Skip to main content

Child Support Agency

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what arrangements the Child Support Agency has for ensuring the prompt payment of child support recovered by bailiffs to its outsourced finance handling company Liberata; (83837)

(2) what Liberata’s target is for the time taken to make payments collected from bailiffs to parents with care; and in what percentage of cases Liberata has met this target.

The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 18 July 2006:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You also asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what Liberata’s target is for the time taken to make payments collected from bailiffs to parents with care; and in what percentage of cases Liberata has met this target.

The Department of Work and Pensions contract with Liberata requires the Agency to utilise their services for the payment of invoices, court charges and some manual payments to clients.

Liberata do not deal with the payment of child support monies collected by a bailiff company. This is solely an Agency function.

I hope this information is helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what bonuses relating to performance were paid to staff managing the EDS contract at the Child Support Agency in each of the last four years for which figures are available. (77970)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Hilary Reynolds, dated 18 July 2006:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As he is out of the country, I am responding on his behalf.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what bonuses relating to performance were paid to staff managing the EDS contract at the Child Support Agency in each of the last four years for which figures are available.

All people employed by the Department for Work and Pensions may qualify for performance related pay. The performance related pay arrangements operate on a sliding scale with over 90% of employees receiving a payment at the end of the performance year.

In addition, the Department operates a “Special Bonus” scheme, which rewards employees for exceptional achievements outside the requirements of their key work objectives.

The table below shows special bonus payments paid to people involved in managing the EDS contract. However, managing the EDS contract forms only part of their roles and responsibilities.

These payments arose from when the new child support computer system went live in March 2003.

Financial year

Amount of payment (£)

2003-04

1,600.00

2004-05

0

2005-06

500.00

I hope you find this response helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Child Support Agency cases have been dealt with as clerical cases due to administrative errors on the part of his Department since January 2005. (81998)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the chief executive. He will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 18 July 2006:

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Child Support Agency cases have been dealt with as clerical cases due to administrative errors on the part of his Department since January 2005.

Cases are taken off the new computer system (CS2) and progressed clerically if a technical fault occurs and the case cannot be progressed on the system.

If an administrative error is found to have occurred, then Agency staff will look to resolve that error while the case is still being operated on CS2. The case would only be progressed clerically if a technical fault subsequently occurred.

The total volume of cases being clerically progressed in each month from March 2005 to March 2006 is available in table 19 of the latest edition of the Agency's Quarterly Summary of Statistics (QSS), a copy of which is available in the House library, as well as on the internet at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/csa.asp.

For convenience, these figures are attached.

I recognise that the figures given here differ from those given in response to PQ 21451. This is due to improvements in management information which now allows us to provide a more accurate picture of the Agency's clerical caseload.

I hope you find this helpful.

Volume of cases being progressed clerically in each month from the CS2 system

Number of new system clerical cases

2005

March

10,000

April

11,000

May

12,000

June

13,000

July

13,000

August

14,000

September

14,000

October

15,000

November

16,000

December

16,000

2006

January

17,000

February

17,000

March

19,000

Notes:

1. The above figures show the number of new and old scheme cases from CS2 that were being processed clerically, in the main due to technical IT problems that prevented them from being progressed on the CS2 system itself.

2. Note that the figures for later months are provisional, and may be subject to minor retrospective revisions.

3. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.

4. Due to limitations in management information, we are unable to include the number of cases that are being progressed clerically off the old system (CSCS).