s report on the standards of decision making in Jobcentre Plus, the Pension Service, the Disability and Carers Service and the Child Support Agency for 2002 and 2003 is published today.

This is the third report under the decision making and appeals system introduced by the Social Security Act 1998. It covers the two-year period from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2003. The Department apologises for the delay in producing the report which was caused by the need to validate the results it contains in the light of a number of changes to the underlying methodology. While this has provided greater confidence in those results, the Comptroller and Auditor General have not been able to validate all the data in the report. The Department’s aim is to ensure that in future such reports are both produced much more swiftly and that they are able to secure the full assurance of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Copies of the report are available from the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.