Bankruptcy Bill amendments proposed by ICAS
ICAS has called for Debt Arrangement Scheme legislation to be included in the consolidated legislation - and for clear drafter of the legislation - in its response to the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill consultation.
ICAS has responded to the call for evidence from the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament as it scrutinises the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 30 October, 2015.
The Bill aims to consolidate bankruptcy legislation, making it more accessible and usable.
In the written response submitted by ICAS, the legislation has been broadly welcomed and is supported.
Noting that legislation will require further evolution, even in the not too distant future, it is considered that it is appropriate at this time to consolidate the legislation which has lost coherency through a number of significant amending Acts over the past 30 years.
ICAS has, however, suggested that it would be appropriate to also include within the consolidated legislative provisions relating to the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).
Read the ICAS response
Recent amendments to DAS, bankruptcy and trust deeds brought forward by the Scottish Government have brought each of these debt solutions closer together in support of a Scottish Financial Health Service programme.
Many of the provisions such as a moratorium, mandatory debt advice, use of the common financial tool to calculate debtor contributions and the role of the Accountant in Bankruptcy, are consistent across all of the procedures. It would therefore assist users to have all legislation contained within the one Act.
In the same way that the Scottish Law Commission recommended to move many of the trust deed provisions from secondary legislation into primary legislation, recognising the importance of the provisions, ICAS believes that the same principles should be applied to DAS.
ICAS has also suggested that some of the changes to wording within the legislation do not assist with the usability of the legislation. In many sections, the draft legislation now uses acronyms which do not assist with a clear understanding of the legislation.
It is, however, noted that the use of AiB for the Accountant in Bankruptcy is well understood and used frequently throughout the legislation and is helpful.
ICAS has also suggested that some of the parts or sections within the Bill could be ordered differently to assist users and their understanding of the legislation.