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Financial Assistance Scheme: Standards

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the administration of the financial assistance scheme in making timely payments to those who qualify for assistance under the scheme. (173785)

A review was carried out during this year by Mercers Human Resource Consulting which reported back in August that the process of gathering data to operate the financial assistance scheme (FAS) is fit for purpose and is managed in a satisfactory manner.

They also concluded that delays in obtaining high enough quality data are sometimes due to problems for trustee's administrators and insurance firms being able to supply information.

As of 18 December 2007 3,665 people were receiving assistance payments from the financial assistance scheme and £11,786,114 has been paid out. This compares to the same time last year when 675 members were receiving assistance totalling £2,003,227.