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New initiatives will boost fines collection

New initiatives will boost fines collection

The Labour-led Government has introduced new initiatives for collecting fines from hard-core defaulters, Minister for Courts Margaret Wilson said today.

“We have updated the Collection Unit’s information technology system and invested $36 million over fours years to expand its call centre capacity,” she said. “We have also approved an initiative to enforce fines at our international airports.

“Collections can data match with a number of agencies to trace defaulters, and have the power to clamp vehicles and seize property if fines are not paid. Attachment orders can be placed on wages, benefits and bank accounts.”

Margaret Wilson said it was important to note that since 1995 the Department for Courts has had to deal with an ever-increasing tide of instant fines for vehicle offences like parking and speeding.

“In fact, these infringements now dominate court-imposed fines and are more difficult to collect because the department is reliant on the often out of date or incomplete information supplied by prosecuting authorities. Obviously the ‘easy’ infringement fines have already been paid leaving the department to pursue those where the defaulters are difficult to trace and costly to collect.”

While these new initiatives would take time to impact on the outstanding fines balance she fully expected the collection rate will improve over the coming months, Margaret Wilson said.

“This is because last year saw a decrease in the level of fines collected as a result of the department changing to COLLECT, the new information technology system. The transition is now complete.”

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