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Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Volume 701: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Statement by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 22 April (WS 150), under what legal authority the Department for Work and Pensions is spending £2,400,000 on setting up the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission in advance of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill receiving Royal Assent. [HL3217]

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many more repayable cash advances from the Department for Work and Pensions' contingencies fund are likely to be required to pay for setting up the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission prior to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill receiving Royal Assent. [HL3219]

Further contingency fund advances will only be sought if essential to the successful introduction of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will conduct an urgent review of the financial planning for the establishment of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. [HL3220]

No. The programme to establish the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is subject to internal DWP scrutiny in line with best practice. The programme is also reviewed by the Office of Government Commerce. Decisions by HM Treasury to provide advances from the contingency fund are subject to review and are scrutinised carefully by the National Audit Office.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether consultations have been held with the National Audit Office on the decision to spend £2,400,000 from the Department for Work and Pensions' contingencies fund on the setting up of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission prior to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill receiving Royal Assent. [HL3221]

HM Treasury does not consult the National Audit Office prior to agreement of a contingencies fund advance, as this is not a requirement. All contingencies fund advances are carefully reviewed and scrutinised each year by the National Audit Office.