Questions about the independant case examiners office

Department for Work and Pensions did not have the information requested.

Dear Sir or Madam,

My request relates to the Independent Case Examiner’s office.
Please would you kindly provide the following information?

1) The number of Independent Case Examiner employee’s who are currently or have previously worked for the CSA\CMEC.
2) The total number of staff working at the Independent Case Examiner office(s).
3) Clarification on what makes the Independent Case Examiner Independent from the CSA\CMEC.
4) What training programs do ICE staff attend and whether they attend them communally with CSA\CMEC staff.
5) Have there been any recent changes to ICE procedure or legislation since the inception of CMEC.
6) What is the hierarchy in the Independent Case Examiners Office?
7) Have any ICE staff attended any common purpose training? If so please give names and dates of candidates who have attended. If names are not possible the total number of those who have attended will be acceptable.
8) Do any ICE employee’s have access to CSA computer systems or software(s).

Yours faithfully,

A Butcher

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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George Rydell left an annotation ()

I made a request for information about the Independent Case Examiner's Office (outside of WhatDoTheyKnow) earlier this year and the parts of my request in which you might be interested are the staffing complement as at 16th February 2009 (the date upon which they wrote to me) which gives you the heirarchy:

1 Head of Office (Carol Farrell)
1 Operations Manager (Margaret Fowler)
19.03 Team Leaders
74.99 Investigation / Resolution Officers
1 Personal Secretary
5.03 Administrative Officers
1 Administrative Assistant

Total 103.05 staff (Whole Time Equivalent)

Their 'running cost budget' for 2008/2009 was £3,636,477.

They also go to great pains to conceal their physical address from the public, but should you (or anyone else) be interested, they are based at Orleans House, Edmund Street, Liverpool L3 9NG.

I do hope that this is of some use to you.

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Please can you make the reply to this FOA public within the next 14 days. If you can not or will not do this I will publish the response you gave via email.

Yours sincerely,

A Butcher

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct.

Should you also have any further queries in connection with this request
do please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

A Butcher left an annotation ()

>>>>Here are the answers given via email<<<<

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request, which was received by this Office on 10 August 2009. For ease of reference I have listed your questions and my responses in a table. The Child Support Agency (CSA) is part of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC). I therefore refer to CMEC in my reply to your request.

1. The number of Independent Case Examiner employees who are currently, or have previously worked for, the CSA\CMEC. The ICE office recruits from a number of sources, including CMEC. We currently do have employees who have previously worked for CMEC, but we do not keep statistical information relating to the actual numbers.

2. The total number of staff working at the Independent Case Examiner office(s). The total number of full time posts in the Independent Case Examiner’s Office is 104. Total staff numbers will vary depending on staff joining or leaving at any given point in time.

3. Clarification on what makes the Independent Case Examiner
Independent from the CSA\CMEC. The Independent Case Examiner is an independent office holder appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Permanent Secretary to provide an impartial investigation and review service to clients of all customer facing agencies and businesses of the Department. The Independent Case Examiner is engaged on a self-employed contract. As he is not part of the management of any of the Department for Work and Pension’s Agencies or Businesses, he can provide an impartial view of whether a complaint put to him is justified and, where a complaint is upheld, he is free to make such recommendations as he feels appropriate for the remedy of the matter.

4. What training programmes do ICE staff attend and whether they attend them communally with CSA\CMEC
staff. All staff receive comprehensive induction training on joining the Independent Case Examiner’s Office, which is developed and delivered in-house and is focused on the independent complaints handling process. Other training is arranged in line with Departmental policy and caters for individuals’ technical and developmental needs as appropriate. Independent Case Examiner’s Office staff do not attend training programmes communally with CMEC staff.

5. Have there been any recent changes to ICE procedure or legislation since the inception of CMEC. There have been no recent changes to Independent Case Examiner’s Office procedures since the inception of CMEC.

6. What is the hierarchy in the Independent Case Examiner’s Office. Please see enclosed the Independent Case Examiner’s Office Organisational Chart.

7. Have any ICE staff attended any common purpose training? If so please give names and dates of candidates who have attended. If names are not possible
the total number of those who have attended will be acceptable.
Independent Case Examiner’s Office staff have not attended any common purpose training.
8. Do any ICE employees have access to CSA computer systems or software(s)? No, ICE staff do not have access to any CMEC computer systems or software.

9. Details of the law which I have allegedly broken. Details of how an NRP must provide an abroad address to the CSA when a non-UK resident.

This is a matter for CMEC. However there is an offence of failing to notify a change of address:
In section 14A of the Child Support Act 1991 (information offences), after subsection (3)
“(3A) In the case of regulations under section 14 which require a person liable to make payments of child support maintenance to notify a change of address, a person who fails to comply with the requirement is guilty of an offence.”

10. Law definitions of your ability to provide information to the CSA without my agreement.

Our Service Leaflet states: "Whilst we are dealing with your complaint we may pass on to the relevant Agency or business any information you send us." Therefore, by asking ICE to investigate, you give implicit authorisation for ICE to share information with CMEC.

11. Details of what makes the Independent Case examiner independent from the CSA. If any ICE staff, current or previous have been employed by the CSA or one of their departments.
These questions have already been answered at points 1 and 3 above.
12. Proof of what you have implied I have said. i.e. a copy of the two telephone calls I had with Jenny. As previously advised, your request for records of telephone calls is being dealt with separately and under the terms of the Data Protection Act.

13. Your data retention policy in regard to customer details, data protection files and call recording and logging policy. Specifically how long you keep recorded phone calls for. I have enclosed a copy of our Data Retention policy.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Fowler
Operations Manager

Wayne Smith left an annotation ()

I have a case where the CSA have mall-administered my account forcing me to pay £2000 over the amount needed to support my 2 children.

Following a complaint in November 2009 one and a half years later the monies have still not been repaid, ICE have extended further their deadline for providing their evidence, till March 2011, even then a case officer will need to be allocated to my case which will add further delay.

The department appears to be a further layer of complication to resolution.

I have written to my MP but the processes and frustrating time lines allowed in their service level agreements are discriminatory. I get 6 days to reply or face losing my driving licence, having my passport taken off me and can get my credit rating adversely affected. CSA get a year and a half when will somebody take their passports and driving Licence off them?

Name removed 30 November 2012 (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

What about the '''Independent''' Case Examiner who looks at Job Seeker's problems? I have been advised that Royal Mail (another Government Department) opens all mail sent to the DWP sent from the Berks, Bucks and Oxon are, which is first sent to Swindon. This includes mail going from this area to the Independent Case Examiner.

Am I missing something here as well?

The meaning of the word 'Independent'?

Does the DWP first look at the complaints, and then tell the Independent Case Examiner (who they fund) how to reply?

Does this explain how several recorded delivered letters have been acknowledged by ICE, yet on the Royal Mail track and trace system, they are deemed as having been ''delivered to ICE'' up to 13-days after ICE had already acknowledged them?

Name removed 30 November 2012 (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

But perhaps more importantly - where is the Independent Case Examiner's link?

I can only find one in relation to Child Support.

Or let me guess - we have to go through the DWP to reach the '''''Independent''''' Case Examiner.

Am I right or am I wrong - anyone able to help?

Let me check that adjective again?

Independent describes someone or something that is free from the influence or control of another. (adjective)

But the DWP funds the ICE Office and Royal Mail opens their mail, before it gets to them, because it is regarded as being DWP mail.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm