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MCA Update emails

These emails from the Office of the Public Guardian are not available on the internet so are archived below.

7/9/11 email

OPG publishes the Government's Response to its 'Fees 2011/2012' Consultation

The OPG has now published changes to its fees which will be implemented from the 1 October.

This follows a consultation that was launched on 28 February and ran until 21 May 2011. 51 responses were received and we would like to extend our thanks to all those who took the time to respond.

The changes are as follows:

-An increase in the LPA/EPA Application to Register fee from £120 to £130.

-The introduction of a new 'Repeat Application Fee' of £65 each time an LPA is resubmitted to the OPG within 3 months of the invalid application being sent back to the applicant.

-The cessation of the production of LPA office copies by the OPG, except in extreme and limited circumstances, and for a fee of £35.

-The removal of the Application to search the Registers fee.

-The replacement of Type 1, 2A and 2 supervision fees with a flat fee of £320.

-The introduction of an administration fee of £35 (to which exemptions will be available) for those requiring the minimal level of supervision.

- The rise of the maximum threshold of capital for those cases qualifying for minimal supervision from £16,000 to £21,000 over a period of 4 years.

-The introduction of a new Fee Remissions policy of 50% for those who have a gross income of up to £12,000.

-The renaming of a number of OPG Fees in order to make it clearer what they cover.

The Government's Response is available to view on the Ministry of Justice Website via the below link:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-CP16-10.htm

Whilst we understand that fee rises are never easy to bear, the OPG fee policy needs to reflect the economic climate in which we find ourselves. We believe that these changes are both fair and equitable whilst remaining proportionate to the services being provided.

Moreover, given the increasing workload (with estimated LPA application numbers at over 166,000 this year, up on 126,000 last year), we need to look at the funding model for the OPG to ensure that going forward, it is in a position to be truly 100% fee funded and able to cover all current and future aspects of its business from fee revenue.

The MCA Update Team

www.direct.gov.uk/mentalcapacity

1/7/11 email

OPG Fees Consultation

The OPG Fees consultation was launched on the 28 February and closed on 21 May.

We received 51 responses which are currently being analysed and collated. Once this has been completed, we will consider the options going forward. A formal response to the consultation will be published and made available to view on the Justice website.

So that we can fully consider the responses received, we will not be changing our fees immediately. We will, however, ensure that you are kept regularly updated on developments going forward.

21/4/11 email

OPG Fees consultation – four weeks left to respond

The Office of the Public Guardian announced a new consultation paper on 28 February 2011 which aims to ensure that the OPG Fee policy remains fair, equitable and proportionate to the services being provided.

It is not too late to respond to this consultation and you have another four weeks to do so. The consultation will close on 21 May 2011.

The proposed changes below will help ensure this whilst at the same time fully covering OPG costs. We are now seeking your views.

  • Raising the LPA Application to Register from £120 to £130;
  • Implementing a new 'Resubmission Fee' of £65 each time an LPA is resubmitted to the OPG within 3 months of it being returned to the Applicant as invalid;
  • Discontinuing the production of LPA office copies by the OPG, except in extreme and limited circumstances, and for a £50 fee;
  • Removing the Application to search the Registers fee;
  • Replacing Type 1, 2A and 2 supervision fees with a flat fee of £320 and introducing an administration fee of £35 for those in Type 3 requiring the de minimis level of supervision;
  • Raising the maximum threshold of capital for those cases qualifying for Type 3 supervision from £16,000 to £21,000 over a period of 4 years;
  • Introducing a new Fee Remissions policy of 50% for those who have a gross income of up to £12,000;
  • Allowing the Public Guardian to vary the levels of fees payable in the future, examples of which could be:
a. Implementing a new discounted fee for any LPA applications that are submitted together
b. Removing or discounting the LPA Registration Fee for Armed Service Personnel
  • Renaming a number of OPG Fees in order to make it clearer what they cover

The full consultation document and response form are available to view on the Ministry of Justice Website via the below link. Your views and opinions would be most welcome.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/opg-fees-consultation.htm

[See also: Consultations#Ministry of Justice.]

1/4/11 email

The 'Transformational Government' strategy states that government departments must rationalise the number of stand alone websites. As part of this strategy, the OPG has agreed to close its website on 4 April 2011. By moving our customer facing material to Direct Gov and practitioner material to the new MoJ website, Justice, we will be able to improve the usage and share resources better. For example, professionals will be able to view all justice related content in one place.

