Cosalt

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 7th January 2015.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will initiate an inquiry into the performance of the insolvency service in handling the case of COSALT.

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Education) (Women and Equalities) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

A report on the directors’ conduct was submitted by the administrators of Cosalt plc to my Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. When considering whether to seek a director’s disqualification The Insolvency Service has to consider the seriousness of the misconduct alleged and whether there is sufficient evidence of the alleged misconduct to satisfy the court that the director should be disqualified. In this case, the Insolvency Service also considered information received from other regulators and the concerns raised by the company’s shareholders. A decision was made that there was insufficient evidence of relevant misconduct for it to be in the public interest to investigate further since the issues raised are unlikely to be viewed by the Court as serious enough misconduct to merit the minimum disqualification period of two years.

The allegation of a breach of Companies Act requirements to file accounts with Companies House was considered by BIS prosecuting lawyers, who decided not to bring a criminal prosecution against the directors of Cosalt PLC. A detailed explanation of the basis for the decision has been provided to a number of MPs who had expressed concerns.

Complaints about the work and levels of service provided by the Insolvency Service are taken very seriously. Details about The Insolvency Service’s complaints procedure is available on the websitewww.gov.uk/government/publications/complaints-procedure. If matters are not resolved, then individuals can contact The Adjudicator’s Office which acts as an unbiased referee into complaints about The Insolvency Service.

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