Select Committee on Social Security Second Report


How adjudication arising from the fieldwork was dealt with

14.1  The project team felt that it was vital to preserve the independence of adjudication officers. All adjudication that resulted from the Benefit Review was therefore carried out completely separately from the helpdesk.

14.2  Interviewers were instructed, therefore, not to attempt to assess the effect on entitlement of any discrepancies they found but to record all information about the case and refer all queries to the helpdesk which was manned, in addition to BA Security staff, by adjudication staff on loan from FAMC Unit.

14.3  From the information provided by the interviewer on the questionnaire, narrative report and customer's statement, the helpdesk decided whether it appeared appropriate to review the case. All cases where a review seemed appropriate were referred to FAMC Unit.

14.4  A dedicated team was set up at FAMC Unit to handle adjudication arising from the Benefit Review. All cases referred by the helpdesk were scrutinised by adjudication staff and, where appropriate, reviewed and revised awards issued. Where an award was revised FAMC Unit issued a notification of the new award to the customer.

14.5  Where there were no grounds for review a "no change" letter was issued to the customer by the helpdesk.

14.6  A total of 102 cases were referred to FAMC Unit for adjudication over the period of the fieldwork. Of these, 78 resulted in revised awards being issued.

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Prepared 4 February 1999