CMS0030

 

The submitter of this evidence has requested that the committee consider treating this evidence as anonymous

 

 

I am a paying parent and derive my income from two businesses of which I am the managing director. My CMS payments are calculated annually from what should be my most recent tax return that is available. 

 

Since the beginning of my case with the CMS I have found their service to be beneath inept. On a regular basis I have had to ask for the involvement of my local MP due to the CMS ignoring my contact and failing to comply with their own procedures.

 

I feel they very often favour the receiving parent and will amend payment plans despite receiving very little or no evidence to back up the change in circumstance raised by the RP, for instance nights of shared care. In my case the RP stated this was at least 52 nights per year upon application (which I agreed with) however she then changed her mind, the CMS allowed this sudden change of mind despite the original application being based upon at least 52 nights shared care. As a result this was escalated to my MP and I obtained a contact order from the Family courts to avoid this happening again.

 

The RP also raised a dispute regarding my income and instigated an investigation to be carried out by the FIU. This was very one sided, unprofessionally handled and resulted in the matter being taken to Tribunal. My multiple attempts to contact the mobile number on the letter from the FIU where ignored as where my letters and phone calls to the CMS. Evidence of this can be supplied and has been for the purposes of the Tribunal. Despite not allowing me the opportunity to explain my income and how my businesses work, my payments where altered under an unearned income variation to an amount that I could not afford. 2 letters where sent with a new payment plan, both advising different amounts I was to pay each month demonstrating the lack of organisation within the CMS.

 

My tribunal application was submitted in December 2020 and my final hearing was heard on the 28th February 2022. The CMS failed to comply with any of the directions notices sent which caused significant delay. They did however ensure I paid more maintenance than required until the matter was resolved. When asked at the final hearing why the CMS failed to comply with any notices or allow me the opportunity to resolve this with the CMS and the FIU the representative could not answer with a sufficient response. The final hearing resulted in the imposition of the variation after the FIU assessment was in error and there were no grounds for the FIU to reach the conclusion they did about my income.

 

Since then there has been a final notice order made, the CMS have not complied with the notice and claim the last point of contact they received from the Tribunal was dated 20/01/22 relating to the adjournment notice. This statement is not truthful as the final hearing was appointed on the 25/01/22. There was a representative from the CMS present on the day of the hearing, therefore further correspondence will have been received as if this was not the case no one from the CMS would have been present. Either this demonstrates the lack of organisation within the CMS or someone is lying.

 

Overall I feel the CMS are not managing their resources properly, they are seeking easy targets and not allowing a fair opportunity for the paying parent to explain their circumstances. As a result this often leads to further friction between the parents and this is caused solely by the CMS. Their level of service is very poor, disingenuous and at times confusing.

 

I have since taken the matter regarding my Tribunal and my most recent annual review to the PSHO as the CMS is unwilling to investigate properly and take ownership of the multiple failings.

March 2022