Content on the OPG website will now be available on Direct Gov. The Office of the Public Guardian information is available in the ‘Mental Capacity and the Law’ section which is located in the ‘Government, Citizens and Rights’ area of Direct Gov. Please note that the Direct Gov material is aimed at all our customers and provides information relating to making an LPA application, how to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy, the supervision of deputies, and general information about what the OPG does. The Direct Gov site can be accessed using the link below.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Mentalcapacityandthelaw/index.htm

From 5 April, you will able to use the following short entry point: www.direct.gov.uk/mentalcapacity

Information for professionals will now be placed on a new Ministry of Justice website, Justice. The new Justice site contains information on all business units across the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and will enable practitioners to access information in one place across the whole of the Ministry. On this site you will be able to access information such orders made by the Court of Protection, fixed costs for solicitors and other professionals and additional guidance tailored to professionals. The Justice website will also include regular news updates including application processing times. This site launches Monday 4 April.

From the 4 April, you will be able to access the Justice site on www.justice.gov.uk Information relating specifically to the OPG can be viewed at www.justice.gov.uk/about/opg.htm

If you have any queries about the website closure, please do get in touch via the following e-mail customerservices@publicguardian.gsi.gov.uk

3/3/11 email

Further to our E-Bulletin of Monday, 28th February, it has been brought to our attention that the OPG Fees consultation document contained an error in the executive summary. It stated that, if agreed, the proposals in the consultation would be implemented on 1st April 2011. This date should have read 1st July 2011 (as reflected elsewhere in the document) which will allow time to analyse the responses and for a decision to be made on whether to implement the proposals post consultation.

We apologise for any confusion this mistake may have caused and the consultation document has now been amended. You can access the amended document using the link below:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/opg-fees-consultation.htm

28/2/11 email

OPG announces 'Fees 2011/2012' consultation

The Office of the Public Guardian has announced a new consultation paper which aims to ensure that the OPG Fee policy remains fair, equitable and proportionate to the services being provided.

This consultation has been launched today and will run until the 21 May 2011. The proposed changes below will help ensure this whilst at the same time fully covering OPG costs. We are now seeking your views.

  • Raising the LPA Application to Register from £120 to £130;
  • Implementing a new 'Resubmission Fee' of £65 each time an LPA is resubmitted to the OPG within 3 months of it being returned to the Applicant as invalid;
  • Discontinuing the production of LPA office copies by the OPG, except in extreme and limited circumstances, and for a £50 fee;
  • Removing the Application to search the Registers fee;
  • Replacing Type 1, 2A and 2 supervision fees with a flat fee of £320 and introducing an administration fee of £35 for those in Type 3 requiring the de minimis level of supervision;
  • Raising the maximum threshold of capital for those cases qualifying for Type 3 supervision from £16,000 to £21,000 over a period of 4 years;
  • Introducing a new Fee Remissions policy of 50% for those who have a gross income of up to £12,000;
  • Allowing the Public Guardian to vary the levels of fees payable in the future, examples of which could be:
a. Implementing a new discounted fee for any LPA applications that are submitted together
b. Removing or discounting the LPA Registration Fee for Armed Service Personnel
  • Renaming a number of OPG Fees in order to make it clearer what they cover

The full consultation document and response form are available to view on the Ministry of Justice Website via the below link. Your views and opinions would be most welcome.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/opg-fees-consultation.htm

26/11/10 email

Please find below a link to the latest edition of MCA Update - Issue 3/2010

Articles include:

  • OPG Transformation Project
  • MCA 2005 Post Legislative Scrutiny
  • Panel Deputy Recruitment update
  • Registration Times update
  • 2007 Lasting Power of Attorney forms
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - data and annual report
  • Best Interests Decisions Study by the Norah Fry Institute
  • Managing Risk, Minimising Restraint

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/forms/additional-publicationsa-newsletters.htm

(OPG, DH and WAG, 'Mental Capacity Act Update', issue 3 of 2010, November 2010)

27/8/10 email

OPG Annual Report 2009/2010 Published

The Office of the Public Guardian has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year 2009/2010. You can download a copy from here:

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/about/statutory-documents.htm

Panel Deputy Recruitment Campaign

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is renewing its panel of approved Court of Protection (CoP) Deputies and seeks applications from prospective members of the new panel. The recruitment campaign began on 16th August and will continue until 8th October 2010. For further information or to download an application pack please visit:

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/forms/paneldeputies.htm

Change in Court of Protection Process from 1st September 2010

Issue of orders appointing a property & affairs deputy - security bonds

The procedure adopted by the Court on the introduction of the MCA in October 2007 was to issue all orders as soon as they were made, with a clause included in an order appointing a property & affairs deputy, stating that “ to enable the deputy to give security, this order becomes effective one calendar month from the date it was made.”

