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Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects Child Support Agency assessments made under the old scheme to be converted to assessments made under the new scheme. 
Mr. Plaskitt: We have always said that we would only convert old scheme cases to the new scheme when it was working well. As part of his proposals for the redesign of the child support system, Sir David Henshaw recommended a radical approach allied to his proposal to create a new organisation. He has proposed that both of the existing schemes are closed down and that people are asked to re-apply to a new, simplified system. We think this has considerable merit and will help ensure that the new organisation is not contaminated by the failures of the past. However, we need to do more analysis to assess the most appropriate way to enable existing clients to either move to private arrangements or make a claim under the new system.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Child Support Agency cases of outstanding arrears have been referred to debt collection agencies in each year since 1996-97. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Child Support Agency cases of outstanding arrears have been referred to debt collection agencies in each year since 1996-97.
The Agency did not refer any cases to debt collection agencies before August 2005. Between August 2005 and March 2006 the Agency conducted a small scale pilot using two private debt collection agencies to assess the feasibility of involving the private sector to recover Agency debt. As part of this pilot the Agency referred 2000 cases to these agencies.
Following the pilot and a procurement exercise the Agency signed contracts with two debt collection agencies on 7th July 2006. Since then the Agency has referred 4,433 cases to these agencies.
I hope this information is helpful.
James Purnell [holding answer 12 October 2006]: 81 full and part-time staff are employed on the Financial Assistance Scheme (equivalent to 74 whole-time staff). Of these 69 are based in the operational unit and 12 in departmental headquarters.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pregnant women are in receipt of income support personal allowance for a single person aged (a) 16 to 17, (b) 18 to 24 and (c) 25 years and over. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the recruitment of (a) Band D advisers and (b) managers in Jobcentre Plus. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
We have recently introduced new Band D Advisory Services Manager and Band D Jobcentre Manager roles in Jobcentres. The Advisory Services Manager is accountable for improving the quality, productivity and performance of welfare to work advisory services. The Jobcentre Manager is accountable for the effective overall delivery of customer services, and for Job Seekers Allowance conditionality and customer compliance.
By the end of September 2006 we had filled all of the new posts.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made on migration to a fully electronic customer relationship management system in Jobcentre Plus offices; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the progress made on the migration to a fully electronic customer relationship management system in Jobcentre Plus. This is something, which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
I can confirm that the Customer Management System (CMS) has been implemented alongside the rollout of Jobcentre Plus offices. As at 26 September 2006, CMS has gone live in 834 offices including 23 Contact Centres.
I hope this is helpful.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2006, Official Report, column 1597W, on national insurance numbers, how many new national insurance numbers were issued in (a) Guildford constituency and (b) Surrey in each year between 1997 and 2005. 
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many interviews for new national insurance numbers have been carried out at the contact centres at Bedford and Dunstable since July; and how many of the applicants at (a) Bedford and (b) Dunstable contact centre lived in (i) Milton Keynes, (ii) Bedford, (iii) Dunstable and (iv) other addresses. 
|Participants who went on to the new deal for disabled people programme in each Pathways to Work area|
|Pathways to Work||Stock Extension||Combined|
| Notes: 1. The only new deal programme available to Pathways to Work customers is the new deal for disabled people (NDDP), which is available through the Choices package. 2. As requested this answer is based on the number of participants who have entered Pathways and then subsequently taken up NDDP. The total number of Pathways starts and NDDP take-up is higher as an individual can have multiple spells on Pathways. 3. It would not be appropriate to infer a precise NDDP take-up rate from the data supplied in this response as it would be an underestimate of the true underlying NDDP take-up rate due to the fact that more recent cases will have had less time to take up NDDP. 4. Stock customers can volunteer for the normal Pathways process but since 7 February 2005 some stock customers are mandated to participate. Data are not available for these customers in Expansion Pilot areas. Source: Pathways to Work Evaluation Database. Data are to end of June 2006.|
James Purnell: The timetable as proposed is designed to broadly keep pace with the projected rises in average life expectancy and so maintain at a roughly constant level the same proportion of adult life spent in receipt of the state pension following the proposed increase in state pension age as set out in the Pensions White Paper Security in Retirement: Towards a New Pensions System.
Our intention is that each increase will be implemented gradually over a two-year period. The first increase from 65 to 66 will be phased in between April 2024 and April 2026; the increases from 66 to 67 and from 67 to 68 will be implemented in the same way, starting from April 2034 and April 2044 respectively.
Increasing state pension age with no transitional period would mean that two people born a day apart could have a year between their respective state pension ages, while a more extended transition period would increase complexity. We consider that our proposal, which follows a similar model as will apply to the increases in state pension age for women between 2010 and 2020 under the Pensions Act 1995, strikes a reasonable balance between fairness and simplicity.
Delivering shared services from one specialist organisation will free up resources to front line businesses and provide better service for less cost. The DWP Shared Services Organisation came into effect on 1 September 2006. The focus is on an improved customer experience, the provision of timely and relevant management information, and the need to demonstrate value for money for the Department through the use of benchmarking.
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