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06 September 2016 – Freedom of information requests – Follow up response to a range of questions about accounts including head counts

Request

  1. Head count and total cost of civilian investigators. Broken down by PSD; other departments or units.
  2. A schedule of all STA’s entered into during the financial year 2015/16.
  3. Anonymised breakdown by individual officers of P11D Benefits in Kind showing type of benefit, value. The purpose in asking this question is to establish whether chief officers had declared the benefit of a substantial amount of free legal fees funded by the force for the personal benefit of those employees (each sought damages in the claim).
  4. Details of provisions made for out-turn beyond 31.3.16 for Operation Hyson. To include any provision for costs and damages awards made against NYP. These may of course, be covered off in Q5 above. The answer provided does not address the specific questions concerning provisions for costs and damages awarded against the force arising out of Hyson. Could you please provide further clarification or confirm that none has been made?
  5. Input tax arising from the Operation Hyson invoices of Weightmans, Mr Myerson and Miss Lynch has been reclaimed by NYPCC from HMRC. As the services of the three named suppliers were not provided to NYP or NYPCC (instead to nine individual claimants), there is a doubt as to the legitimacy of the reclaim of the tax applied to those invoices. Please provide copies of all internal/external correspondence with Mazars, HMRC concerning this issue. Is the answer that there is no internal correspondence or external correspondence with/between Mazars, HMRC on the issue of reclaiming of VAT on Hyson invoices? We will have to agree to disagree on the validity of the VAT reclaim as the advice I have (albeit informal) is that because of the presence of the claim for damages by all of the Hyson claimants, including the four police officers (serving and retired) the argument that the case was taken in pursuit of statutory duty is not sustainable.
    Mr Myerson was persisting with the damages element of the claim even in his opening speech of the final hearing at Leeds County Court (at which I was present on the press benches).

Response

The primary legislation affords a right of inspection of accounts and records relating to the period currently open for inspection, and all responses below cover 2015/16 only. Where we have accounting system records that amount to “books” that answer your question, we have provided this.

Your questions do not make it clear whether you are seeking information about the accounts of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, or the separate accounts of the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, or indeed the accounts of the group as a whole. In providing my answers, I have provided information from both sets of accounts, as relevant.

I hope this explains the way that I have approached answering your questions and is a helpful interpretation of the legislative provisions. Where it is impossible to treat a specific request as falling within the Local Audit and Accountability Act provisions, I have specifically included a statement to that effect.

  1. Data extracted and answer now provided:

    Civilian Investigator is a staff role which replaces a warranted police officer investigator, either to fill a vacancy or as part of a workforce modernisation process to maximise the efficient use of warranted officers. These roles operate across the force in a number of departments. The costs incurred during 2015/16 (including Agency costs where appropriate) were:

    2016-16-civillian-investigators

  2. Single Tender Actions are Delegated Decisions. The record for 2015/16 is published on the PCC website here: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/taking-action/making-decisions/delegated-decisions/.
  3. I can confirm that we do not consider that there is any taxable benefit arising as result Operation Hyson, and have therefore not declared any such benefit on P11D’s.
  4. The provision at 31 March 2016 in respect of Operation Hyson was £220.8k as set out in my previous answer. This provision was an estimate of the costs expected to crystallise after 1 April 2016. There are no damages arising against the force as a result of the case, which as you may know has now been resolved.
  5. I can confirm that there is no internal correspondence or external correspondence with/between Mazars and HMRC on the issue of reclaiming VAT on the Op Hyson invoices.

In line with our approach to transparency, this response will be published alongside the Freedom of Information disclosure log at https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/taking-action/freedom-of-information/foi-disclosure-log/ and https://northyorkshire.police.uk/access-to-information/foi-disclosure-log/.

Jane Palmer
Chief Constables Chief Finance Officer
North Yorkshire Police