Welcome! Hope Companies House can do something about that.
You’ve spotted one of the key points about the Companies House dataset - indeed Companies House in general. Surely the key point of having a register is that it is correct and reasonably consistent e.g. if there’s a slot for “PSC” and a clear PSC from filings, that slot should be filled? I think they currently don’t parse the “paper” part of filings or correlate this with the general dataset however (possibly not even if filings are electronic).
The following is all my own editorial so feel free to ignore. I should also say that Companies House staff on this forum have been helpful in fixing data issues when reported.
- There is law on what should be reported to Companies House.
See the following - although this may not be the latest. I’m not a lawyer and others have done much more on this so search around the forum (and outside) for more info.
So by law companies are required to correctly report. However there are “get out clauses” even here at the start e.g. exemptions on certain types of entity, exceptions to reporting PSCs (Super-secure PSCs - we can tell you there’s one but we can’t tell you anything about it), you can drag things out by saying “we couldn’t find the PSCs”, “we tried to contact them but didn’t hear back” etc. Further, by design our legal systems still allow “paper trails” to disappear into shell / overseas companies quite legally.
There is law on what is required to be recorded (I don’t have further references though)
…but that doesn’t necessarily favour “being true” or “being consistent”. I believe Companies House have said several times that they are required to record details - and indeed record accurately what they are told. If they’re not told everything, told things inconsistently or told things which are incorrect the are required to record it anyway. They certainly have corrected information in the past but I don’t think they’re tasked with either checking input for consistency or proactively checking existing data.
There are lots of companies but not many people working for Companies House.
Some data validation or simple automatic cross-checks could help but someone would have to pay for this at the very least and it might require legislation also. Not a quick fix!
It also seems that there is not a great deal of political enthusiasm to capitalise on the register e.g. effectively enforce the reporting requirements and then use this to monitor / ensure compliance with wider legislation. At least, that’s the impression from reporting in the media.