The true cost of a new UK Debt Collection scheme that was scrapped in September, has been revealed following a freedom of information request from the Law Society Gazette.
The MOJ initiative, which was to be called the “Transforming Compliance and Enforcement Programme“, was due to be part of the Courts and tribunals £1.2bn modernisation programme and was in development for three years.
The new Debt Collection programme had been designed to assist those owed money by of compensation due to victims of crime.
It was shelved because the Ministry of Justice could no longer service the budget required to continue the develop the project. The publication of the information stated the Project had an average of 26 full time staff and had sourced the services of nine technology firms and software program specialists.
The scheme was expected to cost £66m overall and had already part paid for itself via the recovery of £31m worth of debt previously owed in compensation.
Experts had claimed that the new venture would return an estimated £427m of unpaid debt by 2025.
“Planned upgrades to the service are no longer affordable within the department’s funding allocation, and, after careful consideration, the decision has therefore been taken to suspend the Transforming Compliance and Enforcement Programme,” the Ministry of Justice said.
It also said that limited work will continue to ensure that the program is ready if it is needed in the future.
“Improvement work already under way has not been lost and new ways of working, including better enforcement strategies and administration, will continue to apply,” it said.