Ombudsman fires shot across CSA’s bows

September 10, 2010

The Child Support Agency has received a warning from the Acting Ombudsman to be unbiased and fair with parents when looking into payments of child support.

Ron Brent, the current Acting Ombudsman, has published a report which examined the CSA’s power to surpass the taxable income of a parent in order to calculate their obligation to support their child.

The report says that the Agency does this by instigating a ‘capacity to pay’ inquiry, which focussed on the self employed or those that managed a business via a corporate framework.

He said:

“We examined 34 cases where child support had been reassessed and in almost every case the amount that had to be paid increased.”

“The Child Support Agency has prioritised cases that increase child support liabilities, whereas their advertising suggested targeting both payer and payee parents – that is, that they would investigate both those parents suspected of understating their incomes in order to pay less and those understating their incomes to receive more.”

The report revealed that those considered to be not paying enough were the subject of most of the investigations carried out, and recommended that the Child Support Agency adjusts their selection procedures in order to be fairer in their approach to both parties. Mr Brent added:

“It is also important that investigations are carried out with sensitivity and without implying that all investigated parents are trying to avoid child support obligations.”

Michelle Bentley, acting manager for the CSA’s Specialised Assessments Division, accepted the report. She commented:

“The Ombudsman has highlighted some key areas where we can improve, but it’s important to note the CSA has either already implemented or is in the process of addressing many of the issues raised in the report.”


  • John says:

    Sounds like even more rubbish from the Ombudsman!

    Shut the CSA down and get rid of the Ombudsmans office that would save a lot of taxpayers money in this age of austerity!

  • Mike says:

    This is about the CSA in Oz not the UK

  • michael sterling says:

    from the year 2000 i had a debt with the csa which was built up from a penalty assessment from 3years amounted to 20.000 .since then i have paid this off along with paying my agreed maintenace.i have since given them the details to have my assessment converted.there was of coarse a massive over payment of case has been passed between 15 people untill they did not owe me money by making my payments above the level.i am thousands in debt because ofn this how do they get away with this

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