Postal orders

alli&mick made this Freedom of Information request to HM Prison Service

The request was successful.

From: alli&mick

9 September 2012

Dear HM Prison Service,

How long does it generally take for a postal order to be cashed
through the Governors bank account? If for example the postal order
was received by the prison on a Tuesday how long would it take to
clear?

I would also like to know what the percentage is of interest made
upon postal orders/money whilst it is sat in the governors bank
account and what happens to that money/interest.

Yours faithfully,

alli&mick

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From: Data Access & Compliance Unit
HM Prison Service

10 September 2012

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your e-mail, I am writing to advise you that your enquiry does not fall under the Freedom of Information regime and will be treated by the department as Official Correspondence.

It may be helpful if I explain that the Freedom of Information Act (2000) gives individuals and organisations the right of access to all types of recorded information held, at the time the request is received, by public authorities such as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Section 84 of the Act states that in order for a request for information to be handled as a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, it must be for recorded information. For example, a Freedom of Information request would be for a copy of a policy, rather than an explanation as to why we have that policy in place. On occasion, the Ministry of Justice receives requests that do not ask for recorded information, but ask more general questions about, for example, a policy, opinion or a decision.

Since you are asking for clarification on policy regarding postal orders, this will be dealt with as Official Correspondence and you can expect a response from the appropriate area of the department.
If you do have any questions relating specifically to the Freedom of Information or Data Protection Act, please contact the Data Access and Compliance Unit at the following e-mail address: [HM Prison Service request email]

Best Wishes
Data Access & Compliance Unit
Ministry of Justice|10th Floor|Post Point 10.34
102 Petty France|London|SW1H 9AJ
Fax: 0203 334 4455
Goldfax: 0870 739 4188

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From: Weeks, Sharon [NOMS]

18 September 2012

Dear Alli & Mick,

Thank you for your query, please see information taken from Chapter 15 of
the NOMS Finance Manual (PSI 26/2011).  Postal orders are banked in the
same way as cheques due to the sender having the ability to cancel them as
detailed below.

For the majority of postal orders, the Offender will receive the credit to
their Prison-NOMIS account immediately.

15.10.9 Postal Orders
15.10.10 Irrespective of whom a postal order is made payable to, and
whether it is crossed or uncrossed, it may be endorsed as ‘Payable to HM
Prison Service or NOMS Agency’ in the top third of the reverse side only.

15.10.11 Postal orders can be stopped or cancelled on the request of a
police investigation or where the sender has sent a request to the Post
Office Ltd at Chesterfield to have them cancelled. On receipt of such a
request the Post Office will refund the money to the sender after 28 days
if the postal order has not been banked.

15.10.12 If the date of issue is less than 18 days from the date of
receipt the postal order must be treated as cash and credited to the
prisoners account immediately.

15.10.13 If the date of issue is 18 days or more from the date of receipt,
the postal order must be put on hold until 10 working days after the day
of banking has passed to allow time for the postal order to clear and for
the establishment to be notified.

15.10.14 All postal orders must be banked weekly.
15.10.15 Postal orders are only valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
If the postal order is out of date or will be by the time it is banked, it
must be returned to the sender stating the reason for refusal.

Prisons do not have individual bank accounts, there is one account for
NOMS Agency which does not attract interest .

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Sharon

Sharon Weeks
Financial Governance, Financial Management & Control
NOMS Finance & Analysis Directorate | 5.12 Clive House, 70 Petty France,
London, SW1H 9EX
'  0300 047 6146 
È  07976 450999                                                           
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Dear HM Prison Service,

     How long does it generally take for a postal order to be cashed
     through the Governors bank account? If for example the postal order
     was received by the prison on a Tuesday how long would it take to
     clear?

     I would also like to know what the percentage is of interest made
     upon postal orders/money whilst it is sat in the governors bank
     account and what happens to that money/interest.

     Yours faithfully,

     alli&mick

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