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Council tax payment allocation in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]

We're waiting for S Staffordson to read recent responses and update the status.

Dear The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman,

The Ombudsman makes the statement quoted below from the document link:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

"The allocation of payments can give rise to problems, especially when there are arrears or summonsed debt. Council officers do not watch each account and decide where each payment will go. The computer system will allocate it, according to some simple rules. Usually payments which are exactly equal to instalments or exact multiples of instalments will be allocated to the current instalment debt. After a summons is issued the computer may then allocate instalment payments to any arrears – as the right to pay by instalments is been lost once a final notice has been issued.

You will need to establish what system the council uses, how it decided which payments went where and how the taxpayer was told."

The Ombudsman's statement above does not agree with the judgment in the case of R. v Miskin Lower Justices (see below link to the judgment):

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

The judgment clarifies the position in cases where a creditor has to make a decision as to which account payment should be allocated when a debtor has one account more burdensome for him than another and his payment is unspecified

Clearly the Ombudsman's statement, if it were to agree with the judgment, would be.....

[[ Where the debtor does not make any reference as to where the payment should be allocated then the creditor must allocate the payment to the account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. ]]

Q. Where did the Ombudsman obtain the information regarding the appropriation of payments case law which conflicts with the judgment in R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953]?

Yours faithfully,

S Staffordson

FOI Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

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[2]another test with borders

 

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Mandy Cashmore, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Our ref: 19/178

           

Please quote our reference when contacting us and, if using email, please
put the number in the email subject line

 

If telephoning, please contact: 0330 403 4734

Email address: [1][lgo request email]

 

 

Dear S Staffordson

 

INFORMATION ACCESS REQUEST – REFERENCE 19/178

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 16 September 2019.

 

We aim to respond to all requests within 20 working days, and therefore
you can expect my response to be issued on or before 14 October 2019.

 

If you have made your request electronically, you can expect our response
to be sent electronically.

 

Please see our Privacy Notice for those making information access requests
at:

[2]https://www.lgo.org.uk/privacy

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mandy Cashmore

Information and Records Officer

Tel: 0330 403 4734

 

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Mandy Cashmore, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear S Staffordson

 

INFORMATION ACCESS REQUEST – REFERENCE 19/178

 

Please find attached my response to your request for information received
on 16 September 2019.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Mandy Cashmore

Information and Records Officer

Tel: 0330 403 4734

 

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Dear Mandy Cashmore,

"My response

We do not hold the information requested."

Please review your response because on the balance of probabilities the Ombudsman must have obtained the requested information from somewhere in order for him to base his advice on which is given to investigators. For example, a lawyer, a local authority, the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) 10 October 2002 Insight magazine http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...

Or here?
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Trish Farman, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

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Dear S Staffordson

 

Please find acknowledgment letter attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Trish Farman I Executive Assistant

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Direct: 0330 403 4054

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Trish Farman, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

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Dear S Staffordson

 

Please find response letter attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Trish Farman I Executive Assistant

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Dear Trish Farman,

The Director of Investigation's review response contains the following which is an admission that the Ombudsman does hold the information I requested (as opposed to not holding it):

"I have now had the opportunity to review the original decision.

I have spoken to the person who maintains our guidance on this subject. Our guidance is based on our normal practice in dealing with cases, rather than on any specific written information.

There are several legal cases about where to credit payments made, none of which relate directly to local taxation. We take account of any relevant case law in writing our guidance and making our decisions. However, we do not hold copies of case law, but rather subscribe to an on-line legal service.

I therefore uphold Ms Cashmore’s decision that we do not hold the information you requested."

Please disclose the information I requested (identify the on-line legal service) and if at all possible provide the information obtained specifically regarding the laws of the appropriation of payments which the Ombudsman relies on to deal with complaints.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Dear Trish Farman,

Will you please acknowledge my 12 November correspondence and inform me whether the information requested (see below) will be considered as part of this request or handled as a new one.

"Please disclose the information I requested (identify the on-line legal service) and if at all possible provide the information obtained specifically regarding the laws of the appropriation of payments which the Ombudsman relies on to deal with complaints."

