January 27, 2011 -- UK district council Fenland, in partnership with the local Valuation Office (VO), has introduced award winning new working practices to ensure bills for Non Domestic Rates are issued promptly and to the correct address. Based around the use of the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) as the definitive address list, this has resulted in significant efficiency gains for both organisations, with resulting cashable savings, and improved customer service for businesses in the rural Cambridgeshire district.
The Valuation Office has responsibility for compiling and maintaining lists of the rateable values of commercial properties and the council tax bandings in England and Wales. Previously, officers completing valuations recorded their findings against a temporary address. The VO then submitted a report to the Council’s Non Domestic Rates (NDR) Team who then tried to match this often ambiguous address against Council records.
The new working practices developed by staff within the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) Team at Fenland Council builds on work already done to match Council Tax records against the national address database. Notification of new premises – as a result of a merge or split of an existing property for example – recorded by the Council are forwarded to the VO using NLPG compliant addresses and the VO staff now request an official address prior to completing a valuation report.
“The use of multiple addresses resulted in lots of unnecessary correspondence between the Council and VO, and ultimately the business customer, to clarify the official address of the commercial premise,” commented Wendy Cooley, LLPG Custodian at Fenland District Council. “By devising and introducing a relatively straightforward standard operating procedure we can ensure that the correct address is used by all parties from the outset. This has significantly reduced the workload of staff within both organisations and has resulted in fewer queries from our business customers.”
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