Ensuring customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

A council taxpayer who owes more than just the current year's liability runs the risk of incurring additional recovery costs through a further application for a liability order if payments which are intended for the current year's liability are allocated by the council's computer to the previous year's liability. This would most likely happen where a non specific payment is made and the computer software is set to automatically allocate these payments to the oldest year's debt.

Councils computer systems have the necessary flexibility to be set to allow non specific payments to be allocated to the arrears or the current year's liability.

I understand that the majority of billing authorities have their computer software set to ensure that their customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship, i.e. so non specific payments are allocated to the current year's liability.

How does Lewisham Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Foi, Customer, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Ms Worth,

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Reference No: 422105

Thank you for your recent request. Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the application of any
exemptions/exceptions. Where consideration is being given to exemptions/exceptions, the 20 working day timescale may be extended to a period considered reasonable depending on the nature and circumstances of your request. In such cases you will be notified and, where possible, a revised time-scale will be indicated. In all cases we shall attempt to deal with your request at the earliest opportunity.

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information requested where the request exceeds the statutory limit or where disbursements exceed £10. In such cases you will be informed in writing and your request will be suspended until we receive payment from you or your request is modified and/or reduced.

Your request may require either full or partial transfer to another public authority. You will be informed if your request is transferred. If we are unable to provide you with the information requested we will notify you of this together with the reason(s) why and details of how you may appeal (if appropriate). Please note that the directorate team may contact you for further information where we believe that the request is not significantly clear for us to respond fully.

Kind Regards,

Corporate Complaints and Casework Team

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Lewisham Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by 6 November 2017

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Lewisham Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by 6 November 2017.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Lewisham Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by 6 November 2017....

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Lewisham Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by 6 November 2017......

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Lewisham Borough Council should have responded by now

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Lewisham Borough Council should have responded by now.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Foi, Customer,

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Lewisham Borough Council should have responded by now...

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Stevens, Wendy, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Ms Worth
 
Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 Reference No: 422105
 
Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your
Freedom of Information Request. We have undergone some changes in our team
in recent months and as a result of this, unfortunately your request was
not picked up and actioned as it should have been. We do apologise for any
inconvenience this delay may have caused you.
 
Your request:
 
How does Lewisham Council have its computer software set to deal with non
specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?
 
Our response is as follows:
 
Unexpected payments received are credited to the current year.
 
We hope you will find this information helpful.
 
You are free to use the information provided for your own purposes,
including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes
of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
requires the permission of the copyright holder. You may apply for
permission to re-use this information by submitting a request to
[email address]
 
You have a right of appeal against this response which you can exercise by
writing to: Information Governance – 1st floor Town Hall Chambers,
Catford, London. SE6 4RU. Or at: [email address]
 
This must be requested within 40 working days of the date of this
response.
 
If you remain dissatisfied after receiving this decision, you then also
have a further right of appeal, which you can make in writing, stating
your reasons to the regulating body, the Information Commissioner's
Office. Contact details: [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/ or 0303 123 1113 or
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Ms Stevens,

I consider Lewisham Borough Council has provided the information I requested. The purpose of this exercise was to ascertain whether or not the principles surrounding the appropriation of payments were being adhered to.

R v Miskin Lower Justices (1953)

It was held in R v Miskin Lower Justices, that where an amount obviously relates to a specific liability, it would be an unwarranted assumption to allocate the payment elsewhere.

If no instruction is given at the time of payment, then the council has a duty to allocate payment to the account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. That would be in the majority of cases the current liability if the consequences of allocating payment to the arrears meant that the customer was subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs etc.

I understand by the council allocating unmatched payments to the current liability that it is the council's priority to ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which is least burdensome for the debtor, and consequently the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are being complied with. The circumstances would imply that this was the debtor's intention as the consequences of doing otherwise would be to put the current year's liability also in arrears.

If it appears I have misunderstood anything by what I have stated I would appreciate if you would correct me.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Stevens, Wendy, Lewisham Borough Council

Thank you for your email.
 
From a Freedom of Information perspective, we are happy that you are
satisfied with the response you have received and your case has been
closed.
 
I will forward your further email onto our council tax team should they
wish to contact you outside of the Act to comment further.
 
Kind regards
 
Wendy Stevens
Senior Customer Resolutions Officer
Corporate Complaints, Casework & Information Governance Team.
 
 
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

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