Child Support Agency falsified records

Child Support Agency staff knowingly entered false information
onto a computer database and stockpiled claims, resulting in them
not being dealt with for years, research has revealed.

The revelations came in a government commissioned report into
the implementation of a new child support scheme, which included a
simplified way of calculating payments, for all new cases from
March 2003.

Other staff practices included sending work to people who were
on long-tern sick leave and avoiding regularly taking calls by
turning the ringers on telephones down.

The employees resorted to the measures after being unable to
cope with implementing the new scheme and the workload it
generated. The findings throw doubt on the government’s
claims that a new IT system was mainly to blame for the CSA’s
failings since the new scheme came in.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said
that the agency had taken action to improve its services to clients
since the research was carried out but she admitted that
“there is still some way to go before the agency is
delivering for all its clients the level of service they are
entitled to expect.”

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of
Bristol between March and September 2004.

Child Support Reform: The views and experiences of CSA staff and
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