Martin Evans made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

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The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,
Would you please confirm The Official Receiver and the Insolvencey service is also a part of the Business of the Department for Business,Enterprise and Regulatory reform, or is it correct the Dept for Business,Enterprise and regulatory reform also trades as the Official Receiver.
Would you please provide me with the last 3 years trading accounts for the official Receiver.

Yours faithfully,

Martin Evans


Dear Mr Evans
Further to your request for information I am pleased to respond on
behalf of The Insolvency Service.

May I first correct the details of the department under which The
Insolvency Service operates. Since earlier this year the Department for
Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has been renamed the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The Insolvency Service is an Executive Agency within the Department of
Business, Innovation and Skills(the Department). The objectives of the
Department are to:

1) promote enterprise, innovation and increased productivity,

2) make the most of the UK's science, engineering and technology.

3) create strong and competitive markets, and

4) develop a fair and effective legal and regulatory framework.

The Insolvency Service supports those objectives by maintaining and
enforcing an effective framework for commercial activity, and in

1) Administers compulsory individual and corporate insolvencies;

2) Reports suspected criminal offences to the Department;

3) Brings disqualification cases against unfit directors of failed

4) Regulates the private sector insolvency profession;

5) Manages insolvency funds;

6) Advises Ministers on insolvency issues;

7) Supports the work of the official receivers appointed by the
Secretary of State.

The office of official receiver was created by the Bankruptcy Act 1883,
which also commissioned the then Board of Trade with the supervision of
bankruptcy. The objective was to impose greater official control over
bankruptcy proceedings generally, and over investigations in particular.
The official receiver's role was extended to compulsory liquidations by
the Companies Act 1890, and is today largely set out in the Insolvency
Act 1986. Originally, official receivers were a mixture of salaried
officers and fee paid local solicitors. Since the 1950s all official
receivers have been salaried, and are now appointed from The Insolvency
Service (The Service).

The Service operates through 33 offices around the country, each led by
an official receiver, and geographically grouped under Regional

Official receivers are appointed, removed and act under the general
direction of the Secretary of State for BIS. On appointment the official
receiver becomes simultaneously a statutory office holder and a civil
servant employed by The Service. It is not correct to say that official
receivers or The Insolvency Service 'trade', rather that (the majority)
of the funding for the work carried out comes from petition income.

All income and expenditure for the work of The Service is available
on-line as Under the tab 'Publications' are
published the accounts for 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08. The accounts
for 2008/09 are not yet available but will be published once they have
been approved. The link below can be used to connect to the relevant
page of our website.

Further information is also available via The Service's publication
scheme that can be accessed through the link 'Freedom of Information' on
the front page of our website.

I trust the above is useful.

Richard Sibun
Senior Technical Advisor
Freedom of Information & Data Protection Liaison Officer

show quoted sections

J Wilson left an annotation ()

The Insolvency Services response to Martin Evans' request includes the following stated objective no.4 - " develop a fair and effective legal and regulatory framework".

I believe this is a lie, because the Insolvency Act 1986 is/was an Arbitrary and unjust 'Act', not based on Human Rights. It contains the right for any 'creditor' who is allegedly owed over £750, to apply to make their 'debtor' bankrupt. This can occur even where the 'debtor' is solvent, without regard to the "dire and punitive consequences" on them or on his/her family. The latter quote refers to a decision by a Local Government Ombudsman in 2008 in a case of a man bankrupted by his local council for Council Tax of around £1,100.

He had the temerity to refuse to pay his full Council Tax bill, because he was not happy with the services provided by them. However, I don't know if the Insolvency Service or Courts annulled his bankruptcy. The Ombudsman suggested that his 'creditor' should apply for it, but the Courts were the ones who made him bankrupt!!

It is also a fact that the 'Bankruptcy level' at which any 'creditor' can apply for another's bankruptcy has been £1,500 in Scotland for years, rather than the paltry £750 in England & Wales, which has never been changed since 1986. It is now £3,000 in Scotland, but even that is arbitrary and violates human rights.

Regardless of devolution, we are all supposed to be treated as equal under the law, so such 'levels' should never have been put in place. The Courts and the Insolvency Service, to be fair and lawful, should consider each application on the 'merits of the case', taking all circumstances into account, before declaring anyone bankrupt. It's a lie to say they are "fair" when they're manifestly arbitrary as all they care about is lining their own pockets.

