Friday, 23 January 2009

ACPO, freedom of information and your money as tax payers

This thread caught my eye on the Army Rumour Service!
Now I'm not one to whine on about the police state especially as with all the e mail and phone tapping without a court order I would be silly to wouldnt I.
I thought if the ACPO are exempt bits of the FOI then my local Police Authority arent. I actually expected to have to add up the numbers but no they even did it for me.
What worries me is why the ACPO is paid by us the taxpayer to formulate police policy and then decides it isnt publicly accountable. Who pays for all of the officer seconded to ACPO and who pays for their replacements whilst they are away?
I'll wager its you and I!
Now here is the letter;

Your Ref:

Our Ref:
FOI 766/08
Date:
12 January 2009

Direct Dial No:
01273 404334


Dear Mr Bambibasher

I write in connection with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which was received by Sussex Police on 10 December on transfer from the Sussex Police Authority with your agreement.

2008/9 - £17,333.38
2007/8 - £17,333.38
2006/7 - £16,713.49
2005/6 - £16,226.29
2004/5 - £15,923.98

Payments from budget are made on behalf and with the authority of the Sussex Police Authority. The financial governance arrangements for the Authority are shown via the following link to their public website – http://www.sussexpoliceauthority.gov.uk/finance/index.asp If you have further queries about the nature or statutory basis of those arrangements you can contact the Authority as shown in the following link –
http://www.sussexpoliceauthority.gov.uk/about/contact.asp

The Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (ACPO), although not a body subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, can be contacted via the following link-
http://www.acpo.police.uk/contact.asp

In addition, we hold a copy of the following briefing note supplied by ACPO, which may be of assistance;

“ACPO was set up over 50 years ago with the aim of providing a means whereby work in developing national policing policies could be undertaken in one place, on behalf of the police service as a whole, rather than in the 44 forces simultaneously.

“Moreover, the Association provides a central point for police service issues and is the representing body of the Service nationally. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a staff association for chief officers – that function is fulfilled by a separate and distinct entity – the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association. ACPO is therefore an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and the Association of Police Authorities, ACPO leads and coordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO, on behalf of all chief officers, coordinates the strategic policing response.

“Police authorities voluntarily contribute towards the funding of ACPO. They decide annually how much the grant should be and each authority makes a pro rata contribution. For the 2007/8 and 2008/9 Financial Years, funding of £809K was provided, in 2006/7 the contribution was £781K, in 2005/06 the contribution was £758K and for 2004/05 the contribution was £735K. In addition, the Home Office also provide a similar level of annual grant which in 2008/9 amounted to £836K.

“These payments are determined annually at the present time and reflect the recognition that without the existence of an organisation such as ACPO, each force would have to in its own right perform many of the functions undertaken by the Association on a national basis; thus increasing bureaucracy and reducing the cost effectiveness of the Service overall. The operational arm of ACPO performs a critical co-ordinating role for the Service in times of international and national crises ensuring the efficient, timely and effective deployment of skilled personnel when required.”

Yours sincerely

T Mahony
Freedom of Information Disclosure Officer


To; Mr Bambibasher
By; Email


Thats an awfully large figure to pay to serving police officers to do their day jobs!
Why isnt the ACPO a function of the Home office?
Why is it paid for directly by the local council tax payers withoput their knowledge?
Look at those figures again, from my own authority:
2008/9 - £17,333.38
2007/8 - £17,333.38
2006/7 - £16,713.49
2005/6 - £16,226.292004/5 - £15,923.98


That would pay for an awful lot of police shifts where I live, reduce FAC application turn around time, the figures nationally are a real surprise and thanks to the chap who provided them saving me a lot of guesswork;
“Police authorities voluntarily contribute towards the funding of ACPO. They decide annually how much the grant should be and each authority makes a pro rata contribution. For the 2007/8 and 2008/9 Financial Years, funding of £809K was provided, in 2006/7 the contribution was £781K, in 2005/06 the contribution was £758K and for 2004/05 the contribution was £735K. In addition, the Home Office also provide a similar level of annual grant which in 2008/9 amounted to £836K."
Thats nice of them isnt it, voluntary contributions, didnt ask me the tax payer did they?
Think about those figures for a moment and ask why and how is an organisation getting so much money to do what effectively is its day job?
A private company?

In addition, the Home Office also provide a similar level of annual grant which in 2008/9 amounted to £836K.

That just about does it for me, the government spunking away money it has taken from us on employees that are already paid by us and then the local police authorities pish away even more of the money demanded with menaces by local paid officials.

I'm not sure where this leads me but I'm willing to bet that it doesnt end here!

No comments: