The National Audit Office has reported that the Auditor General has once again been unable to give a full sign off to the Client Funds Account of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission because of the level of error in maintenance assessments.

The report does, however, recognise that significant improvements have been made by the Commission to the information available on child maintenance arrears.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said:

"Since the statutory child maintenance schemes were introduced, there have been problems with the accurate calculation of maintenance and with the two underlying IT systems, neither of which was capable of properly reporting arrears. The Commission inherited these problems from the Child Support Agency."

"Accuracy of maintenance assessments continues to be a challenge. The Commission is continuing to improve the accounting information available, so that the historic problems affecting the accuracy of arrears data are more visible. Nevertheless, the Commission still has a significant challenge in collecting the arrears that have accumulated since the beginning of the maintenance schemes."