EMBARGOED UNTIL 1.45PM – 4 DECEMBER 2012
FAREPAK DISQUALIFICATION – RECOMMENDATIONS/ AFFIRMATION OF CURRENT PRACTICE
|INSOLVENCY SERVICE – INVESTIGATION & ENFORCEMENT TEAM|
|Recommendations/affirmation of current practice||How we will take forward|
Improve the sense and understanding of ownership of the investigation and final affidavit in section 8 disqualification cases
The Service will review the process by which section 8 disqualification cases are handled to ensure that
a) ownership of the disqualification proceedings is clearly understood and assigned
b) the evidence requirements for the disqualification (as opposed to the section 447 report) are clearly understood and assigned.
c) the responsibility of each director for the conduct complained of is clearly understood and evidenced.
|2||Increase the focus on any lessening of the public interest in progressing disqualification proceeding as the case develops and as time elapses.||The Service will introduce a more structured process whereby decisions at key points (for example receipt of defences, withdrawal of allegations, decisions to proceed/discontinue etc) are recorded in a structured way which demonstrates the public interest of that decision. The time elapsed will be part of that consideration. |
|3||Strengthening assurance that witnesses are familiar with their evidence, its relevance and significance (including all exhibits) and are clear about the process and what is expected of them, especially where third parties my have prepared or assisted in preparation of affidavits and where witnesses may be unfamiliar with giving evidence.||a)Any likely issues regarding the availability of witnesses will be highlighted prior to proceedings being considered.
b) Witnesses will continue to be appropriately supported through the process with a new system of confirmation in place
c) Solicitors will continue to ensure that witnesses are familiar with their affidavits and exhibits and what is expected of them during the trial with a new system of confirmation in place.
|4||Whilst it is not the Secretary of State’s role to speculate on what actions directors might have taken, explicit consideration should be given as to how the defendant ought to have behaved. In the majority of cases the answer may be obvious but nevertheless the exercise may be of value. This may prompt rewording or a recasting of the affidavit and allegations.
|This will be added to guidance and considered during the process. It is not suggested that this be added into the affidavit itself.|
|5||Continuing with the common practice that Ministers and others are informed regularly of the progress of high profile cases||On high profile cases that have clear Ministerial/public/media interest a regular ‘for information’ light touch progress update will be provided to BIS, Ministerial offices and press office
|6||Ensure that the contingent liabilities for cases are reviewed regularly by the audit committee and management board in the Service and regularly communicated through the monthly forecasting process to BIS.
|The Service will produce a register for cases that have incurred significant cost or have the likelihood of significant adverse costs|
 The lessons learned review panel recognised that this case was conducted under S8 CDDA 1986, where there is no statutory time limit to commence proceedings; the vast majority of disqualification cases brought by the Service are under S6 CDDA which requires proceedings to be brought within two years from the date of the company’s failure.