Because the sum due in arrears was large, I can understand why BA decided that they would make the payment direct into Mr X’s bank account. On 9 January 1998 they sent him a form asking for the details of his bank account to enable them to do that. On receipt of the completed form, BA paid the arrears in two instalments on 21 and 22 January. In the light of all the circumstances, and in particular of the security considerations involved in such a large payment.
I do not consider that the time taken to pay the arrears was unreasonable. They were responsible for Quantity Surveyor arranging a re-hearing by a DAT of Mr X’s case following the SEC’s decision of 18 April 1997. Seven months elapsed before the case was re-heard. I accept that some of that time was spent waiting for a medical report, but given the circumstances of the case it is hardly surprising that Mr X was extremely frustrated by the further delay.
He asked the Member to intervene, and following a letter from the Member IT’S listed a DAT hearing for 26 November. I welcomed ITS expression of regrets to the Member while criticising them for the delays. I found that OSSC also contributed to the delay in resolving Mr X’s case. By April 1996 the administrative action on the appeals against the DATs’ decisions of 20 January 1994 and 28 April 1995 has been substantially completed. However, a further year elapsed before the appeals were heard by a SSC. OSSC have acknowledged the delays that occurred in their handling of the case.
I was pleased to note their assurance that the difficulties experienced at the time they dealt with Mr X’s case have since been resolved. What were the consequences for Mr X of the delays and errors by BA, and the delays by ITS and OSSC. Where there has been an appeal to a DAT and to a higher tier (as in this case), claims will usually take longer to resolve than normal.However the delays in Mr X’s case seemed to me to have exceeded what could be deemed as reasonable even allowing for that.