House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Criminal Justice And Police Bill - continued          House of Commons

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Pensions for members of NCIS and NCS

292. The Bill regularises the pension position of senior staff of ACPO rank given fixed term appointments to the two service authorities for the National Crime Squad (NCS) and the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), set up in April 1998 by the Police Act 1997.

293. When the 1997 Act was being considered by Parliament it was decided that the two new organisations should not adopt the Police Pension Scheme (which covers police officers working for forces in England, Wales and Scotland) or the RUC scheme for their senior staff. This decision reflected the fact that NCIS in particular would be a United Kingdom wide police organisation. The intention was that NCIS and NCS would have parallel pension schemes open to all permanent police members, set up under administrative arrangements approved by the Inland Revenue. These would provide the same benefits available under the main police pension arrangements.

294. It subsequently became clear that the "by analogy" pension schemes that had been envisaged for NCS and NCIS permanent staff could not be approved. In order to ensure that senior officers accepting fixed term appointments with NCS and NCIS are not disadvantaged special arrangements were put in place. These are complicated to administer and suitable only as a temporary measure.

295. In the Bill the Police Pensions Act 1976 is being amended to bring the senior officers within the NCS and the NCIS from GB forces fully within the existing Police Pension Scheme. These officers are of chief constable or assistant chief constable rank.

296. The pension position of other police officers working for the authorities is not affected. Those officers work on secondment from their home force and have always remained a part of the Police Pension Scheme or RUC pension scheme.

Pensions for ACPO staff

297. The secretariat of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is funded mainly by a Home Office grant provided under section 57(1) of the Police Act 1996. Section 57(1) enables the Secretary of State to make contributions to the provision or maintenance of organisations that promote the efficiency or effectiveness of the police. Members of the secretariat - 17 staff in total - are civilian employees. Initially the posts were filled by members of the civil staff of the Metropolitan Police service on secondment. Those concerned were therefore members of the Metropolitan Civil Staff Superannuation Scheme (the MCSSS), a scheme by analogy to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PSCPS) established under section 15 of the Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1967. That scheme was for members of the civil staff of the Metropolitan Police and for other staff for historical reasons paid by the Receiver for the metropolitan police.

298. For the last decade the members of the secretariat have been employees of ACPO rather than members of the civil staff of the Metropolitan Police service. It is therefore unsatisfactory for them to remain as members of the MCSSS. In the longer term it is, in any event, proposed to wind up the MCSSS in the light of the organisational changes made in the Greater London Authority Act 1999. As the terms of the MCSSS are the same as those for the PCSPS a switch to membership of the PCSPS will not result in any change to the pension entitlement of the staff concerned.

299. In the Bill, provision is made for members of the ACPO secretariat who are members of the MCSSS (whether as current employees or as previous employees with an entitlement to a deferred MCSSS pension) to transfer to the PCSPS.

Clause 103: Vice-chairmen

300. Subsections (1) and (2) amend Schedules 2 and 2A of the Police Act 1996, to allow for the appointment of police authority vice-chairmen. Police authorities and the Service Authorities for NCS and NCIS currently have a statutory chairman but not a statutory vice-chairman. In practice, most police authorities appoint a non-statutory vice-chairman and in some of the larger authorities (e.g. the Metropolitan Police Authority) more than one. This clause gives police authority vice-chairmen official recognition on a statutory footing roughly in line with that relating to local authorities, as determined by section 5 of the Local Government Act 1972. Police authorities will not be required to appoint a vice-chairman, but will be given the discretion to appoint one or more as appropriate.

301. Subsection (3) amends Schedule 2 of the Police Act 1997, to allow for the appointment of a vice-chairman to the Service Authorities of both NCIS and NCS. The appointee must be a core member (for a definition of "core members" please see paragraph 309 of these notes) of the NCIS/NCS Service Authorities and the appointment must be made by the Secretary of State after consultation with Scottish Ministers. There will be no requirement to appoint a vice-chairman.

302. Subsections (4) to (9) make consequential amendments to existing legislation (the Police Act 1996, the Police Act 1997, the Local Government Act 1972) relating to the functions and duties of chairmen by adding references to "vice-chairmen". This will allow a vice-chairman formally to deputise for the chairman and receive additional allowances in respect of extra work carried out.

Clause 104: Removal of age qualification for membership

303. This removes the maximum age limit of 70 for members of police authorities outside London, selection panels for independent member appointments, and the Service Authorities for NCS/NCIS. This clause brings them into line with the Metropolitan Police Authority, which (as established under the Greater London Authority Act 1999), has no maximum age limit for members.

