Correcting “slip of the pen” errors in the rules

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  • #45083
    jmembery
    Participant

    Every time I, or any of the many other people I have checking our rules, read through my Councils support rules, we come accross minor "slip of the pen" type errors.

    This is mostly due to the fact that there have been a number of re-writes and its all so darn complicated to start with.

    My question is really has anyone seen anything that allows us to correct these type of errors in year once the scheme has been officially adopted? Hopefully I have just missed this.

    #127127
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    No and I dont think you can. Think of the Hb regs…DWP often acknowledge there are errors and are often correcting them. But they can only do so by issuing new legislation or tacking the changes on to planned changes. My understanding is once your scheme is final, thats it (errors and all). You will be able to make changes in a year’s time.

    Who is to say what is a slip?

    #127128
    jmembery
    Participant

    Oh dear -things such as referring to the incorrect schedule number might well have significant unintended consequences then!!

    #127129
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Well…DCLG would say all schemes should be checked by the Council’s lawyers before going to full Council?

    #127130
    jmembery
    Participant

    This one has been, even lawyers miss things!!

    #127131
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    You can borrow our one if you want Jeff, she’s very good and worth every penny (got to explore all possible revenue streams now).

    #127133
    Andreas
    Participant

    Re: The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012 3085)

    Not sure if I’ve missed anything but can anyone shed any light on the up-rated amounts in this SI at 4(b) and 9(b)… the previous premium of £64.99 is up-rated to £65.62 in 4(b) (Prescribed Reqs) but the same amount is only up-rated to £65.22 in 9(b) (Default Reqs).

    I only spotted this anamoly when checking through our scheme – but legal have (rightly) reproduced the anamoly because it exists in the SI.

    Surely this must be a slip of the pen? I was under the impression that the amount was up-rated by the same percentage?

    #127134
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    That I could accept as a slip on the pen in the first year only; becauses it relates to a default scheme or prescribed requirement and is not within the power of the Council.

    But say the Council said every non-dep will pay £5 and that got agreed and passed. A month later and AFTER 31 January, Officers realised the figure should have been £7 and someone had changed the figures on the final version by mistake. Hard to argue that is a slip in my view…..

    #127138
    Andreas
    Participant

    The problem is this won’t only occur in year one if a correction slip (no pun intended) is not issued; we are stuck with the anomaly as long as up-rating continues to be based on X% (i.e. the amounts will never be aligned again if £65.62 and £65.22 are each up-rated by 1% next year).

    #127302
    Andreas
    Participant

    Does anyone have any idea whether the erroneous amount in SI 2012 3085 (see above) will be amended to reflect the aligned £65.62 rates that are specified in A2 2013?

    #127342
    Jon__Blackwell
    Participant

    [quote=peterdelamothe]No and I dont think you can. Think of the Hb regs…DWP often acknowledge there are errors and are often correcting them. But they can only do so by issuing new legislation or tacking the changes on to planned changes. My understanding is once your scheme is final, thats it (errors and all). You will be able to make changes in a year’s time. Who is to say what is a slip?

    [/quote]

    The resource implications of this are huge aren’t they? How could all 300+ authorities afford to maintain a mini Adelphi minutely scrutinizing large chunks of regs? Given the enormous rush it’s inevitable that errors are going to get through (and I suspect plenty have already.)

    Unfortunately the diversity of schemes makes it harder to share resources: as Tolstoy probably would have said “All default schemes are alike…”

    Some authorities are specifically reserving powers to correct this type of error in their full council decisions. Are they being a bit too optimistic?

    #127361
    Patrick Doherty
    Participant

    This thread has me a bit concerned. We have also found a number of such minor errors in ours and are hoping to be able to amend them via something we put in about minor and consequential amendments being delegated to a senior officer. We inluded this on the advice of our Legal team.

    #127366
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    I just struggle to see how you can. The LA takes a scheme to members and that is agreed. A Valuaton Tribunal will need a full copy of that in every appeal. Local voluntary groups will have a copy.

    The claimant appeals against some issue….the “slip of the pen” may be crucial.

    So will the LA be able to say “ah yes I know the Council voted on this but Officers changed it to something else”

    I really dont know…it would have to be very minor it seems to me and not affect entitlement.

    #127846
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote=Patrick Doherty]This thread has me a bit concerned. We have also found a number of such minor errors in ours and are hoping to be able to amend them via something we put in about minor and consequential amendments being delegated to a senior officer. We inluded this on the advice of our Legal team.[/quote]

    Pat, we have included a similar provision for the same reason.

    It would be an absolute nonsense if no minor drafting errors could be corrected in-year, bearing in mind such errors can work both in favour and against the applicant.

    Surely if the local scheme for example referred to schedule 1 as containing the earned income disregards and it should have referred to schedule 2, does this mean that the billing authority could not disregard any earned income? That cannot have been the Government’s intention and on any test of reasonableness must surely fail.

    However, it will be essential, if there are any corrections necessary, for these to be properly approved and published and circulated (VTS, CAB) and for strict version control of the scheme rules to be maintained.

    #128869
    tjb
    Participant

    [quote=paulharding]It would be an absolute nonsense if no minor drafting errors could be corrected in-year, bearing in mind such errors can work both in favour and against the applicant.[/quote]

    One authority has calculated the daily reduction by reference to a weekly formula….

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