Council Tax debt recovery policy and billing authority questions

Danny Bamping made this Freedom of Information request to Plymouth City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Plymouth City Council,

Please see below a detailed Freedom of Information Request

"Publicly available published Council Tax recovery policy (ies) and statistical data."

I would like to make an FOI request about Council Tax (Local Taxation) in relation to Plymouth, and namely under control by Plymouth City Council Authority,

Please could you kindly provide answers to: -

1) Is Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) the "Billing
Authority" for Plymouth Council Tax, and what is the full name and address of such "Billing Authority", and who is the named responsible person and job title representing the "Billing Authority"?

2) How many Residential Council Tax collectable properties
locations are there in the control of Plymouth City Council
(Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

3) How many Residential Council Tax collectable live accounts are there in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority)and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

4) How many Residential Council Tax accounts totally are in debt owe money or behind) payments, in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

5) How many Residential Council Tax collectable live accounts are in debt (owe money or behind) payments, in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

6) For all years since the start of Council tax from 1st of April 1994 until the financial year 2013 to 2014 (if not available yet please supply 2012 to 2013, or the last known audited up year), how many has in the control of Plymouth City Council(Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body issued documents so called : - Summons's, Liability Orders, Execution Orders, Warrants for arrest, Orders to be sent to prison, Bankruptcy Orders ?

7) For all years since the start of Council tax (1st of April 1994), how many has in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body issued documents so called: -
challenged the Council in a Court over liability claims, How many Liability Orders where not Ordered by the Court and if any account holders (defendants) taken the Plymouth City Council to a County or High Court over Appeal or Counter-claims or Claims?

8) How many if any has in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body, taken action as a Claimant in the County Court and in the High Court over Council Tax recovery of an account holder (defendant).

9) Has Plymouth City Council [in the last 20 years]ever been found to have not followed due process and committed mal-administration; when trying to recovery alleged council tax debt? If yes - when and by whom?

10) Approximately what is the total stated currently owed money from 1st of April 1995 for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

11) Approximately what is the total stated currently owed money for 2013 to 2014 (if not available yet please supply 2012 to 2013, or the last known audited up year) for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body

12) What is the non-recoverable debt (owed money/outstanding) money from 1st of April 1995 for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body and the current statistical success rate in percentage of fully collecting Plymouth City Council Council tax?

13) What is the non-recoverable debt (owed money/outstanding) money for 2013 to 2014 (if not available yet please supply 2012 to 2013, or the last known audited up year) for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body ?

14) Does Plymouth City Council have a published or unpublished "Council Tax recovery policy"? Yes or no; If no then why please explain why not?

If yes then please answer questions 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21).

15) Who wrote the "Plymouth City Council "Council Tax Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body tax recovery policy", meaning was it Plymouth City Council themselves, or was it outsourced? If so what outsourcing name of company was it? And did Plymouth City Council adopt this outsourced document version partially or fully?

16) When was the first publication for the "Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council?

17) When was the last updated publication for the "Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council?

18) How many updates are there to the publication for the "Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council?

19) Are all versions "finalised versions" to the publication for the "Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council available to the Public?

(Context of the question meaning on "version" means "used or
finalised versions" and not meaning beta or pre-versions before the first version.)

20) Are any updates knowingly planned to the latest publication for the "Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council?

21) Where are these document(s) namely "Council Tax recovery
policy" Publicly available to obtain a copy of, example meaning in a/an leaflet, brochure, printouts, .pdf format and/or website location on Plymouth City Councils Website? and when did they become available.

22) What is the name and address of the current legal
representation or team(s) for Council Tax in the control of
Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing
Authority" if not the same body; if it is outsourced what is/are the name(s) and address (es) of this outsourced or practically outsourced legal representation?

23) Are Plymouth City Council and/or the ‘billing authority’ required by legislation to have a published debt recovery policy in place at all times? Yes or no?

I look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Danny Bamping

FoI Corporate Services, Plymouth City Council

Dear Mr Bamping

My Ref:  863385

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding Council Tax Debt
recovery & billing authority questions.  Your request was received on 14
July 2014 and is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

The Council will seek to provide the information you have requested within
20 working days, that is by 11 August 2014 and it will be provided by
email or hard copy, depending how you made your request and how the
information is held. 

 

Information is usually provided free of charge but in some circumstances a
fee may be payable and if that is the case I will inform you.  A fees
notice will be issued to you and you will be required to pay this before
we proceed with your request.

 

Information about the Freedom of Information Act 2000 can be found on the
Information Commissioners Office website: [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk.
Plymouth City Council also has information available on our website:
[2]http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/coun....
If you cannot find the information you require please contact me using
the contact details below.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Ms K Forsyth
Customer Adviser
Customer Services
Plymouth City Council
Civic Centre
Plymouth
PL1 2AA

 

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Dean, Paul, Plymouth City Council

Dear Mr Bamping

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 14^th July 2014
concerning  council tax. This request is being handled under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.

 

I have provided the answers to your questions , see below:

 

 

 

1)    Is Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) the "Billing Authority"
for Plymouth Council Tax, and what is the full name and address of such
"Billing Authority", and who is the named responsible person and job title
representing the "Billing Authority"?

 

            Plymouth City Council is the billing authority for council tax
in Plymouth. The address is Plymouth City Council, Civic Centre, Royal
Parade PL1 2AA.  The responsible person Mr D Saunders, Strategic Manager ,
Customer Services

 

2)    How many Residential Council Tax collectable properties locations
are there in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or
the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

 

            116 314

 

 

3)    How many Residential Council Tax collectable live accounts are there
in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority)and/or the
"Billing Authority" if not the same body?

