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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 08/04/2008
Debt Management Policy



APPENDIX F
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - 1ST APRIL 2008

EXECUTIVE - 8TH APRIL 2008

Title:
DEBT MANAGEMENT POLICY
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Summary and purpose:

This report sets out a policy for ensuring a consistent approach to the management and recovery of Waverley’s debts.

Environmental implications:

There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Social / community implications:

The policy recognises that some of the individuals owing money to the Council do so through genuine hardship and may need support and advice. The policy seeks to ensure that equality and diversity issues are considered when managing a debt or applying recovery action.

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource implications arising from this report.

Introduction and Background

1. Waverley provides a wide range of services to its community and raises a significant amount of income from a number of sources. Collecting income is a major part of the Council’s business and it is critical that the current high collection rates are maintained, whilst balancing the need to carefully consider cases of genuine hardship.

2. It is good practice to demonstrate a corporate approach to managing debts and it helps ensure a consistent approach to the recovery process that has been endorsed by the Council. The attached draft policy at Annexe 1 sets out the overarching principles and this is supported by detailed guidance for officers on specific related areas such as the use of bailiffs, the raising of sundry debtor accounts and fraud and corruption.


How will this Policy work in practice?

3. A group of officers who are responsible for managing Waverley’s main debt-raising functions; council tax, business rates, housing rents and sundry debts, will meet on a quarterly basis to review the outstanding debt position and to consider individuals or businesses who have multiple debts. Good practice will be shared which will be particularly helpful in cases where debt advice is necessary or where severe recovery measures need to be undertaken. This sharing of ideas and resources should make the management of Waverley’s debts more efficient and more consistent for the debtor.

4. Debtors’ personal information will be treated as confidential and officers will have regard to the appropriate data protection requirements. Members are reminded that, whilst they can be provided with general debt monitoring information, the details of individual debts cannot be disclosed or discussed.

[Observations from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be circulated separately after the meeting.]

Recommendation

It is recommended that the draft Corporate Debt Management Policy be approved.

Background Papers (DoR)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Graeme Clark Telephone: 01483 523236
E-mail: graeme.clark@waverley.gov.uk


Comms/exec/2007-08/279