Transfer of CMEC’s functions to the DWPFriday, October 14th, 2011
DWP consults on the transfer of the functions of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission into DWP ministerial control.
On 10 October, the Department for Work and Pensions began a public consultation on proposals announced a year earlier to increase the transparency and accountability of all public bodies. One of the proposals involved the abolition of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) and the transfer of its functions and the delivery of child support strategic and operational strategy under more direct Ministerial control.
CMEC is a non-departmental public body and is responsible for the collection of child maintenance, including the procedures for Deductions from Earnings Orders.
The impact of the change is expected to be minimal. The staff would transfer to DWP and retain their civil service status and their staff terms and conditions would be protected at the point of transfer. The transfer will not affect the delivery of child maintenance payments or its administration, so there should be no impact on employers. The intention is to give Ministers more direct control, responsibility and accountability over the ongoing and future reform of child maintenance.
Of particular concern to DWP are inherent problems with CMEC’s IT systems which mean that some 100,000 cases are being managed clerically, with resulting inefficiencies and costs. The Government’s view is that Ministers should be directly accountable for the significant changes that still need to happen within the child maintenance system, including the introduction of a new scheme for calculating child maintenance and the associated new IT platform.
The consultation document seeks views on whether there are any other factors that need to be considered in making this transfer and invites comments on the draft statutory Order. The consultation period closes on 3 January 2012.
- Consultation on the abolition and transfer of functions of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission
- DWP – Government Consultation Response March 2012