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Local Government

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets his Department sets for local authorities. (104909)

The Department for Work and Pensions publishes performance standards for local authorities who administer housing benefit and council tax benefit. The performance standards contain 19 performance measures for a range of activities such as average times for processing new benefit claims and levels of accuracy in the calculation of benefit entitlement.

The Department does not set specific targets for the performance measures but sets boundaries for levels of performance as follows:

Excellent

Good

Meeting minimum requirements

Not meeting minimum requirements

Performance against the measures is reported to the Department on a quarterly basis. A risk assessment of the data forms the basis for decisions on monitoring, addressing poor performance and inspection activity by the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate. In England, performance against the measures feeds into the comprehensive performance assessment.