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Child Support Agency: Pay

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much in performance bonuses was paid to officials at the Child Support Agency in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; to whom such bonuses were paid; and if he will make a statement. (126815)

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

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 23 May 2007:

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 asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much in performance bonuses was paid out to officials at the Child Support Agency in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; to whom such bonus were paid; and If he will make a statement. [126815]

The Child Support Agency is an executive Agency of the Department for Work and Pensions and operates a Performance Bonus scheme within a framework set out by the Department.

This is an annual scheme linked to annual appraisals markings, determined as part of the Departmental Performance and Development System. Overall funding available, and the size of the individual bonuses, were determined through discussions with Treasury about the Departments pay remit, and then, through negotiations with the unions.

All payments made in the last 12 months were for the 2005/06 performance year. Total payments for the 2005/06 performance year were £3.314m and were all made In July 2006 salaries.

The table attached at Annex A provides the distribution of performance gradings throughout the Agency for 2005/06. All employees receiving a ‘majority’ rating or higher receive a performance bonus.

In addition the Agency operates a Special Bonus scheme in line with Treasury guidance. Payments in any one-year are limited to 0.25% of the staffing budget. An Individual may be awarded a one-off bonus outside the annual reward performance and development system exercise to recognise and reward exceptional personal achievement.

In the twelve months to January 2007 the Agency paid £554,108 in special bonuses with an average cash value of £148. The vast majority, (94%) of these payments went to Agency people directly Involved in delivering our service to clients.

Annex A: Number/proportion of agency people receiving performance gradings

Top

Higher

Majority

Lower

Number of staff

2000

4000

5000

500

Proportion of staff (percentage)

19

34

44

4

Notes:

1. The figures provided are approximate, based upon the best available information from the departmental accounts system. All figures are rounded to the nearest 500. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole percent.

2. Only those marked majority or above are eligible for a performance bonus.