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Mr. Plaskitt: The Department is modernising welfare delivery to improve accessibility, accuracy and value for money of services to customers. The Customer Management System (CMS) is an integrated, information-gathering system for working age customers that is being rolled out across the Jobcentre Plus network. Most local authorities are now receiving at least some of their housing benefit and council tax benefit claims via CMS. In October 2005, changes were made to the system that brought a number of improvements for local authorities, the most significant being a reduction in clerical documentation with three forms being reduced to a single local authority Input Document. We are continuing to monitor and evaluate the impact of CMS on local authorities.
We are currently piloting a new electronic link between the Department and local authorities. The link will use modern technology to pass information about DWP benefits to local authority housing benefit and council tax benefit staff. We expect the new IT to be more efficient than current links, to provide local authority staff with access to a wider range of information about DWP benefits and enable them to process the benefits that they administer more quickly. Subject to an evaluation, the new link will be rolled out nationally by the end of 2006.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made on the harmonisation of pay days for different benefits, with particular reference to claimants moving from one benefit to another. 
Margaret Hodge: The Green Paper A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work", published on 24 January 2006, makes clear our commitment to simplify the benefits system. A key aim of simplification is to ease transitions in and out of work. Problems caused by differences in paydays will be considered as part of this.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been paid to workers from the accession countries in (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) housing benefit and (c) other benefits since May 2004. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the total number of non-resident parents who (a) make maintenance payments under the Child Support Agency (CSA) rules, (b) cannot be traced to pay under the CSA, (c) are assessed to have a zero liability due to low income, (d) are assessed to make payments but do not do so regularly, (e) have made alternative maintenance arrangements outside the CSA and (f) make no payments and are not referred to the CSA; and if he will make a statement. 
what his estimate is of the total number of non-resident parents who (a) make maintenance payments under the Child Support Agency (CSA) rules (b) cannot be traced to pay under the CSA (c) are assessed to have a zero liability due to low income (d) are assessed to make payments but do not do so regularly (e) have made alternative maintenance arrangements outside the CSA and (f) make no payments and are not referred to the CSA; and if he will make a statement.
(a) In September 2005, 297,000 cases were in receipt of maintenance via the Agency's collection service. In addition, a further 100,000 had a maintenance direct arrangement in place which, when the arrangement was originally set up, would have been underpinned by a CSA calculation or assessment.
(b) At the end of September 2005, there were 35,000 cases on the old scheme old computer system that were suspended because the NRP could not be traced. In addition, there were 14,000 old scheme cases that required trace action by CSA staff. Equivalent information is not currently available for new and old scheme cases on the new computer system.
(d) In September 2005, 127,000 cases were scheduled to make payments via the Agency's collection service, but did not comply with this request. An additional 128,000 had a maintenance liability, but no active charging schedule currently in place.
i) In 200304 the Family Resources Survey (FRS) reported that there were 550,000 Parents with care (PWCs) who were receiving maintenance direct from the NRP. It is likely that this figure will also include those cases in which the Agency has carried out a calculation or assessment and the NRP is then paying the PWC direct (i.e. maintenance direct" cases, of which there were 84,000 in April 2004). However, it is not possible to quantify the extent to which such maintenance direct cases are, or are not, included in the FRS estimate.
ii) Analysis of the 2004 Family and Children's Survey suggests that 131,000 households have a court order in force with an absent parent, and that 580,000 households have a voluntary agreement in place. As with the FRS, it is possible that there might be an unquantifiable overlap with Agency's maintenance direct" cases.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 15 November 2005, Official Report, column 1152W, on the Child Support Agency, what the single largest compensation payment made since 1 January 1997 was. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; pursuant to the Answer of 15th November Official Report column 1152W on the Child Support Agency what the single largest compensation payment made since 1st January 1997 was.
|Total number of payments made since 1 December 2001||35,558|
|Between £1,000 and £9,999||2,289|
|Between £10,000 and £49,999||42|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 8 December 2005, Official Report, column 1545W, to the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Hollobone) on the Child Support Agency (CSA), why it is not possible to break down the number of children supported through the CSA on a geographical basis. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; pursuant to the Answer of 8th December 2005 Official Report column 1545W to the hon. Member for Kettering on the Child Support Agency (CSA) why it is not possible to break down the number of children supported through the CSA on a geographical basis.
Information to answer this question is not available for old scheme cases on the old computer system (CSCS). This is because management information for this system is drawn from a 5 per cent. sample of cases, which does not provide a sufficiently large sample size to allow the number of child support cases in any constituency to be broken down into robust estimates of the number or proportion who are paying child support in a particular constituency.
The Agency is currently undertaking a management information improvement project for the new child support system (CS2), which has already begun to deliver more robust statistics. It is envisaged that the Agency will be in a position to provide constituency level estimates in the New Year for cases on the new computer system, which will be made available on the Department's website alongside the CSA quarterly summary of statistics.
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