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

The request was partially successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Freedom Of Information, Pembrokeshire Council

If you have received this email in error, please notify us by telephone on 01437 764551 and delete it from your computer immediately. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn trwy gamgymeriad, byddwch cystal â rhoi gwybod inni trwy ffonio 01437 764551. Wedyn dylech ddileu’r e-bost ar unwaith oddi ar eich cyfrifiadur.

Thank you for contacting Pembrokeshire County Council. We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

Depending upon the nature of your request it will be processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

In either case a response will be issued no later than 6 December 2017, which is the 20 working day statutory timescale. If we require additional time we will inform you in accordance with the legislation.

Responses to requests for information are routinely published on the Council’s website: disclosure log. If you find the information you have requested is already available on our website please contact us to cancel your request.

Kind regards,

The FOI Team
Pembrokeshire County Council
County Hall
Haverfordwest
SA61 1TP

Tel: 01437 775380
Email: [Pembrokeshire Council request email]

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English. We will respond in the language in which the correspondence is received (unless you ask us to do otherwise). / Byddwn yn ymateb yn yr un iaith â’r ohebiaeth a dderbyniwyd (oni bai eich bod yn gofyn i ni wneud yn wahanol).

show quoted sections

Freedom Of Information, Pembrokeshire Council

1 Attachment

If you have received this email in error, please notify us by telephone on
01437 764551 and delete it from your computer immediately. Os ydych chi
wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn trwy gamgymeriad, byddwch cystal â rhoi gwybod
inni trwy ffonio 01437 764551. Wedyn dylech ddileu’r e-bost ar unwaith
oddi ar eich cyfrifiadur.

 

Dear Gwyn Worth,

 

This is to inform you that your request has been considered and our
response is provided in the attached document.  We trust this information
meets your requirements at this time and we believe this request is
complete and now closed. Should any further information be requested
regarding this topic, a separate request will need to be submitted.

 

If you believe you have not been provided with the information you
requested, you have the right to request an internal review.  Our Internal
Review Policy can be viewed on our [1]website.  Internal review requests
should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the
response to your original request, and should be addressed to:

 

Katy Holman

Information Governance & Freedom of Information Officer

Pembrokeshire County Council

County Hall

Haverfordwest

SA61 1TP

[2][Pembrokeshire Council request email]

 

If you are not satisfied following the outcome of a review, 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

2^nd Floor,

Churchill House

Churchill Way

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

[3]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

The FOI Team

On behalf of Katy Holman

Information Governance & Freedom of Information Officer

Pembrokeshire County Council

County Hall

Haverfordwest

SA61 1TP

 

Tel: 01437 775380

Email: [4][Pembrokeshire Council request email]

 

 

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English.  We will respond in the
language in which the correspondence is received (unless you ask us to do
otherwise).  /  Byddwn yn ymateb yn yr un iaith â’r ohebiaeth a
dderbyniwyd (oni bai eich bod yn gofyn i ni wneud yn wahanol).

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dim ond y sawl y mae'r ddogfen hon wedi'i chyfeirio atynt ddylai ei
darllen, a'i defnyddio ganddynt ar gyfer ei dibenion bwriadedig; ac ni
ddylid fel arall ei hatgynhyrchu, copio, lledaenu, datgelu, addasu,
dosbarthu, cyhoeddi na'i rhoi ar waith chwaith. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn
yr e-bost hwn trwy gamgymeriad, byddwch cystal a rhoi gwybod i ni ar
unwaith trwy ffonio 01437 764551 a'i ddileu oddi ar eich cyfrifiadur ar
unwaith. Ni ddylid rhoi'r cyfeiriad e-bost i unrhyw drydydd parti na'i
ddefnyddio ar gyfer unrhyw ddiben arall chwaith.

Gwefan Cyngor Sir Penfro -  [7]http://www.sir-benfro.gov.uk

Sylwer: Mae negeseuon e-bost sy’n cael eu hanfon a’u derbyn yn cael eu
monitro’n rheolaidd ar gyfer cydymffurfio â’n Diogelwch TG, a’n Polisi
E-bost/Rhyngrwyd.

Mae'r llofnod hwn hefyd yn cadarnhau bod y neges e-bost hon wedi cael ei
harchwilio am fodolaeth firysau cyfrifiadurol a chod maleisus.

Cyngor Sir Penfro
Rhif ffôn  01437 764551
E-bost [8][email address]

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg a Saesneg a byddwn yn ymateb cyn
pen 15 diwrnod gwaith fan bellaf. Byddwn yn ymateb yn yr un iaith â’r
ohebiaeth a dderbyniwyd (oni bai eich bod yn gofyn i ni wneud yn wahanol).

Os am gopi mewn print mawr, fformat hawdd ei ddarllen, Braille, sain neu
mewn iaith arall, cysylltwch â’r person a anfonodd yr e-bost hwn.

***************************************************************************************************************

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/content....
2. mailto:[Pembrokeshire Council request email]
3. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[Pembrokeshire Council request email]
5. http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/
6. mailto:[email address]
7. http://www.sir-benfro.gov.uk/
8. mailto:[email address]

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you for your reply which indicates generally that 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 an unmatched payment to the oldest debt in these circumstances (other than relying on customer contact) 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

Freedom Of Information, Pembrokeshire Council

Thank you for contacting Pembrokeshire County Council. We acknowledge receipt of your request for information.

Depending upon the nature of your request it will be processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

In either case a response will be issued no later than 22 December 2017, which is the 20 working day statutory timescale. If we require additional time we will inform you in accordance with the legislation.

