“The public need independent, consistent and clear information on the performance and activities of their PCC. Transparency is essential to promote confidence in the elected PCC. A consistent minimum amount of evidence will also allow the public to compare the performance of their PCC with PCCs elsewhere.” – Home Office
PCCs and OPCCs’ transparency will soon be under the microscope again, as CoPaCC takes a further look at this critical area of every Police and Crime Commissioner’s work.
CoPaCC first examined OPCCs’ transparency in November 2013, and, as Chief Executive, I gave oral evidence on this and other PCC matters to the Home Affairs Select Committee early the following year. Since that time, CoPaCC has undertaken an annual review of OPCCs’ transparency, accompanied by thematic reports.
We have also recognised good and excellent transparency by the award of our Transparency Quality Marks. Our benchmark has been to test the extend to which OPCCs comply with statute – in essence, “Do OPCCs comply with, or break, the law?”
When we examined OPCCs’ transparency last year, 23 OPCCs were awarded the CoPaCC Transparency Quality Mark 2016/17, as follows:
- Avon & Somerset
- Devon & Cornwall
- North Wales
- North Yorkshire
- West Midlands
Leading police assurance provider Grant Thornton hosted last year’s Award Event. Paul Grady, Head of Police for Grant Thornton, commented at the presentations that “Transparency is an essential part of the democratic process. For the public to be able gauge how successful their PCC is in delivering their electoral mandate, they need access to information that is accessible, easy to understand and fit for purpose. We congratulate all those who have been successful in meeting the standards required.”
Amongst other speakers, attendees at the Award Event heard from Richard Thomas, a Member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. A transcript of Richard Thomas’s presentation, in which he expressed Committee concerns about a number of policing standards, is available here.
Representatives from a number of the OPCCs awarded the CoPaCC “OPCC Transparency” Quality Mark last year are pictured below, with (seated at front, left to right: Richard Thomas of the Committee on Standards in Public Life; Bernard Rix, Chief Executive of CoPaCC; Paul Grady, Head of Police, Grant Thornton).
In August 2017, CoPaCC will again be writing to every PCC to invite them to set out how their OPCC meets the statutory requirements on transparency. We will publish our findings later this year, and expect then to award a number of OPCC Transparency Quality Marks for 2017/18.
Should any PCC or OPCC wish to understand more about this analysis in advance of our official invitation, do please contact us.