Investigative powers

Jo Archer made this Freedom of Information request to Child Support Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Child Support Agency,

Please would you inform me:

1) what criteria the CSA uses to determine whether or not a request for a review of their assessment by the NRP and the 'evidence' that they supply is 'reasonable and not inherently improbable' (to quote the CSA's response to Mrs.Mattingly's request for information your ref: VTR 5467, dated 17/12/13), particularly following (within days) a judgement of the first-tier Tribunal.

2) where the CSA has already been found guilty of 'maladministration' previously, and a £20,000 arrears has accrued as a direct consequence of their incompetance, and the NRP has been found to be 'diverting his income', what discretionary powers they have to ensure that the NRP continues to make a reasonable contribution to the PWC's household income while they take another 3yrs (and another Tribunal) to determine the NRP's TRUE liability.

3) What discretionary powers has the CSA to delay the imposition of a drastically reduced assessment until their own investigative team has looked into the reasonableness of the NRP's claims

4) what is the maximum compensation the CSA has paid to a PWC and what it was for.

Yours faithfully,

Jo Archer

Dear Child Support Agency,

I'd like this information BEFORE I go for a Judicial Review, so please meet the deadline.

Yours faithfully,

Jo Archer

CM FOI Focal Point, Child Support Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Jo Archer,
 
Please find attached our response to your request for information.
 
 
Kind regards
 
Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance
Freedom of Information Act Focal Point
 
 
 

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Dear CM FOI Focal Point,

Thank you. Once I've read the annex you attached I'll decide whether or not my questions have been adequately answered.

In the meantime, may I also have a full copy of the CSA Online Procedures refered to, and how I go about getting a copy of the record of discretionary decisions taken in my case?

Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Archer

CM FOI Focal Point, Child Support Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Jo Archer,
 
Please find attached the response to your Freedom of Information request.
 
 
Thanks
Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance
Freedom of Information Act Focal Point
 
 

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Dear CM FOI Focal Point,

I have been informed, today, by the CSA Central Appeals Unit that they have not had 'Business Area Accounts' for at least the last thirteen years. The Annex which you sent me is, therefore, out of date. Please review your response to my FoI in the light of what ACTUALLY does happen, rather than what DID or SHOULD happen.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Archer

Jo Archer left an annotation ()

The CM FoI Focal Point has NOT even acknowledged my request for an internal review. However, I have received a letter from the department that is now handling my case which STILL doesn't answer my questions. The information I am trying to get hold of is supposed to help me (and the Appeal Court) decide if that department has has actually 'fettered their discretion' with regard to their decision-making procedures and treated my case on a sufficiently 'individuated basis'.

These are important constitutional principles but so far no one has been able to explain what SHOULD happen in these circumstances so it is impossible to say whether or not it did!

I think it is time to get the Information Commissioner involved.

CM FOI Focal Point, Child Support Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Archer,
 
Please find attached the response to your FOI review request.
 
 
Thanks
Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance
Freedom of Information Act Focal Point
 
 
 
 

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Mr.Quinn,

The Child Support Agency has sent me information which is 13 yrs out of date, in response to my Freedom of Information Request. That has nothing whatsoever to do with my interpretation of the contents or the details of my case. It is a fact, plain and simple.

Your response is totally inadequate. If, indeed, you would need to generate NEW material in order to meet my request, it implies that the CSA's on-line guidance to case workers has not been updated in 13yrs! If that is the case, it is no wonder that they appear to make it up as they go along - they do not, in effect, have any guidance.

If you do not send me the information that I have requested, by return, then I will begin a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Jo Archer

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Jo Archer

Jo Archer left an annotation ()

OK, formal complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office went off on friday. Let's see if they think this is an adequate response!

Dear Mr.Quinn,

On 22nd April 2015 I emailed the Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance Freedom of Information Act Focal Point ([email address]) and put the reference number of THIS request in the subject field (VTR 2647). Your response, which was sent on 14th May 2015 has a different reference (VTR 1691). However, for the purposes of my complaint to the Information Commissioner I will treat your ref: VTR 1691 as VTR 2647

In response to your letter of 14th May, I refer you to my ORIGINAL FoI request which was NOT for a copy of the CSA's On-Line Procedures but was in fact, as follows - clearly, the out-of-date CD-ROM of the CSA's On-Line Procedures DOES NOT ANSWER MY FoI REQUEST - please send me the information I requested, in whatever format it exists, by return:

1) what criteria the CSA uses to determine whether or not a request
for a review of their assessment by the NRP and the 'evidence' that
they supply is 'reasonable and not inherently improbable' (to quote
the CSA's response to Mrs.Mattingly's request for information your
ref: VTR 5467, dated 17/12/13), particularly following (within
days) a judgement of the first-tier Tribunal.

