Child maintenance scheme to replace CMEC
December 13, 2010
The Child Support Agency is set for major reform following an announcement by the government that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) will be closed down.
The revelation was made by the UK governing body in October, following a major assessment of its quangos to trim government outgoings.
Over the coming months, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will become an agency within the Department for Work and Pensions. However, it will not affect the overall running of the service, nor will it alter proposed plans to replace the institution eventually with a new child maintenance scheme.
The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission replaced the traditional Child Support Agency in 2009 in an effort to more effectively collect outstanding maintenance payments from non-resident parents. However, the organisation is still known colloquially under its CSA banner.
Governmental reform came about following a National Audit Office study, which revealed that there were £3.5 billion in uncollected maintenance payments between 1993 and 2006. There were also concerns over the effectiveness of the CSA’s administration, as it cost the Child Support Agency 70p for every pound it collected.
Westminster statistics released in summer 2010, however, revealed that there are still large sums of unpaid maintenance to be addressed, as more than £32 million is owing in child support within the UK’s constituencies.
Stephen Geraghty, commissioner of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, commented:
“We recognise that diversity is about flexibility and continuous improvement…as we start to develop the future statutory scheme that will operate from 2011 we will increase our engagement with client representatives and stakeholders to help us identify improvements so that we develop services to meet the diverse needs of our clients.”