[holding answer 14 October 2009]: The Insolvency Service does not record SIP 16 information in a format that is readily able to identify how many SIP 16 reports have not provided sufficient information to creditors on valuation and marketing.
To answer this part of the question would involve examining hundreds of separate reports. To determine which of those reports did not provide sufficient information regarding valuation and/or marketing would require significant staff resources, which would be in excess of the £750 disproportionate cost threshold.
The Insolvency Service published a report on its' first six months monitoring of SIP 16 in July 2009. The report indicated that SIP 16 information provided in relation to 202 out of a total of 572 companies entering administration during the period was deemed to be not fully compliant. The Insolvency Service's monitoring of SIP 16 information is continuing and a further report will be published in the new year.
It should be noted that the number of insolvency practitioners involved in the provision of non-compliant SIP 16 information is not the same as the figure indicated above. This is because the majority of insolvency practitioners undertaking pre-pack administrations, and therefore providing SIP 16 information, are appointed on multiple appointments. In addition, the majority of administration appointments are held by more than one insolvency practitioner on a joint basis.
[holding answer 14 October 2009]: The Insolvency Service carries out the Secretary of State's function with regard to both the direct authorisation of insolvency practitioners and the regulation of the recognised professional bodies that authorise the vast majority of insolvency practitioners. The Department has therefore not had any direct liaison with the recognised professional bodies on the issue of SIP 16 as this has been undertaken by the Insolvency Service.
There have been three separate meetings during 2009 between the Insolvency Service and representatives from the recognised professional bodies to discuss the implementation and monitoring of SIP 16. The most recent meeting was held in September to discuss issuing guidance to practitioners to improve compliance with SIP 16. As a result of that meeting, the Insolvency Service has drafted guidance for insolvency practitioners, which is currently being reviewed by the recognised professional bodies prior to being issued.
Many of the recognised professional bodies issued their own guidance on SIP 16 immediately following the publication of the report on the first six months operation of the SIP, to improve compliance. The bodies have welcomed further guidance and have agreed to issue the latest guidance at the same time as it is issued by the Insolvency Service. R3, the trade body for insolvency practitioners, has invited the Insolvency Service to take part in training at meetings and conferences to improve compliance with the SIP.
The Insolvency Service is also a member of the Joint Insolvency Committee along with all the recognised professional bodies, which holds quarterly meetings to review guidance issued to insolvency practitioners. In the course of these meetings and those of sub-groups of the Committee, SIP 16 will have been discussed in general terms.
The Insolvency Service is working closely with the recognised professional bodies to improve insolvency practitioners' compliance with the SIP and to consider whether and how the SIP may be strengthened.