Collection of child maintenance rises to £305 million for the last quarter
CSA’s latest report shows decline in other aspects of performance
The Department for Work and Pensions has released a summary for the three months ending 30 September 2012. Generally, the Agency's performance has declined from that reported for the previous quarter, with a significant dip in its telephone response rate (explained by specific circumstances; see below).
The main findings (with comparative figures for the previous quarter) are as follows:
- At the end of September 2012, the CSA live and assessed caseload stood at 1.11 million, down slightly on that of the previous quarter.
- In the quarter ending September 2012, 80.0% of all cases in which maintenance was due had either received maintenance via the CSA collection service, or had a maintenance direct arrangement in place. This compares with a figure of 80.6% for the previous quarter.
- In the quarter to September 2012, maintenance had been collected or arranged by the CSA via the statutory maintenance service on behalf of 899,400 children. The corresponding figure for the previous quarter was 900,800.
- In the quarter to September 2012, the CSA collected or arranged £305.6m in child maintenance (regular and arrears), of which £28.1m was arrears. In the year to September 2012, the CSA collected or arranged £1,204.5m in child maintenance (regular and arrears), of which £113.2m was arrears. In the quarter ending 30 June 2012 the CSA collected £301.2m in child maintenance; £27.5m was arrears.
- 87.7% of intake received in June 2012 was cleared within 12 weeks (88.2% for the March 2012). 94.0% of intake received in April 2012 was cleared within 18 weeks (94.4% for January).
- Uncleared work has continued to increase, by 1,200 to 17,100. This represents an increase of 7.5% since June 2012.
- Outstanding child maintenance arrears have increased from £3.802bn in June 2012 to £3.814bn in September 2012 (subject to audit confirmation).
- At the end of September 2012, the average maintenance calculation was £23.60 per week (including zero calculations). The corresponding sum at the end of June 2012 was £23.30.
- In September 2012, 71.0% of the telephone calls received were answered within 60 seconds. In June 2012 the Agency was answering 88.4% of calls within that time. The Agency believes that the reason for the decline is that certain social media sites have been advertising alternative numbers for contacting the Child Support Agency. This has resulted in a greater number of calls being received on lines that are not resourced to cope with customer demand. The Agency says that a solution has been implemented which should bring performance back to expected levels next quarter.
DWP assumed responsibility for the CSA from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission on the 1 August 2012, following an announcement on 14 October 2010 that the Commission would become an executive agency of DWP as part of the Public Bodies Reform.
The report can be read here.