Presentation on theme: "0 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 1 Introduce an outgoing telephone call at an early stage in the process."— Presentation transcript:
0 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 1 Introduce an outgoing telephone call at an early stage in the process to identify the reasons for non payment and tailor recovery actions accordingly. The “won’t pays” should be identified and progressed rapidly through the recovery process, while the “can’t pays” should be transferred to the benefit process as appropriate. Other options besides telephone chasing will also be considered. For example, inspectors could also be used at an early stage in the process. This has been addressed in Capita’s plan for 2004/05. 2Spread due dates for cash payers throughout the month. This would result in reminder activity being similarly spread. The recommendation needs consideration having regard to cash flow implications and the impact on Direct Debit dates offered. In the interim targets have been set to improve Direct Debit take up, partly by giving payers the option to choose from 1 of 4 instalment dates. By August 2004, the number of Council Tax payers paying by Direct Debit had increased from 24.55% to 40.27%. Direct Debit is the most effective and efficient method of collection.
1 Summary of recommendations Priorit y RecommendationManagement response / progress 3 Consider passing debts identified as gone away to external tracing/debt collection agents. In the past Brent has used collection agencies on a trial basis. The use of Debt collection and tracing agencies will be reconsidered 4 A comprehensive set of reports is required to enable the proactive management of the process. Such reports would measure the effectiveness of each recovery stage. The requirement for 4 & 5 has been agreed with Capita. The information is supplied in the monthly report written by Capita. Commentary is provided in the form of minutes from the monthly contract meetings where performance is discussed. Point 6 improved bailiff reporting has been included in the monthly report. Further improvements have been identified and are being discussed with Capita. 5 Provide meaningful commentary within the reporting pack to: Identify key issues and action points for discussion Highlight and monitor progress and achievement Discuss the implications of the figures provided 6Establish detailed reports to measure weekly bailiff activity, including: Number of new cases visited Number of ongoing cases visited (2nd visit) % of bailiff cases returned as query % of successful contacts – query, commitment, refusal
2 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 7 The determining factor in deciding which course of post Bailiff activity will be pursued should be the likelihood of success. The Capita contract should be reviewed to ensure that it supports this approach: Where the debtor has sufficient assets, these accounts should be considered for bankruptcy proceedings Where there are no assets, those accounts should be considered for Committal Fully agreed. This is addressed in Capita’s plan for 2004/05. A team of 3 people based at Bromley are responsible for logging and progressing these cases. 8Consideration should be given to negotiating an amendment to the Capita contract regarding the use of bailiffs. The SLA should also be amended to measure and control the delay in bailiffs opening cases. A second bailiff, Newlyns has been introduced to assist with the recovery. A formal contract change control has been agreed to reflect this.
3 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 9 Ensure that robust policies and controls exist for the agreement and monitoring of payment plans. In particular, these should ensure that: An appropriate authorisation hierarchy exists All payment plans are subject to regular supervisory review System parameters reflect the current policies where appropriate Debtors that default on agreed payment plans are subject to immediate telephone contact to secure payment The existing Recovery Policy and the new One Stop Shop Empowerment Matrix incorporates levels of authority for agreeing payment plans. The recovery policy now in place has been agreed by committee and addresses hierarchy issues. System parameters will be addressed and will be managed by exception reporting. The telephone contact of debtors that default will be discussed with Capita. 10Establish rigorous controls within the Council and Capita for the allocation of suppression codes to include: Appropriate levels of authority for administration A supervisory review Maintaining system parameters Retaining an audit trail Monthly reports are run to monitor the number of accounts that have been suppressed.
4 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 11 Ensure that all staff understand how the suppression system operates, in particular: The length of time the suppression should remain active When and how suppression codes should be reviewed Authorisation protocols for extending the suppression of recovery action A formal written procedure has been requested from Capita. Once in place staff will receive training/guidance as required. 12 Set up a task force to validate or remove redundant Council Tax suppression codes and recovery profiles. We recommend that the following approach is adopted: Define the criteria that need to be satisfied to allow a code to remain Set a target date for the completion of the task Suppression codes have been reviews and only 14 remain, thus no longer valid. 13Where debts are excluded from the “normal” recovery process, alternative arrangements should be in place to secure prompt payment. Have established alternative arrangements for all and are in the process of considering arrangements for executor cases.
5 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 14 Request Capita to isolate the backlog from current throughput and assign a dedicated team to clear the remaining items; daily and weekly targets should be set to manage the process. This has been completed. Within the monthly report details of the number of outstanding items of correspondence is provided. 15 Ensure that sufficient court hearing dates are available to meet the varying needs throughout the year. 18 have been booked for this year compared to 14 last year. Further dates will be booked as required. 16In the event that more than 7,000 reminders are required, an additional run should be processed once the level of incoming contact to the Customer Service department has returned to manageable levels. The number of reminders included in a run has been increased to 7,000 from 5,000. Reminder runs can be sent twice a month and accompanied with regular summons runs can mean a weekly impact on customer service. This will be considered using informed debt analysis and taking into account the impact on customer services.
6 Summary of recommendations PriorityRecommendationManagement response / progress 17 The Capita monthly report should be produced, in full or in part, within five working days of the month end. Five working days is appropriate for some of the more critical data. Details of collection rates are received within that timescale. The full report could not be produced in a shorter timescale despite any benefits that this might give. 18Review and update the written procedures as soon as possible. Circulate to all staff Ensure appropriate training Most procedures have been reviewed and updated.