A Judicial Review claim may be issued in the administrative court by any person with sufficient interest in the matter to which the application for Judicial Review relates.
Matters relating to court proceedings are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice who advise that those applying for a Judicial Review are expected to exhaust whatever alternative remedies are available to them under the particular process they are concerned about.
The Child Support Agency has already, through the Operational Improvement Plan made considerable improvements in client service over the last year with new scheme uncleared applications at their lowest level since January 2004 and 72 per cent. of new cases cleared within 12 weeks. These improved service levels, complemented by a thorough and tested appeals process ensure clients have access to the necessary support and advice in all their dealings with the Agency. It is therefore more appropriate to continue to improve client service, through the Operational Improvement Plan enabling the Child Support Agency to deliver more money to more children, than to place additional and unnecessary burdens on our courts.
The principles of the basic maintenance formula under the Commission will be based on the structure of the formula introduced in 2003 with percentage rates based on the non-resident parent’s income and number of qualifying children.
We are satisfied that the percentage rates strike the right balance between the needs of the child and the other expenses that non-resident parents have to meet.
The Commission’s main objective is to maximise the number of effective maintenance arrangements in place.
This main objective is supported by two subsidiary objectives. The first is to encourage and support voluntary maintenance arrangements. The second is to support the making of applications to the statutory maintenance service and to secure compliance with parental obligations under the Child Support Act when this is appropriate.
Securing compliance with parental obligations includes securing payment of any arrears owed under the Child Support Act.
The Government have no plans to allow courts to impose child maintenance orders on parents. We want to promote a collaborative process that encourages parents to reach agreement about maintenance wherever possible. Where parents are unable to agree they may apply to the Child Support Agency for a maintenance calculation.