12 March 2015 – 624.2014-15 – Costs of running the NYPA and OPCC
I write in connection with your request for information which was received by the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire on 30 October 2014. Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with a response. I note you seek access to the following information:
- The costs of running the former North Yorkshire Police Authority in the final two years of its existence. In practical terms, this should be 2011/12 and 2012/13.
- The costs of running the PCC’s office for 2013/14.
- The projected costs of running the PCC’s office for 2014/15.
- For each year, the number of staff employed by either the police authority or PCC.
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted within the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for North Yorkshire Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by the OPCC.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you.
- The total costs for the former North Yorkshire Police Authority (NYPA) in 2011/12 was £1,015,332. For 2012/13 the budgeted costs for the whole year was £1,080,000, however £396,153 (expenditure only) was the actual costs up to November 2012 when the Police and Crime Commissioner was elected.
You can see the breakdown of the 2012/13 budget under the following link.
You will see the budget for the OPCC is £911,898. That means that over the 4 years term of office of the Commissioner, she will save over £500,000 compared to the former NYPA.
Equally, after coming into office, the OPCC was restructured to be more in line with the new role of Commissioner. The Commissioner also reviewed senior salaries and posts across the organisation. This review led to a more streamlined, cost-effective structure across North Yorkshire Police and the OPCC. It also means there are fewer senior salaries to pay, and whilst there were some short-term costs to redundancy, they were outweighed by the long-term gains. Over the first three years the savings will be a total of £868,000 and thereafter £387,000 per year.
2&3 The information you have requested in questions 2 and 3 is published on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website and is available via the following link.
As explained, over the term of office of the Commissioner, she will save over £500,000 compared to the NYPA.
I am not obliged to provide you with a separate copy of the information requested in questions
2 – 3 as I am exempt from doing so pursuant to Section 21 – Information Reasonably Accessible by Other Means under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act). Please see the exemption explanation at the end for further details.
4 – The OPCC is constituted very differently to the NYPA and so it is inappropriate to make a direct comparison in staffing figures. The OPCC staff are much more focused on the public than was previously the case. A full structure chart is published on the Commissioner’s website which provides a description of the role of each member of staff. That information is available via the following link: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/commissioner/office/team/
Unlike the OPCC, the former Police Authority employed a Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Executive and a solicitor, to name a few posts. In stark contrast, OPCC was restructured to remove the above posts, aside from a Chief Executive Officer, which is in itself a statutory requirement. The office now employs a caseworker for instance, who is on hand to meet or talk to any member of the public who has concerns about policing in their areas.
The figures referred to below relate to the number of staff in post on the 31 March for each financial year.
As at the 31 March 2012 there were 6 staff in post at the NYPA. The Police Authority previously employed more staff, which included a Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Executive, but this figure was reduced in the lead up to the change in office.
As at the 31 March 2013 there were 5 staff in post in the OPCC. This number excludes the Commissioner herself and the Commissioners Chief of Finance Officer because at the time in North Yorkshire the role was combined with that of Head of Organisation and Development for North Yorkshire Police.
As at the 31 March 2014 there were 7 staff in post in the OPCC. Again this number excludes the Commissioner herself and the Commissioners Chief of Finance Officer.
Current staffing levels within the OPCC are detailed on the Commissioners website and available via the following link: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/commissioner/office/team/
You may also wish to note the information published here: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/decision-notices/0452013-senior-staff-restructuring-savings-strategic-leadership-statutory-officers-decision-making-senior-management-review/
This report details how the Commissioner’s budget has been reduced and refers specifically to the money spent on senior salaries.
Section 17 of the Act requires North Yorkshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which: (a) states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question and (c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.
Section 21 – Information Reasonably Accessible by Other Means
Section 21 is an absolute class based exemption and I am not required to consider the harm or public interest when applying this exemption.
Pursuant to Section 17(1) of the Act this letter acts as a Refusal Notice in response to your request.
Please note that systems used for recording information are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. It should be noted therefore that this force’s response to your questions should not be used for comparison purposes with any other responses you may receive.