Children: Maintenance:Written question - 176376

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Children: Maintenance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the level of successful collections of child maintenance for (a) employed payees and (b) self employed payees.
A
Corrected answer by: Justin Tomlinson
Corrected on: 12 November 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 16 October 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

The Child Maintenance Service includes two service types: ‘Direct Pay’ where payments are arranged and agreed between parents, and ‘Collect & Pay’ where payments are collected and paid to the receiving parent by Child Maintenance Service.

The Department does not record data for direct pay compliance. If the paying parent does notdon't pay they can be moved onto the Collect and Pay at the discretion of the child maintenance service. The department does hold data on the compliance of Collect and Pay arrangements. Please refer to Table 7 of the Child Maintenance Service Statistics.

Data on compliance is recorded separately to data on employment status and cannot be easily linked. The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. Although the department does hold some of the data to answer your question we estimate the cost of complying with your request would exceed the appropriate limit for central government, set by regulation at £600.This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3 and half working days in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting it. We believe it would take longer than 3 and half days to match the compliance of a paying parent with their employment status. As a result, under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act the department is not therefore obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing it further.

The Child Maintenance Service Statistics which shows overall compliance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-august-2013-to-june-2018-experimental

A
Answered by: Justin Tomlinson
Answered on: 16 October 2018

The Child Maintenance Service includes two service types: ‘Direct Pay’ where payments are arranged and agreed between parents, and ‘Collect & Pay’ where payments are collected and paid to the receiving parent by Child Maintenance Service.

The Department does not record data for direct pay compliance. If the paying parent does notdon't pay they can be moved onto the Collect and Pay at the discretion of the child maintenance service. The department does hold data on the compliance of Collect and Pay arrangements. Please refer to Table 7 of the Child Maintenance Service Statistics.

Data on compliance is recorded separately to data on employment status and cannot be easily linked. The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. Although the department does hold some of the data to answer your question we estimate the cost of complying with your request would exceed the appropriate limit for central government, set by regulation at £600.This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3 and half working days in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting it. We believe it would take longer than 3 and half days to match the compliance of a paying parent with their employment status. As a result, under section 12 of the Freedom of information Act the department is not therefore obliged to comply with your request and we will not be processing it further.

The Child Maintenance Service Statistics which shows overall compliance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-august-2013-to-june-2018-experimental

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