FOI Request - Council Tax Collection Rates

Request 101001199337

1) What was the Council Tax collection rate for the Council for the last three years (2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14)?
2) What were the costs over the past three years of Council Tax debt recovery, per pound recovered, and how has this figure been calculated?
3) Please provide details of any initiatives, both current or planned, to use behavioural insights or other specialist communications to increase Council Tax collection rates.

Response 22-06-2016

1) At 31 March 2016 the Council Tax collection percentages were:

2015-16: 95.6%;

2014-15: 95.8%;

2013-14: 97.2%.

2) At 31 March 2016 the costs of Council Tax collection were:

2015-16: £40,601;

2014-15: £53,698;

2013-14: £57,538.

In regard to calculation of these sums it is felt that revealing such detailed financial information would substantially prejudice the commercial interests of our chosen service supplier and that whilst the contract is ongoing the information remains sensitive. Whilst there is public interest in being able to see that the Council tax is being paid and that the Council is procuring efficient services the balance of the public interest lies in protecting the commercial interests of suppliers in order to ensure that the Council gets best value from its services. The Council is trusted to engage and evaluate these services and must go through a tender process to engage such services. It is not in the public interest to undermine the tender process. Further, detailed financial information was given to the council by the supplier in circumstances where the supplier expected a degree of confidentiality.

This information is therefore exempt under Section 33(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002,  substantial prejudice to commercial interests and Section 36(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, confidentiality.

3) We currently have no plans to implement any initiatives to use behavioural insights or other specialist communications to increase Council Tax collection rates.

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