Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Social Security Reform on 30th January 1986.
Mr. Best Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has any proposals to seek the improvement of adjudication standards prior to the introduction of the income support scheme in 1988.
Mr. Major There is a continuing programme to improve economy and efficiency in the administration of social security including adjudication standards.
In 1983 we introduced legislation which overhauled and improved the first two tiers of the social security adjudication system. The Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 created the post of Chief Adjudication Officer who has a statutory duty to keep under review the standards of adjudication. The Chief Adjudication Officer’s first annual report was published recently (HMSO) and we are actively considering his recommendations. The HASSASSA Act also created the office of the president of Social Security Appeal Tribunals and Medical Appeal Tribunals to administer the tribunal system. The president is strongly committed to improving the standards of adjudication within his jurisdiction and, I understand, he has already embarked on an ambitious training programme for tribunal members and chairmen to enhance their legal and procedural skills.