Enforcement by Liability Order

Pat James (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Powys County 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.

Pat James (Account suspended)

Dear Powys County Council, in exercising the process for the application of a Council Tax Liability Order as defined and required by the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 Section 34 and associated legislation quoted therein, please provide me with the following:

The exact name of the court or judicial body to which a complaint is sworn, inclusive of full address and contact details.

The excact nature of the complaint inclusive of any corroberative evidence to support the complaint.

The mechanism by which corroberative evidence for each individual defendant is attached to the name of that defendant, when the complaint consists only as a list of names, contrary to procedure.

The lawful authority by which deviation is made in the legislated process of the application of a Council Tax Liability Order.

Any audit reports that would assure compliance with legislated procedures in the matter of Council Tax enforcement.

This is not to be taken as a request for legal advice, it is a request for a factual account of the legislated procedures.

This is not to be treated as a vexatious request as it has been made necessary by your many previous failures to provide adequate information in these matters.

I also take this opportunity to remind you of your obligation to the Nolan Principles.

Yours faithfully,

Pat James

Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), Powys County Council

Cyfarwyddwr Strategol: Rheoli Gwybodaeth/
Adnoddau
Information Compliance
Strategic Director: Resources
Neuadd Y Sir / County Hall
David Powell
Spa Road East

Llandrindod Wells

Powys LD1 5LG
Mr James If calling please ask for / Os yn galw
gofynnwch am
 
 
 
Tel / Ffôn:  01597 82 7543         
 
Fax / Ffacs:  01597 82 6215      
 
Email/Llythyru electronig:
  [1][Powys County Council request email]

Our ref / Ein cyf:  7051

Date / Dyddiad:   22 November 2016

 

 

Request Accepted

 

FREEDOM of INFORMATION ACT 2000

Reference No: 7051

 

Dear Mr James,

 

Thank you for your request for information, received at this office on
21/11/2016, in which you requested details of the following:

 

            Enforcement of Liability Orders

 

The above is a summary of your request. The full details of the
information sought is provided to the officer to whom the request is
tasked.

 

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject
to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances Powys County Council may be unable to achieve
this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

 

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information you request. If this is the case you will be informed and
the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment
from you. If you choose not to make a payment then your request will
remain unanswered.

 

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

 

The due date for responding to this request for information is 19/12/2016.

 

Should you need to discuss this further please contact the officer dealing
with your request as identified at the bottom of this email by contacting
Information Management on 01597 827543.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Powys County Council.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Compliance Team

 

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References

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1. mailto:[Powys County Council request email]

Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), Powys County Council

Dear Mr James

 

I have been asked by the service area to seek clarification on one aspect
of your request. 

 

You have asked  “ The lawful authority by which deviation is made in the
legislated process of the application of a Council Tax Liability Order”. 

 

The service area would like to know what deviation is being referred to?

 

Your request will be put on hold until we receive your response.

 

Regards

 

Information Compliance Team

 

 

From: Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic)
Sent: 22 November 2016 11:39
To: Pat James <[FOI #372613 email]>
Subject: Acknowledgement F2016-7051 Enforcement of Liability Orders

 

Cyfarwyddwr Strategol: Rheoli Gwybodaeth/
Adnoddau
Information Compliance
Strategic Director: Resources
Neuadd Y Sir / County Hall
David Powell
Spa Road East

Llandrindod Wells

Powys LD1 5LG
Mr James If calling please ask for / Os yn galw
gofynnwch am
 
 
 
Tel / Ffôn:  01597 82 7543         
 
Fax / Ffacs:  01597 82 6215      
 
Email/Llythyru electronig:
  [1][Powys County Council request email]

Our ref / Ein cyf:  7051

Date / Dyddiad:   22 November 2016

 

 

Request Accepted

 

FREEDOM of INFORMATION ACT 2000

Reference No: 7051

 

Dear Mr James,

 

Thank you for your request for information, received at this office on
21/11/2016, in which you requested details of the following:

 

            Enforcement of Liability Orders

 

The above is a summary of your request. The full details of the
information sought is provided to the officer to whom the request is
tasked.

 

Your request will now be considered and you will receive a response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject
to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances Powys County Council may be unable to achieve
this deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

 

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of
the information you request. If this is the case you will be informed and
the 20 working day timescale will be suspended until we receive payment
from you. If you choose not to make a payment then your request will
remain unanswered.

 

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

 

The due date for responding to this request for information is 19/12/2016.

