|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission has no powers to impede or to take any action simply on the basis of a current liability to pay child maintenance should a non-resident parent plan to leave the country. If a non-resident parent does not owe arrears of child maintenance payments through the Child Support Agency, then the Commission, quite rightly, has no power to prevent parents from moving abroad.
In cases where a non-resident parent has fallen into arrears, the Commissions current enforcement powers may in some cases make it more difficult for a non-resident parent to realise any assets and leave the country without settling outstanding child maintenance arrears. Whilst a non-resident parent both resides overseas and either has no assets in the UK or does not work for an employer based in the UK, there is no mechanism by which either the Commission or the parent with care may enforce the collection of Child Support Agency debt that accrued whilst the non-resident parent resided in the UK.
New enforcement powers provided by the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008, which are yet to be commenced, will allow the Commission to apply to a court to seek an order disqualifying non-resident parents who have wilfully refused or culpably neglected to pay child maintenance from holding or obtaining a travel document (such as a passport).
If a non-resident parent has left the Commissions jurisdiction, the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee is the authority in England and Wales responsible for the enforcement of maintenance orders overseas. The UK has reciprocal arrangements with more than 100 countries, which enable maintenance obligations to be established or recognised and enforced if the non-resident parent resides in one of those countries. The parent with care may apply to a magistrates court for a maintenance order to be enforced overseas and procedures also exist to enable the parent with care to ask the foreign authorities to create an order for maintenance on their behalf. This route cannot be used to enforce Child Support Agency debt that was incurred prior to the non-resident parents move abroad.
Further information on the reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders can be found at:
I hope you find this answer helpful.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) planned and (b) actual cost
of each IT project completed by his Department and its agencies since 1997 was; what costs have been incurred on IT projects not yet completed; what the estimated cost of each incompleted project is; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Although the Department for Work and Pensions does not have any discrete IT projects, it has a number of projects and programmes that include changes to, or new, IT to a greater or lesser extent.
The Department for Work and Pensions was created in June 2001, prior to that arrangements were the responsibility of different Departments and Agencies. The provision of actual costs for all such projects completed by the Department and its Agencies since then would only be available at a disproportionate cost. We have provided such information as is readily available in the two following tables. The first includes:
The projects and programmes currently on the Department's current portfolio where the IT element of the project or programme results in the development and/or implementation of services that underpin the delivery of departmental business.
The planned and actual investment costs of the current portfolio and the estimated cost on completion.
Table 2 details recently closed projects including planned and actual investment costs on completion. The costs of running the solutions implemented by the projects and programmes are not included in either table as in the vast majority of cases they are more than compensated for by the financial and non financial benefits they generate.
|Table 1: Current DWP IT portfolio|
|£ million rounded|
|Project||Purpose||Original planned costs||Actual costs as at November 2008||Estimated cost on completion|
This project will deliver a database of key citizen information to be shared across DWP. The database will complement information currently available in the Department's key customer information systems, i.e. personal details computer system and departmental central index, and become their replacement. Consideration is being given for wider use of CIS by other Government Departments.
A modern integrated central payment engine and accounts payable system to improve accounting for benefit/pension payments. The system will also reduce risks of service failure, increase speed and efficiency, and provide information to improve customer service and reduce fraud and error.
This project seeks to support the Department's modernisation programmes through the provision of a document repository to store digitised images of documents received from customers (letters, faxes, e-mails etc.), cutting down paper in the organisation.
This programme brigades a number of complementary initiatives to deliver the DWP Business Vision. It includes projects to bring in continuous improvement using lean techniques which should allow greater customer focus and efficiency in our process and business improvement projects to allow greater access to information.
Government Connect£33 million forecast spend are the total costs of this cross government programmeplanned DWP funding (£8 million), Communities and Local Government (£19 million) and Department for Children and Families (£6 million).
|Table 2: Recently closed projects|
|£ million rounded|
|Project||Purpose||Original planned costs||Actual costs of project|
Central to the welfare reform agenda this project will contract the private and voluntary sector to provide additional help and support for all but the most severely ill or disabled incapacity benefit customers gaining employment. Additional help will be provided through additional mandatory monthly work- focused interviews and tailored, job-focused support, including help to manage customers health condition, especially in relation to work.
Jonathan Shaw: The Pension, Disability and Carers Service (PDCS) has in place a number of procedures to verify and monitor the accuracy of disability living allowance (DLA) award entitlement decisions.
PDCS has a dedicated national checking team that continuously monitors a randomly selected sample of DLA outcome decisions and appeal submissions. In addition to this, DLA Operations have their own Quality Improvement Support Team that performs random checks on a sample of all recent DLA outcome decisions from each operational unit. Local operational managers also have technical checking teams who target areas of known difficulty before decisions are issued.
To encourage consistency of approach and better quality decisions, PDCS has introduced Customer Case Management (CCM), which provides comprehensive medical guidance for decision makers on the effects of disability, and guidance on focused further evidence gathering including more direct contact between decision makers and customers. To complement the existing checking regime, work is underway to introduce post decision checks targeted at those decisions that do not appear to conform to the medical guidance.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total budget forecast for Jobcentre Plus for the next calendar year was (a) in August 2008 and (b) following the Pre-Budget Report. 
Mr. McNulty: The Departments published three year plan is available in the Library and sets out the planned expenditure of Jobcentre Plus as part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review. The Department will publish a revised plan before the end of the current financial year providing further details on future Jobcentre Plus expenditure.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking what the (a) average, (b) lowest and (c) highest salary paid to a Jobcentre Plus personal adviser is in each region; what the minimum educational requirements necessary to become a personal adviser are; and how many and what proportion of Jobcentre Plus staff are paid at the minimum wage rate. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The pay scales for personal advisers are those for Executive Officer Band C. Details of the pay scales are in the following table.
|National||Inner London||Outer London||Specified locations|
Specified locations pay zones are those where recruitment difficulties historically have led to an increase in local salary scales. Generally these apply across much of the South East, outside the London pay zones.
Our payroll system does not identify staff by job role and so it is not possible to provide an average salary for personal advisers.
Jobcentre Plus, in line with DWP-wide policy, uses competency based recruitment for all recruitment, rather than education attainment or qualifications. A few exceptions exist for specialist posts, but for personal advisers there is no minimum educational requirement.
No Jobcentre Plus staff are paid at the national minimum wage rate; all our pay rates are above the national minimum wage.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|