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Ms Denise Aubrey's Employment Tribunal - Did NP comply with PCC Governance Framework?

Paul Hopkins made this Freedom of Information request to Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

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Dear Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner,

I note the formal Governance framework in place between Northumbria Police and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner. See
http://www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/v2/wp-...

Within the Governance Framework, it is clear that the first responsibility of the PCC is
"Holding the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the Force, including that of police officers and civilian staff under their direction and control;"

I note also that in connection with any Employment Tribunal Civil Claim, the Financial Framework defines the responsibility of the PCC very clearly.

A. All Employment Claims & Employment Appeal Tribunal Claims against The Chief Constable should be dealt with by the Force Legal Department

B. The Chief Constable has decision-making authority up to £25,000. The PCC has decision-making authority for all Employment Tribunal Claims in excess of £25,000

C. Exceptional Claims should be notified to PCC and conducted in consultation with PCC (as requested) on case by case basis.

D. The Director provides a Quarterly Report on all Employment Tribunal Claims
-------------------------------

With regard to the recent Employment Tribunal between Ms Denise Aubrey and the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police – from July 2014 until January 2018

1. Please confirm the that the Framework conditions were complied with. That is

a) The Expenditure by Northumbria Police was approved by the PCC throughout the Claim period and that the PCC received Quarterly Reports from the Director of Legal Services with regard to the increasing costs of the Employment Tribunal Claim – which amounted to over £645,000;

b) It has been reported that the subsequent costs of Northumbria Police’s Cost Application against Ms Aubrey has cost over £100,000. Please confirm whether this Employment Tribunal action was also reported to and approved by the PCC;

c) Please confirm whether the PCC was consulted over a decision by Northumbria Police to pay the legal costs of retired-Chief Constable Mike Craik, retired-Acting Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock and retired-Acting Chief Constable Mike Vant to seek reporting Restrictions to be applied to them during the Employment Tribunal during May 2016;

d) Please confirm whether the Costs of this Employment Tribunal action have been paid for by the Police Budget and therefore by the public within the Police Precept.

2. If Northumbria Police acted outside of the Governance Framework during this Employment Tribunal Claim, please explain what steps the PCC has taken to “Hold(ing) the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the Force, including that of police officers and civilian staff under their direction and control”.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Hopkins

Kevin Payne, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Hopkins,

Subject: Freedom of Information Acknowledgement – Reference 72018.

I refer to the request, which you have made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for records held by this office.

Your request was received by this department on 19 February 2018.

A final decision on your request would normally be sent to you within 20 working days of receipt of your request. This means that you can expect to receive your decision by 19 March 2018.

There are some limited situations under the Freedom of Information Act, which could mean that the period for a final decision may be longer than the normal 20 working days. If this occurs in your request, we will promptly advise you in writing.

Should our final decision not reach you on time, please feel free to contact the officer named to discuss any problems that may have arisen.

If you have not heard from us once the allotted time has expired, you are automatically entitled to appeal to this department for a review of the matter. This review is a full and new examination of the matter, and is carried out by a more senior member of staff of this office.

In the event that you need to make such an appeal, you can do so by writing to Kevin Payne of this department at the details given below. You should state that you are appealing because an initial decision was not sent to you within the time permitted. In that event, you would normally have 40 days (after the original decision should have been sent to you) in which time to make the appeal.

Yours sincerely.

Kevin

Kevin Payne
Office of Dame Vera Baird QC
Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

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Kevin Payne, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hopkins,

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner
made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

 

Thank you for your e mail dated 19^th February 2018, in which you made a
request for access to certain information which may be held by the Police
and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria .

 

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of
access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police
Crime Commissioner), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

 

You asked:

I note the formal Governance framework in place between Northumbria Police
and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner. See
[1]http://www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/v2/wp-...

 

Within the Governance Framework, it is clear that the first responsibility
of the PCC is "Holding the Chief Constable to account for the performance
of the Force, including that of police officers and civilian staff under
their direction and control;"

 

I note also that in connection with any Employment Tribunal Civil Claim,
the Financial Framework defines the responsibility of the PCC very
clearly.

