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Child Support Agency

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the time taken by the Child Support Agency to secure a liability order; and what the key factors are in determining that timescale. (146176)

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 Stephen Geraghty, dated 17 July 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions regarding 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, what estimate he has made of the time taken by the Child Support Agency to secure a liability order, and what the key factors are in determining that timescale.

The current time taken to secure a liability order from the courts from first referral to the Child Support Agency enforcement teams is 115 calendar days in England and Wales and 171 days in Scotland. The key factors in determining this timescale are; primarily, the local availability of court services and the requirement to allow a period of time between the court summons and court date, to allow the non-resident parent time to prepare for the hearing.

In Scottish courts, the non-resident parent also has the ability to object to the courts, which can impact on the time taken to obtain the liability order.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many requests have been made by the Child Support Agency to HM Revenue and Customs in each (a) month and (b) quarter since January 2003 in respect of access to information on the incomes of non-resident parents; and if he will make a statement. (146182)

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 Stephen Geraghty, dated 17 July 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 many requests have been made by the Child Support Agency to HM Revenue and Customs in each (a) month and (b) quarter since January 2003 in respect of access to information on the incomes of non-resident parents; and if he will make a statement.

Such information as is available is set out in the attached table, which shows the number of requests dealt with by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) where the Child Support Agency has made a request for information on the non-resident parents income.

The information supplied relates to queries dealt with by two parts of HMRC, the Centre of Research and Intelligence (CRI) and the National Insurance Contributions Office.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Number of requests actioned by the Centre of Research and Intelligence from 1 January 2003 to 24 June 2007

Month

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

January

1,837

1,619

2,024

2,949

4,319

February

1,587

2,082

2,227

2,470

3,096

March

1,814

2,369

2,255

2,385

5,410

Quarter 1 (January-March)

5,238

6,070

6,506

7,804

12,825

April

1,576

2,727

2,581

2,257

3,315

May

1,887

2,130

1,942

2,819

4,178

June

2,072

2,030

1,930

2,420

2,657

Quarter 2 (April-June)

5,535

6,887

6,453

7,496

7,493

July

1,658

2,856

2,351

2,968

August

2,319

2,143

2,058

2,385

September

1,980

2,101

2,210

2,425

Quarter 3 (July-September)

5,957

7,100

6,619

7,778

October

2,877

2,714

2,219

3,779

November

2,225

1,919

2,355

2,852

December

1,444

1,810

1,467

1,927

Quarter 4 (October-December)

6,546

6,443

6,041

8,558

Total

23,276

26,500

25,619

31,636

20,318

Number of referrals issued to National Insurance Contributions Office

Year

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08 to date

Totals

3,597

8,452

18,883

35,448

53,795

6,294

Note to table:

The information on referrals to the National Insurance Contributions Office is only available annually