|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the net cost of the Child Support Agency in each year since 1993-94, including administrative costs and the effect of reduced benefit payments; 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. As the Chief Executive is currently on annual leave I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the net cost of the Child Support Agency in each year since 1993-94 including administrative costs and the effect of reduced benefit payments; and if he will make a statement.
The information available, including the amount of maintenance paid to the Secretary of State in respect of parents with care on Income Support and Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, is presented in the attached table.
The amounts of benefit saved has declined each year since 2003-04. This is because the proportion of benefit cases within our overall caseload has decreased. The introduction of the Child Maintenance Premium in 2003 has also meant that the amount passed to the Secretary of State on each case has decreased as parents with care on benefit are entitled to keep a proportion of the money paid to them by non-resident parents.
I hope you find this response helpful.
|Net cost of the Child Support Agency in each year since 1993-94 including administrative costs and annual savings in benefits|
|Annual agency net administration costs||Annual savings in benefit|
|(1) Not available. Notes: 1. We are unable to provide figures for 1993-94, as audited accounts were not published for that year; therefore the information is not available. 2. Details of the annual savings in benefits are unavailable before 1999-2000. 3. Annual saving in benefit relates to maintenance collected and passed to the Secretary of State rather than the parent with care. 4. Information from 1994-95 to 2005-06 is sourced from the Child Support Agency's published Annual Report and Accounts, and differs slightly from the published Quarterly Summary Statistics, which uses monthly figures, not subjected to year-end adjustment. 5. In 2005-06, following National Audit Office advice, the Agency's accounting boundaries were changed to include Child Support Reform Programme costs in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts. The 2005-06 accounts and the 2004-05 comparatives were changed. In line with this policy the table above includes Child Support Reform costs from 1999-2000. 6. Figures are rounded.|
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions regarding 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 powers the Child Support Agency has to recover arrears which are more than six years old; and if he will make a statement.
The Child Support (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 were recently amended to remove the six-year limitation period for applying to the court for a liability order in England and Wales. The amended legislation came into force on 12 July 2006 and the effect is that debts of child support that have accrued since 12 July 2000 can be pursued through the courts.
Where arrears are outstanding for periods prior to 12 July 2000 the Child Support Agency may instigate debt recovery by alternative measures, which include imposing a Deduction from Earnings Order or employing external debt collection agencies to recover outstanding debt.
The position regarding civil recovery of child support debt in Scotland remains unchanged, with a twenty year limitation period on applications for liability orders set by the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the cost in (a) cash and (b) real terms of running the Child Support Agency and its successor for each year from 1996-97; what forecast of costs he has made for each year up to 2012-13; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the running costs of the Child Support Agency (CSA) were in each year from 1993-94 to 2006-07; what estimate he has made of the running costs of the CSA and its successor organisation in each year from 2007-08 to 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The estimate of the cash requirements for the agency both historically and in the future is determined as part of the overall cash requirement for the Department. The overall estimate is not broken down on an agency basis, but is instead derived from overall departmental spend against its bank account, on a historic basis. We are therefore unable to provide the separate cash costs of running the agency.
The following table provides details of Child Support Agency actual and forecast net administration costs from 1996-97 to 2007-08 including, from 1999-2000, the costs of child support reform and the operational improvement plan.
From 2008-09 the Government intend that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will undertake the agencys activity. The exact future steady state costs of that organisation will depend on what choices parents make; how the Commission will finally configure its services; and the details of the transitional arrangements to the new scheme. All of these factors are subject to significant uncertainties. Consequently, precise year-by-year estimates are not currently
available. It is estimated that, in steady state, the statutory maintenance service is expected to lead to a reduction in administrative costs of around £200 million per annum.
|Child Support Agencys actual and forecast net administration costs years 1996-97 to 2007-08|
|Financial year||£ million|
|(1) Forecast figures, may be subject to change.|
1. All information from the 2005-06 and earlier years is sourced from the Child Support Agency annual report and accounts.
2. In 2005-06 following National Audit Office advice the agencys accounting boundaries were changed resulting in the inclusion of Child Support Reform Programme costs in the agencys annual accounts. The 2005-06 accounts and the 2004-05 comparatives were changed accordingly. In line with this policy the table includes Child Support Reform costs from 1999-2000.
3. The 2006-07 net administration costs and maintenance collections may be subject to change and will be confirmed when the Child Support Agency annual report and accounts are published following the summer recess 2007.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of Child Support Agency applications are for cases where only one parent is named on the birth certificate; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff were allocated a Child Support Agency enforcement worker in each quarter from 1997 to June 2007; 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. As the Chief Executive is currently on annual leave I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many staff were allocated a Child Support Agency enforcement worker in each quarter from 1997 to June 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
We contacted your office to clarify your question and were advised that you wanted to know the numbers of people working in enforcement activities in each quarter from 1997 to June 2007.
The information available is set out in the attached table.
Prior to the Operational Improvement Plan (OIP), the Agency had a small centrally managed team engaged in legal enforcement work which involved the Civil Enforcement of debt following the failure of Bailiff action, 3(rd) Party Debt Orders, Charging Orders and Orders for Sale and their Scottish equivalents. This also involved committal to prison or driving license removal.
Debt Enforcement is responsible for the initial handling of cases when payment breaks down or is not achieved. This involves Deduction from Earnings Orders when appropriate and secures legal recognition of debt through obtaining Liability Orders as well as initiating bailiff action in respect of those debts. Historically, this was carried out by a variety of different teams throughout the Agency.
The first year of the OIP focused on organisational and operational restructuring, and the training of our people to increase capacity and capability.
In the OIP we committed to increasing the resource on both types of enforcement work by 600 people. This was achieved by July 2006.
This is the first step to meet the OIP commitment to quadruple the number of people deployed on enforcement work by March 2009. The Agency has contracted out the recovery of debt on 50,000 cases, effectively increasing the total resource devoted to enforcing Child Support maintenance and getting more money to more children. The largest proportionate increase has been in the Agency Legal Enforcement Teams, which have also taken on a greater workload; there has been a substantial increase in the amount of court based enforcement activity in the first year of the OIP. The Agency now has 2861 people (Full Time Equivalent) working in our new Enforcement lines of business; Debt and Legal.
More investment in enforcement activity will continue as we make progress in clearing uncleared applications and are able to re-deploy more people on to this work.
I hope you find this response helpful.
|Number of people working in enforcement activities in each quarter from 1997 to June 2007|
|Quarter ending||Number of people working in enforcement associated roles||Number of people working in central enforcement activities|
|n/a = Not available.|
1. Information prior to September 2001 is not available.
2. The numbers given are the numbers employed by the Agency on full-time equivalent basis (FTE).
3. Enforcement includes, debt enforcement which is responsible for the initial handling of cases when payment breaks down or is not achieved, including deduction from earning orders and liability orders and legal enforcement work involves the civil enforcement of debt following the failure of bailiff action, through 3(rd) party debt orders, charging orders and orders for sale and their Scottish equivalents.
4. For the period prior to June 2006, details include people in each area and the CSA Central Enforcement teams engaged in a variety of activities including, but not exclusively enforcement work.
5. From September 2006, figures relate to two new lines of business, debt enforcement and legal enforcement.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|