NI Policing Board has “no existing long term strategy” and there is “no value for money culture”

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”.

The Board’s, still absent, chairman being under investigation can’t help either…

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  • joeCanuck

    We will definitely need a reformed Policing Board when we finally abandon Stormont and go to 7 super councils. The new one would have to include a representative from each council along with a few others to give adequate oversight and general direction.

  • alan56

    I suspect the parties will ‘close ranks’ and defend an entity that they are part of. Hope I’m wrong

  • Driftwood

    So it’s a microcosm of Stormont, hardly any surprise.

    Nice bottled water, nice biscuits and sandwiches, waffle and (very high) expenses forms filled in. Beats watching ‘Spooks’ I suppose, unless you’ve it taped.

    I take it they don’t meet on Champions League nights.

  • Cynic

    So will they be sacked? Will the Justice Minister Act

    Answers on a postcard to Matt Baggott with copies to:

    Wee Davey Ford
    AG NI
    OFMDFM
    PPS NI
    Secretary of State
    DFA
    Police Ombudsman
    Human Rights Commission
    Equality Commission
    11 Perm Secs
    and Uncle Tom Cobley and all

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Whatever the opposite of damned by faint praise this is it.

    How much are these feckers paid to give birth to such gneralised management speak and dream up such terms as ‘strategic drift’?

  • Cynic

    I couldn’t resist this but it has to be the new theme song for the Board

    WE’RE BUSY DOING NOTHING,
    WORKING THE WHOLE DAY THROUGH.
    TRYING TO FIND LOTS OF THINGS,
    NOT TO DO.
    WE’RE BUSY DOING NOTHING,
    ISN T IT JUST A CRIME?
    WE’D LIKE TO BE UNHAPPY,
    BUT WE NEVER DO HAVE THE TIME.

    WE HAVE TO WATCH THE RIVER,
    TO SEE THAT IT DOESN’T STOP.
    AND STICK AROUND THE ROSE BUDS,
    SO THEY’LL KNOW WHEN TO POP.
    AND KEEP THE CRICKETS CHEERFUL,
    THEY’RE REALLY A SOLEMN BUNCH.
    HUSTLE, BUSTLE,
    AND ONLY AN HOUR FOR LUNCH.

    So just who are the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow?

  • Dr Concitor

    Joe: As I think I said before this is an excellent idea with many advantages, such as local accountability for local services. There are many vested interests that would be severely disadvantaged by such a change such as NICS and MLAs, so how would this change take place. Turkeys don’t vote for Xmas as they say. Are you aware of any moves to make this happen?

  • joeCanuck

    No, DR.
    Wishful thinking.

  • magnus

    A lot of the guys on the board are on other boards.

    What is the term please for the opposite of spreading good practice?

    I am afraid “Spreading manure” is disqualified as while it is undoubtedly true it is not managery speakerish enough

  • joeCanuck

    I can think of lots, formal and informal. Here’s a couple :
    – indulging in dubious practices
    – sucking at the teat

  • Cynic

    The problem is the membership. Politicians with generally little track record of running anything major by way of an organisation and a sprinkling of whom some of whom have run nothing but a terrorist campaign. The independents include a couple of property developers, a brace of teachers / headmasters and a banker.

    PSNI spends of the order of £1.1 billion a year. Yep – billion.

    Is the Board up to its job of holding an organisation of this size and complexity to account?

    We need a new model. What about an elected commissioner as is coming in England and Wales?

  • joeCanuck

    Not sure what that entails, Cynic. How would a commissioner be different from a CC and what would be the role of the P&J Minister vis-a-vis him or her?

  • Cynic

    Transparent and accountable. One person taking the decisions is exposed. This committee isn’t