FOI request (FOI226647)
Requested Thu 02 November 2017
Responded Thu 02 November 2017
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 Hastings Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?
The Revenues computer system allocates cash based on a set of allocation rules hard coded into the system. In general money allocates to the oldest debt where it cannot match to a current instalment plan. However, we are taking a more proactive approach with our recovery and we are not pursuing customers with court action just for a few missed payments. A prelist is also being run and accounts checked before we take Court action.
Freedom of Information