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Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many insolvencies were identified for further investigation in Official Receivers' offices in each of the last five years.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The number of insolvencies identified for further investigation (FI) in the last five years are:

Period in which FI decision made Cases identified for FI Total insolvencies
1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 7,970 69,227
1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 7,484 74,163
1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 5,518 79,498
1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011(1) 4,158 57,385
1 April 2011 to 30 November 2011 2,179 28,036
(1) Data for October 2010 not available.

Official Receivers deal only with Compulsory Liquidations and Bankruptcies and on average a further investigation decision is made within 56 days of an insolvency order.

The number of cases identified for further investigation has been compared, in the table above, with the number of insolvencies dealt with for a corresponding period commencing two months prior to reflect the time taken to make the further investigation decision.

Not all cases identified for further investigation result in criminal or civil proceedings as further inquiries can reveal satisfactory explanations or mitigating factors. The Insolvency Service periodically reviews its guidance and training to improve efficiency in terms of the number of cases which are marked as further investigation but do not result in either criminal or civil proceedings.

The Insolvency Service introduced a new computer system in October 2010 and due to technical issues it is not possible to extract the data for October 2010 without disproportional costs being incurred.

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