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

The request was successful.

Dear Tamworth 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 Tamworth 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, Tamworth Borough Council

Nicola Hesketh

Project and Information Co Ordinator

 

Our Ref: FOI4778/NH/01

Please ask for: Nicola Hesketh

Direct dial: 01827 709 587

E-mail: [Tamworth Borough Council request email]

What do they know
Gwyn Worth

13^th October 2017

 

Dear Gwyn Worth

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding computer software set
to deal with non-specific payments. Your request was received on 12
October 2017 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

The request maybe subject to exemptions which the Authority is entitled to
apply, we will inform you if exemptions apply to this particular request. 

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, I will
let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be
required to pay before we will proceed to deal with the request.

 

Any future correspondence you may have in relation to this matter quoting
the reference number at the letter head to the email address above or
alternatively sent to:

 

Project and Information Co Ordinator,

Tamworth Borough Council,

Marmion House,

Tamworth,

B79 7BZ

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

 

Nicola Hesketh

Project and Information Co Ordinator

 

Data Protection Act 1998

The information you have provided within your Freedom of Information
request will be held on our database and may also be held within manual
records for a period of 2 years from the date Tamworth Borough Council
received your request. Any personal data that you provide to Tamworth
Borough Council will be held in line with the requirements set out within
the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

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[2][IMG] [3][IMG]

This email (and any attachment) is intended for the named recipient or entity to whom it is addressed.
It may contain private/confidential information or material that is privileged, and may not be further disclosed without authority from Tamworth Borough Council.
If you are not the intended recipient please accept our apologies and notify us immediately or telephone +(44) 01827 709 709, you must not take action based on it,

Copy, or show it to anyone, and return the original to us. If requested the reasonable cost will be reimbursed to you.

Any e-mail including its content and any attachments may be monitored by us for reasons of security and for monitoring internal compliance in accordance with our policies and procedures.

Protective software is in place to scan both e-mail content and any attachments to block any e-mail that could be considered potentially harmful.
This email and any attachments are believed to be free from viruses but it is your responsibility to carry out all necessary virus checks and Tamworth Borough Council accepts no liability in connection therewith

References

Visible links
1. https://ip.e-paycapita.com/AIP/itemSelec...
2. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/
3. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/do-it-online

Freedom of Information, Tamworth Borough Council

4 Attachments

Our Ref: FOI4778/NH/02

Please ask for: Nicola Hesketh

Direct dial: 01827 709 587

E-mail: [Tamworth Borough Council request email]

 

Gwyn Worth

What do they know

 

30^th October 2017

 

 

Dear Gwyn Worth

 

 

Freedom of Information – Request for Information

 

With regards to your recent enquiry for information held by the Authority
under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Please find the
information you requested below with reference in the box to your original
enquiry for clarity where multiple answers are required.

 

Details of Your Request

[1]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 Tamworth Council have its computer software set to
deal with non-specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The response to your request as follows:

 

 

It is acknowledged good practice (and central government advice) to
allocate any non-specific payments to the oldest debt first so as not to
overstate collection in the current financial year. Having said that TBC
software will allocate any payment that matches an instalment plan,
arrangement or balance to the appropriate debt, and in addition Revenues
staff will monitor payment reports and where it is clear that a payment
was intended to be allocated to more recent debt or where overall debt
would be cleared within the current financial year the payment (or part
payment) will be allocated accordingly which in turn may save the taxpayer
being subject to additional costs.

 

Extract from QRC4 guidance notes which confirms Govt. advice:

 

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT USE OF INFORMATION PROVIDED UNDER THE FREEDOM OF
INFORMATION ACT (FoIA)

 

Most of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of
Information Act 2000 requests will be subject to copyright protection. In
most cases the copyright will be owned by Tamworth Borough Council. The
copyright in other information may be owned by another person or
organisation, as indicated on the information itself.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial
research or private study purposes. The information may also be used for
any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law,
such as news reporting.

 

However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the
information in analogue or digital form, including on the internet, will
require the permission of the copyright owner. For information where the
copyright is owned by Tamworth Borough Council details of the conditions
on re-use can be provided on application to the contact below.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or
organisation you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their
permission.

 

This council also believes in transparency of information, this includes
requests made under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental
Information Regulations and we reserve the right to publish these requests
in our Disclosure Log along with the response, the requestors name and/or
company where the information is requested on a regular basis. Care shall
be taken not to publish your email address or physical address where it is
considered personal information as defined under the Data Protection Act
1998.

 

Project and Information Coordinator,

Tamworth Borough Council,

Marmion House,

Lichfield Street,

Tamworth,

B79 7BZ

 

Details of Tamworth Borough Council’s internal review and complaints
procedure are attached, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

Nicola Hesketh

Project & Information Co-Ordinator

Tel: 01827 709266

[mobile number]

Fax: 01827 709590

Email: [2][email address]

Visit us at: [3]www.tamworth.gov.uk

 

ICT Servicedesk Operating Hours are:

07:00 – 17:15 Mon - Fri

08:30 – 09:30 Sat

 

 

Marmion House

Lichfield Street

Tamworth

B79 7BZ

 

One Tamworth, perfectly placed

 

 

[4][IMG]
[5][IMG] [6][IMG]

This email (and any attachment) is intended for the named recipient or entity to whom it is addressed.
It may contain private/confidential information or material that is privileged, and may not be further disclosed without authority from Tamworth Borough Council.
If you are not the intended recipient please accept our apologies and notify us immediately or telephone +(44) 01827 709 709, you must not take action based on it,

Copy, or show it to anyone, and return the original to us. If requested the reasonable cost will be reimbursed to you.

Any e-mail including its content and any attachments may be monitored by us for reasons of security and for monitoring internal compliance in accordance with our policies and procedures.

Protective software is in place to scan both e-mail content and any attachments to block any e-mail that could be considered potentially harmful.
This email and any attachments are believed to be free from viruses but it is your responsibility to carry out all necessary virus checks and Tamworth Borough Council accepts no liability in connection therewith

References

Visible links
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/
4. https://ip.e-paycapita.com/AIP/itemSelec...
5. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/
6. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/do-it-online

Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for confirming how payments are dealt with in circumstances where a customer has outstanding council tax liability for more than one year. It is encouraging that Tamworth Borough Council is mindful of the principles surrounding the appropriation of payments and implement them.

It is evident that staff deal with payments in a way that complies with appropriation laws (i.e. '...the payment (or part payment) will be allocated accordingly which in turn may save the taxpayer being subject to additional costs.'). If I understand correctly, this would ensure, even if there has been no express communication in respect of the account a customer intended the payment to be applied to, if it is implied by other circumstances that a specific account had been intended then the payment will be allocated to that debt. If my understanding is incorrect I would appreciate if you would put me right.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Gwyn Worth left an annotation ()

Extract from QRC4 guidance notes which confirms Govt. advice (referred to in response):

https://government-form-explorer.cloudap...

'30. Receipts should be attributed to the oldest year in which debts are outstanding, and not to the current year unless the payment is specifically for the current year. If your receipts do not relate to 2016-17 DO NOT include them in this line, but refer to the notes for lines 7 and 8.'

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