§ Mr. Mark Robinson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what targets he has set the Insolvency Service executive agency for 1994–95.
§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
Against the background of a declining number of compulsory insolvencies and a significant increase in the resources for 1994–95, I have set the Insolvency Service the target of reducing the number of its open cases to a level equivalent to approximately 12 months inpout. This will involve the service in closing 53,000 cases. I also expect the service to increase the number of proceedings taken for the disqualification of directors of failed companies where there is evidence of misconduct and, similarly, to increase the effectiveness of its investigative effort. To that end official receivers will be placing greater emphasis on disqualification and prosecution work. This will be aided by an increased use of private sector professionals and by the strengthening of the specialist's resources of the disqualification unit.
In addition, I have set the service the following quality of service targets for 1994–95:to report to creditors on assets and liabilities within 8 weeks in at least 80 per cent. of all cases; and within 12 weeks in 98 per cent. of all cases;to hold the initial meeting of creditors within 12 weeks in at least 80 per cent. of all cases; and within 16 weeks in 98 per cent. of all cases;336Wto submit reports within 10 months in at least 80 per cent. of cases where there is evidence of criminality;to submit disqualification reports within 15 months in at least 80 per cent. of cases where there is evidence of unfit conduct by directors;to check and action at least 95 per cent. of payment requisitions within five days or by the due date.
These targets are based on an assumption of 35,000 new cases and a requirement to operate within its agreed expenditure budget of £57.5 million for 1994–95.
In addition, I expect the chief executive of the service to continue to reply within 10 working days to all letters from Members of Parliament delegated to him for reply.