Court Efficiencies

A few items from within the Courts where efficiencies could be achieved:-

Cases of benefit fraud

The vast majority of benefit fraud cases involve individuals on state benefits who take up paid employment without advising the Social Security office. These individuals have been registered for tax & NI by their employers so the tax office is aware that they are in work.

Could there not be a weekly check whereby the details of those claiming benefits were compared against the data base of employees to throw out any appearing on both.

The fraud could be nipped in the bud at an early stage thereby saving on both benefit payments and the court time taken to deal with these cases.

Enforcement of outstanding fines

This appears to be woeful with action to enforce only being taken when a person owing fines appears in court on a subsequent matter & the outstanding fines are picked up. The court can order them to be paid 'forthwith' with the alternative to paying on the spot being a custodial sentence. ( I had a case of a young lady up for allowing her dog to escape & facing a fine of less than £100 when it was discovered she had outstanding parking fines of £1,200. We ordered them to be paid forthwith or go to prison & after a tearful phone call to her dad he turned up to pay the £1,200).

With regard to parking fines, when a yellow/black parking ticket is issued there is a 42 day period in which to settle a fine of £60. If not paid a request to pay the sum of £90 is issued by the Courts (signed by a JP)  & delivered by the relevant coroner. These don't appear to be followed up so we have the loss of revenue plus the injustice of the prompt payers being penalised whilst no action is taken against those who choose not to pay. I suspect that this system may also apply to the fixed penalty fines now issued by the police.

The Chief Registrar keeps a register of fines in default.

This could lead onto the bigger question of debt collection in general in the IOM !

Payment of fines & maintenance payments

The above mentioned fixed penalty fines can be settled by debit/credit card over the phone, at any post office, via cheque or personal visit to the public counter at the Courthouse. All other fines and maintenance payments do not offer the pay at a post office option. As many of the people we see don't have access to a bank account they are restricted to paying in cash. The only method of doing this is to attend the public counter each week to make this payment, from which ever part of the Island they may reside. If the payment of all fines & maintenance payments could be extended to post offices it would no doubt cut down on the amount of missed payments (plus boost the business of our local post offices !)

Bureaucracy

Just a general gripe which no doubt applies across Government - the complexity & duplication of paper work. I often struggle to understand some of the forms originating from the Courthouse so I really feel for some of the people we encounter in court having to negotiate their way through them. It would be lovely to do away with the legal jargon & use words & phrases that  all of us can understand. Guess you'd have to be a miracle worker to solve this one though.

 

Idea received by email - Site Moderator

 

Why the contribution is important

 

Improved efficiencies.

 

by MelindaIOMGov on May 10, 2017 at 01:34PM

Current Rating

5.0
Average score : 5.0
Based on : 4 votes