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086/2013: Review of Chief Police Officer Remuneration Terms and Conditions – 19 December 2013

Executive Summary and recommendation:

As made clear in Decision Notice 081/2013, both the Commissioner and the Chief Constable are committed to ensuring that chief officer remuneration terms are clear, lawful and that public policy standards are met.

As explained in the earlier Decision Notice, Chief Police Officers, like all police officers, are paid according to specific legal rules, some of which are complex. The extent to which additional benefits can be paid, outside of the Regulations and Determinations, is considered by the Government to be a matter which can be determined on a local basis. Locally-determined conditions of service have been quite commonly adopted in respect of Chief Police Officers, although it is clear that the former Police Authority in North Yorkshire managed more recently to limit the extent and cost of such payments. Our recent review concludes, however, that there have been several local allowances paid to Chief Police Officers, in the past, which do not appear with hindsight to have been within the power of the Police Authority to pay.

We continue to stress that we are in no doubt that the Members and officers of the former Police Authority, who reached these decisions, did so in good faith.

It is important, though, to recognise that the prevailing legal and organisational conditions at the time, were different – and to respond appropriately to emerging public concern, review work of this type and the fresh legal advice taken in connection with it.

On 19 November 2013 the Commissioner and the Chief Constable formally considered the report of the Review of Chief Police Officer Remuneration Terms and Conditions on North Yorkshire Police.

The report was produced by the Legal Services Department (with assistance from the Financial Services Department and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner) following terms of reference set by the Commissioner and the Chief Constable. The Review covered the last six complete financial years.
Several recommendations were made, summarised as follows

  1. Records have not been maintained to a high enough standard. Some paperwork is missing. A better system for Chief Police Officer personnel files, should be adopted.
  2. Consideration should be given to writing to certain former Chief Police Officers, seeking repayment of some specific sums of money.
  3. Consideration should also be given to asking for officers who have received medical allowances, to confirm that cover was in place for the period in question.
  4. More information is needed about rented accommodation arranged for former Chief Constable Maxwell.
  5. Medical allowances should no longer be paid.
  6. Remaining issues in relation to professional indemnity insurance for Chief Police Officers, should be resolved by agreement between the Commissioner and the Chief Constable.
  7. A formal policy is needed in respect of removal and relocation costs.

Decisions were reached on 19 November 2013, to progress certain specific actions arising from the recommendations, amongst them the need to seek specialist legal advice. On 3 December 2013, in view of the potential implications for other Police & Crime Commissioners who are or may be considering similar issues, the Commissioner revised her decision in respect of the publication of legal advice. She has concluded that it is against the national public interest to publish the legal advice she has received.

This Decision Notice sets out
i the final, formal determinations reached in respect of these issues.
ii the revised publication strategy

The Report arising from the Review, along with its appendices, are published with this Decision Notice. A small number of redactions have been made to these papers in order to preserve the confidentiality of legal advice, personal data and parts of the original documentation which are irrelevant to the conclusions of the Review.

Link to the Report of the Review of Chief Police Officer Remuneration Terms:

CPO Payments Report

Link to Final Documents:

086 Documents Final

Police and Crime Commissioner decision:

  1. Recommendation 1 is to be implemented forthwith.
  2. The Commissioner very much regrets the fact that she has not inherited from the Police Authority a clear, comprehensive set of Chief Police Officer personnel files. She notes that it has been possible to retrieve some further electronic documentation since the Review issued its report, but is very concerned to note that it has been impossible to locate the official police Personal File in respect of former Chief Constable Maxwell or former Deputy Chief Constable Briggs.

    This situation cannot be allowed to repeat itself.

    Comprehensive personnel files in respect of Chief Police Officers are henceforth to be maintained. They are to be updated comprehensively – by line managers and/or statutory officers as the case may be – with all internal and external correspondence, performance reviews and other personnel management documentation. The files are to be stored securely within the filing system of the Legal Services Department at Police Headquarters and held to the order of either the Police & Crime Commissioner or the Chief Constable as the case may be.

