Freedom of information response

Council Tax

Publication date: 
Thursday 18 April 2019
Request: 

1)  How frequently do you review your Council Tax Single Person discount claims?

2)  Do you perform bulk reviews or continuous review?

3)  Did you perform the SPD Reviews yourself or use an external agency/organisation to perform the reviews?

4)  Did you perform a review in 2016? If so, did you use an external agency?  If so, which agency/organisation did you use?  How many invalid claims were removed?

5)  Did you perform a review in 2017? If so, did you use an external agency?  If so, which agency/organisation did you use? How many invalid claims were removed?

6)  Did you perform a review in 2018? If so, did you use an external agency?  If so, which agency/organisation did you use? How many invalid claims were removed?

7)  If your council does its own reviews, do you contact all claimants in receipt of SPD or do you use additional data (such as credit bureau data) to identify and target only claims deemed to be at risk of error?

8)  If you use an external agency/organisation, do they use additional data sets (e.g. credit bureau data) to identify and target claimants whose discount may be invalid?

9)  Are you planning to do a SPD Review in 2019 and/or 2020?

10) If you plan to do a review in 2019/20, will you use an external agency/organisation?  If so, which one?  Have you already contracted this service? If you already have a contract with an external agency/organisation, when did the contract start and when will the contract end?

11)  If you are an Inner or Outer London Borough Council, do you use the London Counter Fraud Hub to detect/identify possibly invalid/fraudulent SPD claims?

12)  If you are a Unitary or District Council, please provide the following information regarding the current number of SPD claims:

  • SPD claims (not in receipt of CTR) SPD claims in receipt of CTR
  • Band A  
  • Band B  
  • Band C  
  • Band D  
  • Band E  
  • Band F  
  • Band G  
  • Band H  
  • Band I (Wales Only)  

13)  If you use an external agency/organisation, do you provide them with access to your IT systems to cancel invalid SPD claims?

Response: 

1)  Every 2 years

2)  Continuous Reviews

3)  Usually ourselves, except for period October 2016 to September 2017 (see below)

4) Did you perform a review in 2016? Yes; If so, did you use an external agency? Yes;  If so, which agency/organisation did you use? Capacity Grid;  How many invalid claims were removed? 535 (Period was from October 2016 to September 2017)

5) Did you perform a review in 2017? Yes; If so, did you use an external agency? Partially see Question 4 above If so, which agency/organisation did you use? Capacity Grid; How many invalid claims were removed? See Question 4 above, Thurrock Council continued with reviews from September 2017-  we removed 433 invalid claims

6) Did you perform a review in 2018? NO; If so, did you use an external agency? No; If so, which agency/organisation did you use? N/A; How many invalid claims were removed? 425

7)  All Claimants

8)  Yes

9)  Yes

10) If you plan to do a review in 2019/20, will you use an external agency/organisation? No  If so, which one?  N/A; Have you already contracted this service? N/A; If you already have a contract with an external agency/organisation, when did the contract start and when will the contract end? N/A

11)  N/A

12)  Accurate information of the split between those claimants who do and do not receive CTR is not available. 

Please see below band split of claimants in 2018/19

  SPD claims (not in receipt of CTR) SPD claims in receipt of CTR
Band A 3934  
Band B 4885  
Band C 6495  
Band D 2493  
Band E 723  
Band F 203  
Band G 86  
Band H 5  
Band I (Wales Only)    

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If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the council have managed your request you can pursue an independent review by contacting us at the above address and your request will be considered by the Information Manager who will update you with the outcome. 

You may also wish to refer your case to the Information Commissioner’s Office, details of this organisation can be found at www.ico.org.uk . Alternatively they can be contacted on 0303 123 1113.

Request reference:
FOI 8896