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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, pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2011, Official Report, columns 95-96W, on insolvency, how many staff at each grade will be transferred to alternative offices as a result of implementation of the delivery strategy.

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

The Insolvency Service’s delivery strategy aims to restructure the organisation to make it more able to respond flexibly to future volatility in the case numbers that it deals with.

Staff will not, in the short term, be required to move office as a result of the implementation of the delivery strategy. It is being implemented in a virtual, i.e. non-physical, way, until at least 2014. The process by which the Insolvency Service moves to physical implementation of the delivery strategy, beyond 2014, is still being discussed and will form part of future consultations with staff.

The Insolvency Service has, however, announced its intention to proceed to public consultations on the closure of its offices in Stockton, Bournemouth and Medway. This is part of its response to significant reductions in case volumes. The closures are also subject to funding being secured. It is intended that the staff and work of these offices would be merged with neighbouring offices.

The current number of staff, identified by grade, in each of those offices is shown in the following table.

D3 D2 C2 C 1 L3 L2 L1 B3 B2 B1 A2 A1 Total
Stockton 0 0 2 0 7 4 4 0 2 4 13 3 39
Bournemouth 0 1 3 0 3 1 4 0 1 1 6 0 20
Medway 0 1 3 0 6 3 1 0 1 3 12 4 34

The number of staff required in each office, in respect of the Official Receivers Services, part of the Insolvency Service, is a factor of how many cases the Insolvency Service receives. These have been declining, and are expected to decline further, and staffing complements are likely to be adjusted if this trend continues. This is a separate issue from the delivery strategy whose purpose is to deliver a new and more flexible operating model for the Insolvency Service.

The delivery strategy does, however, anticipate further office closures/mergers that have not yet been identified. The Insolvency Service has announced a move towards a revised structure of eight Insolvency Service centre locations across England and Wales, with a network of around a further 17 Insolvency Service local office locations. In the longer term, this would reduce the total number of locations to about 25, some 10 fewer than now.

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