29 March 2014

NSL - out of order again

There is a safety net built into the PCN enforcement process to catch you if you don't receive the Notice to Owner or if the Notice of Rejection of Representations does not arrive.

The way it works is that the Traffic Enforcement Centre (part of Northampton County Court) agree that a batch of PCNs can be registered as debts and enforced as if they are county court judgments (although they don't count towards your credit rating).

Under Civil Procedure Rule & Practice Direction 75 this fact must be communicated to the debtor (i.e. the registered keeper of the vehicle) within 15 days of that batch being agreed (7 days in the contract with NSL, Mr Mustard thinks) i.e it must reach the debtor within 15 days thus allowance must be made for time in the postal system. The TEC keep a note of the deadline for each PCN which is 36 days after the date of their decision.

Barnet Council then send you a form TE3 Order for Recovery which tells you this. The TE3 has a date on the front by which you must file a form TE9 to return your PCN to the Notice to Owner stage (if you didn't receive the Notice to owner the first time) or have a PATAS hearing (if you didn't receive the Notice of Rejection). You get 21 days in which to file your form TE9 (by email is best).

(NSL have cut a big hole in the safety net by being slow to act. Here are the dates of a case which, thanks to the rejection of an in-time TE9 as being out-of-time, Mr Mustard got dragged into (luckily for the motorist concerned).

29 Jan 14: TEC agree debt registration 
13 Feb 14: Official deadline to issue TE3 Order for Recovery
28 Feb 14: TE3 issued
6 Mar 14: 36 days after debt registration = deadline for TE9
10 Mar 14: Witness statement TE9 filed (rejected as late)
21 Mar 14; Deadline for TE9 set by Barnet Council/NSL (incorrectly)

So what you say this is just a one-off? No, Mr Mustard had a case he was dealing with in November 13. Ah, so at least 2 cases then which would be 2% of the cases that Mr Mustard deals with in a year. Therefore, with 165,000 PCN issued annually we could expect there to be 330 such cases in a year. How many were there?

6,193 (let Mr Mustard repeat that)
yes, 6,193 not issued within 7 days at May 13 (since presumably 1 May 12 when the contract started).

So that is 6,193 PCN not processed in accordance with the contract or within the Civil Procedure Rules and thus illegally pursued.

We don't know how many went to bailiffs and were paid, completely illegally.

We don't know how many people paid up in fear, completely wrongly.

What we do know that the contract with NSL is a One Barnet contract.
We know that it is a disaster.
We know that we paid for a service we didn't get.
We do know that KPI.9 Processing Services has a zero tolerance for failure. Mr Mustard will be checking that this KPI has not been paid for in 2013/14 given that it has obviously been consistently failed (and 2012/13 was still being negotiated last time Mr Mustard looked).

So if the thin client side can't manage such a simple contract what hope is there for the contracts with Capita and Re:  (bloody stupid name for a joint venture)? Absolutely no chance at all that these much larger and more complicated contracts will:

a) perform
b) have contract terms that are properly enforced.

The only way to be 100% sure of what is going on in a department, is to run it in a hands-on style.

The NSL contract isn't working (this is not the only process failure).

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Amended by Mr Mustard to change the 15 days which he changed to 7 back to 15!

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