  3. Recommendation 2 has been implemented. Relevant correspondence has been issued. A holding response was received from former Chief Constable Maxwell and a letter has been received from solicitors instructed by both Mr Maxwell and Mr Briggs. This declines the invitation to repay and raises a number of issues from their perspective.
  4. Specialist legal advice has been taken, from Queen’s Counsel, on the specific factual and legal issues which arise in this particular set of circumstances. The broad thrust of that advice is not to pursue litigation because

    • this is a complex and untested area of law
    • we do not have an easily accessible set of comprehensive evidence to compile our case
    • the cost of litigation would be disproportionate to the amount likely to be recovered

    In the light of all of the legal advice she has received, the Commissioner has with great reluctance concluded that investing further public money in the pursuit of litigation, would be inappropriate.

    In reaching this conclusion the Commissioner emphasises that

    1. she continues to call publicly upon both Mr Maxwell and Mr Briggs to repay sums paid to them which were beyond the powers of the Police Authority.
    2. her decision not to go to the expense of legal proceedings should not be taken to have any implications for her fellow Police & Crime Commissioners, who are or may be considering similar issues which will inevitably turn on their own particular factual and legal circumstances.
  5. Recommendation 3 has been implemented
  6. There has been no need to enter into correspondence with either former Assistant Chief Constable Spittal (in respect of whom the cost of membership of the Police Federation healthcare scheme was paid as an expense) or to former Acting Assistant Chief Constable Read, who received no such benefit.

    In the light of the responses received from Deputy Chief Constable Madgwick, former Assistant Chief Constable Cross, former Assistant Chief Constable Collins and former Assistant Chief Constable Bagshaw, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable have accepted the explanations offered as to the application of their medical allowances. The Commissioner regrets that (except in the case of former Assistant Chief Constable Spittal) the Police Authority did not see fit to request confirmation of the specific items of expenditure at the time. In the light of the fact that this step was generally not taken and that the officers concerned have all confirmed that they applied the money to the broad purpose for which they understood it to have been paid, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable accept that they have done so in good faith and do not consider it fair or reasonable in the circumstances to pursue the issue any further.

  7. Recommendation 4 has been implemented. Rented accommodation arrangements were made for Mr Maxwell during the early part of his service as Chief Constable, in view of the distance between his home address and Police Headquarters. Upon close examination of this arrangements, as part of the Review, the rental agreement appears to have been extended a further six months beyond the twelve month period originally agreed. It is unclear whether the Authority authorised this extension and if they did, who gave the authorisation.

    In this instance, the Commissioner again finds herself dissatisfied with the situation she has inherited from the Police Authority. She is not satisfied that this arrangement was appropriate, nor does the expenditure seem to have been handled in strict accordance with the requirements of the Police Regulations. She again notes with regret that records have not been maintained well enough in the past.

    The dependable filing system required in respect of Recommendation 1 must avoid this situation occurring in future.

  8. Recommendation 5 is accepted. Subject to such consultation as the Commissioner & Chief Constable shall consider appropriate, private medical costs shall cease to be paid as part of remuneration (whether as expenses or allowances) as soon as is practical.
  9. Recommendation 6 has been implemented and is explained in Decision Notice 081/2013.
  10. Recommendation 7 is accepted and is being implemented. The proposed new Policy should be submitted to the Executive Board for approval when it is ready.
  11. In relation to Publication, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable are committed to operating with the maximum degree of openness and transparency in their decision-making and accountability. However, both are mindful of the fact that there are other Police & Crime Commissioners who are – or may be – considering similar issues. For the Commissioner to publish her legal advice in full at this stage may unhelpfully influence those matters (which will necessarily turn on their own facts about which Commissioners can and should seek their own legal advice) and would therefore be against the national public interest.

    Nonetheless, the Report of the Review (Appendix A), although it was prepared as legal advice, is today being published along with the bundle of copies of relevant original documentation (Appendix B). These have been redacted to the minimum extent necessary to preserve legal professional privilege on contentious legal issues, but also to remove confidential personal details such as addresses and the names of junior staff.