 

Should you need to discuss this further please contact the officer dealing
with your request as identified at the bottom of this email by contacting
Information Management on 01597 827543.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Powys County Council.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Information Compliance Team

 

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References

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1. mailto:[Powys County Council request email]

Pat James (Account suspended)

Dear Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic),

Clarification: The fact that you present a list of names to the Clerk to the magistrates as a single composite complaint, when each complain is to be sworn separately with any accompanying evidens as per regulation.

Yours sincerely,

Pat James

Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), Powys County Council

Cyfarwyddwr Strategol: Rheoli Gwybodaeth/
Adnoddau
Information Compliance
Strategic Director: Resources
Neuadd Y Sir / County Hall
David Powell
Spa Road East

Llandrindod Wells

Powys LD1 5LG
Mr James If calling please ask for / Os yn galw
gofynnwch am
 
 
 
Tel / Ffôn:  01597 82 7543         
 
Fax / Ffacs:  01597 82 6215      
 
Email/Llythyru electronig:
  [1][Powys County Council request email]

Our ref / Ein cyf:  7051

Date / Dyddiad:   16 December 2016

 

 

FREEDOM of INFORMATION ACT 2000

Reference No: 7051

 

 

Dear Mr James,

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 21/11/2016 concerning
Enforcement of Liability Orders.

 

This is to inform you that your request has been considered and I can
provide the following response:

 

The Request:

 

Powys County Council, in exercising the process for the application of a
Council Tax Liability Order as defined and required by the Council Tax
(Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 Section 34 and
associated legislation quoted therein, please provide me with the
following:

 

The exact name of the court or judicial body to which a complaint is
sworn, inclusive of full address and contact details.

 

This information is in the public domain

 

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires Powys County
Council, when refusing to provide such information (because the
information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which:

(a)  states that fact;

(b)  specifies the exemption in question and

(c)  states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

In this instance the relevant exemption is Section 21 of the Freedom of
Information Act.

Section 21: Information accessible to applicant by other means -

(1) Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise
than under section 1 is exempt information.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) -

(a) Information may be reasonably accessible to the applicant even though
it is accessible only on payment, and,

(b) Information is to be taken to be reasonably accessible to the
applicant if it is information which the public authority or any other
person is obliged by or under any enactment to communicate (otherwise than
by making the information available for inspection) to members of the
public on request, whether free of charge or on payment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), information which is held by a
public authority and does not fall within subsection (2) (b) is not to be
regarded as reasonably accessible to the applicant merely because the
information is available from the public authority itself on request,
unless the information is made available in accordance with the
authority’s publication scheme and any payment required is specified in,
or determined in accordance with, the scheme.

In accordance with Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I am
unable to provide you with the details you have requested.

 

Data is available at:      

[2]https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov....

                    

 

The exact nature of the complaint inclusive of any corroborative evidence
to support the complaint.

 

The complaint laid by the council will detail for each person the
following:

·         Name:

·         Account Reference:

·         Full address:

·         Year of debt:

·         Arrears Amount:

 

The mechanism by which corroborative evidence for each individual
defendant is attached to the name of that defendant, when the complaint
consists only as a list of names, contrary to procedure.

 

The complaint laid consists of more than the name of the defendant (see
above)

At the complaint hearing, an authorised officer of the council, will
present both oral and documented evidence including:

·         Charge fixed by Resolution

·         An entry appears in valuation list

·         A sum has been demanded and has become due

·         An annual demand issued

·         A reminder and or final issued

·         Summons served

·         Sum remains outstanding

·         Certificate re computer evidence

 

Under S.I 1992 No: 613 53 (4) & (5) where documented evidence is that
compiled by a computer (such as a list or schedule), it is admissible as
evidence provided a certificate is presented confirming principles
contained within SI 1992 No: 613 53 (5).

The hearing is conducted in compliance with the Magistrates Court Act
1980, sections 53-57

In compliance with Magistrates Court Act 1980, section 53, if a defendant
attends the complaint hearing the Court will hear evidence of both
parties, and will either:

 

·         Grant the order for which the complaint is made, or

·         Dismiss the complaint

 

Under the Magistrates Court Act 1980 section 54, the Court may adjourn the
trial for evidence to be heard on a different date. The Court has an
obligation, with assistance of both parties, to manage the case, ensuing
all relevant evidence is available, ascertain disputed evidence and call
witnesses, if required. 

Furthermore, rule 14 Magistrates Court Rules 1981 details the order of
evidence, which extends to disputed Liability order hearings.

