Law changes give greater flexibility for SPER to recoup debts

The Queensland Parliament has passed new legislation to change the way the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) operates – making it easier to recover debts and easier for people to pay.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said changes under the State Penalties Enforcement Amendment Bill 2017 would enable targeted ‘case management’ and legislative changes to the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999 would make substantial improvements to SPER’s fee structure.
“By simplifying fees, we’re going to make it easier for people to understand what they need to pay and what the financial consequences are if SPER is required to take enforcement action against them,” Mr Pitt said.
“Five years ago SPER handled around 760,000 new unpaid fines and penalties a year but that number has doubled to more than 1.5 million new unpaid fines and penalties in the last financial year.
“That’s stretched SPER’s resources and ageing IT system to their limits, so it’s critical that we modernise our approach to debt management.
“This legislation provides the changes needed by looking at a person’s entire debt history and circumstances, rather than just their individual debts.
“Our new tailored approach will enhance SPER’s ability to take enforcement action against those people who choose not to pay their debts, making it harder for repeat defaulters to get away with not paying.
“It will also make it easier for people who want to pay their fine to do so, and offer greater support for those who genuinely need it.
“These legislative changes are designed to improve debt recovery, fairly and effectively on a case-by-case basis.”
Currently, people with SPER debts who are experiencing hardship have limited non-financial options to finalise their debts.
The Treasurer said a key feature of the Bill is the introduction of a new scheme for Queenslanders experiencing genuine hardship to reduce or pay off their debt in alternative ways.
“I’m proud to say that SPER will implement a work and development order program in Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Treasurer said the new program would allow people in hardship to reduce their debt by undertaking a wider range of activities that will be of benefit to themselves or the community.
“The program will be open to people unable to pay their debt who are experiencing domestic and family violence, homelessness or financial hardship, or those with an intellectual or cognitive disability, mental illness or substance use disorder.”
SPER will work with government and community-based sponsors who will then manage the activities undertaken by the individual.
Registered sponsor organisations will be able to recommend and supervise the activities of program participants, including unpaid community work, undertaking financial or other counselling, completing educational, vocational or life skills courses, among other options.
The Palaszczuk Government has also commissioned a new $58.8m debt recovery computer system to be implemented by CGI in the second half of this year.
The new smart and responsive solution will also provide global best practices in customer profiling, behavioural economics, system reporting and channel management.
SPER has also commenced an outbound call campaign to remind people of the consequences of not paying their fine on time and to encourage payment.
These initiatives and others have seen SPER collect over $150 million in the first six months of the 2016-17 financial year.

Source 

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

15,000 volunteers to join the Commonwealth Games

$1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy delivers for the Gold Coast

Australian tourists spending more than ever before in Queensland