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

Mandy Cashmore, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Our ref: 19/253

           

Please quote our reference when contacting us and, if using email, please
put the number in the email subject line

 

If telephoning, please contact: 0330 403 4734

Email address: [1][lgo request email]

 

 

Dear S Staffordson

 

INFORMATION ACCESS REQUEST – REFERENCE 19/253

 

I acknowledge your request for information received on 12 November 2019.

 

We aim to respond to all requests within 20 working days, and therefore
you can expect my response to be issued on or before 10 December 2019.

 

If you have made your request electronically, you can expect our response
to be sent electronically.

 

Please see our Privacy Notice for those making information access requests
at:

[2]https://www.lgo.org.uk/privacy

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Mandy Cashmore

Information and Records Officer

Tel: 0330 403 4734

 

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Listen - Understand - Communicate - Learn

 

[4]www.lgo.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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Jayne Spence, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

3 Attachments

Dear S Staffordson

 

INFORMATION ACCESS REQUEST – REFERENCE 19/253

 

Please find attached my response to your request for information received
on 12 November 2019.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Mandy Cashmore

Information and Records Officer

Tel: 0330 403 4734

 

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Dear Jayne Spence,

Your response:

"1. The online legal service we use is LexisNexis.
2. We do not hold the information."

Answering the following queries (or providing any other relevant information) would put the above in context.

1. Do you not hold the information because LexisNexis does not send its customers or allow them to download its advice / case law etc. (only view it online)?

2. Although the online legal service you use is LexisNexis you have never sought or been unable to obtain the case law or legal advice relevant to the appropriation of payments?

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

FOI Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear S Staffordson

 

INFORMATION ACCESS REQUEST - REFERENCE 19/253

 

Thank you for your email dated 08 December 2019.

 

I am treating this latest correspondence as a follow-up rather than a new
request.

 

Lexis Nexis is a subscription based online legal service which gives us
access to up to date versions of legislation, case law and government
guidance.   We do not hold the information -  we pay to access the
information.

 

Our investigators have access to the online legal service if they have a
specific query which is not covered by our internal guidance.

 

We have previously provided our internal guidance under reference 19/178
and explained that this was not based on any particular case law or
guidance. 

 

We do not hold information you have asked for in part 2 of your email.

 

You can submit a new request detailing the specific case law, a date range
and confirmation of what the payments you refer to are for if you wish to
know whether a specific case law relating to the "appropriation of
payments" has been considered through the course of an investigation.  As
Mrs Sykes advised in her appeal response dated 11 November 2019, there are
several legal cases about where payments made should be credited, but none
relate to local taxation.  It would aid our search to establish if the
information is held if we know which case law you are referencing.

 

If you are dissatisfied with my response to request 19/253 you have the
opportunity to request a review as detailed in the Access Review leaflet
that accompanied the response.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Mandy Cashmore

Information and Records Officer

Tel: 0330 403 4734

 

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Listen - Understand - Communicate - Learn

 

[2]www.lgo.org.uk

 

 

 

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Dear FOI Officer,

Your suggestion of submitting another request with reference to a specific case law etc. is not the appropriate way of going about this.

You have already stated the following:

"We take account of any relevant case law in writing our guidance and making our decisions. However, we do not hold copies of case law, but rather subscribe to an on-line legal service."

If you could disclose the information that was taken into account in order to write the guidance then this request will be done with. I notice the guidance refers to the IRRV Insight magazine on a couple of occasions.

Alternatively, you could say that no information was referred to, but it looks to me like the information is based on what billing authorities have taken upon themselves to decide is appropriate.

Yours sincerely,

S Staffordson

FOI Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email.  If you are making a request
for information, you should get an acknowledgement from us within the next
2-3 days with a reference number and a date by which we will respond to
your request. Please note, however, that this address is only for use in
relation to requests for information made under the Freedom of Information
Act and subject access requests made under the Data Protection Act. If
your email is in relation to a new complaint please follow this link to a
[1]complaint form or call 0300 061 0614 to speak to one of our Advisers,
as the FOI Officer cannot deal with your complaint.

 

 

[2]another test with borders

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are S Staffordson please sign in and let everyone know.