Magistrates Court Act 1980, section 55 confirms procedures where the
defendant is absent.

The lawful authority by which deviation is made in the legislated process
of the application of a Council Tax Liability Order.

No recorded data is held regarding this, however any concerns over the
process of application of a Council Tax Liability order should be made to
Ministry of Justice.

 

Any audit reports that would assure compliance with legislated procedures
in the matter of Council Tax enforcement.

 

Powys County Council will not provide copies of specific audit reports. We
believe that the disclosure of the Audit reports would expose actions
which, if released could frustrate and jeopardise our ability to
successfully collect council tax.  We believe that the exemption is
engaged as disclosure of requested information would, or may well, result
in less tax being lawfully collected than would otherwise have been the
case. 

 

Whilst we accept that there is some public interest in disclosing Council
practices and procedures and the audit of such functions there is also a
significant public interest in not disclosing information which could
clearly help those intent on avoiding council tax.  The Information
Commissioner has in the past stated that there is significant public
interest in not revealing information which highlights tax avoidance risks
which clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
We are not dismissive of the public interest in disclosing this
information in the interests of transparency and accountability. However,
in the circumstances, there is a significant public interest in
withholding the information.

We have therefore concluded that on balance the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the
relevant withheld information.

 

Section 31 Law Enforcement .+W+S+N.I.

(1)Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—

(a)the prevention or detection of crime,

(b)the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

(c)the administration of justice,

(d)the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of
a similar nature,

(e)the operation of the immigration controls,

(f)the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other
institutions where persons are lawfully detained,

(g)the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the
purposes specified in subsection (2),

 

However, you may be interested to know that the final Audit opinion
contained in the final report is as follows:

 

Following consultation with the client on the draft report the overall
Audit Opinion on Council Tax Recovery & Enforcement is Full Assurance
indicating that key controls are consistently and effectively applied and
that service objectives are being achieved.

 

 

 

 

I am sorry we have been unable to fully meet your information requirements
at this time. We believe that this request is now complete and shall be
closed immediately. Should any further information be requested regarding
this topic, a separate request will need to be submitted.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Powys County Council.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Compliance Team

 

The supply of documents under Freedom of Information does not give the
person or organisation who receives them an automatic right to re-use the
documents in a way that would infringe copyright.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for noncommercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public
will require the permission of the copyright owner.

 

The copyright of most of the information that we provide in response to
Freedom of Information Act requests will be owned by Powys County Council.
The copyright in other information may be owned by another person or
organisation, as indicated in the information itself.

 

For HMSO Guidance Notes on a range of copyright issues, see the Office of
Public Sector Information(OPSI) website.

[3]http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/crown-copy...

 

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received in relation to
your request and wish to make a complaint, please contact Information
Management. Our complaints procedure is available on request or on our
website.

 

If you are still not satisfied following this, you can make an appeal to
the Information Commissioner, who is the statutory regulator. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

2nd floor

Churchill House

Churchill way

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

Tel: 029 2067 8400

Email: [4][email address]

[5]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Powys County Council request email]
2. https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov....
3. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/crown-copy...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.ico.org.uk/

Pat James (Account suspended)

Dear Powys County Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Powys County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Enforcement by Liability Order'.

You have manifestly misinterpreted the exemptions of the Freedom of Information Act and legislation regarding Council Tax Enforcement.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

Pat James

Neil Gilliatt (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Re,
"The exact nature of the complaint inclusive of any corroborative evidence to support the complaint.

The complaint laid by the council will detail for each person the following:

· Name:
· Account Reference:
· Full address:
· Year of debt:
· Arrears Amount: "

Though the below document (draft skeleton argument) predominantly concerns a challenge to the level of summons costs in council tax liability applications, there might be something relevant in paragraphs 28 to 33 (particularly 31 & 32):

https://www.scribd.com/document/27874808...

31. The court expressed in the Draft Case (§7(f)) that the case had no features to distinguish it significantly from other cases in its list to suggest that a different level of costs should be considered. It is understood that the data provided on the complaint list relating to each case simply consists of the defendant’s personal details, liability period, summons notice value, costs and the total, therefore unrealistic to expect that this information would enable the court to go through a judicial exercise of distinguishing different levels of costs from one case to another.

