As of 31st August, £976m was due to be collected by the agency from non-resident parents for payment mainly to parents with care.
Sir John Bourn, auditor general, said he had qualified the accounts, because as a result of the audit, he estimated that a ‘significant proportion of the individual debt balances that made up the £976m were incorrect’.
The problem, he said, was due to ‘historic errors in the underlying maintenance assessments’.
The NAO report also points out that performance targets for cases being processed under new rules – aimed at simplifying and modernising maintenance assessments – are not being met.
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Dr Richard Willis provides a several thousand-year history lesson of the profession, from origin to modern-day