§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what progress has been made towards the improvement of decision-making procedures under the Benefit Integrity Project. 
§ Mr. Denham
We have taken steps to introduce a number of improvements to the Benefit Integrity Project. It is important that decisions taken as a result of the project are right and these steps will improve the quality of, and confidence in, those decisions. We are preparing more informative literature, to enable people to tell us at an early stage if they feel they should not be contacted by the Project; we are arranging additional training for Adjudication Officers; we are also organising a speedier process to deal with reviews and appeals against decisions.527W
Also, on 9 February my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security introduced changes to the Benefit Integrity Project to ensure that no decision to reduce benefit would be taken without seeking additional evidence. We are concerned about those cases where a decision was taken without the benefit of the new procedure that was introduced on 9 February, and on which the claimant has not already sought a review of the decision.
We are considering options for reviewing those cases but there are some legal and operational issues that we need to resolve as speedily as possible before deciding exactly how to proceed.
These positive and constructive changes demonstrate our determination that the actions of the Project are fair, and seen to be fair.