§ Mr. Field
The operation of the appeals system is a matter for the Independent Tribunal Service.
However, we are determined to reduce the current delays and complexity in the appeals system. The Social Security Bill, which paves the way for modernising the delivery of Social Security, including the handling of appeals, had its second reading in the House of Lords on 15 January. The Secretary of State will assume 629W responsibility for the administration of the appeals system. She will set and publish demanding targets for the administration of appeals, including attendance allowance appeals, and will report on the results.
§ Mr. Pike
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average length of time an attendance allowance appeal is on the waiting list before being heard by the disability appeals service; what percentage of such appeals succeed; and what estimate she has made of(a) the regional variations in appeal waiting time and (b) the regional variations in appeal success rates. 
§ Mr. Field
The operation of the appeals system is a matter for the Independent Tribunal Service who report that the information requested is not available in the format requested.
Attendance Allowance appeals are heard by Disability Appeal Tribunals and, in July 1997, the average time from date of appeal to date of decision-issue in an appeal heard by a Disability Appeal Tribunal was 30 weeks. This is based on information provided by the Independent Tribunal Service.