32. The Council declared under representations in the Draft Case (§3(b)) that the level of costs sought did not exceed the prescribed amount described in regulation 34(8) of the Regulations which is an INCORRECT reference to costs (GoA §§15-24). Regulation 34(8) describes the expenditure incurred in bringing the case before the court and obtaining the liability order whilst the costs contended were those of instituting the complaint in regulation 34(5). This was similarly misconceived by the court as evidenced by the fact that in its findings in the Draft Case (§7(d)) it stated that they considered £70 was an amount reasonably incurred by the Council IN MAKING THE APPLICATION BEFORE THE COURT AND OBTAINING THE LIABILITY ORDER.

Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), Powys County Council

Dear Mr James

We acknowledge receipt of your complaint regarding the Information relating to "Enforcement by Liability Order". We regret that you have expressed dissatisfaction in the service provided by Powys County Council in respect of your recent request for information. Your complaint will be referred to the most appropriate individual for review, in accordance with the Council’s Freedom of Information Complaints Policy.

Powys County Council attempts to respond to requests for a review within 20 working days, however, this is not possible in all cases. We will endeavour to respond by 18th January 2017.

Yours Sincerely

Information Compliance Team

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Pat James (Account suspended)

Dear Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), a review conclusion is overdue in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Pat James

Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), Powys County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr James

 

Please find attached the response to your request for an Internal Review
into the above numbered request.  We apologise for the delay in
responding.

 

Regards

 

Information Compliance Team

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Pat James (Account suspended)

Dear Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic),
Thank you for your belated response to my request for a review of your previous failures in this matter.

I write on this occasion to rebut the assertions made in your review response, as incomplete, inaccurate and misleading.

In respect of request 1:
The exact name of the court or judicial body to which a complaint is sworn, inclusive of full address and contact details. To which you responded; “This information is in the public domain”.
Perhaps you could identify where these details are published, as they do not appear on your website nor do either HMCTS or MoJ publish them, even by request, rendering your response as untrue.

In respect of request 2:
The exact nature of the complaint inclusive of corroborative evidence to support the complaint, to which you responded with a vague and incomplete list which signifies nothing;
Name – to whom does this refer? The man or the person?
Account Reference – to what does this refer when there is no evidence of a contract?
Full address – address of what or who?
Year of debt - how can this be regarded as a debt when no proof of claim is submitted, ehere is the contract?
Arrears amount – how can arrears be calculated when liability has not yet been established?

In respect of request 3:
The mechanism by which corroborative evidence for each individual is attached to the the name of that defendant, when the complaint consists only as a list of names, contrary to procedure.
You stated “the complaint laid consists of more than the name of the defendant, In a civil case a claim is maid, complaints are made in a criminal case.
You further state “an authorised officer of the council will present both oral and documented evidence including;
A charged fixed by Resolution – what is this, charges are for criminal cases?
An entry in the valuation list – what has a valuation list to do with a claimed debt?
A sum has been demanded and has become due – where is the proof of claim?
An annual demand issued – a demand is not a contract as you have previously stated in an FoI response.
A reminder issued – I reiterate, a demand is not a contract.
Summons Served – this cannot be true as at this stage a summons has not been granted.
Sum remains outstanding – how can this be so as no proof of claim has been established?
Certificate re computer evidence – under common law this is hear say and is not admissible.

You go on to quote a plethora of legislative clauses without qualification.

None of the proceedings indicated in the legislation you cite are applicable as they relate to Administrative courts which do not have lawful jurisdiction in civil matter or matters of debt.

Request 4
Lawful authority by which deviation id made in the legislated process of the application of a Council Tax Liability order.
You state that you hold no recorded data, yet the hearing is supposed to be held in a ‘court of record’. Representation has been made to both HMCTS and MoJ, who both refer back to you. If there are no records available in this specific matters yo are guilty of maladmininstration and perhaps of perverting the cause of justice.

Request 5
Any audit reports that would assure compliance with legislated procedures in the matter of Council Tax enforcement.
Your whole response is reliant on the Public Interest test which is wrongly applied, as the overwhelming public interest is in Justice and the administration of public funds. I remind you that it is not a criminal offence not to pay Council Tax, and for you to infer that it is by your statements is outrageous.
I further remind you that Council Tax is unlawful as it impinges on the Petition of Right in Constitutional Law, which is superior to Acts and Statutes under Common Law.
I therefore reject your long overdue review response. As not relevant.

Yours sincerely,

Pat James

Freedom of Information Queries (CSP - Generic), Powys County Council

Dear Mr James
As you are dissatisfied with the Internal Review then the course of action open to you is to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner who is the Statutory Regulator.

Regards

Information Compliance Team.

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