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Child Support Agency: Debt Collection

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government takes to monitor the debt collection strategies of bailiffs appointed by the Child Support Agency. (241926)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government takes to monitor the debt collection strategies of bailiffs appointed by the Child Support Agency. (241926)

All bailiff firms, including those providing services to the Child Support Agency, must comply with the National Standards for Enforcement Agents, a set of common standards produced by the Government as a code of practice.

The Child Support Agency also has a framework agreement with its bailiff service providers. This agreement set out the performance standards expected by the Agency and covers operations, compliance and complaints. In addition to a series of formal quarterly contract meetings, to review performance, the Agency remains in close contact with its bailiff service provider in order to resolve issues as they arise.

I hope you find this answer helpful.