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The Insolvency Service (IS) is to loose at least 400 employees according to a story in Accountancy Age (AA). This is on top of the recent cull in the Enforcement Section of the IS. Having in mind R3's recent call for more work to be done by the IS in relation to miscreant directors is this job reduction news to be welcomed? The AA article notes, inter alia:
"A spokesman from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) told Accountancy Age 440 jobs would go from Official Receiver (OR) offices nationwide. But the government body has been inundated with 680 applications for voluntary redundancy since the announcement.
...The PCS spokesman said morale is low in OR offices, which has suffered a high level of sick or absent employees over the last year.
...A spokesman at the Insolvency Service said..."The scheme has become necessary principally because of further falls in the levels of new bankruptcies, which means that we must reduce our costs to reflect falling income from insolvency case administration fees. We hope to avoid any redundancies as far as possible."
...The PCS is meeting with the Insolvency Service today to discuss redundancy packages and how the OR will function going forward.
"One concern we have is that there is a danger of cutting staff levels to such an extent that the agency cannot fulfil its purpose," said the PCS spokesman."
The reduction in bankruptcy has been matched by an increase in DROs, but the lower costs mean the IS's income stream must have been affected. Professor David Graham QC once told me an anecdote about a cafe closing down at the IS because it was insolvent. We cannot have the IS going the same way! The IS must be funded properly as it provides an extremely important role.
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...