Revisions & Appeals

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    Have any authorities set target times for officers dealing with requests for revision, preparing submissions to AS and so forth? If yes, would you be willing to share?

    Alternatively, is anybody aware of any best practice guidance on this subject? (Something that doesn’t just say “as soon as practicable”!)



    Not sure about revisions, but I know the Local Government Ombudsman has stated a failure to send a submission to the Appeals Service within [b:4d6e474928]one month[/b:4d6e474928] of receiving the Appeal should be deemed maladministration, hence that is the time-scale we work to at St Albans…



    Liverpool City Council (01/C/7860)

    Housing benefit and local taxation

    The complaint was made by an advice agency on behalf of a client who appealed against housing and council tax benefit decisions taken by the Council. The complaint was that the Council unreasonably delayed in dealing with those appeals.

    The Ombudsman found that the Council delayed by five months in notifying its decision not to allow the complainant a late appeal, and further delayed by five weeks its reply to a letter from the advice agency.

    There was a further delay in convening a meeting of a housing benefit review board to consider another appeal and (following the replacement of housing benefit review boards by the Appeals Service) passing the appeal to the Appeals Service that delay amounted to nine months.

    The Council paid £375 to the complainant to compensate her for the injustice arising from its maladministration. The Ombudsman considered this to be a satisfactory settlement of the complaint.

    The Ombudsman expressed the view that central government should set a time limit requiring appeals to be submitted to the Appeals Service within 28 days. The Council cleared its backlog and adopted 28 days as its target.

    30 September 2002

    [b:facf9f743b](oops – 28 days, not one month!)[/b:facf9f743b]


    …very much StAlbansBenefits (not Skilly, I take it, who should be sitting his exams today…?)

    Found the Ombudsman case you referred to – actually found four complaints against Liverpool, all on the same point!

    Has anybody else got any “in-house” targets for revisions and appeals?


    At Canterbury CC, we have created local performance indicators which cover the following:

    1. “% of requests for reconsideration carried out within 14 days of receipt of request and all supporting information”

    2. “% of appeal submissions sent to The Appeals Service within 28 days of the appeal and all supporting information being received”

    The 28 day target in “2” was created purely on the basis of the Ombudsman case mentioned.


    Our target is 8 days on requests for revisions and 28 days for appeals.

    In reality appeals are actually send well within the 28 days but again we adopted the target based upon the ombudsman’s recommendations.

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