HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 c66W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what factors underlay the decision to replace the Independent Tribunal Service with the Appeals Service Tribunal. [138300]

Angela Eagle

The Independent Tribunal Service (ITS) was a tribunal non-Departmental Public Body under a Presidential system. The President was responsible not only for judicial functions but also for the administration of the five tribunals. As a member of the judiciary, the President was not accountable to Parliament for the performance of ITS, and it was not possible to set targets relating to appeals administration.

The Social Security Act 1998 provided the legislative framework to introduce a more streamlined and efficient appeals system. The President remains the judicial head of appeal tribunals and is responsible for their independent functions.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State assumed responsibility for the administration of appeals from 1 June 1999 and the Appeals Service agency, headed by a Chief Executive, was established on 3 April 2000. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has set the agency key financial and performance targets which are detailed in its published Business Plan for 2000–01.

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