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EU Regulations - Bankruptcy Proceedings

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Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

EU Regulations - Bankruptcy Proceedings

Please provide the following information under the FOIA for all periods that information is retained.

1. Information as to whether the council billing authority instigates bankruptcy proceedings against it's customer being a natural individual (not a company or trader) for non-payment of council tax under the EU Regulations or national law(Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency Rules).

2. Clarify if the council files a bankruptcy petition under the EU Regulations what cross border element applies.

(a) Does this cross border element apply to the council (local billing authority) or to your customer and state which EU Article and section applies that must be contained within the bankruptcy order.

(b) If the cross border element under the EU Regulations effects the council directly, please clarify where this legal entity is located and operates from.

(c) State the court or hearing centre or office that receives and hears these petitions.

3. National law also sets out the conditions for the opening of insolvency proceedings, including requirements relating to what notice should be given to your customer (debtor), both pre-insolvency and once insolvency proceedings have commenced.

(a) Identify who sends out these notices and if agents are used by the council in which capacity they act.

(b) Provide a copy of these notices and the information they must contain (customers details redacted).

(c) State the court or hearing centre or office that receives and hears these petitions.

(d) Confirm where the court makes a bankruptcy order whether the following is contained within that order that the council obtains 'the order that the court is satisfied that the EU Regulations does not apply in relation to the proceedings'.

4. Confirm what Data protection is in place for sharing your customers (natural individual person in contrast to a fictional entity) information and data in regards to the EU Regulation cross border element.

(a) And where no cross border element is involved (national law).

(b) State who is granted access and how this data and information is shared under national law, and where the EU Regulation cross border element applies.

Yours faithfully,

J. Ross

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 18/09/19
 
 
Dear J. Ross
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST
 
Ref: FOI/615
 
Thank you for your request for information. We will have a response ready
for you within 20 working days of the date you made your request.
 
After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the
information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For
details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s
website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
FOI Team
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602640 w [2]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 
 

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Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Date: 14/10/2019

Ref: FOI/615

 

 

Dear J. Ross

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

t []01622 602640 w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Thank you for providing some information and for confirming that the Council has no cases with a cross border element either involving their customers or the the council where the provisions of the EU Insolvency Regulation that superseded what were commonly called 'EC Regulation' would apply.

Please clarify if the bankruptcy orders that the council obtains in non-EU proceedings sent out to individuals (your customers) contain the following 'the court is satisfied that the EU Regulation does not apply in relation to the proceedings.' (R.10.30.31 Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016) this information must be contained within both a debtors' bankruptcy order (if the individual consented to being made bankrupt by the council) or a creditors' bankruptcy order. Your solicitors are required to retain and share with the council all information they hold at no cost when allocated this work under The Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996 and will know what type of order they were instructed to petition for either a debtors or creditors and this will be stated on the face of the order.

Yours sincerely,

J. Ross

Ed Boyce left an annotation ()

If Maidstone Borough Council does not have a cross-border element how are they managing through their external solicitors Bradley Keith Bloom SRA ID 259161 and Allan James Hooper SRA ID 205691 a solicitors partnership firm J E Baring & Co SRA ID 46559 to obtain a Bankruptcy Order on Debtor's Petition Form 6.30 , Settlement and content of Bankruptcy Order Rule 6.45, Certificate of summary administration Rules 6.48.

'And the court being satisfied that the EC Regulation does apply and that these proceedings are Main proceedings as defined in Article 3 of the regulation.'

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Dear J. Ross
 
Please find below the answer to your query.
 
        Please clarify if the bankruptcy orders that the council obtains
in non-EU proceedings sent out to individuals (your customers) contain the
following 'the       court is satisfied that the EU Regulation does not
apply in relation to the proceedings.
 
        We do not hold this information because we do not hold copies of
the bankruptcy orders. These are held by J E Baring and Co.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Lauren Connett
Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [1][email address] w [2]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Maidstone Borough Council is required to hold all information relating to bankruptcy proceedings by law and must not hide behind your agents as a reason not to release this information, when the council has contracted out its responsibilities and duties under the following Order, that does not absolve the council or its agents from providing the information requested under the FOIA.

