§ Vernon Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the average time taken by the CSA Appeals Service to deal with appeals over the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Maria Eagle
This is a matter for Neil Ward, chief executive of the Appeals Service. He will write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Neil Ward to Mr. Vernon Coaker dated 19 April 2002:The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what assessment he has made of the average time taken by the Appeals Service to deal with Child Support appeals over the last 12 months.The Appeals Service handles all appeals relating to Social Security, Child Support, Housing/Council Tax benefit, Vaccine damage and Compensation Recovery.The average waiting time over the 12 month period, ending February 2002, in respect of Child Support appeals was 18.2 weeks.The average waiting time over the 12 month period, ending February 2002, for all types of appeal, including Child Support, from date of receipt by the Appeals Service until first hearing, was 13.3 weeks. This is well within the Secretary of State's target of 14 weeks.Child Support appeals invariably incur longer waiting times due to their complicated nature compared to other appeals, i.e. Child Support appeals require more further evidence, and often have more Parties to the Proceedings attend, than other appeals.
§ Mr. Rooney
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what performance targets he has set for the Child Support Agency for 2002–03; and when he will publish business plans for the Child Support Agency, Child Benefit Centre and the Disability and Carers Service. 711W
§ Mr. Darling
The targets I have set the Child Support Agency are given as followsFurther information on the Child Support Agency plans for 2002–03 is contained in their business plan, which has been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library.Business plans for the Child Benefit Centre and the Disability and Carers Directorate have also been published today and copies have been placed in the Library.
Child Support Agency targets 2002–03
Existing cases:Accuracy—accuracy on the last decision made for all assessments checked in the year to be correct to the nearest penny in at least 80 per cent. of cases.Case compliance—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.Cash compliance—to collect 68 per cent. of child maintenance and arrears due to be paid through the agency's collection service.
New cases:When the new child support scheme is ready to be implemented I will set targets for new cases.