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

The request was partially successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

foi, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2017/1158

 

Dear Mr Worth,

 

Request for information: Computer Software

 

Thank you for your request received 6^th November 2017; we will seek to
respond within twenty working days.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Suzi Kenchington 

Information Access Compliance Officer

Strategic Support,

West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD

email:  [1][email address]

' 01635 519860 (external)      '  2860 (internal)      

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foi, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2017/1158

 

Dear Mr Worth,

 

Request for information: Computer Software

 

Please see below the Council’s response to your request for information.

 

You have asked;

 

How does West Berkshire Council have its computer software set to deal
with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

 

If a non specific amount of Council Tax is paid (one that neither matches
the current year’s instalments or an arranged amount to be paid against
arrears) the Council’s system will allocate the money to the oldest year’s
liability for that account.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may ask
for an internal review. You should contact The FoI Reviewing Officer,
Strategic Support, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury RG14 5LD, email
FoI[1]@westberks.gov.uk  if you wish to request a review. If you are not
content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

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

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Suzi Kenchington 

Information Access Compliance Officer

Strategic Support,

West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD

email:  [2][email address]

' 01635 519860 (external)      '  2860 (internal)      

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Dear foi,

Thank you for stating that non- specific payments are allocated to oldest years liability.

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

foi, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2017/1158

Dear Mr Worth,

Request for information: Computer Software

Thank you for your email. I am checking this with the relevant service and
I will respond shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Suzi Kenchington 
Information Access Compliance Officer
Strategic Support,
West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD
email:  [email address]
' 01635 519860 (external)      '  2860 (internal)      
P Do you really need to print this email?

show quoted sections

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