From 1st September 2010 the Court will change its practice and will only issue orders, made on or after that date, which appoint a property & affairs deputy, once it has received confirmation from the security provider that a Deputy’s security bond has been put into effect. The above clause will not be included in orders made after 31st August, enabling a Deputy to begin to discharge his functions immediately he receives sealed copies of the order.

This change only applies to property & affairs Deputy orders. All other orders will be issued as soon as they are made by the Court.

2/7/10 email

Please find below a link to the latest edition of MCA Update - Issue 2/2010

Articles include:

  • Amendments to Secondary Legislation
  • Registration times at OPG
  • Court of Protection Annual Report
  • Court of Protection Rules Review
  • IMCA Conference
  • DOLS Data Report
  • House of Lords Debate on MCA 2005

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/forms/additional-publicationsa-newsletters.htm

1/4/10 email

OPG issues response to ‘Amendments to secondary legislation’ consultation paper

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came fully into force on 1 October 2007 and was designed to place the legislative framework relating to mental capacity onto a firm legal footing and aimed at empowering and protecting all those who may lack capacity.

The OPG announced its intention to review the implementation of the Act after one year to ensure its aims and ambitions were being met in practice.

The first step in this process was the issuing of consultation paper ‘Reviewing the Mental Capacity Act 2005: Forms, Supervision and Fees’ consultation (CP26/08). As a result of this consultation we introduced new simpler and easier to complete Lasting Powers of attorney forms, a more flexible approach to the supervision of Court-appointed deputies and reduced some fees.

Our recent consultation paper represented the next step in the review process and was intended to address some specific technical corrections to the current secondary legislation, together with a few more practical changes designed to ensure the Act was operating effectively.

We received 31 responses to this consultation and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took the time to send us their comments and views. The full response document is available to view on the Ministry of Justice website (link below):

http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/opg-amendments-legislation-consultation.htm

As a result of the consultation, we have now laid 2 Statutory Instruments in Parliament which are due to come into force on the 1 May 2010.

The changes made are summarised below:

  • A reduction in the security bond discovery period after the client’s death from 7 to 2 years for all new bonds taken out on or after 1 May 2010
  • Adding Local Housing Allowance to the list of benefits that qualify a customer for exemption from payment of OPG fees
  • Allowing the Public Guardian to investigate EPA attorneys together with other interested parties should the need arise
  • Clarifying that a certified copy of an EPA will only be accepted if the original cannot be produced due to its being lost or destroyed
  • Amending the 'Application for registering an EPA' form to allow for the registration of a certified copy only if the original cannot be produced due to its being lost or destroyed
  • Amending the 'Notice of intention to apply for registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney' form to require attorneys who are not joining in the application to register an EPA to be named

The changes will mean that new and amended versions of forms EP1PG ‘Notice of intention to apply for registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney’, EP2PG 'Application to register an Enduring Power of Attorney' and OPG506A ‘Application for a fee exemption or remission’ will be issued on the 1 May 2010 and will be available for download from the OPG website.

Previous versions of these forms will continue to be accepted by the OPG until the 1 November 2010. After this date however, only the new versions of these forms will be accepted.

The consultation also sought initial views on a number of broader proposals for future consideration.

  • The introduction of Attorney supervision to LPAs
  • An optional checking service for LPA applications
  • A more flexible charging system for LPA registration fees
  • Providing options for the method of delivery for registered LPAs

We are grateful for people’s initial thoughts on these proposals, which are now being considered. We will of course keep you informed as to any potential future changes.

In the mean time, if there are any further suggestions you have on these changes, or on any other aspects of the OPG’s work, we will always be pleased to hear from you.

