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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

27 MAR 2012

Consultation - Proposal to close three Insolvency Service Offices

The Insolvency Service have sent out the following consultation letter: 

"Dear Consultee,

Launch of Public Consultations on proposed closures of Insolvency Service offices in Bournemouth, Medway and Stockton

I am writing to you to notify you of the launch of The Insolvency Service’s public consultation on the proposed closures of offices in Bournemouth, Medway and Stockton. 

The purpose of the consultation is to gather further information and comment from the public and stakeholders about the impact of the three proposed office closures. The views expressed and information received from the consultation will become part of the evidence that The Insolvency Service will use to decide whether or not to close an office. 

I should first set out some background to The Insolvency Service before moving on to explain the factors which lead to these proposed changes.  

The Insolvency Service (The Service) is an Executive Agency of The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Insolvency Service fulfils a range of statutory functions and delivers a range of public services on behalf of the Secretary of State. It exercises powers and duties on behalf of the Secretary of State from the Insolvency Acts 1986 and 2000, the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Companies Act 1985 as well as from a range of secondary legislation relating to these acts. The Insolvency Service exists to provide the framework and the means for dealing with financial failure and misconduct. 

The Insolvency Service is largely fee-funded from insolvency case deposits and asset realisations. Bankruptcy cases reached record levels in 2009 but have since fallen very substantially.  That fall means that The Service must reduce its costs and become more operationally flexible in the future.

Following consultations with staff, Trades Unions, and key stakeholders during the summer of 2011, The Service announced a planned re-organisation and a reduction in the size of its office network (the Delivery Strategy).  The re-organisation will lead, over time, to a new, more centralised approach to delivering most services which will reduce costs and provide greater flexibility to adapt in future to increases and decreases in workload. 

The proposed closure of the three Insolvency Service offices mentioned above is one of the early stages of implementing The Service’s longer term plans.  All staff in the three proposed offices will be offered posts in their nearest alternative Insolvency Service office.  The Service does, however, acknowledge that not all of its staff in these offices will be able or willing to take up the posts offered for either personal or practical reasons. 

The number of customers affected by these proposals is limited to those bankrupts or company officers whom The Insolvency Service require to have a face to face interview.  (These will in general be people where The Service has some concerns about, for instance, limited information, their conduct or the security of assets.)  The number of such people who would be affected is relatively small and in the majority of cases they are likely to be required to attend for interview on only one occasion. Further analysis and details of estimated volumes of face to face interviews for each location are set out in the public consultation documents. 

As is current practice, The Insolvency Service remains committed to ensuring that reasonable adjustments are made for customers who have accessibility issues or special requirements. Please see the Equality Impact Assessment for further details in regards to this. 

The public consultation starts on 27 March 2012 and will close on 22 June 2011. The public and stakeholders can send their feedback to Delivery.Strategy@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk. 

The public consultation documents can be found here http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/news/news-stories/2012/Mar/public-consultations."



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