Children: Maintenance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2014, Official Report, column 316W, on children: maintenance, in how many cases within the Child Support Agency collection service, excluding those with a deduction from earnings order, the agency was notified of a missed child maintenance payment in the quarter up to and including December 2013; and in what proportion of such cases the non-resident parent was contacted by the agency within 72 hours.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

There are currently three statutory maintenance schemes. The 1993 and 2003 schemes are delivered by the Child Support Agency and the 2012 scheme is delivered by the Child Maintenance Service.

In all schemes, our aim is to act within 72 hours of when we are notified of a missed payment where there is a current liability. The notification trigger comes after a five-day tolerance period of a missed payment. This tolerance period is to allow for issues which may have caused the missed payment to be resolved (ie clearances through bank accounts) without the need for our intervention. While this trigger is built into the design for the 2012 system, there is no comparable automated process for the 1993 and 2003 systems.

As such, information on (a) the number of notifications of a missed child maintenance payment in cases within the Child Support Agency collection service and (b) the proportion of such cases where the non-resident parent was contacted by the Agency within 72 hours is not available as it is not routinely recorded for management information purposes. To provide this information would require the creation of new information which could be completed and appropriately assured only at a disproportionate cost.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.