Clause 105: Payment of allowances to authority members etc

304. Subsection (1) amends existing legislation (the Police Act 1996 and the Police Act 1997) enabling police authorities and the Service Authorities for NCS/NCIS to determine members allowances payments for themselves, where previously they were determined by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will retain the power to determine payment of expenses and to give guidance of which the authorities would be required to take account.

305. Subsections (2) and (3) relate to police authorities outside London and to the Metropolitan Police Authority respectively. By inserting additional provisions into Schedules 2 and 2A of the Police Act 1996, the clauses provide certain rules which all police authorities must follow when devising and implementing their allowances schemes. These rules provide that: any allowances scheme must be published annually, and each time it is revised; payments may differ depending on the role or type of member; authorities may pay expenses and allowances to non-police authority members of standards committees appointed under section 53(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 2000; authorities should have regard to any guidance which the Secretary of State may issue; and the Secretary of State maintains a reserve power to limit by regulations the allowances paid. The section relating to the Metropolitan Police Authority has an additional provision determining that members who are also salaried members of the Greater London Assembly shall not receive allowances payments under the scheme set up by the authority.

306. Subsection (4) amends the Police Act 1997 by introducing provision for the Service Authorities of NCIS and NCS to make varying payments by way of allowances to its chairman, vice-chairman and other members. Only police authority and independent members can receive these allowances which must fall within the limitations imposed by the Secretary of State by regulations. Also, such allowances can only be paid in accordance with arrangements published by the Service Authorities within the previous twelve months. Any revision of such arrangements can only be made with due regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State and can only come into effect by publication.

Clause 106: Number and appointment of the members

307. Subsections (1) and (2) amend sections 1 and 47 of the Police Act 1997 respectively, reducing the membership of the Service Authority for NCIS from nineteen to eleven and the Service Authority for NCS from seventeen to eleven. The provision made by sections 1(2) and 47(2) of that Act enabling the Secretary of State, by order, to increase the membership of the Service Authorities is retained.

308. Subsection (3) introduces Schedule 6 which makes amendments to Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1997. Schedule 1 makes provision about the appointment of members of the Service Authorities.

Schedule 6: The Service Authorities for NCIS and NCS

309. This Schedule amends Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1997. Part 1 of Schedule 1 makes provision for the two Service Authorities to have a common core membership ("the core members"). Part II makes provision for additional members of the NCIS Service Authority and Part III makes provision for additional members of the NCS Service Authority.

Paragraph 2

310. Paragraph 2 reduces the number of core members of the Service Authorities from ten to eight.

Paragraph 3

311. Because of the removal of the link to police authority budgets through the levy, the provision of restricting police authority membership on the service Authorities to local authority members of police authorities is removed. Paragraph 3 also changes the number of core members that the Secretary of State appoints under paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 from three only to three or four.

Paragraph 4

312. Paragraph 4 reduces the number of core members appointed by chief officers of police forces in England and Wales and the Assistant Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police from among their number from two to one.

Paragraph 5

313. Paragraph 5 reduces the number of core members appointed by members of police authorities in England and Wales from among their number from four to one. This paragraph also removes the requirement that those members must be police authority members who are also members of a local authority or London Assembly members of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Paragraph 6

314. Under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the 1997 Act, the Secretary of State currently appoints one Crown servant to be a core member of the Service Authorities. Paragraph 6 of Schedule 6 to the Bill provides that the number of core members appointed by the Secretary of State who are Crown servants will be two, if three are appointed under the provisions of paragraph 3, or one, if four are appointed under those provisions.

Paragraph 7

315. Paragraph 7 inserts a new provision which specifies that the Commissioners of Customs and Excise must appoint one customs officer to be a core member of the Service Authorities.

Paragraph 8

316. Paragraph 8 substitutes new paragraphs 7, 7A and 7B for paragraph 7 of Part II of Schedule I, of the Police Act 1997. The new paragraphs make provision about the appointment of members of the NCIS Service Authority additional to the core members, where no order has been made under section 1(2) increasing the membership of the Authority. Instead of nine additional members, the Bill provides for three.

