Decision details

Uncollectable Debts in Excess of £10,000 - NOV21/CMDN/50

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Finance

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The Cabinet Member authorised the write off of the debt shown as outstanding in respect of accounts receivable (sundry debt) accounts included in the Appendices. These detail the financial year and the category for the write off request.

Reasons for the decision:

In all cases included in this Cabinet Member Decision Notice the authorisation for write-off is requested due to one of the following scenarios:

 

-       the individual being made insolvent/ bankrupt;

-       the ratepayer is deceased with no further income due from the estate;

-       all recovery options/ activity have been exhausted concerning disputed balances; &

-       the debt has become statute barred following efforts to recover.

 

Where debt being written off is in relation to companies that have gone into administration/ individuals being made bankrupt, proof of debt has been lodged with the Administrators or Liquidators in all appropriate cases and either it has been confirmed that no dividend is payable or a final dividend payment has been received. Recovery action has therefore been exhausted and there is no further action that can be taken to obtain any further payments in relation to the debt. Table 2 in Appendix 1 summarises the rationale for the different reasons for write off decisions by year and by value.

 

The majority of the aged debt outlined in Appendix 1 has been fully provided for in the council’s debt provisions in accordance with the council’s debt provision policies, local accounting procedures and statutory accounting regulations. As a result, the impact on the Council’s revenue position as a result of this write off exercise is £23,656. All debt recovery actions available to the council must be exhausted before outstanding debt can be recommended for write-off.

 

To further strengthen its debt collection procedures, the Council has a robust end-to-end accounts receivable process, including ensuring that all future debt write-off exercises take place on a quarterly basis. This report represents the first exercise for 2021-22 due to the ongoing= impact of Covid-19 on individuals/ organisations and the resulting suspension of active debt recovery action in the early phase of the pandemic.

Alternative options considered:

The alternative option is to not write off this debt. This would result in uncollectable debts continuing to be shown as outstanding, with a bad debt provision apportioned to these balances. It should be noted that once a debt is no longer collectable it should be written off in the Council’s accounts and the debt provision adjusted accordingly.

 

All other alternative options available to the Council to collect the debt have already been undertaken before making a decision to recommend a debt for write off.    

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:

None.

Background Documents:

There are no documents.

Publication date: 19/11/2021

Date of decision: 19/11/2021

Effective from: 25/11/2021

Accompanying Documents: