To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's target timetable is for deciding whether complaints to the Independent Case Examiner will be accepted for investigation; what (a) proportion and (b) number of complaints met that target in each year for which information is available; and how many complaints are currently awaiting a decision on whether or not they will be investigated.
Funding for the Independent Case Examiner’s (ICE) Office is reviewed on an annual basis. In the current financial year, the ICE Office has received funding for thirteen additional posts.
Productivity in the ICE Office has increased by 34% in the current reporting year, with the Office having cleared 1,047 cased by the end of January 2019, compared with 782 in the same period during 2017/18.
The Office has an internal target to inform 90% of complainants within four weeks of its reciept, whether thier complaint can be accepted for investigation. The Office can only accept a complaint for investigation once it has (a) established that the complainant has exhausted the relevant business complaints process, and (b) reached agreement with the complainant regarding the scope of any investigation.
The table below provides the available performance data.
Number of complaints received
Number of complaints not accepted for investigation
Number of complaints accepted for investigation
2,247 (81% within internal target of four weeks)
3,639 (38% within internal target of four weeks)
2018/19 (1st April 2018 to 6th February 2019)
2,928 (68% within internal target of four weeks)
1,073 (47% within internal target of four weeks)
As at 6th February 2019, there were 168 complainants awaiting a decision on whether their complaint could be accepted for examination.
During the period covered by this response the Independent Case Examiner’s Office received 4,118 complaints from women concerning changes to State Pension age, which directly impacted on its ability to meet its internal target for determining whether a complaint can be accepted for examination.