317. Currently the nine additional members are -

(a) a Chief Constable in Scotland;

(b) a Deputy Chief Constable in the Royal Ulster Constabulary;

(c) two local authority members of police authorities in England and Wales;

(d) one member of a police authority in Scotland;

(e) one member of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland;

(f) two Crown servants;

(g) one customs officer;

Under the new paragraphs 7, 7A and 7B the three additional members are-

(a) one who is either a Chief Constable in Scotland, a member of a police authority in Scotland or a Crown servant, as decided by the Secretary of State after consultation with the Scottish Ministers;

(b) one who is either a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary/Police Service in Northern Ireland (of at least the rank of Deputy Chief Constable) or a member of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland/Northern Ireland Policing Board or a Crown servant, as decided by the Secretary of State;

(c) one who is a member of the Security Service.

Paragraph 9

318. Paragraph 9 amends the provision made by Part II of Schedule 1 to the 1997 Act for additional members of the NCIS Service Authority where an order has been made under section 1(3) of that Act increasing the membership. The amended paragraph 8 of Schedule 1 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe who, from the list in the amended paragraph 8, is to be responsible for appointing the additional members.

Paragraph 10

319. Paragraph 10 amends the provision for members of the NCS Service Authority additional to the core membership. Instead of seven additional members there will now be three. Under the Police Act 1997 the seven are made up of one police officer and six local authority members of police authorities in England and Wales. This paragraph provides for the three additional members of the NCS Service Authority to be made up of one chief officer, one police authority member and one member not including Chief Constables, police authorities and Crown servants but appointed by the Secretary of State.

Paragraph 11

320. Paragraph 11 amends the provision made by Part III of Schedule 1 to the 1997 Act for additional members of the NCS Service Authority where an order has been made under section 47(3) of that Act increasing the membership. The amended paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe who, from the list in the amended paragraph 10, is to be responsible for appointing the additional members.

Paragraphs 12-14

321. Paragraphs 12-14 remove the requirements concerning local authority members of police authorities in paragraphs 12 and 13 of Part IV of Schedule 1 and the definition of such members in paragraph 14.

Clause 107: Transitional provision relating to section 106 etc

322. Subsection (1) enables the order bringing into force clause 106 and Schedule 6 to include transitional provisions.

323. Subsection (2). The transitional provision in the order may include provision for the current members of the Service Authorities to be deemed to have resigned and have satisfied all the criteria of resignation, and for co-opted members to cease to be such members, immediately before the coming into force of provisions setting up the newly constituted Service Authorities. They may also provide for decisions to be made about appointments to the newly constituted Service Authorities to be taken before the provisions relating to resignations take effect. This means that at the time when the current members are deemed to have resigned from the current Service Authorities the newly designated members are duly appointed to the new Service Authorities thus ensuring continuity of service. This provision also enables the "new" Service Authority to exercise certain functions (e.g. preparing a budget statement in relation to the next financial year) while the "old" Service Authority continues to exercise functions in relation to the current financial year.

324. Subsection (4) ensures that, until such time as the new Northern Ireland Police Board (established under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000) is established, the reference in the new paragraph 7B of Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1997 (inserted by Schedule 6 to the Bill) to that Board is read as a reference to the existing Police Authority for Northern Ireland. No equivalent provision is needed in the Bill in relation to references to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, because the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 itself makes the necessary transitional provision in this regard to ensure that references to this service are read as references to the Royal Ulster Constabulary for as long as necessary.

Clause 108: Preparation of budget statement by NCIS Service Authority

325. This clause inserts a new section 16A into the Police Act 1997. The new section requires the NCIS Service Authority to prepare a budget statement for each financial year. The statement is to include a statement of how much is required by the Authority by way of grant under section 17 (as substituted by clause 109 of the Bill). The Authority is currently obliged under article 4 of the NCIS Service Authority (Levying Order) 1997 (S.I. 1997/2284) to submit a levy proposal to the Secretary of State detailing its expenditure, income, financial reserves and current and proposed borrowing. The new budget statement will replace this levy proposal.

Clause 109: Funding of NCIS Service Authority

326. Section 17 of the Police Act 1997 currently authorises the NCIS Service Authority to issue levies to police authorities in England and Wales. Sections 17 and 17A are substituted for the existing section 17. The new section 17 makes provision for the Secretary of State to make grants to the Service Authority for every financial year. The amount of grant is determined by the Secretary of State and can be varied by him by subsequent determination. If the Service Authority does not submit a budget statement to the Secretary of State, according to the criteria in section 16A, or any details requested under section 17A(1), the Secretary of State shall not make a grant under section 17(1) but may still make a grant for that year. The Secretary of State can attach conditions to the payment of any grant, such as specifying how the payment or any part of it can be used and requiring repayment in specified circumstances.

