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Insolvency Service: Performance Targets

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Jim Fitzpatrick) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Insolvency Service plans to deal with some 72,000 new insolvencies in the year to 31 March 2007 including a significant increase in personal bankruptcies. Its planning assumption for the level of redundancy payments and other insolvency-related claims is 95,000.

In support of the policy that bankrupts who can make a contribution for the benefit of their creditors should do so, official receivers have been asked to ensure that, as last year, at least 17 per cent of bankrupts agree or are ordered to make such payments. Action will continue to be taken against bankrupts and company directors in respect of financial misconduct or dishonesty and Companies Investigation Branch, part of the agency from 1 April 2006, will continue to investigate the affairs of companies in the public interest.

The service's new financial regime, put in place by the Enterprise Act 2002, will be reviewed in this, its third year and it is likely that new targets relating to unit costs and fees will be agreed as a result. The service is required to balance its case administration costs and income over the three-year period.

I have also set the Insolvency Service the following targets for the year 2006-07:

Target

Increase the level of the user satisfaction index to

90%

Increase the level of public confidence in the service's enforcement regime to

60%

Ensure the average time for concluding disqualification proceedings is no longer than

26 months

Complete internal Section 447 investigations

within 90 days of commencement

within 180 days of commencement

60%

90%

Reduce the unit cost of redundancy payment processing by 31 March 2007 from the 2005-06 baseline; and

3%

Process redundancy payment claims for payment within

3 weeks

78%

6 weeks

92%

In addition to these targets, the service is required to meet centrally promulgated targets relating to replying to correspondence from honourable Members, making payments to suppliers and reducing sick absence levels.