My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Plaskitt) has made the following Statement.
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill currently before this House provides for a non-departmental public body, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, to administer the statutory scheme of child maintenance in place of the Child Support Agency. Schedule 1 to the Bill states that the commission will be headed by a chair and a chief executive.
The recruitment process for the chair has already begun. This is in anticipation of Royal Assent in spring 2008: by commencing the recruitment process at this stage, we intend that a chair will be in place when the commission comes into being as a legal entity following Royal Assent. This will ensure that the commission has the clear leadership, direction and accountability that it requires in place from day one.
Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £300,000 for this new service will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the Department for Work and Pensions. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £300,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.