As the Deputy is aware, the High Court has jurisdiction in wards of court matters and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998.
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that when a person is taken into wardship, the President of the High Court appoints a Committee, usually one person, and that Committee has an important role in relation to the ward's personal welfare and property. In approximately 75% of all cases the ward’s Committee is a family member or a trusted friend. However, if no suitable or willing relative or friend is available, or if there is a conflict of interest between the ward and the person who would otherwise have been appointed, the President of the High Court can appoint the General Solicitor for Minors and Wards of Court to act as the Committee.
The Courts Service has advised that statements as to the valuation of funds held in court are sent to the Committee of the Estate who has responsibility for property and affairs of the Ward. In a small number of cases a family member is the Committee of the Person only and his or her role is limited to matters of welfare of the ward. However, where a Committee of the Person seeks a summary of the overall amount of funds in court, that summary will be provided to them.
The Courts Service has further advised that if such a request has not been responded to, details should be provided to the Registrar of Wards of Court and he will ensure that the matter is dealt with promptly.