(1)Any application for a maintenance assessment made to the Secretary of State shall be referred by him to a child support officer whose duty it shall be to deal with the application in accordance with the provision made by or under this Act.
(2)The amount of child support maintenance to be fixed by any maintenance assessment shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of Part I of Schedule 1.
(3)Part II of Schedule 1 makes further provision with respect to maintenance assessments.
12Interim maintenance assessments
(1)Where it appears to a child support officer who is required to make a maintenance assessment that he does not have sufficient information to enable him to make an assessment in accordance with the provision made by or under this Act, he may make an interim maintenance assessment.
(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision as to interim maintenance assessments.
(3)The regulations may, in particular, make provision as to—
(a)the procedure to be followed in making an interim maintenance assessment; and
(b)the basis on which the amount of child support maintenance fixed by an interim assessment is to be calculated.
(4)Before making any interim assessment a child support officer shall, if it is reasonably practicable to do so, give written notice of his intention to make such an assessment to—
(a)the absent parent concerned;
(b)the person with care concerned; and
(c)where the application for a maintenance assessment was made under section 7, the child concerned.
(5)Where a child support officer serves notice under subsection (4), he shall not make the proposed interim assessment before the end of such period as may be prescribed.