If you are stating that the council and your agents are entitled to conceal this information, please quote the precise section of the law, so a complaint for the council's failure to review their non-compliance with the FOIA can be made to the ICO.

Your external solicitors (who act as the council's agents) are required by law to retain and share this information with the council and at no cost, who are allocated this work under the Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing,Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996. If this is incorrect and they are not operating on behalf of the council as your agents and are not allocated this work under the Order, please say so and clarify under what powers they do operate on the council's behalf.

The council have also failed to state what type of bankruptcy orders your agents obtain or the rules contained within those orders. The following was left as an annotation on the 21 October 2019:

'If Maidstone Borough Council does not have a cross-border element how are they managing through their external solicitors Bradley Keith Bloom SRA ID 259161 and Allan James Hooper SRA ID 205691 solicitors partnership firm J E Baring & Co SRA ID 46559 to obtain a Bankruptcy Order on Debtor's Petition Form 6.30, Settlement and content of Bankruptcy Order Rule 6.45, Certificate of summary administration Rules 6.48.
And the court being satisfied that the EC Regulation does apply and that these proceedings are Main proceedings as defined in Article 3 of the regulation.'

The council and their agents must know that those rules only apply to debtors' and not to a creditors' petition and the council has previously confirmed on the 14 October 2019 Quote "The Council instigates proceedings under the Insolvency Act 1986" and that EU Regulation is not applicable, so the council must know what type of bankruptcy orders were applied for and the contents of those orders.

Yours sincerely,

J. Ross

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 01/11/19
Ref: FOI/615
 
 
Dear J Ross
 
Thank you for your request for an internal review. I have passed this on
to Mid Kent Legal Services to review your request and the response. You
will receive a response within 20 working days.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. [1]https://ico.org.uk/
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [2][email address] w [3]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 
 

show quoted sections

Gary Rowland,

Dear J. Ross

 

Review of FOI #615

 

I have considered your request for review, dated 25 October 2019, of your
original request received 16 September 2019.

 

Your request for review stated:

 

Maidstone Borough Council is required to hold all  information relating to
bankruptcy proceedings  by law and must not  hide behind your agents as a
reason not to release this information, when the council has contracted
out its responsibilities and duties under the following Order, that does
not absolve the council or its agents from providing the information
requested under the FOIA.

 

If you are stating that the council and your agents are entitled to
conceal this information, please quote the precise section of the law, so
a complaint for the council's failure to review their non-compliance with
the FOIA can be made to the ICO.

 

Your external  solicitors (who act as the council's agents) are required
by law to retain and share this information with the council and at no
cost, who are allocated this work under the Local Authorities (Contracting
Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996. If
this is incorrect and they are not operating on behalf of the council as
your agents and are not allocated this work under the Order, please say so
and clarify under what powers they do operate on the council's behalf.

 

The council have also failed to state what type of bankruptcy orders your
agents obtain or the rules contained within those orders. The following
was left as an annotation on the 21 October 2019:

 

'If Maidstone Borough Council does not have a cross-border element how are
they managing through their external solicitors Bradley Keith Bloom SRA ID
259161 and Allan James Hooper SRA ID 205691 solicitors partnership firm J
E Baring & Co SRA ID 46559 to obtain a Bankruptcy Order on  Debtor's
Petition Form 6.30, Settlement and content  of Bankruptcy Order Rule 6.45,
Certificate of summary administration Rules 6.48.

And the court being satisfied that the EC Regulation does apply and that
these proceedings are Main proceedings as defined in Article 3 of the
regulation.'

 

The council and their agents must know that those rules only  apply to
debtors' and not to a creditors' petition and the council has previously
confirmed on the 14 October 2019 Quote  "The Council instigates
proceedings under the Insolvency Act 1986" and that EU Regulation is not
applicable,  so the council must know what type of bankruptcy orders were
applied for and the contents of those orders.

 

Your initial request asked for the following information:

 

EU Regulations - Bankruptcy Proceedings

 

Please provide the following information under the FOIA for all periods
that information is retained.

 

1. Information as to whether the council billing authority instigates
bankruptcy proceedings against it's customer being a natural individual
(not a company or trader) for non-payment of council tax under the EU
Regulations or national law(Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency Rules).

