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    Scott Wilson

    Why would Authorities choose to auto default to LA error rather than Admin delay?

    Darren Broughton

    Because it should be LA error unless the authority can show (and justify) that the o/p was cause by a delay beyond the control of the LA?


    We argue that if the processing delay is caused by for example a backlog that is within the LA’s control. The LA could employ more staff if it wished! Therefore its LA error. Also you don’t have to worry about apportioning the overpayment partly to Admin Delay and partly to LA error.


    [quote:0ae1998375=”sunnyjim”]We argue that if the processing delay is caused by for example a backlog that is within the LA’s control. The LA could employ more staff if it wished! Therefore its LA error.[/quote:0ae1998375]

    I think that would depend on how much is allocated to the LA for extra staffing though.


    The main reason is that for subsidy purposes it dosn’t matter if it is classed as Admin Delay or LA Error, they both have exactly the same effect.

    Whilst, for recovery purposes there is no such thing as Admin Delay and the subsidy definition does not fit in with Comms/Tribunal definition.

    I.E and LA with a very large backlog may not process something for, say, three months and would classify the overpayment as Admin Delay, but a Tribunal would almost certainly find it to be Official error.

    Using “Admin Delay” just causes confusion for staff and gives no benefit to anyone.

    Scott Wilson

    As A24/2008 states the following please confirm why LA Error should be used as a default rather than Admin Delay:

    29) It was felt that a delay in processing could not necessarily be equated with an error, in that if an LA was short staffed or had prioritised their workload and still not managed to process a change of circumstances, that this may not necessarily be construed as a mistake within the legislation.

    34) If however, the delay in processing the change of circumstances was due to something out of the LA’s control, for example staff shortages due to sickness, or if they had prioritised their workload, but they were unable to process it because of a backlog, the LA may decide that the overpayment should be classified as an Administrative delay.

    37) An LA might decide that part of the overpayment that was caused by a delay in processing should be classified as Administrative delay and part as LA official error. This might be, for example, because they decide that they could not have processed the change of circumstances within a certain period, for example within two weeks of receiving all of the information, given the workloads on their benefit processing teams and therefore those two weeks of the overpayment should be classified as Administrative delay. Then if the overpayment continued beyond those two weeks they might decide that from that point onwards the delay was due to a mistake, that is, there was an error in that they omitted to process the change when in fact they could have. The overpayment should therefore be classified as an LA official error from that point.

    Above is confirmed in A15/2009 but also clarifies that it is Admin Delay where ‘the delay in procesing was not due to a mistake, whether in form of an act or omission’

    An example of LA Error is where LA put info to one side and then forgot to process it – not an every day occurance ..I hope!

    Surely most overpayments will initially be Admin Error but will have to consider splitting some where there are excessive delays in processing the change but only on an individual basis – this is where LA error will kick in.


    I agree with Jeff – where there is a straight choice between admin delay and LA error, it doesn’t make any difference which you go for.

    The reason for the introduction of the admin delay category is to stop LAs from using “other” or “claimant error” as a classification for short processing delays. That’s the issue: use admin delay where you would have tried in the past to get away with claimant error/other error.

    Once you accept that claimant/other error is not going to be accepted for subsidy purposes, you are left with the two options of admin delay and LA error. If you are being strictly correct about it, yes you might well split the classification between the two in some case (first payment admin delay, subsequent payments LA error, maybe) … but as Jeff says, this will have no effect on your subsidy at all.


    As other posters have said on this thread, it doesn’t matter (in my opinion)what you use, as they both mean the same thing for subsidy purposes. Also, recoverability is a seperate issue where the decision is whether or not it is official error, and not what subsidy code is used on a computer system.

    I think in light of all this, LAs should just choose the option that creates less work, and makes their lives easier.

    Our system automatically allocates Admin Delay. We are happy with this if the overpayment is caused by a delay in processing a change. If the overpayment was caused by a genuine council error (e.g. an input mistake, or an incorrect decision on a claim), we manually change it to LA error.


    as we’ve all said the bottom line is that it makes no difference…from my point of view if you pretend admin delay doesn’t exist everything is LA error. Then you don’t have to bother manually coding anything back to LA error that has been automatically been coded to admin delay.


    I’ll stick my neck out here and say that I think it is a good idea to diferentiate between LA error and Admin delay. I appreciate that they are both a form of LA error but isn’t it a good thing to know how many of your errors are due to assessment mistakes and how many are due to delays? I imagine that there will be some subsidy changes before long anyway that will make the classifications more than cosmetic.

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