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

The request was successful.

Dear Brighton and Hove City 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 Brighton and Hove 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, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for your email. This is an automated email receipt
acknowledgement and reply from the Information Governance Team at Brighton
& Hove City Council.

 

This mailbox is monitored during the working hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm on
Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Emails received outside of
these working hours will usually be processed during the next available
working day.

 

If you are submitting a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) we will log
your request and allocate it to the appropriate Council team(s)/area(s) to
collate the information you have requested. Once we have received the
information, we will respond to you directly.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Council has a legal
obligation to respond to your request no later than 20 working days
following the date of receipt.

 

You can find more information about the FOI process on the Council website
through the following link;

 

[1]Freedom of Information – Brighton & Hove City Council  

 

 

Regards,

 

Information Governance Team | 01273 295959 | [2]Brighton & Hove City
Council

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at [3]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/...
2. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/
3. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Brighton and Hove City Council should normally have responded promptly and by 7 November 2017

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for your email. This is an automated email receipt
acknowledgement and reply from the Information Governance Team at Brighton
& Hove City Council.

 

This mailbox is monitored during the working hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm on
Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Emails received outside of
these working hours will usually be processed during the next available
working day.

 

If you are submitting a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) we will log
your request and allocate it to the appropriate Council team(s)/area(s) to
collate the information you have requested. Once we have received the
information, we will respond to you directly.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Council has a legal
obligation to respond to your request no later than 20 working days
following the date of receipt.

 

You can find more information about the FOI process on the Council website
through the following link;

 

[1]Freedom of Information – Brighton & Hove City Council  

 

 

Regards,

 

Information Governance Team | 01273 295959 | [2]Brighton & Hove City
Council

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at [3]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/...
2. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/
3. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Please find set out below the information in response to the above
request, Apologies for the delay:

 

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

 

 

Response: Non specific payments are allocated to the oldest debt

 

 

 

Should you have any further queries about this request, please contact us
via email to [1][Brighton and Hove City Council request email] quoting the
reference number given above.

 

If you are not satisfied with the handling of your request, you can appeal
(Internal Review) within 2 months of the completed FOI. Write to:

 

Freedom of Information Appeals

Brighton & Hove City Council

ICT 4th Floor

Bartholomew House

Bartholomew Square

Hove BN1 1JE

[2][Brighton and Hove City Council request email]

 

If you are still not satisfied after your Internal Review has been
investigated, you can escalate your complaint to the Information
Commissioners Office. The contact details are:

 

The Information Commissioners Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Helpline: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)

e-mail: [3][email address]

Website: [4]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Re-use of Public Sector Information and Copyright Statement

Where information has been supplied, you are advised that the copyright in
that material is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and/or its
contractor(s) unless otherwise stated. The supply of documents under the
Freedom of Information Act does not give the recipient an automatic right
to re-use those documents in a way that would infringe copyright, for
example, by making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies to the
public. Brief extracts of the material can be reproduced under the “fair
dealing” provisions of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1998 (S.29 and
S.30) for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private
study, criticism, review and news reporting. Authorisation to re-use
copyright material not owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and/or its
contractor(s) should be sought from the copyright holders concerned. If
you are considering re-using the information disclosed to you through this
request, for any purpose outside of what could be considered for personal
use, then you are required under the Public Sector Re-use of Information
Regulations 2005 to make an Application for Re-use to the organisation
from which you have requested the information. Applications for Re-use
should be directed to the Data Protection Manager at the address above.

 

 

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at [5]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Brighton and Hove City Council request email]
2. mailto:[Brighton and Hove City Council request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you for stating that 'non specific payments are allocated to the oldest debt'.

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

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for your email. This is an automated email receipt
acknowledgement and reply from the Information Governance Team at Brighton
& Hove City Council.

 

This mailbox is monitored during the working hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm on
Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Emails received outside of
these working hours will usually be processed during the next available
working day.

