New Section 226A – Fines enforcement officers
323.Subsection (1) makes provision for a new post of fines enforcement officer (FEO). FEOs will undertake a number of enforcement related duties previously undertaken by the courts, such as dealing with applications for further time to pay. They will also be responsible for a range of enforcement activity. The FEO will be an officer of the Scottish Court Service (SCS), an agency of the Scottish Executive.
324.Subsection (2) sets out the core functions of FEOs. These are
to provide information and advice to offenders about payment of fines or penalties, and
to secure compliance with the terms of an enforcement order made under section 226B.
325.Subsections (3) and (4) provide that where an offender is subject to more than one enforcement order the FEO must have regard to the total amount outstanding and, where there is an enforcement order in another sheriff court district from that in which the offender resides, the FEO for the district in which the offender resides may assume responsibility for the functions of the order. This is to ensure that only one FEO has responsibility for exercising functions under an enforcement order.
326.Subsections (5) and (6) provide that where an FEO takes responsibility for an enforcement order under subsection (4) that fact must be notified both to the offender and to any FEO for the district in which the enforcement order was made.
327.Subsection (7) empowers the Scottish Ministers to make further provision by regulation as to FEOs and their functions. In due course, this could be used to give FEOs additional functions or to modify the exercise of existing functions. The regulations will be subject to affirmative procedure.