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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what performance targets he has set for Vertex to respond to cases referred to the Child Support Agency Bolton office by or on behalf of hon. Members; and if he will make a statement; 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what performance targets he has set for Vertex to respond to cases referred to the Child Support Agency Bolton office by or on behalf of hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. 
You also asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will list the (a) performance indicators and (b) performance targets which he has set for Vertex for its management of the Bolton office of the Child Support Agency. 
Although the agency has contracted out the maintenance of its clerical cases to Vertex Data Science Ltd, the performance targets set by the Secretary of State apply to all Child Support cases regardless of whether they are clerical or not.
The Secretary of State targets for the current operation year are:
Number of childrenBy 31 March 2008, maintenance will be collected or have been arranged by the Agency on behalf of 720,000 children.
Total Maintenance Collection (Arrears)Collect or have arranged £970 million in child maintenance between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008; of which at least £120 million maintenance will be arrears.
Maintenance OutcomesBy 31 March 2008, in 66% of cases across both the new and old schemes in which a liability to pay maintenance exists, the non-resident parent has either made a payment via the collection service or a Maintenance Direct arrangement is in place.
Uncleared applications to the New schemeBy 31 March 2008, the volume of uncleared new scheme applications will be no more than 140,000.
In addition, the Agencys Client Service Standards, including responding to hon. Members correspondence applies to cases maintained by the Bolton office. We aim to reply to letters and either resolve complaints, or agree next steps, within three weeks of receiving them.
Vertex Data Science Ltd performance against these measures is continually reviewed to ensure they are supporting the Agencys aim to deliver more money for more children.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimates he has made of the number of children who would be lifted out of relative poverty if all non-resident parents were fully compliant with the payment of child support. 
No estimate has been made of the number of children who would be lifted out of relative
poverty if all non-resident parents were fully compliant with the payment of child support. To produce a robust estimate we would require information on the position in the income distribution of parents with care where the non-resident parent in the case is not fully compliant. This information is not available for all the relevant parents with care.
|Lancashire West social fund operating unit|
|Community care grant initial awards|
|Average award size (£)|
1. Data are not available by parliamentary constituency but only by social fund operating unit.
2. West Lancashire parliamentary constituency is part of the social fund operating unit of Lancashire West. (This covered the same area as the Jobcentre Plus district of Lancashire West until 31 March 2006.)
3. Figures do not include awards made after review.
4. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £1.
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on advertising by (a) the Department and (b) its non-departmental agencies in each of the last five years. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department runs a number of promotional campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of rights and responsibilities. The table details spend on advertising campaigns run by the Department in each of the last five complete financial years.
Government policies and programmes affect the lives of millions of people and in order for them to work they must be communicated effectively. But that also has to be done with cost efficiency in mind and there are strict rules to ensure value for money on Government advertising.
|(1) The table does not include the following as the information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost:|
spend by non-departmental bodies for which the Department is responsible;
details of highly localised publicity activity by the Department's customer-facing businesses;
recruitment or procurement advertising;
Jobcentre Plus publicity during 2002 to 2003 as at that time allocations sat with individual policy teams and within regional budgets.
The information in the table relates to media buying expenditure only, which forms the bulk of departmental publicity expenditure, but excludes direct mail, public relations, production and other costs. All figures are exclusive of VAT.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets have been set for replies to letters from his Departments offices; what targets have been set in Kent; and which of these targets have been met in each of the last 24 months. 
The information requested is in the following table. The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 15 working days. It is not possible to provide figures for Kent separately, but I can give you the figures for the South East area which includes Kent.
|Percentage cleared in target|
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