WHAT MAKES THE LAWFUL TAX DEPRECIATION SCHEDULE PROCESS TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL IN THE PROPERTY AREA?

I deal finally with LABs and LAAOs handling of Mrs As case. In view of the information given by Mrs A in her application for legal aid of 26 March 1997. in order properly to assess the extent of her disposable capital LAAO needed to obtain from her details of her savings. her ability to realise the value of her share in a property that being an asset which, if realisable. would fall to be taken into account whether or not Mrsa actually realised it, and the reasons for the gift of money she had made to her son on 13 March.

They also needed to clarify Tax Depreciation information concerning her income, in order to establish whether she qualified to have some of her capital disregarded. They began their enquiries promptly in April, but did not complete them until August, and did not carry out an assessment of Mrs As financial eligibility for legal aid until a month after that. Had LAAO taken the correct action efficiently at all stages, they should have been able to complete their enquiries and carry out their assessment by no later than the end of April.

To make matters worse, when notifying Mrsa on 12 September of the outcome of the assessment.LABs area office mistook the basis on which LAAO had assessed her capital and accordingly gave the wrong reason as to why she had been found financially ineligible for legal aid. that letter also made no admission of fault by LAW in their handling of the matter, despite the fact that LEO has themselves made such an admission in a report to LABs head office on 14 August.

I have considered whether LAB should be asked to reimburse any costs incurred by Mrs A after the end of April, when she should have been notified that her application had been refused. I note the Chief Executives point that there was no guarantee that Mrs A would be found financially eligible for legal aid. I consider that, whatever expectations Mrs A may have had in the early stages of her application.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR WHOLE PROBLEMS AWAY FROM THE DEPRECIATION SCHEDULE PROCESS?


she was therefore loath to return to the High Commission without an appointment and an Ato Depreciation Rates assurance that her application would be dealt with properly. The Member asked FCO to give details of Mrs B needed to produce any documents in addition to those she had produced already. On 26 March Mrs B wrote to FCO asking for X to be added to her passport in the UK, as she could not take her three months old son to Pakistan and did not want to go without him.

She said that the passport officer at the High Commission had been unable to find any evidence that the member of staff who has dealt with Mrs B in 1995 and 1996 had been rude and abrupt. given the time lapse, it would be unproductive to compare the inconsistency between Mrs Bs account and that of the High Commission. She said she was sorry that Mrs B had not been satisfied with the High Commissions service. The passport officer was unable to give Mrs B a definite appointment date as he did not know when she would be in Pakistan but he has suggested that she should attend the High Commission at the earliest opportunity.

High Commission staff were aware of the case and had been told to deal with it as a priority. She had returned to the UK from Pakistan both for the birth of her son, as she did not want him to face the same problems as X (in being added to her passport), and to have X added to her passport. On 21 April Mrs B wrote to the Member she said she had decided to go to the High Commission to apply for X to be added to her passport and hoped to attend around 3 June. FCO said they had asked the High Commission to treat her application as a priority when she visited on 3 June.

On 29 June Mrs B wrote to the Member she said that on 19 June X had come to the UK with her. She wanted to claim compensation for the inconvenience she had suffered and she attached a list of expenses she had incurred in visiting the High Commission on 3 June. her return flight to Lahore (she enclosed a copy of the ticket) had cost £640 and she had spent £100 on bus fares in Pakistan. On 7 July the Member sent a copy of that letter to FCO he asked how Mrs B should go about claiming for the expense she had been put to because of the incorrect information she said she had been given in Islamabad.