The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Darra Singh:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many unprocessed Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claims there were in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each of the last six months; what the average time taken to process claims in each instance was. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus does not process claims at District level but in Benefit Delivery Centres. Therefore the Management Information supplied will be for each Benefit Delivery Centre. I have also provided data at regional level as requested.
Jobcentre Plus gathers information on the volume of unprocessed claims from its internal benefit processing systems. As claims are received in Benefit Delivery Centres they are recorded on this system. The count of these unprocessed claims is a snapshot of which claims have yet to be fully processed to the point a decision is made on entitlement on the last working day of every month. The data provided may also slightly underestimate the volume of claims being processed as some cases could be in transit and/or be waiting to be logged onto the system.
Jobcentre Plus has a target for the average actual clearance time taken to process JSA claims, currently 11.5 days. Current year to date performance, as of November 2009, is 10.0 days. The time is calculated across an average of all the claims cleared in any given month looking at the date the customer first contacted Jobcentre Plus or the customer's first day of unemployment, whichever is the later. The end date is the date a formal decision is made on the claim and a notification is issued to the customer on entitlement.
Information on the number of unprocessed claims and the average time taken to process claims from May 2009 to October 2009 in each Region and Benefit Delivery Centre has been placed in Library.