ARF proposed increase

stephen hudson made this Freedom of Information request to General Dental Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear General Dental Council,

As the dental regulator it is important that you uphold the same standards that you expect from dentists, and thus I raise a concern as you would for a dentist under principle 8 for I fear the GDC's present activities, as highlighted by the devastating PSA report, puts the public at risk. If the GMC can regulate the medical profession via an ARF of less than £400 your proposed ARF increase raises serious concerns about your fitness to govern the profession.

I therefor have several questions

- what cost savings have been made in the most recent year for which figures are available?
- what savings are anticipated in the financial year 2015-16?
- when do you expect the ARF to be increased again?
- how many contractors have received fees in excess of £50,000?
- how many contractors have received fees in excess of £250,000?
- what is the tendering process for GDC legal advice?
- how many FtP hearing days have been adjourned or cancelled, at what cost and for what reasons?
- has the GDC conducted a feasibility study of moving out of central London and what was the result?
- what are the pension arrangements for senior executives at the GDC?
- what pay cuts have been made at the GDC and are any intended?
- What data is available on the number of law firms that are using the GDC to investgate their clients complaints fopr them, prior to taking legal action

Yours in contract,

Stephen Hudson

Freedom of Information Requests, General Dental Council

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Beata Laszlo (020 7167 6116), General Dental Council

Dear Mr Hudson,

 

I am writing further to your request for information which I confirm has
been considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. For clarity I
am copying your questions below, with our responses.

 

1.       What cost savings have been made in the most recent year for
which figures are available?

Examples of efficiency measures implemented since 2011 are:

a. Re-tender of the Fitness to Practise external legal services contract
to reduce costs (£2m to date)

b. Reduction in the size of some hearings panels from 5 panellists to 3
(£1.2m to date)

c. Renegotiation of certain committee members’, panellists’ and quality
assurance inspectors’ tax status with HMRC to reduce income tax and
National Insurance costs (£1.2m to date). It was agreed that most should
be treated as self-employed for the purpose of Tax and NICs.

d. A proportion of Fitness to Practise cases are now conducted by an
in-house legal team, rather than external law firms (£0.5m per annum,
estimated)

We expect to have reduced the overall expenditure of the GDC by £10.9m
between 2011 and 2015. These savings will continue to accumulate into 2016
and beyond.

More information about cost efficiencies can be found in the GDC annual
report and accounts (2013) on our website:

[1]http://www.gdc-uk.org/Newsandpublication...

 

2.       What savings are anticipated in the financial year 2015-16?

£1.7m efficiency savings are anticipated in 2015 and these savings will
continue to accumulate into 2016 and beyond

 

3.       When do you expect the ARF to be increased again?

As you may be aware the GDC is currently consulting in relation to a
proposed ARF increase. The details of this consultation can be found on
the GDC website.

[2]http://www.gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Docume...

Please refer to Page 17 of the document for explanation on ARF for 2016
and beyond.

 

4.       How many contractors have received fees in excess of £50,000?

In 2013 no contractors received fees in excess of £50,000

 

We assumed you are referring to self- employed, or employed by services
company employees who are brought into the GDC to provide a specific
service.

We have from this list excluded what we call ‘suppliers’ which might
include fees in excess of the specified amount.

If you require further information, you may find it useful to define what
you refer to as ‘contractors’ and what time period you require the
information for.

 

5.       How many contractors have received fees in excess of £250,000?

In 2013 no contractors received fees in excess of £250,000

 

We assumed you are referring to self- employed, or employed by services
company employees who are brought into the GDC to provide a specific
service.

We have from this list excluded what we call ‘suppliers’ which might
include fees in excess of the specified amount.

If you require further information, you may find it useful to define what
you refer to as ‘contractors’ and what time period you require the
information for.

 

 

6.       What is the tendering process for GDC legal advice?

GDC has an internal Corporate Legal team and an In-house Fitness to
Practice Prosecution team.

Additional external legal services are procured in different ways
depending upon the nature of the service required.

Legal support in the preparation of fitness to practise hearings is where
the vast majority of the GDC legal services expenditure is made. This
service is currently under contracts which are scheduled to expire in
November 2015. There is provision to extend these for a further year
beyond that.  In any event when these services need to be re-procured,
this will be managed in accordance with the GDC procurement policy.

Other requirements are normally of low individual spend for which
quotations are sought from firms known to specialise in particular
disciplines relative to the job in hand, in accordance with the GDC
procurement policy.

 

7.       How many FtP hearing days have been adjourned or cancelled, at
what cost and for what reasons?

In 2013 we scheduled 1066 hearing days of which 302 were adjourned or
cancelled costing the GDC £250,000 in panel member fees and expenses.

The reasons for adjournment or cancellation of hearing days were various
including

-          Illness

-          Rule 10 applications: An application made to the
Investigating Committee under Rule 10 of the Fitness to Practise 2006
Rules. It is an application for the decision to refer a case to a Practice
Committee to be reviewed

-          Voluntary removal being acceded to

-          Cases finishing early

 

8.       Has the GDC conducted a feasibility study of moving out of
central London and what was the result?

A feasibility study of, either redeveloping 37 Wimpole Street, renting
elsewhere in London or relocating outside of London was completed in May
2012 and approved by Council. The feasibility study was clear that the
redevelopment of 37 Wimpole Street was the most cost effective long term
property solution for the GDC. A key consideration was that the existing
lease on 37 Wimpole Street does not expire until 2057 and is held on a
peppercorn rent of £5,050 per annum

The redevelopment outline proposal was published on the GDC website:

[3]http://www.gdc-uk.org/Aboutus/Thecouncil...

 

9.       What are the pension arrangements for senior executives at the
GDC?

The GDC operates a defined benefit pension fund that is available to all
staff, subsequent to completion of a waiting period.

All of the executive directors are members of the GDC pension fund

 

10.   What pay cuts have been made at the GDC and are any intended?

There have not been any recent pay cuts at the GDC.  The GDC is currently
reviewing its pay policy and pay structure.   It is too early to say, at
the present time, as to whether this will result in cuts to individuals'
pay.

 

11.   What data is available on the number of law firms that are using the
GDC to investigate their client’s complaints for them, prior to taking
legal action?

We do not collect this information

 

 

 

If you are unhappy with this response or the way the GDC has handled your
request for information, you can request a review by writing to

 

Chief Executive and Registrar

General Dental Council

37 Wimpole Street

London

W1G 8DQ

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane, Wilmslow,

Cheshire,

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: [4]www.ico.gov.uk

 

 

There is no charge for making an appeal

 

 

Beata Laszlo

Financial Analyst

General Dental Council

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.gdc-uk.org/Newsandpublication...
2. http://www.gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Docume...
3. http://www.gdc-uk.org/Aboutus/Thecouncil...
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/