The Times

May 24 2000

Social Security Committee

Fathers hit by 'chaos in CSA'

by Melissa Kite
The Times

FATHERS wronged by the Child Support Agency are struggling against chaotic appeals and a culture of delays, according to the Commons Social Security Select Committee.

It says in a report that "a clearly unacceptable situation" is emerging in the judgments of the Social Security and Child Commissioners - the equivalent of High Court judges - for child support law. There is "a disturbing culture of delay" in the system of appeals to the commissioners, with some cases taking up to 18 months to complete.

The committee also attacks the way that only 50 of the commissioners' key decisions were published each year. "We were astonished and alarmed at the chaotic and almost laughable situation," it says, calling for a thorough review of the system.

Copyright 2000, Times Newspapers Ltd.