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The Official Receiver's Chamber (Bankruptcy Office) act as an administrator for judgment debtors' estates, trustees for bankrupts' estates as well as deals with the administration of Company Winding Up matters. The office is headed by the Official Receiver and is assisted by Deputy Official Receivers. Throughout the year the Office will hold creditors' meetings with both creditors and judgment debtors with the purpose of managing, monitoring and reviewing the judgment debtors' payments to the Official Receiver with the main objective of assisting judgment debtors to settle their debts and for creditors to receive payment of dividends in an expeditious and timely manner.
Changes have been made in the composition of the Bankruptcy Office since January 2018. Due to the bulk of cases incoming on a yearly basis, the need of more permanent officers is apparent. The year 2017 saw the recruitment of new judicial officers who are now tasked to become fully dedicated Deputy Official Receivers under the Bankruptcy Office. There are currently five (5) Deputy Official Receivers who are hearing bankruptcy cases on a full-time basis. They are:
With the new full-time addition of Deputy Official Receivers, this has enabled the Judiciary to relieve a number of Senior Judicial Officers of their duties as Deputy Official Receivers in order to provide more focus in their judicial capacity. Nevertheless, due to the increasing workload faced by the Bankruptcy Office, the exercise of multiple roles is inevitable for judicial officers.The following are judicial officers who are currently sitting as Deputy Official Receivers and are also exercising other judicial roles as Registrars of the Supreme Court, Deputy Registrars of the Intermediate Court and Magistrates of the Subordinate Court:
The Registry is currently manned by one (1) Assistant Official Receiver, one (1) Assistant Financial Officer, one (1) Registration Clerk, three (3) Clerks, one (1) Process Server and three (3) I-Ready Accounts Officers.
The Registry receives applications from both the Government and private sectors to conduct name searches on individuals and companies. These applications are numerous and forms a huge and time-consuming part of the registry's work on a daily basis. As part of fulfilling the registry's commitment to provide efficient and expeditious services, the registry endeavors to produce results within a 3-week time frame.
The Registry also provides services for registration of Deeds of Assignments. With effect from February 2018, this service is now dealt with all five full-time Deputy Official Receivers.
Every year, the Judiciary seeks to improve the services offered by its respective registries and the Bankruptcy Registry is no exception. Under the guidance and authority of the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Bankruptcy Office is now overseen by Senior Registrar/ Deputy Official Receiver Dayangku Hajah Norismayanti binti Pengiran Haji Ismail and Registrar/ Deputy Official Receiver Hajah Hazarena binti Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Hurairah.
Amongst the number of changes made to the workings of the Bankruptcy Office, one notable change is in respect to monthly cash payments made by judgment debtors. To ensure a better management of payments made by judgment debtors, judgment debtors are now directed by Deputy Official Receivers to make direct cash payments to Official Receivers' account set up in banks upon receiving written notice. In other words, the Bankruptcy Registry is no longer accepting cash payments directly from judgment debtors. This new practice has relieved the working staff and officers with valuable time which is now dedicated to other bankruptcy matters.
The Bankruptcy Office has also established a new email address: email@example.com. This email address can be used by judgment debtors and third parties to bankruptcy and winding up matters to address the court with their queries.
With the relaunch of the Judiciary Official website (www.judiciary.gov.bn), a weekly cause list of cases fixed before each Deputy Official Receiver is now made available under the Bankruptcy Office in the Cause list feature of the website. An alternative search on individual cases can also be made via the E-Filing website at https://efiling.judiciary.gov.bn/eFiling/index.jsp.
As for Winding Up matters, there has only been 7 Winding Up Orders granted this year compared to 18 in 2017.
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