BBC NI’s home affairs correspondent, Vincent Kearney, has seen a copy of an independent review of the NI Policing Board – which the board is due to discuss at a private session on Thursday. From the BBC report
There are some positive words, with the author acknowledging that the board has dealt with some difficult policing issues since it was established in 2001.
It also states that the board has “a good record of success in complex political and social circumstances.”
But the positive comments are far outweighed by words of criticism. The review speaks of strategic drift, insufficient focus on efficiency, and a culture that is slow to seek out or embrace opportunities for organisational change.
In recent years, it said there had been a growing lack of focus and attention on providing meaningful strategic leadership, and that “there is no existing long term strategy.”
The decision making process of the board and its committees is described as “slow, bureaucratic and not outcome focused”, which the review says has resulted in frustration amongst members and some senior police officers.
Dealing with the senior management team, the report said there was “little evidence of teamwork” and that the way it operates has resulted in “a lack of corporate responsibility, common vision, ambition, and barriers to organisational progress.”
Some of the strongest criticism concerns the board’s finances. With an annual budget of £9m, the review said “value for money as a concept is not understood or practiced to any notable and evidenced extent.” It said there was “no value for money culture”.