An audit report said that the Department for Work and Pensions had successfully introduced the first phase of the Child Maintenance 2012 scheme, having taken action to address early weaknesses and made decisions about timing and phasing to reduce risk. It said that procedures had been simplified, control of the change programme had been improved, and 95 per cent of new cases were being accurately assessed. However, it said that costs had increased and the next phase had been postponed by three months to reduce risks that included charging and case closure. The report warned that the scheme's overall objectives might be at risk if the number of people intending to use family-based arrangements did not improve, and the report made recommendations.
Source: Child Maintenance 2012 Scheme: Early progress, HC 173 (Session 201415), National Audit Office, TSO
A report by a committee of MPs said that the government should: monitor the impact of limiting the up-rating of benefits, particularly in light of the rate of inflation; improve its assessment of personal independence payment claims, and clear the backlog; provide local authorities with sufficient funding to enable them to continue their local welfare support schemes beyond April 2015; ensure the open market provision of annuity schemes was a realistic option for all those who purchased annuities; monitor the impact of charging for the new statutory child support scheme; provide greater clarity on the schemes for voluntary child support arrangements and clarify how it proposed to deal with historic arrears; and be more objective in its use of official statistics about benefits, and avoid fuelling negative views about benefits recipients through their accompanying commentaries.
Source: Monitoring the performance of the Department for Work and Pensions in 2012-13, Third Report (Session 201314), HC 1153, House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, TSO