Since the Insolvency Rules 2016 were published and then became law in April 2017 many insolvency practitioners have bought 'packages' of standard documents, including template notices, checklists, letters and reports, in order to assist in achieving compliance with the new rules. Such standard documents are then applied to all aspects of insolvency administration and are used by members of staff with varying levels of qualifications and experience.
RMCSC strongly recommends insolvency practitioners to consider the following when using bought in standard documents in this way:-
- Have you fully reviewed all the standard documents purchased for correctness and to ensure that they do not contradict your firm's existing insolvency compliance systems and policies?
- If reliance on the bought in standard documents is said to result in compliance, has a guarantee of this been provided to you?
- Has training been provided by the seller of the standard documents as to how the documents should be completed, by whom and about what other action may be needed to achieve full compliance?
- What steps have been taken by the supplier of the documents to ensure that they are accurate and reliable? Have you been given information about the qualifications and experience of the people who wrote them and whether the documents been independently reviewed, for example?
- How promptly will errors be corrected?
- Have you asked your RPB for advice about relying on bought in standard documents to achieve compliance?
- Has the supplier of the standard documents sought legal advice about phrases that might be challenged and does the supplier of the standard documents have appropriate PPI insurance?
Standard letters, notices, checklists and other documents can be excellent tools but inappropriate reliance on them can result in major breaches of compliance. Office holding insolvency practitioners remain liable for all documents sent out in their name, regardless of whether the document was drafted by someone else.
Caroline Clark's insolvency career started over 30 years ago and since 1994 she has specialised in insolvency compliance and regulation.