The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has issued a new practice note setting out what it expects from companies who give surety bonds to court-appointed deputies. The practice note updates the Public Guardian's Practice Note No 3 of 2012.
The Public Guardian has a number of statutory functions in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which includes making arrangements to set up an approved scheme for security (or surety) bonds.
Howden Group UK Ltd has recently been awarded the contract to manage the OPG’s approved scheme for security bonds. The contract was awarded competitively and fairly to the provider who could provide the best value for money for clients.
From 1 October 2016, the OPG and the Court of Protection will only direct deputies to Howden Group UK Ltd for any new security bonds. If you hold an existing bond with any of the previous approved suppliers, such as Deputy Bond Services (DBS), you do not have to transfer these to Howden UK Ltd. These suppliers will continue to honour and manage all bonds that have been taken out with them after their contract with the OPG has ended.
Professional deputies may have an arrangement in place with the Court of Protection where the court issues bonds on their behalf. This allows the deputyship order to be in place quickly. If professional deputies wish to continue this arrangement after 1 October 2016, they will need to register details of their deputies with Howden UK Group Ltd at www.HowdenDeputyBonds.co.uk.
The new surety bonds practice note explains what OPG expects from a bond provider, so that its surety bonds are suitable for deputies.