§ Mr. Paul Dean
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to receive the report of the Rayner scrutiny team on the validation of national insurance contribution records.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The scrutiny team of three officials from the Department submitted their report to me and Sir Derek Rayner, who endorsed their conclusions, at the end of March. The team made 82 recommendations for streamlining and improving contribution recording and checking procedures. I welcome the main thrust of the team's approach, but have not yet taken final decisions on their detailed recommendations. I considered that it would be right to publish the report before doing so, so that I could take into account any comments by hon. Members and others.
I have accordingly published the report today. It is essentially in the form in which the scrutiny team submitted it to me. The recommendations in the published report, together with those omitted to prevent evasion, would result in a saving of some £14 million a year, including a saving of about 1,670 Civil Service posts. I have placed a copy of the report in the Libraries of both Houses.