CDER Group welcomes plans for new Enforcement Conduct Authority
The Centre for Social Justice’s (CSJ) report “Taking Control for Good – Introducing the Enforcement Conduct Authority” is being released today.
In 2020 the CSJ founded the Enforcement Oversight Working Group, bringing together the enforcement and debt advice sectors for the first time to collaboratively develop a vision for reform.
In a process of intensive discussion and consultation, the Working Group, which included CDER Group’s Director of Welfare and Customer Care, Carole Kenney, has designed a new, independent and fully-funded oversight body, with the functions and authority to drive progress in areas including:
- addressing inconsistent enforcement agent behaviour
- complaints system reform
- ensuring fair treatment of people experiencing hardship or other vulnerabilities
The Enforcement Conduct Authority (ECA) will be launched later in 2021 and deliver a clear mandate to ensure fair treatment and appropriate protection for people subject to enforcement. This includes:
- raising standards through the development of new rules, conditions and competencies, to be developed in consultation with the enforcement industry
- supervising practice and issuing proportionate sanctions for rule-breaking and behaviour below the standard required of the industry
- improving accountability through a standardised two-stage complaints process
- independently adjudicating escalated complaints
- introducing fair, affordable repayment and vulnerability protocols
Carole Kenney, CDER Group’s Director of Welfare and Customer Care, commented: “The development of an Enforcement Conduct Authority is a landmark moment for the enforcement industry who, in collaboration with the debt advice sector and Centre for Social Justice, have come together to develop a strong mandate which will continue to raise standards, provide greater protection for vulnerable debtors and ensure consistent fair practices for people in debt.
Nick Tubbs, CDER Group CEO, commented: “The launch of the Enforcement Conduct Authority (ECA) is a very important development for our industry and CDER Group has been very pleased to be able to support and work alongside the Centre for Social Justice, the Debt Advice Sector and CIVEA to develop and agree the framework for this independent oversight body. The debt collection and enforcement sector is a vital part of central and local government’s debt collection strategy – CDER alone collects sufficient unpaid taxes and fines to fund the equivalent of 10,000 teachers and 2,000 police officers annually. We believe that the launch of the ECA will ensure that the sector will be able to continue its important work, while improving standards and providing a service that is fair to all: society, our customers, our clients and our staff.”