§ Mr. Lofthouse
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many cases are currently being dealt with by unemployment benefit adjudication officers in Pontefract and Castleford;
(2) how many unemployment benefit adjudication officers are available to the constituency of Pontefract and Castleford;
(3) what is the current waiting time for adjudication officers to adjudicate on cases currently being dealt with by unemployment benefit adjudication officers in Pontefract and Castleford.
§ Mr. Cope
Information is not available in the precise form requested, as adjudication officers are not attached to individual unemployment benefit offices or constituencies. They work in groups which cover a number of offices.
On 9 December 1988, adjudication officers were currently considering 2,138 cases arising on claims for unemployment benefit in the adjudication office area of York, which includes the constituency of Pontefract and Castleford. The number of adjudication officers serving the York adjudication office is nine.
No figures are held on the waiting time for an adjudication officer's decision, but the speed with which adjudication officers make decisions—the time taken between their receiving a case and reaching a decision after making all the necessary inquiries—is monitored in a 5 per cent. sample of cases.
The sample for the York adjudication office shows that, for the three-month period ending 30 June 1988, a total of 93 per cent. of cases were decided within four weeks of referral to an adjudication officer.