HC Deb 25 January 1999 vol 324 c48W
Miss Geraldine Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the target time scales for family credit appeals to be decided. [66823]

Angela Eagle

The Independent Tribunal Service (ITS) is responsible for the administration of Social Security Appeals. ITS is independent of the Department of Social Security and is not, therefore, subject to targets set by the Secretary of State.

However, his Honour Judge Harris, the ITS President, has an objective to clear all Social Security Appeals in 26 weeks from the date of lodgement to the date of hearing.

The Government are committed to speeding up the arrangements for handling appeals. The Social Security Act 1998 introduced measures to modernise and streamline the appeals process. One of the changes will be the launch of The Appeals Service, an executive agency responsible to the Secretary of State which will administer Social Security Appeals. Once The Appeals Service Agency has been launched, the Secretary of State will set demanding targets and will publish and report on the results.

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