 

A. All Employment Claims & Employment Appeal Tribunal Claims against The
Chief Constable should be dealt with by the Force Legal Department

 

B. The Chief Constable has decision-making authority up to £25,000. The
PCC has decision-making authority for all Employment Tribunal Claims in
excess of £25,000

 

C. Exceptional Claims should be notified to PCC and conducted in
consultation with PCC (as requested) on case by case basis.

 

D. The Director provides a Quarterly Report on all Employment Tribunal
Claims

-------------------------------

 

With regard to the recent Employment Tribunal between Ms Denise Aubrey and
the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police – from July 2014 until January
2018

 

1.         Please confirm the that the Framework conditions were complied
with. That is

 

a)         The Expenditure by Northumbria Police was approved by the PCC
throughout the Claim period and that the PCC received Quarterly Reports
from the Director of Legal Services with regard to the increasing costs of
the Employment Tribunal Claim – which amounted to over £645,000;

 

b)         It has been reported that the subsequent costs of Northumbria
Police’s Cost Application against Ms Aubrey has cost over £100,000. Please
confirm whether this Employment Tribunal action was also reported to and
approved by the PCC;

 

c)         Please confirm whether the PCC was consulted over a decision by
Northumbria Police to pay the legal costs of retired-Chief Constable Mike
Craik, retired-Acting Chief Constable Carolyn Peacock and retired-Acting
Chief Constable Mike Vant to seek reporting Restrictions to be applied to
them during the Employment Tribunal during May 2016;

 

d)         Please confirm whether the Costs of this Employment Tribunal
action have been paid for by the Police Budget and therefore by the public
within the Police Precept.

 

2.         If Northumbria Police acted outside of the Governance Framework
during this Employment Tribunal Claim, please explain what steps the PCC
has taken to "Hold(ing) the Chief Constable to account for the performance
of the Force, including that of police officers and civilian staff under
their direction and control".

 

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I
provide a response for your attention.

 

No information held. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for
Northumbria hold no information relevant to your request.

 

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner
routinely publish information via the Disclosure Log. The aim of the
Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily
placing information into the public arena.

 

The Disclosure Log contains copies of some of the information that has
been disclosed by Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner in response to
requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to
publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the
public interest.

 

The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the
requester.

 

I have provided the relevant link below.

 

[2]http://www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/transp...

 

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual
property rights of Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner . Your use of
the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs
and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In
particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial
purpose.

 

How to complain

 

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have
handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue
informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our
complaints procedure which is attached.

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and
reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information
Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain
whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.

Yours sincerely.

Kevin

 

Kevin Payne

Office of Dame Vera Baird QC

Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/v2/wp-...
2. http://www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/transp...

Dear Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Ms Denise Aubrey's Employment Tribunal - Did NP comply with PCC Governance Framework?'.

I note that Northumbria Police have spent, in total, almost £1m on professional fees to external legal companies in connection with Ms Denise Aubrey's dismissal, Employment Tribunal and then Cost Application. I also note that the Governance Arrangements between the OPCC and NP which the PCC has signed and updated are very clear in stating that any Employment Claims which incur costs of over £25,000 must be approved by the PCC.

My FOI further asked whether the costs of the actions taken against Ms Aubrey were to be met by the Policing Budget

I find it incredible that your Office can respond to my FOI request with the complete response being "No information held. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria hold no information relevant to your request."

I look forward to hearing the outcome of an Internal Review of this most unsatisfactory response to an FOI which is clearly in the public interest.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Hopkins

Kevin Payne, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Hopkins,

We acknowledge receipt of your request for an internal review of the response you received in relation to the above mentioned Freedom of Information request.

We aim to provide a response to you within 20 working days of your request for review.

Yours sincerely.

Kevin

Kevin Payne
Office of Dame Vera Baird QC
Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

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Enquiries, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Hopkins,

Internal Review

Your request for review asked –

Dear Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Ms Denise Aubrey's Employment Tribunal - Did NP comply with PCC Governance Framework?'.

I note that Northumbria Police have spent, in total, almost £1m on professional fees to external legal companies in connection with Ms Denise Aubrey's dismissal, Employment Tribunal and then Cost Application. I also note that the Governance Arrangements between the OPCC and NP which the PCC has signed and updated are very clear in stating that any Employment Claims which incur costs of over £25,000 must be approved by the PCC.