Responses to requests for information are routinely published on the Council’s website: disclosure log. If you find the information you have requested is already available on our website please contact us to cancel your request.

Kind regards,

The FOI Team
Pembrokeshire County Council
County Hall
Haverfordwest
SA61 1TP

Tel: 01437 775380
Email: [Pembrokeshire Council request email]

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English. We will respond in the language in which the correspondence is received (unless you ask us to do otherwise). / Byddwn yn ymateb yn yr un iaith â’r ohebiaeth a dderbyniwyd (oni bai eich bod yn gofyn i ni wneud yn wahanol).

show quoted sections

Freedom Of Information, Pembrokeshire Council

1 Attachment

If you have received this email in error, please notify us by telephone on
01437 764551 and delete it from your computer immediately. Os ydych chi
wedi derbyn yr e-bost hwn trwy gamgymeriad, byddwch cystal â rhoi gwybod
inni trwy ffonio 01437 764551. Wedyn dylech ddileu’r e-bost ar unwaith
oddi ar eich cyfrifiadur.

 

Dear Gwyn Worth,

 

This is to inform you that your request has been considered and our
response is provided in the attached document.  We trust this information
meets your requirements at this time and we believe this request is
complete and now closed. Should any further information be requested
regarding this topic, a separate request will need to be submitted.

 

If you believe you have not been provided with the information you
requested, you have the right to request an internal review.  Our Internal
Review Policy can be viewed on our [1]website.  Internal review requests
should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the
response to your original request, and should be addressed to:

 

Katy Holman

Information Governance & Freedom of Information Officer

Pembrokeshire County Council

County Hall

Haverfordwest

SA61 1TP

[2][Pembrokeshire Council request email]

 

If you are not satisfied following the outcome of a review, 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

2^nd Floor,

Churchill House

Churchill Way

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

[3]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

The FOI Team

On behalf of Katy Holman

Information Governance & Freedom of Information Officer

Pembrokeshire County Council

County Hall

Haverfordwest

SA61 1TP

 

Tel: 01437 775380

Email: [4][Pembrokeshire Council request email]

 

 

We welcome correspondence in Welsh and English.  We will respond in the
language in which the correspondence is received (unless you ask us to do
otherwise).  /  Byddwn yn ymateb yn yr un iaith â’r ohebiaeth a
dderbyniwyd (oni bai eich bod yn gofyn i ni wneud yn wahanol).

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dim ond y sawl y mae'r ddogfen hon wedi'i chyfeirio atynt ddylai ei
darllen, a'i defnyddio ganddynt ar gyfer ei dibenion bwriadedig; ac ni
ddylid fel arall ei hatgynhyrchu, copio, lledaenu, datgelu, addasu,
dosbarthu, cyhoeddi na'i rhoi ar waith chwaith. Os ydych chi wedi derbyn
yr e-bost hwn trwy gamgymeriad, byddwch cystal a rhoi gwybod i ni ar
unwaith trwy ffonio 01437 764551 a'i ddileu oddi ar eich cyfrifiadur ar
unwaith. Ni ddylid rhoi'r cyfeiriad e-bost i unrhyw drydydd parti na'i
ddefnyddio ar gyfer unrhyw ddiben arall chwaith.

Gwefan Cyngor Sir Penfro -  [7]http://www.sir-benfro.gov.uk

Sylwer: Mae negeseuon e-bost sy’n cael eu hanfon a’u derbyn yn cael eu
monitro’n rheolaidd ar gyfer cydymffurfio â’n Diogelwch TG, a’n Polisi
E-bost/Rhyngrwyd.

Mae'r llofnod hwn hefyd yn cadarnhau bod y neges e-bost hon wedi cael ei
harchwilio am fodolaeth firysau cyfrifiadurol a chod maleisus.

Cyngor Sir Penfro
Rhif ffôn  01437 764551
E-bost [8][email address]

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg a Saesneg a byddwn yn ymateb cyn
pen 15 diwrnod gwaith fan bellaf. Byddwn yn ymateb yn yr un iaith â’r
ohebiaeth a dderbyniwyd (oni bai eich bod yn gofyn i ni wneud yn wahanol).

Os am gopi mewn print mawr, fformat hawdd ei ddarllen, Braille, sain neu
mewn iaith arall, cysylltwch â’r person a anfonodd yr e-bost hwn.

***************************************************************************************************************

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/content....
2. mailto:[Pembrokeshire Council request email]
3. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
4. mailto:[Pembrokeshire Council request email]
5. http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/
6. mailto:[email address]
7. http://www.sir-benfro.gov.uk/
8. mailto:[email address]

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you for clarifying your response. I consider Pembrokeshire Council has provided the information I requested. The purpose of this exercise was to ascertain whether or not the principles surrounding the appropriation of payments were being adhered to.

R v Miskin Lower Justices (1953)

It was held in R v Miskin Lower Justices, that where an amount obviously relates to a specific liability, it would be an unwarranted assumption to allocate the payment elsewhere.

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 in the majority of cases 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's response (see *NOTE*) that there are measures in place to ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which it is least burdensome for the debtor, and consequently the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are being complied with. This effectively means that an unmatched payment allocated to the oldest debt (having the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears) would be reallocated to the current year's liability on account of the circumstances implying that this was the debtor's intention (least burdensome for the debtor). If it appears I have misunderstood anything from what I have stated I would appreciate if you would correct me.

*NOTE*: "...all accounts due to be reminded which have previous year’s arrears are manually checked to try to ensure cash allocation is correct. Any payment which has obviously been allocated to the oldest debt incorrectly is reallocated, thus avoiding recovery action & additional costs being incurred."

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

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