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The Insolvency Service

The Insolvency Service operates under a statutory framework, mainly the Insolvency Acts 1986 and 2000, the Companies Act 1985, the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Companies Act 2006.

They operate a network of 42 Official Receiver (OR) offices throughout England and Wales, Enforcement and Investigations Directorates in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh; Estate Accounts Services (EAS) in Birmingham; Redundancy Payments offices (RPOs) in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Watford; Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) in London and Manchester; and Corporate and Business Services and policy functions in London, Birmingham and Leeds.

They aim to set clear, measurable service standards and monitor, review and publish their performance against them with as little unnecessary paperwork and administration as possible.

What the Insolvency Service do

The Insolvency Service administer and investigate the affairs of bankrupts, of companies and partnerships wound up by the court, and establish why they became insolvent:

−    act as trustee/liquidator where no private sector insolvency practitioner is appointed
−    act as nominee and supervisor in fast-track individual voluntary arrangements
−    take forward reports of bankrupts’ and directors’ misconduct
−    deal with the disqualification of unfit directors in all corporate failures
−    deal with bankruptcy restrictions orders and undertakings;
−    authorise and regulate the insolvency profession
−    assess and pay statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay its employees
−    provide banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds
−    advise BIS ministers and other government departments and agencies on insolvency, redundancy and related issues
−    provide information to the public on insolvency and redundancy matters via our website, leaflets, Insolvency Enquiry Line and Redundancy Payments Helpline
−    conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into companies where it is in the public interest to do so.

These enquiries are carried out by Companies Investigation Branch

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