    The Commissioner and the Chief Constable are determined that issues of this kind shall never be allowed to occur again. Accordingly, from this point forward, to the extent that they are not already published routinely, by consent of the post-holders the details of the terms of appointment, remuneration and expenses of all Chief Police Officers and Commissioner’s statutory officers are to be published as part and parcel of the Publication Schemes on the websites of either the Police & Crime Commissioner or the Chief Constable as the case may be.

Signature Date 19 December 2013
Title Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

  1. Introduction and background
  2. The background to this matter is set out in Decision Notice 081/2013.

    The Report delivered its conclusions on 4 November 2013, including the following full text recommendations, which were formally considered by the Commissioner at the sitting of the Executive Board on 19 November 2013:

    1. That records in respect of decisions reached about Chief Officer remuneration, performance and conduct matters (along with details of the documentation considered and the reasons for such decisions) should be recorded in writing and maintained in personnel files held by the Police & Crime Commissioner (in respect of the Chief Constable) or the Chief Constable (in respect of Deputy and Assistant Chief Constables).
    2. That the Commissioner should, in consultation with the Chief Constable, consider whether letters seeking repayment of any particular element, should be sent to former Chief Constable Maxwell and former Deputy Chief Constable Briggs.

    3. That if the Commissioner thinks fit, having regard to the approach to be taken to the question of repayment under Recommendation 2, confirmation of medical cover expenditure be sought from former Chief Constable Maxwell, former Deputy Chief Constable Briggs, former Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross and Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick.
    4. That further information be gathered about the accommodation arrangements made for former Chief Constable Maxwell.
    5. That neither Medical Allowances nor any other payment toward private healthcare insurance, should be paid to Chief Officers. The residual arrangement with DCC Madgwick should be brought to an end.
    6. That the Commissioner and the Chief Constable meet as soon as practicable to agree a mutually acceptable approach to the question of meeting, by way of payment of an expense, the cost (in whole or part) of personal liability insurance for Chief Officers.
    7. That a policy be adopted and published (in accordance with the Determination to Regulation 35 of the Police Regulations 2003) setting out the ambit of the removal and relocation regime within NYP and NYPCC and giving guidance as to how decisions about individual items of expenditure are to be made.
  3. Matters for consideration
  4. Contained in the Report.

  5. Other options considered, if any
  6. None applicable

  7. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes
  8. None applicable

  9. Consultations carried out
  10. Although the issues considered by the Review are not of a kind which would normally trigger consultation, all practicable efforts have been made in line with good practice to inform those directly affected or referred to, that this Decision Notice has been determined and that it is required to be published.

    In addition, External and Internal Auditors and the Chair of the Joint Independent Audit Committee have been kept informed of the issues.

  11. Financial Implications/Value for money
  12. There are no direct financial implications of this report. The allowances paid have previously been included and published in the relevant years’ statutory accounts.

    Based on the information provided within this report, the Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer is satisfied that the costs of pursuing recovery through the courts would outweigh the potential benefits.

  13. Legal Implications
  14. In line with the advice provided in connection with Decision Notice 081/2013, legal advice has been provided throughout the course of this matter including but not limited to advice as to the meaning and effect of a waiver of legal professional privilege.

    Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Force Solicitor is satisfied that this report does not ask the Commissioner to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law. In the absence on leave of the Deputy Force Solicitor, the Force Solicitor has undertaken this legal compliance check on the Decision Notice, the DN having been drawn up by him in accordance with the Executive Board’s deliberations.

  15. Equality Implications
  16. None appear to arise.

Public Access to Information

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted. Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES
If Yes, what is the reason for restriction – As set out in the Part 2 frontsheet.

Tick to confirm statement √
Director/Chief Officer has reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. n/a
Legal Advice Legal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge. Simon Dennis, 003638, 19 December 2013
Financial Advice The CC CFO has both been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice Gary Macdonald, 005299, 19 December 2013
Equalities Advice An assessment has been made of the equality impact of this proposal. Either there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice. Simon Dennis, 003638, 19 December 2013
I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision Simon Dennis Date 19 December 2013
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