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

The request was partially successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Customer Services, Swindon Borough Council

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the FOI office for response.

Kind regards

Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500

E-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

Saunders, Andrew (LGS),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Worth,

 

Thank you for your request below to Swindon Borough Council for
information under the Freedom of Information Act. 

 

The Council does use the Northgate system and the parameters in the
Council Tax system have been set so that exact payment amounts (and
multiples) are allocated against the statutory instalments or any agreed
arrangement payments. If the payments do not match any instalments or
agreed arrangement payments, payments are allocated against the oldest
debt first.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review you should contact:

 

Customer Services

Civic Offices

Euclid Street

Swindon

Website: [1]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

The complaints/review procedure involves a full review by the Council's
Monitoring Officer. 

 

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision before
contacting the Council. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless
you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

 

The Information Officer can be contacted at :

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

If you require any further information concerning this matter please
contact [2][Swindon Borough Council request email] by return of email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andrew Saunders

Council Tax Team Leader

 

Capita Local Government Business Services 

Capita, Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon SN1 2JH

 

Tel 01793 464258 Fax 01793 537262

Email [3][email address] [4]www.capita.co.uk/localgov

 

[5]cid:image001.png@01D15A81.868529D0

 

Capita’s local government business is part of Capita plc, the UK’s leading
professional and support services organisation. We provide local
authorities with specialist support covering: revenues and benefits
administration, customer services, financial services, training, IT, land
charges, licensing, trading standards, environmental health and
administration support. To find out more about our business and the full
range of services we offer, visit our website:
[6]www.capita.co.uk/localgov

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Mr Saunders, (LGS),

Thank you for stating that 'if the payments do not match any instalments or agreed arrangement payments, payments are allocated against the oldest debt first'

Would you please confirm whether or not any measures are in place to check that allocating an 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

Swindon Borough Council

[1]Swindon Borough Council
Dear Gwyn Worth,

Case reference number: FOI000029

Thank you for your request. The Freedom of Information Act creates two
general rights in relation to information:

 1. The right to be told whether or not the information requested is
held
 2. The right to be given that information within 20 working days

A response to your request for information will be sent to you promptly;
and in any event no later than 04/01/2018. Please allow postal time.

You can follow the progress of your request by logging in to your [2]My
Account.

Kind regards, 

Freedom of Information Officer
Swindon Borough Council

References

Visible links
1. https://myaccount.swindon.gov.uk/q
2. https://myaccount.swindon.gov.uk/q/login

Swindon Borough Council

[1]Swindon Borough Council
Dear Gwyn Worth,

Case reference number: FOI000029

On 06/12/2017 an update to your case was recorded on the timeline.  

Please log in to your [2]My Account to see the details and respond if
required.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Officer
Swindon Borough Council

References

Visible links
1. https://myaccount.swindon.gov.uk/q
2. https://myaccount.swindon.gov.uk/q/login

Dear Swindon Borough Council,

Will you please acknowledge receipt of my 1 December 2017 request/clarification.

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Customer Services, Swindon Borough Council

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the FOI office for response.

Kind regards

Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500

E-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Saunders, Andrew (LGS),

Dear Mr Worth

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your follow up query.

Council officers try and review cases following the issue of reminder notices and if possible contact customers in order to avoid the issuing of a summons, but unfortunately we do not have the resources to review every single matter. The Council has a duty to all residents to recover the Council Tax due and if residents are having difficulty making payments we encourage them to contact us. We do not encourage residents to fall so far into arrears as to owe two financial year's debts, but if this has happened we will try and ensure any payment arrangements incorporate both years. If there is a particular matter that you wish to be reviewed please let me know the details privately.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to request a review you should contact:

Customer Services
Civic Offices
Euclid Street
Swindon
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

The complaints/review procedure involves a full review by the Council's Monitoring Officer.

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision before contacting the Council. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

The Information Officer can be contacted at :

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

If you require any further information concerning this matter please contact [2][Swindon Borough Council request email] by return of email.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Saunders
Council Tax Billing Team Leader

Capita Local Public Services 
Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon SN1 2JH

Tel 01793 464258  Fax 01793 537262
Email [email address]
www.capitalocalpublicservices.co.uk

Capita’s local government business is part of Capita plc, the UK’s leading professional and support services organisation. We provide local authorities with specialist support covering: revenues and benefits administration, customer services, financial services, training, IT, land charges, licensing, trading standards, environmental health and administration support. To find out more about our business and the full range of services we offer, visit our website: www.capitalocalpublicservices.co.uk

show quoted sections

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