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

The request was partially successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

H and F In Touch, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Our reference: 1125476
 
 
Dear Sir/Madam 
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 9 October
2017.  Your request has been summarised as follows:
 
Dear Hammersmith and Fulham 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 Hammersmith and Fulham Council have its computer software set to
deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and we aim to send a response by 6 November 2017 - this is 20 working days
from the date of receipt.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
 
If you are registered for self-service via the Council My Account portal,
you can track the progress of your request online:  [1]Track case progress
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
h&f InTouch team
 
_____________________________________________________________________________

Do it online at www.lbhf.gov.uk

Help us keep your council tax bill down and protect spending on vital
public services - use our website to find information, view your account,
make payments, apply for services and report problems.

New - create an account - Want to manage your council tax, benefits claim
or parking permits online? Create an account now at
www.lbhf.gov.uk/myaccount

References

Visible links
1. Track case progress (opens a new window)
https://www.apps7b.lbhf.gov.uk/cus/servl...

Graham Ostle, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

1 Attachment

Our reference:  1125476
 
Dear Sir/Madam
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 9 October 2017.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.
 
Yours faithfully
 
 
Graham Ostle
H&F In Touch Manager
 
Please do not edit the subject when responding to this email. Our case
management system (iCasework) will not deliver your email to the intended
recipient if the subject is amended in any way.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Do it online at www.lbhf.gov.uk

Help us keep your council tax bill down and protect spending on vital
public services - use our website to find information, view your account,
make payments, apply for services and report problems.

New - create an account - Want to manage your council tax, benefits claim
or parking permits online? Create an account now at
www.lbhf.gov.uk/myaccount

Dear Graham Ostle,

Thank you for stating that your 'Council’s system allocates any unmatched payments to the oldest debt outstanding.'.

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

H and F In Touch, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

Our reference: 1132881
 
 
Dear Ms. Worth 
 
Thank you for your request for information that was received on 17
November 2017.  Your request has been summarised as follows:
 
Thank you for stating that your 'Council’s system allocates any unmatched
payments to the oldest debt outstanding.'.

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.?
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and we aim to send a response by 15 December 2017 - this is 20 working
days from the date of receipt.
 
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 may restrict the release of some or
all of the information you have requested. We will carry out an assessment
and if any exemptions apply to some or all of the information then we
might not provide that information to you. We will inform you if this is
the case and advise you of your rights to request an internal review.
 
We will also advise you if we cannot provide you with the information
requested for any other reason together with the reason(s) why and details
of how you may appeal (if appropriate).
 
 
If you are registered for self-service via the Council My Account portal,
you can track the progress of your request online:  [1]Track case progress
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
h&f InTouch team
 
_____________________________________________________________________________

Do it online at www.lbhf.gov.uk

Help us keep your council tax bill down and protect spending on vital
public services - use our website to find information, view your account,
make payments, apply for services and report problems.

New - create an account - Want to manage your council tax, benefits claim
or parking permits online? Create an account now at
www.lbhf.gov.uk/myaccount

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. Track case progress (opens a new window)
https://www.apps7b.lbhf.gov.uk/cus/servl...

Jamie Mullins, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council

1 Attachment

Our reference:  1132881
 
Dear Ms. Worth
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 17 November 2017.
 
I can confirm that that each individual case is dealt with on its own
merits and we would would definitely consider moving payments to avoid
further costs if there was a reason for doing so.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Jamie Mullins
Head of Recovery
 
Please do not edit the subject when responding to this email. Our case
management system (iCasework) will not deliver your email to the intended
recipient if the subject is amended in any way.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Do it online at www.lbhf.gov.uk

Help us keep your council tax bill down and protect spending on vital
public services - use our website to find information, view your account,
make payments, apply for services and report problems.

New - create an account - Want to manage your council tax, benefits claim
or parking permits online? Create an account now at
www.lbhf.gov.uk/myaccount

show quoted sections

Dear Jamie Mullins,

Re; "I can confirm that the information requested is held by Hammersmith and Fulham. I have enclosed copies of the information that is being released to you."

Have you forgotten to to attach the relevant response?

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Jamie Mullins,

Please disregard my previous email of 15 December (I've seen your response).

Re; "we would would definitely consider moving payments to avoid further costs if there was a reason for doing so"

Does the council not consider it an obligation to allocate payment to the year that is most beneficial to the customer rather than a discretionary matter?

What reasons would the council consider to be appropriate for re-allocating payments to avoid further costs?

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Jamie Mullins,

Will you please acknowledge receipt of my 23 December 2017 request/clarification.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Dear Jamie Mullins,

Will you please acknowledge receipt of my 23 December 2017 and 6 March 2018 request/clarification

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