 

            116 314

 

4)    How many Residential Council Tax accounts totally are in debt owe
money or behind) payments, in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity
Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

 

            16 638 (for prior years) and  8 019 for 2014/15. Please note
some of these may be duplicated i.e. an account may be counted in the 16
638 and the 8 019.

 

 

5)    How many Residential Council Tax collectable live accounts are in
debt (owe money or behind) payments, in the control of Plymouth City
Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same
body?

 

            Please see the answer to question 4, we are unable to split
the data between ‘live’ and ‘ceased’ accounts.

 

6)    For all years since the start of Council tax from 1st of April 1994
until the financial year 2013 to 2014 (if not available yet please supply
2012 to 2013, or the last known audited up year), how many has in the
control of Plymouth City Council(Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing
Authority" if not the same body issued documents so called : - Summons's,
Liability Orders, Execution Orders, Warrants for arrest, Orders to be sent
to prison, Bankruptcy Orders ?

 

            From June 2000 to 31/3/14 we have issued 206 707 summonses and
been granted 149 242 liability orders. We have not recorded information on
the other          documents that you have asked about.

 

7)    For all years since the start of Council tax (1st of April 1994),
how many has in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority)
and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body issued documents so
called: - challenged the Council in a Court over liability claims, How
many Liability Orders where not Ordered by the Court and if any account
holders (defendants) taken the Plymouth City Council to a County or High
Court over Appeal or Counter-claims or Claims?

                       

            We have no recorded information in this area.

 

8)    How many if any has in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity
Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body, taken
action as a Claimant in the County Court and in the High Court over
Council Tax recovery of an account holder (defendant).

           

            We have no recorded information in this area.

 

 

9)    Has Plymouth City Council [in the last 20 years]ever been found to
have not followed due process and committed mal-administration; when
trying to recovery alleged council tax debt? If yes - when and by whom?

 

            We have no recorded information in this area.

 

 

10) Approximately what is the total stated currently owed money from 1st
of April 1995 for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council
(Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body?

 

            The amount of council tax owed for all financial years from
2000-01 to 2013-14 as at 31.7.14 was £7 293 516.32

 

 

11) Approximately what is the total stated currently owed money for 2013
to 2014 (if not available yet please supply 2012 to 2013, or the last
known audited up year) for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City
Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same
body

 

            As at 31.7.14: £3 269 540.89

 

12) What is the non-recoverable debt (owed money/outstanding) money from
1st of April 1995 for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council
(Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body and
the current statistical success rate in percentage of fully collecting
Plymouth City Council Council tax?

 

            We have not classified the above figures into recoverable/ non
recoverable debt.

 

13) What is the non-recoverable debt (owed money/outstanding) money for
2013 to 2014 (if not available yet please supply 2012 to 2013, or the last
known audited up year) for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City
Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same
body ?

 

            Please see answer to question 12

 

14) Does Plymouth City Council have a published or unpublished "Council
Tax recovery policy"? Yes or no; If no then why please explain why not?

 

            Yes

 

If yes then please answer questions 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21).

 

15) Who wrote the "Plymouth City Council "Council Tax Council Tax in the
control of Plymouth City Council (Unity Authority) and/or the "Billing
Authority" if not the same body tax recovery policy", meaning was it
Plymouth City Council themselves, or was it outsourced? If so what
outsourcing name of company was it? And did Plymouth City Council adopt
this outsourced document version partially or fully?

 

            The document was written by employees of Plymouth City Council

 

16) When was the first publication for the "Council Tax recovery policy"
for Plymouth City Council?

 

 

 

17) When was the last updated publication for the "Council Tax recovery
policy" for Plymouth City Council?

 

            We do not have any recorded information in this area. The
document was added to the website within the last three – six months.

 

 

18) How many updates are there to the publication for the "Council Tax
recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council?

 

            0

           

19) Are all versions "finalised versions" to the publication for the
"Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council available to the
Public?

 

            N/a

 

(Context of the question meaning on "version" means "used or finalised
versions" and not meaning beta or pre-versions before the first version.)

 

 

20) Are any updates knowingly planned to the latest publication for the
"Council Tax recovery policy" for Plymouth City Council?

 

            We do not have any recorded information in this area

 

21) Where are these document(s) namely "Council Tax recovery policy"
Publicly available to obtain a copy of, example meaning in a/an leaflet,
brochure, printouts, .pdf format and/or website location on Plymouth City
Councils Website? and when did they become available.

 

            The document can be found at 
[1]http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/homepage/hous...

            We do not have any recorded information regarding the date it
was made available. The document was added to the website within the last
three – six months.

 

 

           

 

22) What is the name and address of the current legal representation or
team(s) for Council Tax in the control of Plymouth City Council (Unity
Authority) and/or the "Billing Authority" if not the same body; if it is
outsourced what is/are the name(s) and address (es) of this outsourced or
practically outsourced legal representation?

 

            Legal Services Department, Plymouth City Council, Civic
Centre, Royal Parade PL1 2AA

 

23) Are Plymouth City Council and/or the ‘billing authority’ required by
legislation to have a published debt recovery policy in place at all
times? Yes or no?

 

            No

 

 

 

Please note that the information supplied can mostly be re-used in
accordance with the Open Government Licence. The council should be
acknowledged as the source of the information, but copyright is maintained
for all photographs and third party contributions to the information
supplied. For further details see
[2]http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...

 

I hope that we have supplied the information that you expected to receive.
If you wish to discuss this letter or the information that is supplied
then please contact me.

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review by writing to me stating the reason for
your dissatisfaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Dean
Technical Expert (Court)
Customer Services
Plymouth City Council
Civic Centre
Plymouth
PL1 2AA

T +441752304070
F +441752305538
E [3][email address]

[4]www.plymouth.gov.uk

 

   

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