Magazine article Public Finance

CSA May Have Reprieve until 2006

Magazine article Public Finance

CSA May Have Reprieve until 2006

Article excerpt

Work and Pensions secretary John Hutton has warned MPs that the government s response to a root-and-branch assessment of the Child Support Agency could be delayed until 2006.

Hutton told the Commons work and pensions select committee that he would attempt to publish his response to CSA chief executive Stephen Geraghty's assessment of the agency by the end of this year.

But he made it clear that he was prepared to delay government action to give ministers more time to consider how best to deal with the failing organisation.

Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions - including Hutton's predecessor, David Blunkett had promised to publish either Geraghty's report, or the government's response to it, this summer. But a combination of the complex problems at the CSA and the disruption caused by ministerial changes has caused delay.

Hutton replaced Blunkett three weeks ago - the third DWP secretary of state this year. The department has also had several new ministerial appointments and a change of permanent secretary.

'David Blunkett said he would try to get the report out by the end of the year and I'm going to try and stick to that. …

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