HC Deb 02 April 2001 vol 366 cc89-90W
Mr. Fitzpatrick

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what performance targets he has set his Department's agencies for 2001–02; and if he will make a statement. [156853]

Mr. Darling

The targets I have set CSA, WPA and TAS for 2001–02 are as given.

Further information on CSA, WPF and TAS plans for 2001–02 is contained in their individual business plans, which have been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library.

The targets I have set for BA and publication of its Business Plan will be announced shortly.

Targets for 2001–02 are: Child Support Agency Targets (CSA)—2001–02 Accuracy on the last action for all assessments checked in the year to be correct to the nearest penny in at least 78 per cent. of cases. To collect child maintenance and arrears from 71 per cent. of non-resident parents with maintenance liability due to be paid through the Agency's collection service. To collect 68 per cent. of child maintenance and arrears due for payment through the Agency's collection service. Preparations for child support reform to be taken forward to ensure the successful introduction of the new scheme for new cases by April 2002. The Agency will demonstrate improvement across the range of the customer service standards. To reduce the outstanding level of debt owing from full maintenance assessments at 31 March 2001 by 25 per cent. by 31 March 2002. By the end of September 2001 introduce and shadow a new set of balanced scorecard performance measures for all frontline business units moving to full reporting by April 2002. Note: The reforms to the Child Support Scheme set out in the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 will come into force in April 2002. War Pension Agency Targets (WPA)—2001–02 Putting Service First To deliver a quality service to war pensioners and war widows by achieving the standards published within WPA's Service First Charter. Working in Partnership To reduce the average time it takes an appeal to pass through the war pensions appeals process. By 31 March 2002 the average time should reduce by 10 per cent. from 2000–01 baseline levels. Modernisation and Managing Change To implement the recommendations of the WPA's DMA Review to the standards and timetable agreed with the DSS. Valuing our People To lead and manage people effectively through specified measures and contribute to the reduction in public sector sickness absence levels by reducing absences by 22 per cent. from 1998 PSA baseline levels by 31 December 2001. Efficiency To generate efficiencies during 2001–02 to absorb the effect of pay and price pressures; and to improve efficiency so that WPA operates within its running cost allocation. The Appeals Service Targets (TAS)—2001–02 Waiting Times The average waiting time for an appeal to be heard will be no more than 14 weeks from the time of receipt by the Appeals Service1. By 31 March 2002, no more than 10 per cent. of cases will have been outstanding for more than 24 weeks. For cases returned by the Commissioner, the average waiting time for an appeal to be re-heard will be no more than 8 weeks from the date of return to the Appeals Service. Customer Focus By 31 March 2002, improve by 10 per cent. the measure of customer confidence in the level and quality of information provided on an appeal from the time it is received by the Appeals Service to the time of the appeal decision. Service Delivery Agreement Targets The range of waiting time variations between our local offices will be reduced by a factor of at least 5 per cent. per annum over a 3 year period. Identify and commission improvements in the end-to-end processing of appeals, leading to the development of cross agency end-to-end performance targets by April 2002. Note: 1 For stayed cases awaiting decision in lead cases in a higher court, 14 weeks from withdrawal of stay being notified.