Independent Case Examiner

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation)

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.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

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.

Year

Number of complaints received

Number of complaints not accepted for investigation

Number of complaints accepted for investigation

2017/18

5,886

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)

4,169

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.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No19 people think not

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