Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and Dave Jones, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, have today published a Decision Notice on their recently commissioned review of historic and current payments to Chief Police Officers within North Yorkshire Police.
The Report was commissioned to see whether, in the light of public concern about such issues, all elements of Chief Police Officer allowance packages paid in the past had a solid legal basis. The Report focussed solely on the last six financial years.
The Review found that there were some elements which were paid to Mr Maxwell (pictured) and Mr Briggs, that although decided upon in good faith at the time, do not appear with hindsight to have been within the legal power of the Police Authority.
Whilst additional details are sought and further specialist legal advice is obtained, Commissioner Julia Mulligan is asking for certain sums to be repaid by former Chief Police Officers, specifically Mr Maxwell and Mr Briggs. The total amount involved is £99,866, identified over the six year period examined by the review. The Commissioner is also seeking further information on past payments and expenditure.
The Commissioner and the Chief Constable are clear that the Report will be published as soon as possible.
Having received the Report of the review, the Chief Constable and Commissioner have decided the following:
- That Chief Police Officers who have received payments which may have had no basis in law, be sent letters asking them to provide further information and/or to repay money which appears to have been outside of the Police Authority’s power to pay.
- That specialist Counsel’s opinion be sought, urgently, on the merits of legal steps to recover money paid which may not have had a basis in law.
- Further investigations take place as follows
- further factual information be sought about rented accommodation secured for the use of one particular Chief Police Officer
- making an exhaustive search for personnel files which were not available during the review
- That the Commissioner remains committed to not paying, from the police fund, those elements of the Abbey Legal Protection policy maintained by the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) which might cover the cost of proceedings being brought against the organisation. The Commissioner notes that CPOSA subscriptions, along with ACPO membership fees, are not paid by the police fund but are met by serving Chief Police Officers personally.
- That national policy-development and advice work, in relation to Chief Police Officer professional indemnity, be monitored and its outcome considered at the Executive Board as soon as it becomes available.
- These decisions be notified by the Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer to the External Auditor, to Internal Audit and to the Chair of the Joint Independent Audit Committee.
- That the next steps (including consideration of the responses to correspondence and the remaining legal recommendations) be brought before the next practicable Executive Board, 3rd December 2013.
In a joint statement, Julia Mulligan and Dave Jones said:
This Report was commissioned as a consequence of public concern locally about payments made to former Chief Officers. We have decided to take a series of actions, including seeking repayment of almost £100,000, to resolve this issue once and for all.
Once the Report has been published, it will be the first time North Yorkshire Police will have published a Report of this nature, and is in stark contrast to the old way of doing business and keeping Reports like these under lock and key.
It is an example of how committed we are to transparency and openness.