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

The request was successful.

Dear North Lincolnshire 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 North Lincolnshire Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

customerservice@northlincs.gov.uk, North Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to confirm receipt of your request for information under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which was received on the date shown below and is now being processed. Your request has been given the unique reference number as stated below and you should quote this reference number in all correspondence.

The twenty working day time limit for responding to your request has been activated from the day after the date your request was received. If we are unable to deal with your request within that time limit, you will be contacted to explain the reasons for the delay.

As part of our duty to advise and assist you with your request, should you have any further problems or queries, please use the below address or contact numbers, stating your name, address and reference number.

Local Link Office
Church Square House,
30-40 High Street,
Scunthorpe,
North Lincolnshire,
DN15 6NL

Telephone: 01724 296820
E-Mail: [email address]

Date Received: 09 Oct 2017

Name: Mr Gwyn Worth
Address: CIVIC CENTRE ASHBY ROAD SCUNTHORPE NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE DN16 1AB
Telephone Number:
Mobile Number:
E-Mail Address: [FOI #436746 email]

Reference Number: INF2866225

Details of Request:
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Ensuring customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship

Dear North Lincolnshire 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 North Lincolnshire Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

Lucy Mayall (NLBC),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Worth

 

I refer to your recent Freedom of information Request which was received
on the 9^th October 2017 into North Lincolnshire Council.

 

You have requested information around payment allocation on council tax
accounts, I can confirm that any non-specific payments are allocated to
the oldest liability.

 

I trust this is a satisfactory response, but if you are unhappy about how
we have dealt with your request then please let me know and I will refer
the matter to the council’s [1]Information Complaints Policy. 
Alternatively you can complain by e-mail using the following email
address: [North Lincolnshire Council request email].

 

 

FOI, Financial Systems & Accounting, Northern Lincolnshire Business
Connect

[2]Fin.FOI@nlbusinessconnect

[3]Finance Partners - Copy

 

[4]www.nelincs.gov.uk | [5]www.northlincs.gov.uk

 

Dear Lucy Mayall (NLBC),

Thank you for confirming 'that any non-specific payments are allocated to the oldest liability'.

Would you please confirm whether or not any measures are in place to check that allocating a non-specific (unmatched) payment to the oldest debt in these circumstances would have the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears, and if so, in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953] 1 Q.B. 533, whether the payment would be moved in respect of the current year's account to avoid unnecessary recovery action, additional costs etc.?

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

customerservice@northlincs.gov.uk, North Lincolnshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to confirm receipt of your request for information under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which was received on the date shown below and is now being processed. Your request has been given the unique reference number as stated below and you should quote this reference number in all correspondence.

The twenty working day time limit for responding to your request has been activated from the day after the date your request was received. If we are unable to deal with your request within that time limit, you will be contacted to explain the reasons for the delay.

As part of our duty to advise and assist you with your request, should you have any further problems or queries, please use the below address or contact numbers, stating your name, address and reference number.

Local Link Office
Church Square House,
30-40 High Street,
Scunthorpe,
North Lincolnshire,
DN15 6NL

Telephone: 01724 296820
E-Mail: [email address]

Date Received: 20 Oct 2017

Name: Mr Gwyn Worth
Address: CIVIC CENTRE ASHBY ROAD SCUNTHORPE NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE DN16 1AB
Telephone Number:
Mobile Number:
E-Mail Address: [FOI #436746 email]

Reference Number: INF2871030

Details of Request:
Subject: Re: INF2866225

Dear Lucy Mayall (NLBC),

Thank you for confirming 'that any non-specific payments are allocated to the oldest liability'.

Would you please confirm whether or not any measures are in place to check that allocating a non-specific (unmatched) payment to the oldest debt in these circumstances would have the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears, and if so, in accordance with R. v Miskin Lower Justices [1953] 1 Q.B. 533, whether the payment would be moved in respect of the current year's account to avoid unnecessary recovery action, additional costs etc.?

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

This e-mail expresses the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the view of the Council. Please be aware that anything included in an e-mail may have to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and cannot be regarded as confidential. This communication is intended for the addressee(s) only. Please notify the sender if received in error. All Email is monitored and recorded.
Please think before you print- North Lincolnshire Council greening the workplace.

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Worth
 
I refer to your recent Freedom of information Request which was received 
on the 20th October 2017 into North Lincolnshire Council.
 
You have requested information around payment allocation on council tax 
accounts. As originally stated, non-specific payments are allocated to
the oldest  liability. If after the payment is made, the customer wishes
to have the  amount allocated to a different liability then they are well
within their  rights to request this before further action is taken.
 
 I trust this is a satisfactory response, but if you are unhappy about how
we have dealt with your request then please let me know and I will refer
the matter to the council’s [1]Information Complaints Policy. 
Alternatively you can complain by e-mail using the following email
address: [2][North Lincolnshire Council request email].
 
 
FOI, Financial Systems & Accounting, Northern Lincolnshire Business
Connect
[3]Fin.FOI@nlbusinessconnect
 
[4]www.nelincs.gov.uk | [5]www.northlincs.gov.uk
 
 
 
 

Dear FIN - FOI,

I consider North Lincolnshire Council has provided the information I requested, however, the purpose of this exercise was to ascertain whether or not the principles surrounding the appropriation of payments were being adhered to.

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 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 being unable to confirm that there are measures in place to ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which it is least burdensome for the debtor that the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are not being complied with. If it appears I have misunderstood anything by what I have stated I would appreciate if you would correct me.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org