CMS – People under the microscope

At the Voice of the Child we are extremely aware that children fare best when they have the full involvement of both parents in their lives supporting them both emotionally and financially. Children need both of these things in order to reach their full potential.

Unfortunately, the more research we do the more aware we are becoming of a culture that is endemic within Whitehall, the House’s of Commons and Lords, the Family Courts, and the Civil Service generally.  This culture is one that reduces one parents’ contribution to that of a monetary one only with scant regard for the emotional needs of the children.

Essentially,  the emotional essentials do not matter to the people responsible for maintaining a system that works for the children. An obvious and worrying example of this is in the Child Maintenance Service, the Legislation that it relies on and the Ministerial blindness that allows it to continue to do damage to children and parents alike.

We want to open up the policies, procedures, wrongdoings and hypocrisies that allows the Child Maintenance Service to continue to operate the way that it does.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant and the CMS, and those responsible for it would be best advised to buy some sunglasses.

We have compiled a list of people who we will be putting under the microscope.

A few of the things we will be examining in detail include job descriptions (and how they well they are performing in their jobs), MP voting records, expenses, salaries, policy decisions, policy errors, activities that harm children and parents.

So, who’s made the list?

Firstly, we will be looking at the CMS Senior Leadership Team:

Tom McCormack – Child Maintenance Group Director

Alice Hopkins – CSA Director

Jenny Stewart – Delivery Support Director

Jim Edgar – CM Director – Projects

Marc Gill – CMS Arrears and Enforcement Director

Margaret Moor – CMS Applications and Maintenance Director

Julia Gault – CMS Policy Director

 

Next up will be the Senior Civil Servants who are responsible for the CMS:

Andrew Rhodes – DWP Operations Director General

Robert Devereux – Permanent Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions (retiring January 2018 and, who, incidentally has the largest pension in the entire Civil Service; a whopping £1.8mln)

 

And the MP’s and Ministers who administer or support the current system

Caroline Dinenage – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance

David Gauke – Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions

Heidi Allen – An MP who sits on the Work and Pensions Select Committee and who appears to have a personal interest in the CMS and how she can recreate the CSA

We will be looking carefully and continuously at all of the above individuals. We will also be going back through Hansard to identify those who were responsible for constructing, debating and passing the legislation. When we have this information we will add them to the above list.

We also need your help

If you know any of these people or have examples of where they have acted immorally or not in the interest of children then we want to hear from you. We are also very interested to hear your stories about how the Child Maintenance Service has harmed your children, you or your family.

In addition, we would also be interested to see correspondence from any of the above about children, family justice or the CMS; especially where it contains personal viewpoints.

In a Family Law system designed for combative parents there is no real allowance for the views of children and any understanding of how Family Law ultimately impacts on children most of all.

We speak for the children in Family Law so that, finally, the children have a voice.

1 Comment

  1. K.Parker on 19th December 2017 at 2:34 PM

    I have read the FOI you made with interest. Just yesterday I called the CMS as for 6 months I have not received a penny from NRP – the assessment based on false income details in the first place and therefore calculated at just £23 a week for 3 children from their self-employed father.

    I was informed I had to wait before a change of payment type to provide evidence as I disputed the earnings he declared- how does one do this? It wasn’t until after the reconsideration – which did not change the amount payable as obviously I had no solid evidence – that I could request a change of service to collect and pay. I have repeatedly advised that the income the nrp has declared is false but the CMS will do nothing and make no referral to the financial investigation unit until I provide evidence – as dad has a right to be believed.

    Fair enough – we all have a right to be believed though surely? And given CMS couldn’t make a calculation on the nrp based on self-assessment tax returns as……he hadn’t submitted one for over 10 years (tax evasion)…perhaps this would have been enough for a referral to the Investigation Unit. No.

    Okay – how about nrp has 2 other children with 2 other women and never paid for either – no afraid not, this was on the old system so doesn’t count.

    Okay – how about the fact he is doing the exact same job he had whilst we were together, so I have had sight of his earnings and know its substantially more? Nope.

    Okay – how about the fact that nrp was released from prison for fraud only earlier this year, therefore has a history of dishonesty? Nope – not that either. Dad was sent a letter asking him what he earned – and he gave them a figure, therefore has been fully compliant….

    I’m really not sure how not paying any child maintenance at all is fully compliant – but there you go. A convicted fraudster, tax evader and historical child maintenance evader is believed…because that is his right. I’m not sure why 3 young children don’t have any rights to support from their father, but the vulnerable get abused and when has it ever been any different?



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