 

If you are submitting a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) we will log
your request and allocate it to the appropriate Council team(s)/area(s) to
collate the information you have requested. Once we have received the
information, we will respond to you directly.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Council has a legal
obligation to respond to your request no later than 20 working days
following the date of receipt.

 

You can find more information about the FOI process on the Council website
through the following link;

 

[1]Freedom of Information – Brighton & Hove City Council  

 

 

Regards,

 

Information Governance Team | 01273 295959 | [2]Brighton & Hove City
Council

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at [3]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/...
2. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/
3. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Please find set out below the information in response to the above
request:

 

 

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.?

 

There are cash allocation rules within our Council Tax software to
allocate payments to where they belong. All payments are matched to
instalments due or due in the future, so for example, if a customer had
current year instalments of £37.00 per month, then if a payment of £37 was
made, it would automatically be allocated to the current year. If it does
not match, payments are allocated to the oldest debt.  Allocation will
also match to any special arrangement set up for previous year debts.

 

 

Should you have any further queries about this request, please contact us
via email to [1][Brighton and Hove City Council request email] quoting the
reference number given above.

 

If you are not satisfied with the handling of your request, you can appeal
(Internal Review) within 2 months of the completed FOI. Write to:

 

Freedom of Information Appeals

Brighton & Hove City Council

ICT 4th Floor

Bartholomew House

Bartholomew Square

Hove BN1 1JE

[2][Brighton and Hove City Council request email]

 

If you are still not satisfied after your Internal Review has been
investigated, you can escalate your complaint to the Information
Commissioners Office. The contact details are:

 

The Information Commissioners Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Helpline: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)

e-mail: [3][email address]

Website: [4]www.ico.org.uk

 

 

Re-use of Public Sector Information and Copyright Statement

Where information has been supplied, you are advised that the copyright in
that material is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and/or its
contractor(s) unless otherwise stated. The supply of documents under the
Freedom of Information Act does not give the recipient an automatic right
to re-use those documents in a way that would infringe copyright, for
example, by making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies to the
public. Brief extracts of the material can be reproduced under the “fair
dealing” provisions of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1998 (S.29 and
S.30) for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private
study, criticism, review and news reporting. Authorisation to re-use
copyright material not owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and/or its
contractor(s) should be sought from the copyright holders concerned. If
you are considering re-using the information disclosed to you through this
request, for any purpose outside of what could be considered for personal
use, then you are required under the Public Sector Re-use of Information
Regulations 2005 to make an Application for Re-use to the organisation
from which you have requested the information. Applications for Re-use
should be directed to the Data Protection Manager at the address above.

 

 

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at [5]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Brighton and Hove City Council request email]
2. mailto:[Brighton and Hove City Council request email]
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/
5. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/

Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thank you for your response. I consider Brighton and Hove City 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.

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 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 the laws of appropriation were being complied with, 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 above I would appreciate if you would correct me.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Freedom Of Information, Brighton and Hove City Council

Thank you for your email. This is an automated email receipt
acknowledgement and reply from the Information Governance Team at Brighton
& Hove City Council.

 

This mailbox is monitored during the working hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm on
Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Emails received outside of
these working hours will usually be processed during the next available
working day.

 

If you are submitting a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) we will log
your request and allocate it to the appropriate Council team(s)/area(s) to
collate the information you have requested. Once we have received the
information, we will respond to you directly.

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Council has a legal
obligation to respond to your request no later than 20 working days
following the date of receipt.

 

You can find more information about the FOI process on the Council website
through the following link;

 

[1]Freedom of Information – Brighton & Hove City Council  

 

 

Regards,

 

Information Governance Team | 01273 295959 | [2]Brighton & Hove City
Council

Notice to recipient:
The information contained in this electronic mail message is intended only
for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed
and may contain information which is privileged and confidential, the
disclosure of which is prohibited by law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please note
that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error please notify the sender immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

You can visit our website at [3]http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely
necessary.

Please Note:  Both incoming and outgoing Emails may be monitored and/or
recorded in line with current legislation

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/...
2. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/
3. http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/

Looking for an EU Authority?

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

AskTheEU.org