Work and Pensions Committee: Press Notice

2 July 2009: For Immediate Release [ REVISED]

Select Committee to inquire into "Decision making and appeals in the benefits system"

The Work and Pensions Committee today announced an inquiry "Decision making and appeals in the benefits system" The Committee welcomes submissions, in accordance with the guidelines set out below, with reference to areas such as:

Decision making

€ How effective is the decision making process? Could it be improved, if so how?

€ Are there sufficient numbers of decision makers and is the training they receive adequate?

€ Is the decision making process clear to claimants?

€ How effective is the review stage of the decision making process?

€ Is DWP effectively addressing official error?

€ How well does the decision making process operate for different benefits (e.g. ESA, DLA and Housing Benefit)?

€ How effective has DWP's Decision Making Standards Committee been in monitoring front-line decision making?

€ Is decision making taking account of the October 2007 European Court of Justice ruling on exporting DLA, AA and carer's allowance?


€ How does the appeals system work from the claimant's perspective?

€ How has the introduction of the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) impacted upon claimants' experience of the appeals process?

€ Is the timeframe of appeals reasonable?

€ Is sufficient support available to appellants during the appeals process?

The Committee seeks written contributions on this issue from interested organisations and individuals. The deadline for written evidence is Thursday 10th September 2009. Oral evidence sessions will take in the autumn.

Please note

Each submission should:

€ begin with a short summary in bullet point form;

€ have numbered paragraphs; and

€ be in Word format with no use of colour/logos.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked 'Decision making and appeals'. If you do not have access to email, a paper copy should be sent to:

Work and Pensions Select Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:

Please also note that:

€ Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

€ Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised.

€ Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.