HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc330-1W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is his latest estimate of the total amount of child support maintenance owed, broken down between debts of people who have not yet paid anything and those who have made some payments. [100911]

Angela Eagle

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive, Mrs. Faith Boardman. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mrs. Faith Boardman to Mr. David Willetts, dated 20 December 1999:

I am replying to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the Child Support Agency.Unfortunately, CSA does not have the information to answer the question in the way you require. We do not separate debt according to the compliance status of the debtor. However, I can give the information we do hold which may assist you.The Committee of Public Accounts Session 1995/96 were concerned that the Agency had been unable to estimate the value of uncollectable debt, and advised that the Agency should "…examine the scope for eliminating a significant amount of this debt since it is unlikely ever to be collected … ". To address this problem on 31 March 1996 a debt evaluation exercise was undertaken; this exercise is now repeated on an annual basis.The exercise itself, undertaken by Agency staff, identifies that part of the debt that is probably uncollectable, the results are validated by Analytical Services Division and removed to show amore realistic debt position. This change was introduced in 1997/98 and was included in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts for that year.I hope this is helpful.