Insolvency Services publishes annual plan amid coronavirus (COVID-19) backdrop

Insolvency Services publishes annual plan amid coronavirus (COVID-19) backdrop

The Insolvency Service has published its annual plan and budget for 2020–2021. The report includes a foreword from the Insolvency Chief Executive and one from the Chair of the Insolvency Service Board which highlight the successful development of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA 2020), in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The plan sets out how the Insolvency Service will respond to future challenges arising from coronavirus, while delivering the changes already planned to deliver ‘effective and efficient services using modern technology on a financially sustainable footing’.

Each section of the plan includes objectives the Insolvency Services means to reach. The Insolvency Service plans to:

• deliver economic confidence by improving the transparency and frequency of performance reports

○ review the initial impact of the CIGA 2020, ensuring the measures deliver the necessary support to businesses as the economy emerges from the pandemic

○ publish its review of insolvency practitioner regulation and set out proposals implement improved methodology for measuring customer satisfaction that will provide more meaningful data by design, and ensure we achieve a performance level in the upper quartile of public service organisations

○ support the insolvency industry’s preparations for the end of the EU exit implementation period to ensure cross-border insolvency cases continue to work effectively for UK stakeholders

○ increase the support we give to the insolvency profession through increased knowledge sharing and publication of guidance

• support those in financial distress—the Insolvency Service will be responsible for the delivery of the Breathing Space solution which allows people time to address their financial problems free from enforcement action. During 2021 the Insolvency Service will also:

○ make 95% of bankruptcy orders sought by individuals within two working days and determine 95% of debt relief order applications within 48 hours

○ improve the time taken to process redundancy payment claims, beyond an average processing time of 14 days or less

○ implement a new telephony system to build capacity and flexibility into customer services

• tackle financial wrongdoing, by:

○ working to prevent financial misconduct by developing a programme of director education

○ improving measurement of enforcement outcomes and introducing a new quarterly report for publication on a wide range of activity in this area

○ maximising the use of resources to investigate and take action against misconduct

• maximise returns to creditors by:

○ transforming the Official Receiver Services function to make it more efficient issue reports to creditors within 15 days of interviewing (or a decision that no interview is required) in at least 91% of cases

○ complete the recovery of the significant volume of claims made against financial institutions for historic PPI mis-selling and begin the process of distributing those funds to creditors on cases

• develop corporate responsibility by:

○ implementing a new environmental policy and actively pursuing improved performance from its supply chain

○ refreshing its estates strategy and ensuring the government’s environmental policies are a cornerstone of its plans

• support people within the Insolvency Service by:

○ offering new opportunities for professional development

○ embedding diversity and inclusion in decision-making

○ retaining the ambition to be a high performer in the civil service people survey

• pay 80% of supplier invoices within five working days and 100% within 30 calendar days 

Source: The Insolvency Service annual plan 2020 to 2021

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