Sarah Daniels left an annotation ()

Let me shock you all - I apologise in advance!

Do you know that the Insolvency Services (IS) get a 17 percent of realisations from the bankrupt estate ( excluding the first £2000). The effect of that is that the Government (yes a Public Authority) "profits" from the misfortunate of the bankrupt which they make a fortunate at his expense!

The IS grants licence to Insolcency Practitioners(IP).
Do you know that if there si one creduitor who is owed say, £3000 and yiou are made bankrupt: the IP and his insructed solicitor (not forgetting the IS who must get their cut!!)can all end up milking the bankrupt for costs and fees of over £75,000.

There is a conflict of interest issue here and this is fuelled by the fact that the IS - a Public Authority - receives money which they prefer to receive and ignore the Human Rights Act. The act is for the "protection of the Public." But is there any protection and are they likely to give it when they partake by being "associated." Under "criminal law" that is called "joint enterprise" because there is a common purpose!

The IS does not want clear english drafting. Tjhey prefer it to be confusing without giving effect to "human rights" in particular to Article 6- right to a fair hearing. When a person is made bankrupt he looses:

control over his RIGHTS in property - look at section 436 and you will see how wide that definition is.

Contol over his rights to MAKE meaningful decison because all choses in action (436) passes to his OR and later the private sector trustee (TIB).

LOOSES HIS HUMAN RIGHTS - you may say that this is not so but if you attend some cases you will see that the odds are stacked heavily against the bankrupt and there is no level playing field, and that goes a long way to undermine the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) which Lord Wolf spent a lot of time crafting with the Rules Committee.

His dignity is lost and eventally he is abandoned by his friends and even love ones. Read Bleak House!

The effect of it is that the bankrupt looses his credibility because he was financially unwise and did not spend heavily on paying for financial and legal advice.

Will it get better. No. The govt has taken away public funding for those who have debt problem. The CAXs have been closing in droves.

Red Bleak House!

Keep hoping it may even get better!

Simon left an annotation ()

The Insolvency Service is largely self-funding and this is done through petition deposits and a share in recoveries.
To be adjudged bankrupt, one would have been served with the petition documents and given the opportunity to attend the hearing and at that hearing defend the case. However, many bankrupts wait until the order is made by the courts, then wait a little longer and eventually cooperate with the Official Receiver. At this point, I would like to point out that the Official Receiver does not make people bankrupt. This is done by the County Courts or the High Court. The Insolvency Act of 1986 requires the Official Receiver to deal with a bankrupt's affairs in a certain manner. This includes interviewing the bankrupt and reporting to the creditors of a bankrupt. The fees charged by the Insolvency Service are set and regulated, however, Insolvency Practitioners' fees are not regulated and they will often charge whatever they recover.
I am not saying every Official Receiver always does the right thing, but generally, they are bound by the law to deal with an order made by a judge.

J Wilson left an annotation ()

I've sent an email to Simon about his comments to try and educate him about the fact that anyone who'se been declared bankrupt, without ever having had a 'fair and public hearing' by a "competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law", as is their right under Article 14 of the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has had their rights violated.

Also, that under Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 which the UK is also a signatory to, the State cannot rely on its 'internal laws' as justification for its failures to perform a treaty. Or presumably any part of it which Article 14 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is.

Yet the State doesn't count the number of Court Orders which the judiciary has issued 'without a hearing' as others have proven on this website. So it cannot rely on the Freedom of Information Act either, as an excuse for failing to answer any questions asked to find out the truth. Or is that what it thinks it can do, because we all succumb to its unlawful authority, or else face bankruptcy by corrupt judges in corrupt courts.

After all, the Official Receiver's Office has been raking in the money since 1986, because its 'internal law' doesn't even respect anyone's right under Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of 1948 to 'not be arbitrarily deprived of ones property'.

Ask you MP, or try, to explain why no Government since 1948 has never done anything to comply with its obligations under Article 2 of the UN Charter of 1945, to respect and protect human rights for all without any form of discrimination whatsoever?

They won't even introduce a Bill of Rights for fear it would undermine Parliament and hence their jobs, which seem to be to do nothing but talk about doing things without ever doing it.

J Wilson left an annotation ()

If you want to support human rights on issues such as this please sign this petition and pas it on to friends and family too-

This information is brought to you free, even without requesting it,as you have the right to know the truth too, even if the Government doesn't want you to know it and hasn't done since 1948/49..