My FOI further asked whether the costs of the actions taken against Ms Aubrey were to be met by the Policing Budget

I find it incredible that your Office can respond to my FOI request with the complete response being "No information held. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria hold no information relevant to your request."

I look forward to hearing the outcome of an Internal Review of this most unsatisfactory response to an FOI which is clearly in the public interest.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Response

We have taken this opportunity to revisit the response you were provided. As stated, following enquiries carried out, it was determined that the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner held no information on the points you raise. I can clarify that on review, this is correct and therefore I am satisfied that the response provided was entirely appropriate.

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this review then it remains open to you to refer this matter to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely.

Scott

Scott Duffy
Director of Business
Office of Dame Vera Baird QC
Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

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Martin McGartland (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

It is also very relevant to place on record Vera Baird's resent public comments concerning complaints against the police, i.e. 'APCC’S RESPONSE TO THE INDEPENDENT OFFICE FOR POLICE CONDUCT’S COMPLAINTS REPORT' Which includes; APCC Deputy Lead for Transparency and Integrity, Dame Vera Baird QC PCC said:

“There is a simple concept when dealing with complaints, make sure they are dealt with efficiently, thoroughly and fairly – if the police have got it wrong, don’t be afraid to say so. Here in Northumbria, our complaints triage team have been delivering this ethos since 2014 – and it’s now part of the Governments new national model, so it’s proved to work. It’s about restoring the complainant’s faith in the service that they are complaining about.

“The IOPC make a number of valid points, but they need to recognise that change is happening and PCCs are leading this. Going forward, I want to see PCCs challenge their forces when bureaucracy and legal jargon gets in the way of putting the public first, in Northumbria we keep the public we serve at the heart of everything we do. “The IOPC are right when they say lessons need to be learnt from complaints – that’s the only way forces can get better. Every complaint should offer a challenge of how to improve further. Under the leadership of Mike Lockwood, I am confident that we will see a changed culture at the IOPC which will also be reflected in forces across England and Wales.”

Page link Here; http://www.apccs.police.uk/latest-news/a...

I [Martin McGartland] have made a number of serious complaints to Vera Baird over the years which relate to very serious corruption, failures in my attempted murder investigation, serious failures regards me as victim, NP smear / dirty tricks campaign against me (and the ongoing 19 year cover up of it), NP protecting suspects from arrests as well as IRA terrorists who tried to murder me, obstruction of the investigations Etc

Vera Baird (as well as others acting on her behalf) have failed at every stage to properly record or investigate those complaints. This, I am clear, was to protect her corrupt force, officers who I complained about. All complaints were Whitewashed and covered up in one way or another by Vera Baird and Co. She also has very deliberately circumvented, when she was well aware my complaints were not suitable, local resolution (LR) so that no proper investigations (Again, I say, for above reasons) were ever carried out.

Vera Baird is much more aware than most that LR is not suitable - as with my complaints - (and as the IPCC/IOPC have made clear in one of their upheld latest decisions in my case against her) for complaints, if proven, could potentially lead to disciplinary proceedings. In their 13 September 2018 decision (in which they upheld my appeal against OPCC / PCC Baird) the IOPC / IPCC also stated; 'As far as I can be seen from the background papers , the OPCC has not made any enquiries or conducted any scoping exercise to ascertain whether there is any merit in your allegations that Mr Ashman was aware of the findings of the report and ignored them, nor any attempt made to ascertain how they can be 'resolved'. And the IPCC /IOPC also stated; 'Furthermore, importantly, there is no indication that OPCC has attempted to engage with you to take part in the local resolution process. Plus, no action plan on how to conduct the local resolution has been agreed between you. These are both essential actions expected of local resolution process, yet neither have been conducted.'

Vera Baird above public and following comments; “There is a simple concept when dealing with complaints, make sure they are dealt with efficiently, thoroughly and fairly.' Are pure Poppycock - not worth the paper they are written on so far as the way so, her office has deal with my complaints over the years. Has she dealt with my complaints 'efficiently' ? Absolutely Not. 'Thoroughly'? Absolutely Not. And not at all. 'Fairly.'? All she (others acting on her behalf) has done with my complaints is Cover Up, Whitewash and protect her corrupt force, the corrupt officers I complained about. And she (they) have also ignored evidence (including independent evidence) which supported my complaints.

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Paul Hopkins please sign in and let everyone know.