Select Committee on Social Security Second Report


Work undertaken on the sample cases prior to the fieldwork

10.1  Once files were received from storage it was not thought expedient to simply pass them to the interviewers for preview work and visiting. This is because the interviewers were not necessarily experienced in FAMC work and may find it very difficult to sift through the contents of each file understanding the importance and relevance of each item of information and how it affected the award. In addition, the files did not contain details of the award, which was only held on the FAMC computer system. Some additional preparation was therefore necessary.


10.2  It was therefore decided that for each case a "penpicture" would be produced by FAMC Unit adjudication staff which focused on:

  • detailing the information that is relevant to the claim in a logical and easily understood format,
  • showing how the award was decided and details of the award itself, and
  • other important features, such as number of previous awards, guidance on what information needed to be checked/verified and whether any parts of the customer's statement required further examination.

This information helped the interviewer to understand the case and therefore conduct an effective preview and interview. In addition certain other documentation was attached to the penpicture as follows:

  • copy of current claim form,
  • where relevant, copy of previous claim form (or part),
  • copy of Child Benefit Account, and
  • copy of National Insurance record.

10.3  A proforma was produced in order to ensure that all penpictures were of a consistent standard. A specification for the proforma was provided by BA Security and the actual design was carried out by FAMC Unit.

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Prepared 4 February 1999