Recently, The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) issued a report that proposed the introduction of an Enforcement Conduct Authority that would have oversight of bailiffs and bailiff organisations.
Soon after, Just spoke to The CSJ to highlight the importance of consulting users of enforcement services as it would be useful for users to have the opportunity to understand the impact of such an organisation and what impact that might have on contracting with bailiff organisation in the future.
Consequently, through independent consultants, a paper has been complied correlating user feedback. The report, which includes the views of groups such as local authorities, central government, trade associations, utility companies and the legal sector can be accessed here:
Download the full paper here
In July 2021 the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) published a paper with recommendations on the future governance of the enforcement industry. This paper “Taking Control for Good: Introducing The Enforcement Conduct Authority” recommends the establishment of an Enforcement Conduct Authority (ECA) which would provide independent oversight of the enforcement industry.
The proposal is the culmination of the work of an Enforcement Oversight Working Group (EOWG) which comprises of representatives from the enforcement and debt advice sectors who have come together to respond to the challenge by the CSJ to:
“create a credible but ambitious path forward for enforcement, built on a shared determination to raise standards, protect vulnerable people, and ensure the industry is fit to meet the challenges of the coming decade”
Taking Control for Good outlines the mandate of the ECA to:
Ensure fair treatment and appropriate protection for people subject to enforcement. In doing so having regard to the need to protect people in financial difficulty or other vulnerable circumstances.
For the ECA to be successful in this mandate the views and needs of users of enforcement services should be heard and considered as part of the detailed design and subsequent establishment. If the ECA does not consider the needs of users, and incorporate their requirements in the design, the risk is that users will not champion, (potentially through mandation), ECA regulation when they are placing work. This risks seriously undermining the ECA in practice and could create a multi-tier approach to enforcement that would make the situation worse not better.
As a large-scale provider, purchaser and user on enforcement services, Just represents clients from both the private and public sector for civil and high court enforcement and is determined to ensure that the ECA has the maximum chance of operational success by facilitating the capture of user views. Once captured, these can be fed into the development of plans for the ECA and CSJ has agreed that hearing from a wide stakeholder group with feedback from users would be beneficial to the success of the set-up and operation of the ECA.
Just offered to facilitate independently sourced and collated feedback from users of enforcement services. This report provides that feedback.