first stage of the Insolvency Service’s Quinquennial Review has now been
completed. I am pleased to say that the Review found the Insolvency Service
customer focussed and responsive. The standard of The Service’s work has
improved significantly and is well regarded. The Service has exceeded or met
most of its performance objectives. It has contributed to the achievement of wider Government
objectives and is effective in providing policy advice to Ministers. Its
standards of customer service are very high. The Service has taken a proactive
approach to customer satisfaction with many initiatives to identify and meet
customer needs. This has been recognised by awards including Chartermark,
Investors in People and Plain Language Commission accreditation for its
The Insolvency Service
will continue as an Executive Agency of the DTI.
The current functions of
The Service form a coherent block that benefit from being managed as a whole.
The review found that Agency status was widely thought to have worked well.
Customer needs and
continuing efficiency will remain priorities for The Service and will be taken
forward in response to the Government’s modernising agenda. The Review
supports The Service in meeting these objectives by making recommendations
relating to options for funding, benchmarking, selective tendering,
reorganisation, and clarifying its advisory role. These include:
The Service’s current funding regime to establish the most appropriate means
of financing and delivering future services to the benefit of customers.
benchmarking partners to ensure The Service’s operations continue to offer
quality and cost effective services.
selective tendering inviting private sector partners to carry out some of The
Service’s investigation work relating to potential director disqualification.
issues of recruitment and retention by investigating the scope for centralising
some administrative functions in areas of lower growth and high unemployment,
taking advantage of IT and modern communications technology. Reviewing the scope
for using new technology to reduce the costs of accommodation, achieve economies
of scale in administrative work and at the same time get closer to customers by
remote working and the establishment of regional centres of expertise.
to ensure The Service’s role in the area of advice to business and individuals
is appropriately defined and joined up with those who already provide this
advice in government and elsewhere.
Continued development of The Service’s research
function to enhance policy advice and operational strategy.
the continuing need for the Secretary of State (rather
than authorised professional bodies) to authorise individual Insolvency
Practitioners, thereby freeing The Service to oversee the regulatory
framework for Insolvency Practitioners and effectiveness of their Recognised
2 of the review is now starting and will consider whether any changes should be
made to the way in which the Insolvency Service operates, including its aims and
objectives, targets and financial controls.