HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc49-50WS
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. Andrew Smith)

I am pleased to publish today the third report by the President of appeal tribunals on the standard of decisions made on my behalf in cases which come before appeal tribunals. Of those cases where the appeal tribunal overturned or amended the decision the main reasons given were because new evidence was produced at the hearing, the tribunal took a different view of the same evidence or the presence of the appellant at the hearing shed new light on the existing evidence.

The President has highlighted some areas where improvements have been made since his last report. Some examples of these are; the increased use of the explanation and reconsideration routes to try and avoid an appeal, a general improvement in decision making and the agencies taking forward new initiatives.

The President has suggested that the agencies should adopt a more flexible approach to decision making and encourage appellants to supply them with additional evidence which might prevent the case reaching an appeal hearing. I welcome the President's report which provides an independent view of the standard of decision-making in cases coming to the appeal tribunal.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Library and are available on the internet at http://www.appeals-service.gov.uk/about_us/publications/ presidents_report0203/pres_rep03.pdf