Admin delay – part two

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    DWP have kindly responded to a query on this:

    “The introduction of the new classification, Administrative delay, will make no difference financially to local authorities (LAs) because they will receive the same amount of subsidy for them, as they did for LA official errors. The only difference will be that if the overpayment is not classified as LA official error then it will be automatically recoverable. However the LA will have to justify their decision to not classify the overpayment as LA official error if the customer appeals or it goes to a Tribunal.

    This was the Local Authority Associations (LAAs) preferred way forward. I personally do not think this will be the end of the matter. I am sure we will receive more Commissioners’ decisions and we will have to review the matter again.

    I have had emails from LAs on this matter and I do know that some are not going to start utilising the new classification because they think it will cause an increase in appeals. I think they could be right. We will have to monitor it over the next year.

    I can assure you that the DWP have consulted the LAAs throughout the review process and this was the preferred option”.


    I am sure most members will know that DWP will often offer a range of options to the LAA’s on a way forward on policy issues. If this was the latters prefered option, then the DWP can hardly be criticised. I suspect the LAA’s were looking for any way to make a saving in subsudy (the 5% cut in admin having still been on the table when this was agreed) so I would suggest this was all done in good faith. Meeting the somewhat inconsistent (then) Commissioners decisions was not going to be easy.

    Personally I would have thought using the phrase “admin delay” in decision letters is as doubtful as “cancelled” and will attract the same criticisms by UT Judges.

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