Headlines: August 24th, 2000

There has been a twenty per cent reduction in complaints about the Child Support Agency (CSA) in the past year, despite an 11.5 per cent increase in caseload. The findings come in the latest Independent Case Examiner’s Report, which looks into possible cases of maladministration by the CSA.The report acknowledges improvements in service delivery, such as the Face to Face project (see Publicnet August 16, 2000) which allows clients to see an officer in person, and improved handling of complaints. Further improvements could be felt from the direct dial telephone facility for customers which is expected to be in place by the beginning of next months.

The turnaround in the public’s experience of the CSA comes at an important time. The Child Support, Pensions & Social Security legislation is bringing yet more changes in the child support system, which include more powers for the CSA to chase outstanding payment