CMS0016

 

Written evidence submitted by anonymously

 

REF:- CHILD MAINTENANCE INQUIRY

 

Statement of evidence for committee review into failings of Child Maintenance Service (CMS).  This is my personal statement outlining current failings of the CMS;

 

        Whether the department effectively managed the wind-down of the previous CSA schemes.

 

In my personal experience the CMS have failed to wind-down these schemes effectively. I have repeatedly asked the CMS for a breakdown of the arrears accrued between the time period 24/11/2008-15/05/2015. My local MP (has also written to the CMS on my behalf requesting this information.  Neither I nor my Local MP has actually managed to obtain this information, instead the CMS response has been deflection of responsibility for me to prove that these arrears are incorrect.  I would draw the committees attention to the case of Karoonian v CMEC, Gibbons v CMEC in [2012] whereby Lord Justice Ward stated that wording wrongly implied that the two defendants bore responsibility for proving that they did not owe money claimed thereby reversing the traditional legal burden of proof when it is up to the accuser to prove their claims.  On this basis the CMS are continuing to use outdated practices for CSA arrears which are not in-keeping with law.  Evidence of the CMS letter of 10 January 2022, proving that this practice is still being adopted can be supplied.

 

        Whether the Child Maintenance Services is achieving its objectives. 

In my personal experience the CMS are not achieving its objectives, my understanding of the objectives is to collect monies due from the non resident parent and pay these monies to the parent with day to day responsibility for the child (RP). However in my personal experience the Receiving parent has repeatedly ignored CMS requests for bank details thus payments are not being made and arrears are being allowed to accrue, the CMS are wasting time and resources in chasing down the receiving parent who is not responding and therefore by the current rules this particular case should be closed due to non-compliance. However the CMS have not instigated this step and instead have just allowed arrears to accrue. One could also argue that this also proves the third question of does the CMS manage its resources clearly as a resounding no they do not.

 

 

        Whether the CMS manages its resources effectively to deliver high quality service.

 

In addition to the example above whereby staff are focusing time and resources on a parent who is unwilling to engage it is difficult to say where infact other public money is being spent. The portal and livechat is not fit for purpose and almost any discussion has to be referred to a case manager. There is not enough investigative staff, and the CMS on the surface only seem to ‘punish’ the non resident parent.  For months i continued to tell the CMS that infact the claim was being made on false grounds as indeed the person with the claim against me did not and had not had  day to day responsibility for the child for which she was claiming, the CMS continued to ignore my claims until finally through the power of the family courts and a letter from the Local Authority hard evidence was supplied to the CMS. This person has fraudulently claimed for something she was not entitled to for a minimum period of 2 years. Despite this  no fraud action has been taken against this person, indeed not even  the regular payments made by me during this time period has not been deducted from the fictitious arrears accrued under the old CSA system, therefore in my opinion the CMS does not deliver a high quality system it is biased, unlawful and i would urge the committee to look at studies carried out around the correlation between number of suicides and this CMS.  It does nothing to bring families together or to balm the pain of separation infact it does the opposite drives non resident parents to the brink financially, emotionally and mentally. 

 

March 2022