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Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the average time taken to resolve complaints to the Child Support Agency for (a) old scheme cases and (b) new scheme cases. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of the average time taken to resolve complaints to the Child Support Agency for (a) old scheme cases and (b) new scheme cases.
The Agency has an internal target to resolve 68% of client complaints or agree a resolution plan within 15 working days of receipt of a complaint from a Child Support Agency client. I cannot provide the average time taken to resolve complaints but year-to-date information on performance against this standard is set out in the table below.
The set up costs were approximately £100k and the running costs for the period 1 April 2005 to 31 October 2005 amount to approximately £6.6m which includes legal costs and bailiff charges. This does not include the staffing costs for the Belfast Enforcement Team.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average administration cost per case on (a) the new scheme and (b) the old scheme was in each of the last four years. 
Information is not currently available in the format requested. We expect information on administration costs for the Child Support Agency to be available after the Departments new Resource Management System is introduced in the Child Support Agency in 2006. In the meantime, the Agency does publish interim unit cost information in accordance with Public Service Agreement (PSA 9) which is contained in the Annual Report and Accounts.
The information requested can be found in Table 2 of the CSA Quarterly Statistical Supplement which was published on the Departments website on 27th October. A copy of this table is attached as an annex to this letter.
|CSA intake and clearancesscheme to date||January||February||March||April||May||June||July||August||September|
|Not progressed to calculation and schedule set up||155,000||166,000||180,000||195,000||213,000||229,000||245,000||258,000||276,000|
|Reduced Benefit Decision||5,000||6,000||6,000||7,000||7,000||7,000||8,000||8,000||9,000|
|Calculated and schedule set up||143,000||152,000||162,000||171,000||180,000||190,000||199,000||209,000||219,000|
|Initially Nil Calculated||21,000||23,000||24,000||26,000||28,000||29,000||31,000||33,000||34,000|
|Initially Maintenance Direct||10,000||12,000||13,000||15,000||16,000||18,000||19,000||21,000||23,000|
|Initially Collection Service||105,000||111,000||117,000||123,000||129,000||135,000||141,000||146,000||153,000|
|One or more payments received||82,000||86,000||93,000||98,000||104,000||109,000||115,000||121,000||126,000|
|Prior to calculation||236,000||241,000||242,000||242,000||240,000||238,000||238,000||238,000||234,000|
|Calculated, awaiting schedule set up||23,000||24,000||24,000||24,000||25,000||25,000||26,000||26,000||27,000|
|Percentage cases for whom maintenance is due who have made one or more payments via collection service, or had an initial maintenance direct arrangement in place.||66||67||68||70||71||71||72||73||74|
|Percentage cases who have been charged via the collection service and for whom one or more payments received||77||78||79||80||81||81||82||82||83|
|Percentage of clearances which result in a initial calculation and schedule set up||48||48||47||47||46||45||45||45||44|
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average number of Child Support Agency staff who deal with each case brought to the agency by parents with care. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average number of Child Support Agency staff who deal with each case brought to the Agency by parents with care.
In September 2005, the case compliance rate for collection service cases in which non-resident parent was classified as self-employed was 63%. This compares to an overall Agency case compliance rate of 70%.
A case is defined as case compliant if it was open at the end of the reporting period, and had paid all or part of any maintenance that was due (either regular or arrears) via the collection service over the preceding quarter.
Additionally, the Agency measures cash compliance, which is the total amount of maintenance received via the collection service over any three month period as a percentage of the total amount charged (both regular maintenance and arrears). In September 2005, the cash compliance rate for cases in which non resident parent was classified as self-employed was 60%. This compares to an overall Agency cash compliance rate of 68%.
These figures for self-employed reflect the status of the non-resident parent currently held on the system as at the last intervention by the Agency. This will not necessarily reflect the current status of the non-resident parent if the Agency has not been informed of, or not yet actioned, a change of circumstances.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what definition he uses of (a) full compliance and (b) partial compliance in Child Support Agency statistics; and whether the definition has changed in the last five years. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what definition he uses of (a) full compliance and (b) partial compliance with the Child Support Agency and whether the definition for statistical purposes has changed in the last five
A case is defined as compliant if maintenance was due via the collection service (either regular maintenance and/or arrears) in the preceding quarter, the case was open at the end of that quarter, and any payment was received during the period.
A case is considered to be fully compliant if the amount of maintenance received over the reporting period is greater than or equal to the amount charged, and partially compliant if a maintenance payment is received that is less than the amount due.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will break down the Child Support Agency's compliance figures by the income band of the non-resident parent for all Scottish claims; 
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when Tina Smith, a constituent of the hon. Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, will receive the sum agreed to be owed to her by the Child Support Agency. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. I am replying on behalf of Stephen Geraghty as Director of Parliamentary Business.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when Tina Smith, a constituent of the honourable Member of Sittingbourne and Sheppey will receive the sum agreed as owed to her by the Child Support Agency.
Mr. Plaskitt: The Child Support Agency's chief executive, Stephen Geraghty, is currently undertaking a root and branch review of the agency. He will report to Ministers and we will make announcements shortly.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many workarounds are Child Support Agency staff currently having to use in order to process a child support application on the CS2 IT system. 
In a typical case, a caseworker might encounter between one and four workarounds in progressing the case to first payment. This depends on its complexity and the extent to which it is linked to an existing case or cases.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of introducing a disregard of all Child Support Agency payments in assessing benefit entitlement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The estimated cost of disregarding all Child Support payments, including those not arranged through the Child Support Agency, in assessing benefit entitlement is £230 million. This includes a full disregard in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit and is based upon the current number of benefit units who are in receipt of Child Support payments.
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