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The Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform (Margaret Hodge): The New Deal for Disabled People will be extended for a further year to 31 March 2007. This will provide continuity of support to priority customers and allow emerging evaluation evidence, from this and other initiatives, to be taken into consideration in the development of future provision.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. David Blunkett): This quarterly report is to update the House on progress of the Child Support Agency. It covers the period from March to June 2005 and contains improved management information. The last report formed part of the Government's response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee's Second Report of the Session 200405 and covered performance up to February 2005.
The Agency is currently administering cases under new and old schemes, across two computer systems. At the end of June 2005, the Agency's caseload stood at around 1.4 million cases. Of these, 950,000 cases were being administered under the old child support scheme (270,000 of which were on the new computer system having migrated from the old computer system because they were linked in some way to a new application) and 480,000 were being administered under the new scheme. Around 12,000 new scheme cases are being administered clerically as they are un-progressable on the new computer system.
Since the inception of the new scheme in March 2003 the Agency has received 680,000 potential new scheme applications, of which 420,000 have been cleared. The remaining 260,000 are at various stages of the work in progress, representing a marginal reduction since March as a result of efforts by the Agency to focus on its backlogs. In addition, there are 78,000 old scheme cases awaiting an assessment, a reduction from 130,000 in June 2004.
In June 2005, as a result of the Agency's intervention, 390,000 parents with care (equating to 520,000 children) were in receipt of maintenance via the collection service, or had a maintenance direct arrangement in place. Despite the problems with the administration of the new scheme the proportion of parents with a new scheme
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calculation who receive maintenance is higher (54 per cent.) than if they had been assessed under the old scheme (46 per cent.).
During the period March 2005 to June 2005 overall Agency case compliance remained stable at 70 per cent. This is also the case for old scheme compliance at 72 per cent. New scheme compliance, at 66 per cent. in June 2005, has risen from 61 per cent. in June 2004.
As a result of initiatives rolled out since autumn 2004, we are seeing real improvement in case compliance for those cases for which maintenance was calculated from September 2004 onwards. The overall new scheme compliance rate was 66 per cent in June 2005, and, for those new cases calculated in February 2005 (the latest month for which compliance has begun to stabilise for new cases), compliance had reached 78 per cent.
Trends in cash compliance performance are broadly flat over the period, with overall Agency performance at 69 per cent. in June 2005. Old and new scheme performance was 72 per cent and 62 per cent respectively with new scheme performance having improved from 50 per cent in June 2004.
During the quarter ending June 2005 the Agency collected maintenance arrears equivalent to 35 per cent of the total amount of unpaid regular maintenance which accrued over the same period. Performance across the quarter has remained unchanged for the old scheme at 40 per cent, with new scheme performance demonstrating further improvement from 22 per cent to 27 per cent (having already risen from 15 per cent in June 2004).
Accuracy performance is measured cumulatively month-on-month throughout the year. Figures based on the first results of 200506 show performance to June of 82 per cent for new scheme and 75 per cent for old scheme.
Whilst we have seen continuing progress some significant problems remain with the new computer and telephony systems and these continue to slow progress on business recovery. The Agency is working closely with EDS to resolve these problems and further IT releases were successfully implemented in December 2004 and May 2005.
We have always said that no decision will be taken on when to convert old scheme cases until we are confident the new scheme is working well. A new chief executive was appointed in April this year and he has initiated a strategic review of the Agency's objectives and operational arrangements. He will report to Ministers in the coming months and we will report to the House in due course.
|New Scheme||January 2005||February 2005||March 2005||April 2005||May 2005||June 2005||Scheme to DateJune 2005 4|
|Clearances: 1 & 3||16,000||19,000||24,000||24,000||27,000||26,000||419,000|
|Work in progress 2||259,000||265,000||266,000||267,000||265,000||263,000||263,000|
|Clearances as % of intake||69%||78%||95%||97%||108%||106%||60%|
|Scheme to June 2005|
|June 2004||September2004||December 2004||March 2005||April 2005||May 2005||June 2005|
|Case Compliance 1|
|Overall Agency||71 per cent||70 per cent||70 per cent||70 per cent||70 per cent||70 per cent||70 per cent|
|New Scheme||61 per cent||62 per cent||64 per cent||66 per cent||66 per cent||66 per cent||66 per cent|
|All Old Scheme||73 per cent||73 per cent||72 per cent||72 per cent||72 per cent||72 per cent||72 per cent|
|Cash Compliance 1|
|Overall Agency||68 per cent||66 per cent||67 per cent||70 per cent||69 per cent||69 per cent||69 per cent|
|New Scheme||50 per cent||52 per cent||55 per cent||61 per cent||60 per cent||61 per cent||62 per cent|
|All Old Scheme||71 per cent||70 per cent||70 per cent||73 per cent||73 per cent||72 per cent||72 per cent|
|Overall Agency||30 per cent||28 per cent||29 per cent||34 per cent||34 per cent||34 per cent||35 per cent|
|New Scheme||15 per cent||16 per cent||18 per cent||22 per cent||22 per cent||24 per cent||27 per cent|
|All Old Scheme||35 per cent||33 per cent||34 per cent||40 per cent||40 per cent||39 per cent||40 per cent|
|New Scheme||83 per cent||78 per cent||75 per cent||88 per cent||82 per cent|
|All Old Scheme||84 per cent||80 per cent||80 per cent||78 per cent||79 per cent||75 per cent|
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