Trust Office `failing'
Following stints with Reuters and the Press Association, Martin Hickman joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became the Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005 and has run the paper's trenchant campaigns on packaging, bank charges and factory-farmed chicken. He writes on subjects as diverse as food, finance, energy and fashion. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch - News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain.
Wednesday 01 September 1999
Despite being warned to buck up five years ago, the office had "deteriorated markedly" in key aspects of its job, the committee said. Under the Lord Chancellor's Department, the office is charged with protecting the finances of 22,000 mentally-ill people.
The office charges patients pounds 11.5m a year for monitoring private receivers appointed by the courts. But the committee found that in 90 per cent of cases, it obtained their accounts late, in 40 per cent it did not get them at all, and in only a third of cases did it carry out a review within four weeks, its target.
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