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The Local Government (Best Value Performance Indicators) (Wales) Order 2001

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Article 4

SCHEDULE 11HOUSING BENEFIT & COUNCIL TAX BENEFITINDICATORS

Indicator NumberDescription of indicatorDetails of indicator
Note: Definitions of terms and guidance on measuring performance against these indicators are set out in The Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Guide produced by the DSS.
NAWPI 11.1/BV76Security: Whether the best value authority has a written and proactive strategy for combating fraud and error which embraces specified initatives including those sponsored by the Department of Social Security, (“DSS”) which is communicated regularly to all staff.

This indicator will be satisfied where, by 31 March 2002, the best value authority has in place a written security strategy which commits it, as a minimum, to undertaking two of the following sets of activities and the initiatives specified in the strategy are observably in use:

i.

operating the Verification Framework and the external auditor has confirmed in the annual audit certificate that the best value authority is complying with the framework;

ii.

operating a policy for prosecution which details the circumstances in which cases would be considered for prosecution or for the application of other sanctions, and which is observably complied with,

iii.

operating at least 3 of the following initiatives which are observably in use: Royal Mail’s service to return re-directed benefit mail; the Housing Benefit Matching Services; a National Service Level Agreement with the Benefits Agency; a Fraud Service Level Agreement with the Benefits Agency.

The strategy will be judged to be regularly communicated to staff where all staff hold an up-to-date copy of the best value authority’s current strategy; and a copy of the strategy is issued to new staff and its use and purpose is explained to them as part of their induction.

NAWPI 11.2/BV77The average cost of handling a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit claim, taking into account differences in the types of claim received.

This indicator is based on the costs which best value authorities report they incur to administer Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Information on these costs will be taken from the joint Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and National Assembly for Wales statistical inquiry General Fund Services Revenue Account returns (form R04). The relevant cells in the 1999/00 form were line 15, column (3) and line 17, column (3) .

In order to make reported costs more directly comparable, they will be weighted by caseload mix and claim characteristics and turnover using statistical data held by the DSS. This mirrors the approach currently used by the DSS in distinguishing direct grant administration subsidy to best value authorities and will help ensure that performance against the indicator reflects real differences in the costs incurred by best value authorities which stem from the number and characteristics of the claims they handle.

NAWPI 11.3/BV78a

Speed of processing:

a)

Average time for processing new claims

This indicator measures the average processing time taken across all new claims for which the date of determination is within the period being reported on. The time for each claim is measured from the date of receipt of the claim to the date of dull determination, i.e. the first determination that does not relate to a payment on account.
BV78b

Speed of processing:

b)

Average time for processing notifications of changes of circumstances

This indicator measures the average processing time taken across all written notifications of changes which require a re-determination for which the date of re— determination is within the period being reported on. The meaning of re-determination is limited to those cases where notifications affect the person’s right to benefit; or the amount of their benefit entitlement; or their right to receive payment of benefit.
BV78c

Speed of processing:

c)

Percentage of renewal claims processed on time

This indicator measures the number of renewal claims determined before the end of the existing benefit period as a percentage across all renewal claims for which the date of determination is within the period being reported on.
NAWPI 11.4/BV79a

Accuracy of processing:

a)

Percentage of cases for which the calculation of the amount of benefit due was correct on the basis of the information available for the determination for a sample of cases checked post-determination.

This indicator measures the percentage of cases within a random sample for which the calculation of benefit is found to be correct.

The sample size for each best value authority will be determined by the DSS based on the latest available caseload data. Further guidance on sample sizes and the random selection of cases can be found in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Circulars S1/2000 and S5/2000.

BV79b

Accuracy of processing:

b)

The percentage of recoverable overpayments (excluding Council Tax Benefit) that were recovered in the financial year.

This indicator measures the value of cash recovered during the period being reported on as a percentage of the value of recoverable overpayments identified by the best value authority on or after 1st April in the financial year.

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