As far as councils go, SGC are not the worst offenders when it comes to greedy profiteering from Liability Orders - but they most certainly are greedy little piggies. Here is their rather frank admission of fraud:
Dear Mr North,
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Liability Orders granted in pursuit of Council Tax for 2012/2013 = 4,272
The actual cost of issuing = £84.79
Amount charged = £85.00
Total Revenue raised = £363,120
Please let me know if you require clarification on any of the above.
Yours sincerely ,
Mrs L Stevens
South Gloucestershire CouncilDon't you find it awfully convenient that the supposed cost of running a monthly query against their existing tax database comes to £84.79 per person? What is going so badly wrong at SGC that it costs them £362,222.88 to print off and send a batch of letters from a mail merge? And though the law states that only reasonable costs may be charged, even by their own admission, they are rounding it upward. By their own admission the are embezzling money from the process. I suspect if we were allowed to know the true cost, we would find the fraud is a substantially larger figure than they admit to. Perhaps I should call the police?
Though it is interesting to note that this is the same Mrs L Stevens who referred a specific complaint about a council recovery officer, to that very same council officer, which in my view is an outrageous abuse of process.
Mr North,You will also note, that rather than investigating the alleged fraud by Rundles and referring it to the police, as they are supposed to do, this same creature actually leaks my complaint to the bailiffs themselves. What we see in SGC's recovery office is a bunch of lazy, arrogant, dishonest crooks who will neither investigate a complaint properly or uphold the law, and leak complaints to their criminal contractors. When the court case is over, win or lose, there is an abuse of process to address here and Dorothy Hooper and Louise Stevens must be held to account. While I am considering suing them, an LGO complaint is most certainly in the works. These grubby parasites really should face the sack.
I have been forwarded your email as Mrs Hooper is not in the office until Monday 24th February.
The content and the tone of your email have been noted, but I do not intend to dignify it with a detailed response other than to advise you that Mrs Hooper is a very valued & experienced senior member of my Recovery team.
A full investigation of your complaint will be undertaken by Mrs Hooper next week.
I have advised Rundle & Co of your comments relating to their company.
Mrs L Stevens
South Gloucestershire Council