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

Gwyn Worth made this Freedom of Information request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

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The request was partially successful.

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

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

InformationRights, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Ms Worth,



Thank you for your request for information about Computer Systems, which
was received on 12 October 2017.


In accordance with provisions within Freedom of Information Act 2000, the
council will respond to your request within 20 working days, saying
whether we have the information that you want, and if there will be any


If, for any reason, we cannot provide you with the information, we will
tell you why. If we need to clarify your request, we will contact you


In the meantime, if you need to contact me about your request, please do
so quoting the above reference number.


Yours sincerely



Fakhara Qanwal





InformationRights, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Worth,


Freedom of Information Request RFI1245/17


Further to your request for information about Computer Systems I can tell
you the following:


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


Please see attached cash posting rules set up for our Council Tax System


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I hope that the information provided is useful to you. However, if you are
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Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
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Yours sincerely


Laurie Andrews



Laurie Andrews

Information Rights Officer

Information Governance Team, Change and Governance, Walsall Council, Civic
Centre, 3rd Floor (HR Suite), Darwall Street, Walsall WS1 1TP

Tel: 01922  65 5978

Fax: 01922  614210

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Dear InformationRights,

Thank you for providing the cash posting rules for your Council Tax System.

I assume there are at least two settings (optional) which are available on the cash posting rules which are not shown on the attached document (tolerance & final rule – NEW).

Can you please confirm how the parameters have been set regarding the allocation to the OLD/NEW debt (hard allocation) or whether the parameter has been set for soft allocating to the oldest debt (parameter empty).

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

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