 

2. Clarify if the council files a bankruptcy petition under the EU
Regulations what cross border element applies.

 

(a) Does this cross border element apply to the council (local billing
authority) or to your customer and state which EU Article and section
applies that must be contained within the bankruptcy order.

 

(b) If the cross border element under the EU Regulations effects the
council directly, please clarify where this legal entity is located and
operates from.

 

(c) State the court or hearing centre or office that receives and hears
these petitions.

 

3. National law also sets out the conditions for the opening of insolvency
proceedings, including requirements relating to what notice should be
given to your customer (debtor), both pre-insolvency and once insolvency
proceedings have commenced.

 

(a) Identify who sends out these notices and if agents are used by the
council in which capacity they act.

 

(b) Provide a copy of these notices and the information they must contain
(customers details redacted).

 

(c) State the court or hearing centre or office that receives and hears
these petitions.

 

(d) Confirm where the court makes a bankruptcy order whether the following
is contained within that order that the council obtains 'the order that
the court is satisfied that the EU Regulations does not apply in relation
to the proceedings'.

 

4. Confirm what Data protection is in place for sharing your customers
(natural individual person in contrast to a fictional entity) information
and data in regards to the EU Regulation cross border element.

 

(a) And where no cross border element is involved (national law).

 

(b) State who is granted access and how this data and information is
shared under national law, and where the EU Regulation cross border
element applies.

 

The Council issued the following response on 14 October 2019:

 

1. Information as to whether the council billing authority instigates
bankruptcy proceedings against it's customer being a natural individual
(not a company or trader) for non-payment of council tax under the EU
Regulations or national law(Insolvency Act 1986 and Insolvency Rules).

 

The Council instigates proceedings under the Insolvency Act 1986 against
individuals who have not paid Council Tax.

 

2. Clarify if the council files a bankruptcy petition under the EU
Regulations what cross border element applies. N/A.

 

(a) Does this cross border element apply to the council (local billing
authority) or to your customer and state which EU Article and section
applies that must be contained within the bankruptcy order. N/A.

 

(b) If the cross border element under the EU Regulations effects the
council directly, please clarify where this legal entity is located and
operates from. N/A.

 

(c) State the court or hearing centre or office that receives and hears
these petitions. N/A.

 

3. National law also sets out the conditions for the opening of insolvency
proceedings, including requirements relating to what notice should be
given to your customer (debtor), both pre-insolvency and once insolvency
proceedings have commenced.

 

(a) Identify who sends out these notices and if agents are used by the
council in which capacity they act. J E Baring and Co as solicitors.

 

(b) Provide a copy of these notices and the information they must contain
(customers details redacted). We do not hold this information, it is held
by J E Baring and Co.

 

(c) State the court or hearing centre or office that receives and hears
these petitions. We do not hold this information, it is held by J E Baring
and Co.

 

(d) Confirm where the court makes a bankruptcy order whether the following
is contained within that order that the council obtains 'the order that
the court is satisfied that the EU Regulations does not apply in relation
to the proceedings'. We do not hold this information.

 

4. Confirm what Data protection is in place for sharing your customers
(natural individual person in contrast to a fictional entity) information
and data in regards to the EU Regulation cross border element. We do not
hold this information.

 

Response

 

Having carried out my review, I can confirm that I uphold the response
that was issued by the Council.

 

The information you have requested is not held by the Council.  There is
no contract in force between Maidstone Borough Council and J E Baring & Co
and as such there is no contractual obligation for J E Baring & Co to
abide by the Freedom of Information Act in connection with providing their
services to the Council.  The Council instructs J E Baring & Co and
outsources work on a case by case basis.  Having sought guidance from the
ICO, I can confirm that as the Council does not hold the information you
require, you should request the information directly from J E Baring &
Co. 

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Kind regards

 

Gary Rowland

Lawyer (GCILEx) - Corporate Governance

Mid Kent Legal Services | Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough
Councils

Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10
3HT

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Civic Way, Tunbridge Wells,
TN1 1RS

Tel: (01622) 602276   Email: [1][email address]

[2]www.swale.gov.uk     
[3]www.maidstone.gov.uk       [4]www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk

 

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References

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2. http://www.swale.gov.uk/
3. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/
4. http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are J. Ross please sign in and let everyone know.