Wrk Pen 21- 11 June 2003

Session 2002-03  11 June 2003

'One-off' evidence sessions with the Child Support Agency and Job Centre Plus

On Wednesday, 2 July the Committee will take oral evidence from the Chief Executive of the Child Support Agency to examine the Agency's Business Plan for the year 2003-04.  On 3 March 2003, following an 11-month delay, the Agency began assessing new maintenance claims using the new, simpler child support scheme.  The computer system, which has been developed and delivered through a private partner, EDS, was originally due to go live in April 2002, however the introduction of the scheme was postponed owing to delays in testing the new system. The Committee wishes to examine whether the new system is working effectively, what impact the delay has had on the Agency's customers and staff and, importantly, to establish what lessons have been learned by Government for its other large-scale IT projects.  The Committee also wishes to establish when it is likely that the Agency will be ready to begin considering existing cases using the new scheme.  

The following week, on Wednesday, 9 July the Committee will take oral evidence from the newly appointed Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, David Anderson, who will be accompanied by departmental officials.  During the session, the Committee will review the Agency's performance in the past year and examine its Business Plan for 2003-04.  The Committee will wish to find out how the national roll-out programme of Jobcentre Plus offices is going and determine what effects, if any, the accommodation changes have had on the Agency's customers and staff.

Both evidence sessions are scheduled to commence at 9.45am in The Grimond Room, Portcullis House, though these arrangements may be subject to change.  Members of the public wishing to attend either session  may check  arrangements closer to the time of the meetings by phoning the Committee Office's recorded information line, details of which are given below, or by visiting the Committee's website at: www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/work_and_pensions_committee.cfm

For further information about the sessions, please call 020 7219 5833/ or 5832.

  Notes for Editors:

1.   The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Name Party Constituency

Sir Archy Kirkwood (Chairman) Liberal Democrat Roxburgh and Berwickshire

Miss Anne Begg Labour Aberdeen South

Ms Karen Buck Labour Regent's Park and Kensington North

Mr Andrew Dismore Labour Hendon

Mr Paul Goodman Conservative Wycombe

Mrs Joan Humble Labour Blackpool North and Fleetwood

Rob Marris Labour Wolverhampton South West

James Purnell Labour Stalybridge and Hyde

Andrew Selous Conservative South West Bedfordshire

Mr David Stewart Labour Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber

Mr Nigel Waterson Conservative Eastbourne

2.  Our press notices can now be distributed by e-mail which allows receipt on day of issue.  If you would prefer to receive press notices in this way, please contact:

Emily Lumb  Phone:  020 7219 5833

E-mail:  workpencom@parliament.uk

Committee Office Recorded Information

The Committee Office is now providing an additional service for those interested in committee activities.  A dedicated telephone line provides recorded information about forthcoming meetings including venues, subjects under discussion and contact numbers for further details. The recording, which is updated daily, covers select and standing committee meetings occurring within the next two sitting days. The number to dial is: 020 7219 2033.  The general inquiry lines for committee activity remain 020 7219 3267/4300.