10/3/10 email

OPG Business Plan

The Office of the Public Guardian has published it's Business Plan for 2010/2011. To view or download a copy, please visit:

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/about/statutory-documents.htm

Consultation period ends

In December 2009 the OPG announced a consultation on amendments to secondary legislation, ref CP55/09. The consultation period is now over and we would like to thank everyone who made a contribution. We will analyse the responses and produce a report detailing the results as soon as possible.

Court of Protection Enquiry Service

On 8th March, the Court of Protection launched a dedicated customer enquiry service. For any queries relating to applications to the Court of Protection or to request Court of Protection forms please call 0300 456 4600 or email courtofprotectionenquiries@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk

You can still reach the Office of the Public Guardian enquiry line on 0300 456 0300 or by emailing customerservices@publicguardian.gsi.gov.uk

25/2/10 email

Changes to Office of the Public Guardian Customer Services:

  • From 8 March, the Court of Protection will be launching a dedicated customer enquiry service. For any queries relating to applications to the Court of Protection or to request Court of Protection forms, from 8 March please call 0300 456 4600 or email courtofprotectionenquiries@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk
  • The Office of the Public Guardian's Customer Contact Centre is moving to Nottingham, as part of our drive to improve the services we provide. We have plans in place to minimise any service disruption to our customers during this move, but during the week commencing 1 March frequent callers may notice that our automated menu system is not in operation. Our phone lines will remain unaffected otherwise. The OPG can be contacted as normal on 0300 456 0300 or you can email us at customerservices@publicguardian.gsi.gov.uk.

1/2/10 email

Please find below an attachment to the latest edition of the MCA Update newsletter.

Articles include:

  • OPG announces 'amendments to secondary legislation' consultation
  • MCA Update survey results
  • IMCA Service Updates
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service- Annual report England published
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in England
  • SCIE Social Care TV Mental Capacity films
  • Care Quality commission
  • Health and Social Care update

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/docs/Mental_Capacity_Act_Update_-_Issue_01-2010.pdf

13/1/10 email

Latest news:

Conversion of LPA Forms

As you will be aware, in October 2009 we simplified our LPA forms based on your comments. We have now converted the forms to allow you to stop and save at any time during completion.

Please note the following if you are having any difficulties saving the new forms:

  • Make sure you have the very latest version of Adobe Reader
  • If you are using an old link to the download page you will need to update the link. This will refresh the site and give you access to the converted forms.

Please continue to let us have your comments on our forms or on any of the other services we provide.

http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/

Auditing the practice of the MCA - Funding available. A further reminder that the Department of Health is providing funding to support the auditing of the practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is probable that there will be more bids than can be funded from the available funds. If that is the case, the Department will base part of its decision when allocating funding on ensuring there is a good spread of successful bids nationally and regionally and across the full range of services and sectors. The closing date for this is 22 January 2010.

Please see the attached tender documentation and supporting information. [Not reproduced on Wikimentalhealth.]

18/12/09 email

Office of the Public Guardian – Amendments to secondary legislation consultation

The Office of the Public Guardian has announced a new consultation paper. This consultation paper represents the next step in the review process of the MCA addressing identified areas of legislation and policy that in practice have not worked as well as otherwise intended.

The proposed changes will in practice help the Act meet its aims and objectives. The OPG intends to implement them on the 1 April 2010 and is now seeking your views.

For full details of the consultation paper please visit: http://www.justice.gov.uk/consultations/opg-amendments-legislation-consultation.htm

Auditing the practice of the MCA – Funding available

The Department of Health is providing funding to support the auditing of the practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Please see the attached tender documentation. It is probable that there will be more bids than can be funded from the available funds. If that is the case, the Department will base part of its decision when allocating funding on ensuring there is a good spread of successful bids nationally and regionally and across the full range of services and sectors. Please see the attached tender documentation and supporting information [not reproduced on Wikimentalhealth].

10/12/09 email

LPA Forms

We have noticed a number of common errors being made. These errors can cause delay to registration or rejection of all or part of the LPA. The three most common errors are explained below:

Attorney date of birth – If you do not complete the attorneys date of birth in Part A of the form we have to reject the application.

Continuation sheet A – Where you have not signed or dated continuation sheet A or where the date does not match the date in Part A of the main form, we have to register the LPA but reject the continuation sheet.

Order of Execution – If you complete the forms in the wrong order we have to reject the application. Part A must be signed before Part B, and Part B must be signed before Part C.

