HC Deb 25 February 1997 vol 291 cc198-9W
13. Mr. Robathan

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps he intends to take to prevent parents making fraudulent submissions to the CSA. [15751]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell

The Child Support Agency already requires a high level of verification of information provided by parents. Also the departures system, introduced in December last year, allows the agency to deal with cases where there is an allegation of misrepresentation of circumstances. Nevertheless, we are actively considering whether to make it an offence to give a false statement to the Child Support Agency.

18. Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the number of staff who have resigned from the Child Support Agency as a result of stress. [15758]

Mr. Mitchell

Figures are available only for the past two years. During this period 15 members of staff, out of a total of some 6,000 in post, have resigned from the Child Support Agency citing stress of some type as a reason.

20. Mr. Gunnell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average administrative cost of delivering a girocheque to the parent with care with particular reference to the average number of weeks between assessments. [15760]

Mr. Mitchell

In cases where the Child Support Agency collects maintenance, it is transferred to the parent with care by automated credit transfer wherever possible. When computer-produced girocheques are used, the average cost of production and posting is 50p. The frequency of maintenance assessments has no bearing on this cost.

Ms Lynne

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide a monthly breakdown of the amount of uncollected maintenance owing to the Child Support Agency collection service since 1994 showing the amount attributable to(a) type A interim assessments and (b) other assessments. [15608]

Mr. Mitchell

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive, Miss Ann Chant. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Ann Chant to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 24 February 1997: I am replying to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about uncollected maintenance. I am unable to provide you with the exact information you have requested. An enhancement to our systems provided information on interim maintenance assessments outstanding and full maintenance assessment debt from January 1997. This showed £585,514,053 outstanding related to interim maintenance assessments; of this amount it is estimated that £193 million is as a result of interim maintenance assessments imposed prior to April 1995. £448,903,181 related to full maintenance assessment debt; approximately £271 million of this amount is currently the subject of agreement for repayment by instalments, which are closely monitored by the Agency. This leaves approximately £178 million of full maintenance assessment debt to be pursued. A further system enhancement is currently being developed which will provide monthly information on category A interim maintenance assessments and other assessments for the financial year 1997/98. I hope this is helpful.