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Social Security Benefits: Personal Records

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that requests submitted by Clydebank Processing Centre for the return of stored case papers or claimants' documents are dealt with promptly by staff at Heywood. (142286)

Clydebank Benefit Delivery Centre currently retains files on site for nine weeks before dispatch to the Capita Document Management Centre (DMC) or Heywood Stores as they were known. This retention facilitates routine post-action checks, inquiries or other action. Documents/files are requested from DMC using an on-line retrieval with each request being made available for despatch by the TNT Courier by 20:00 on the day of request where the request is received before 17.00 hours or the next working day for requests made after 17.00 hours. Where the request is urgent we can request a response within two hours by fax or e-mail.

Where files are not received there are two escalation routes, depending on the information held in the on-line retrieval system, either via the TNT Courier help desk or the DMC Customer Service Desk. DMC will endeavour to resolve the issue at contact. However, if this is not possible complaints will be investigated within 24 hours of receipt and the caller given the option of a written reply by fax or e-mail. If the inquiry cannot be resolved within 24 hours, DMC Customer Service Desk provides a progress report via e-mail or fax. If the response is unsatisfactory or is not received within 48 hours, the issue is escalated to the DWP Record Storage Contract Management Team. Scotland also has a nominated manager who represents our sites on matters relating to the JCP process and the DMC service.

Clydebank is currently receiving a satisfactory standard of service and escalates individual cases where there are difficulties to the Customer Service Desk. Clydebank aims to reduce the holding to six weeks, rather than nine, in line with our agreed best practice in Scotland.