Deputy Panel Survey

Our web survey on the future shape of the OPG's Deputy Panel is now closed. We received more than 400 responses in just over a month from customers, partners and colleagues. Thanks to everyone who completed the survey.

We are analysing the results, but some of the key messages are already clear. Respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of greater transparency in the way the panel is managed, and a more efficient and appropriate selection of deputy when the panel is used. These views will be factored into our decisions on the way the panel is run in the future. More details can be found on our website, and we will publish the full results in the New Year.

Important - Expiry of Deputy Orders

Some Deputy Orders may contain a time limit after which they will expire and the deputyship will come to an end. This is significantly more likely for Deputies who were previously known as Receivers.

Deputies should check their Orders and if there is a time limit which is due to expire shortly, they should make a new application to the Court of Protection by completing forms COP1, COP1A and COP3. If the deputy order has already expired they should also complete form COP4. A fee is payable for making an application.

Deputies can find the relevant forms by clicking the link below and searching for the form by number .

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/HMCSCourtFinder/FormFinder.do

5/11/09 email

OPG Nottingham

The 19 October marked the opening of OPG Nottingham, which will deal with Supervision Type 2 cases. This is the first phase of relocation of OPG work to Nottingham; further moves will include more of the Supervision work and the Contact Centre. These moves should be completed by March 2010.

The OPG postal address remains the same:

Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 15118
Birmingham B16 6GX

DX 744240 Birmingham 79

The address for sending applications to the Court of Protection remains the same which is :

Court of Protection
Archway Tower
2 Junction Road
London N19 5SZ

DX 141150 Archway 2

New LPA forms

On the 1 October the OPG launched redesigned Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) forms and clearer guidance. The first LPA Property & Financial Affairs form posted on the OPG website contained an error where part C of the form related to the Lasting Power of Attorney Health & Welfare; this was rectified on the same day. However, there were 1,200 forms downloaded which contained the wrong part C; anybody submitting an LPA P&FA should check that they have the correct part C of the form. Anyone submitting the incorrect part C, will be sent the correct part C to complete.

The OPG have received a number of the redesigned LPA forms for registration where the Donor has not completed the Attorney's date of birth in section A, thus invalidating the LPA. This is a reminder that failure by the Donor to complete the Attorneys date of birth in section A will invalidate the LPA form.

To download the forms and guidance please use the link attached: http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/forms/Making-an-LPA.htm

Lasting Power of Attorney Fees

From 1 April 2009, the fee to register a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is £120. We are still receiving large numbers of applications with the old fee of £150. This causes a great deal of work in administering refunds, and is not, ultimately fair on donors and attorneys. Please ensure that the correct fee of £120 is sent with all applications to register an LPA.

Professional Section of the OPG website

Remember to visit the 'Information for Professionals' section of the OPG website regularly to see useful information such as recent Court Orders on LPAs, EPAs and other matters of interest. http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/information-professionals.htm

Public Guardian Board Annual Meeting

The Public Guardian Board annual meeting took place on 2 November in London. To read more about the Public Guardian Board and to view the Press Release use the link attached: http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/about/public-guardian-board.htm:

Panel Deputies

We are currently reviewing the arrangements by which the OPG provides the Court of Protection with a list of approved Deputies who can act in cases where nobody else is willing or able to do so. At present, the OPG maintains a Panel of 180 professional Deputies with the skills and resources to provide this service.

As part of our commitment to develop and improve our services, we are considering a number of options for arrangements to change the way the Panel is managed, or replace it altogether.

In order to evaluate these options, we have outlined a variety of possible outcomes of the Panel Review and we would like to invite our customers and stakeholders to assess, from their own point of view, the desirability of each outcome.

Our web survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and also gives you an opportunity to tell us if you are interested in taking part in further consultations on the direction and work of the OPG.

The deadline for completion is Tuesday 1st December. Visit https://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix3/p305289767.aspx to participate.

MCA Update stakeholder survey

You still have a few days left to let us know what you think of MCA Update, our electronic stakeholder newsletter. Please take this opportunity to let us know how to improve this service by filling in our survey:

<http://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix/p293154538.aspx>

Lord Chancellor responds to media coverage

To read the Lord Chancellor's response to the recent media coverage about the OPG, the court of Protection an the Court Funds Office ,see link below

http://www.publicguardian.gov.uk/about/response-to-media-coverage.htm