2) where the CSA has already been found guilty of
'maladministration' previously, and a £20,000 arrears has accrued
as a direct consequence of their incompetance, and the NRP has been
found to be 'diverting his income', what discretionary powers they
have to ensure that the NRP continues to make a reasonable
contribution to the PWC's household income while they take another
3yrs (and another Tribunal) to determine the NRP's TRUE liability.

3) What discretionary powers has the CSA to delay the imposition of
a drastically reduced assessment until their own investigative team
has looked into the reasonableness of the NRP's claims

4) what is the maximum compensation the CSA has paid to a PWC and
what it was for.

Yours sincerely,

Jo Archer

Jo Archer left an annotation ()

For Information, my email of 22nd April 2015 was as follows:

To Whom it May Concern

I initially made an FoI request on 6th June last year and consequently asked for and received a copy of the CSA's On-line Procedures (see below) - release number 171, dated as current at 26/06/14.

It has since come to my attention that certain procedures therein are at least 13yrs out of date.

Please send me the correct information as soon as possible or I shall be forced to make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Thanks,

Jo Archer

CM FOI Focal Point, Child Support Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Joanna Archer
 
Please find attached the response to your request for an Internal Review
of IR191.
 
Thanks
 
Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance
Freedom of Information Act Focal Point
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear Child Support Agency,

You are mistaken - my original FoI request was NOT for the CSA on-line procedures. My original FoI request was as follows and you have STILL not provided an adequate response.

1) what criteria the CSA uses to determine whether or not a request
for a review of their assessment by the NRP and the 'evidence' that
they supply is 'reasonable and not inherently improbable' (to quote
the CSA's response to Mrs.Mattingly's request for information your
ref: VTR 5467, dated 17/12/13), particularly following (within
days) a judgement of the first-tier Tribunal.

2) where the CSA has already been found guilty of
'maladministration' previously, and a £20,000 arrears has accrued
as a direct consequence of their incompetance, and the NRP has been
found to be 'diverting his income', what discretionary powers they
have to ensure that the NRP continues to make a reasonable
contribution to the PWC's household income while they take another
3yrs (and another Tribunal) to determine the NRP's TRUE liability.

3) What discretionary powers has the CSA to delay the imposition of
a drastically reduced assessment until their own investigative team
has looked into the reasonableness of the NRP's claims

4) what is the maximum compensation the CSA has paid to a PWC and
what it was for.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

Jo Archer

CM FOI Focal Point, Child Support Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Jo Archer,
 
Please find attached the response to your request for an Internal Review.
 
Thanks
 
Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance
Freedom of Information Act Focal Point
 
 
 

show quoted sections

CM FOI Focal Point, Child Support Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Jo Archer,
 
Please find attached the response to your request for an Internal Review.
 
Thanks
 
Department for Work and Pensions - Child Maintenance
Freedom of Information Act Focal Point
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Jo Archer left an annotation ()

If anyone is interested, I DID make a formal complaint to the Information Commissioner. The CSA is only obliged to publish the most up-to-date information in their possession and NOT create new documentation in order to respond to the requestor. However, they WERE ticked off for having no more recent information. They were asked to update their on-line advice to case workers and simply removed the out-of-date information! Thus admitting that there is no longer a specific process for dealing with an NRP who has already been found to be diverting their income.

For your information, the NRP in this case has again been found to be diverting their income, by a new First Tier Tribunal. He owes us a further £35K and the CMS has given him a further 5yrs and 10mths to repay the debt, interest-free. Oh, and despite the fact that the FTT has just been through his finances with a fine toothcomb, the CMS has started a brand ew assessment from scratch and decided the NRP should be paying less thana third of what te FTT decided he should be paying. So, it looks like I'll be appealling again pretty soon. It isn't like I have anything better to do... like making a submission to the inquiry into the CMS of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Work and Pensions! http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit...

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