Children: Maintenance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of David Evennett David Evennett Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of (a) overpayment and (b) underpayment there were in the Child Support Agency for Bexley residents in each of the last five years.

Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 7 June 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply form the Chief Executive.

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We contacted your office to clarify the information you required, and it was agreed that this information was the number of people who were paying less than they should have in terms of underpayment i.e. case compliance, and for overpayments, the cases where the Agency was later shown to have incorrectly assessed the case i.e. the accuracy of cases. The information we hold is given in the attached table.

Information has been provided on the umber of cases charged and how many of these are full, partial or nil payers. Those cases that are partial or nil payers can be regarded as underpayers. Cases with full compliance are paying at least the full amount of maintenance due. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the quantity of overpayments made by the Agency at the Parliamentary Constituency level. The Agency uses a sample of cases to measure overpayments throughout the Agency, and as a result of the size of this sample this information is only accurate at the Agency level.

I am sorry but due to limitations with the available information it is only possible to provide information regarding underpayments at Parliamentary Constituency level for old and new scheme cases on the new computer system (CS2) and not for those on the old system. As the new scheme went live in March 2003 this information should be interpreted as a naturally growing caseload. It is not possible to provide this information going back the full five years.

Case compliance of non-resident parents on the new system in Bexleyheath and Crayford
Charged Nil payment Partial compliance Full compliance
As of March: Number Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage
2003 0 0 n/a 0 n/a 0 n/a
2004 80 30 39 20 24 30 37
2005 200 60 32 60 30 80 38
2006 290 100 34 90 33 100 33
2007 380 150 40 110 28 120 32
Notes:

1. The table shows the number of new system cases that were charged money via the collection service over a three month period and the number of cases which a payment was/was not received over the same period.

2. Volumes are rounded to the nearest 10 and percentages are rounded to the nearest whole percent.

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