Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|4 Mar 2019, 4:33 p.m.||Employment and Support Allowance: Appeals||Neil Coyle|
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State on 25 February 2019, Official Report, column 33, when her Department plans to reach the target of Presenting Officers attending 50 per cent of tribunals; what lessons her Department have learned from Presenting Officers attending tribunals in the last 12 months; and what changes to the assessment and decision-making process she has made as a result of those lessons learned.
Answer (Sarah Newton)
Presenting Officers (POs) represent the Secretary of State at ESA and PIP tribunals and support them in understanding the detail of the case making the right decision. POs are in the main used where: a) the Department is directed by the tribunal judge; and b) asked to attend by a DWP Appeals Writer because the appeal relates to a complex area of the law. Around 150 POs have been recruited with further recruitment planned to enable increased attendance.
The feedback they provide for the Department’s Decision Makers and the Assessment Providers, is an important element of the improvement work being done to increase the overall quality of the decisions made. Examples of feedback include how we present information to the Tribunal in the most effective way and ensuring attention is drawn to new evidence that arrives after the appeal has been lodged. .
The Department continues to monitor and review how the feedback is collected and shared – it is used in team talks, bulletins and workshops; and the impact it is having on the quality of decisions made.