National Audit Office Survey on Child Maintenance Service

The National Audit Office (NAO) are carrying out a study on whether the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is delivering value for money for children, separated parents and the taxpayer.


The NAO is keen to hear from members of the public about their experience with the CMS and we encourage you to do so. You can have your input on their consultation here.

FNF will be meeting with the NAO team in the coming weeks and will also be making a formal submission.

The NAO scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government and the civil service. They help Parliament hold government to account and they use their insights to help people who manage and govern public bodies improve public services. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that £934 million of statutory child maintenance was paid between parents using the CMS in 2019-20, at a net cost of £146 million.

To help NAO with their audit, they would like to hear from you about your experience of the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).  They are aiming to publish their value for money report towards the end of 2021.

This report will build on the NAO’s 2017 investigation Child Maintenance: closing cases and managing arrears on the 1993 and 2003 schemes. It will assess the value for money of the child maintenance system, and will explore:

  • Whether the Department effectively managed the wind-down of the 1993 and 2003 CSA schemes;
  • Whether the CMS is achieving its objectives; and
  • Whether the Department manages its resources effectively to deliver a high-quality service through the CMS.

The NAO receives routine correspondence from service users on the child maintenance service, including on the current scheme and of the Department’s management of historic CSA debt. Individuals that wish to share their experience with the report team should complete an online consultation

This consultation will be open until midday, Friday, 30 July 2021.

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