327. The new section 17A enables the Secretary of State to require the Service Authority to provide him with further information to assist him in determining the level of the grant to be paid under the new section 17. It also requires the Secretary of State to prepare a report setting out the details of any grant paid and the factors involved in arriving at his decision. The report is sent to the NCIS Service Authority and laid before the House of Commons. The new section 17A also makes provision for grants to be paid in instalments and for repayment of any amount overpaid.

Clause 110: Duty of NCIS Service Authority to prepare accounts

328. This clause amends the Police Act 1997 by inserting provisions governing the keeping of proper accounts and records in relation to those accounts, the preparation of a statement of those accounts for each financial year, and the sending of copies of that statement to the Secretary of State and the Comptroller and Auditor General. It will be the statutory duty of the Comptroller and Auditor General to examine and certify the NCIS statement of accounts and issue a report to be laid before Parliament together with the statement.

Clause 111: Preparation of budget statement by NCS Service Authority

329. This clause makes provision in respect of the NCS Service Authority equivalent to that made by clause 108 of the Bill for the NCIS Service Authority. Clause 111 inserts a new section 61A into the Police Act 1997. The new section requires the NCS Service Authority to prepare a budget statement for each financial year. The statement is to include a statement of how much is required by the Authority by way of grant under section 62 (as substituted by clause 112 of the Bill). The Authority is currently obliged, under article 4 of the NCS Service Authority (Levying Order) 1997 (S.I.1997/2283), to submit a levy proposal to the Secretary of State detailing its expenditure, income, financial reserves and current and proposed borrowing. The new budget statement will replace the levy proposal.

Clause 112: Funding of NCS Service Authority

330. Section 62 of the Police Act 1997 currently authorises the NCS Service Authority to issue levies to police authorities in England and Wales. Sections 62 and 62A are substituted for the existing section 62. The new section 62 makes provision for the Secretary of State to make grants to the service Authority for every financial year. The amount of the grant is determined by the Secretary of State and can be varied by him by subsequent determination. If the Service Authority does not submit a budget statement to the Secretary of State, according to the criteria in section 61A, or any details requested under section 62A(1), the Secretary of State shall not make a grant under section 62(1) but may still make a grant for that year. The Secretary of State can attach conditions to the payment of any grant, such as specifying how the payment or any part of it can be used and requiring repayment in specified circumstances.

331. The new section 62A enables the Secretary of State to require the Service Authority to provide him with further information to assist him in determining the level of the grant to be paid under the new section 62. It also requires the Secretary of State to prepare a report setting out the details of any grant paid and the factors involved in arriving at his decision. The report is sent to the NCIS Service Authority and laid before the House of Commons. The new section 62A also makes provision for grants to be paid in instalments and for repayment of any amount overpaid.

Clause 113: Duty of NCS Service Authority to prepare accounts

332. Similar to clause 110, this clause amends the Police Act 1997 by inserting provisions governing the keeping of proper accounts and records in relation to those accounts, the preparation of a statement of those accounts for each financial year, and the sending of copies of that statement to the Secretary of State and the Comptroller and Auditor General. It will be the statutory duty of the Comptroller and Auditor General to examine and certify the NCS statement of accounts and issue a report to be laid before Parliament together with the statement.

Clause 114 and 117: Appointment of NCIS and NCS Director General

333. Sections 6 and 52 of the Police Act 1997 require the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities to appoint a Director General of NCIS and NCS respectively. In each case, the Director General is chosen by a panel of members of the Authority from a list of candidates prepared by that panel and approved by the Secretary of State. These clauses amend the Act so that the Secretary of State appoints future Directors General to NCIS and NCS on such terms and conditions as he considers appropriate and the Authorities are required to pay remuneration determined by the Secretary of State. The statutory obligation to prepare a list of eligible candidates will remain with a panel of the relevant Service Authority and further amendments about the constitution of the panel of members responsible for preparing that list are made by subsection (6) and Schedule 7. The Secretary of State will then decide whether or not to approve the list. If it is approved, the intention is that the panel will then interview the candidates. The panel may make recommendations to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is obliged, before making an appointment, to have regard to any recommendations made to him (and, in the case of NCIS, to consult with the Scottish Ministers).

Clauses 115 and 118: Removal of NCIS and NCS members (other than the Directors General)

334. Sections 7 and 53 of the Police Act 1997 enable the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities, respectively to remove their Director General. Sections 9(10) and 55(10) of that Act apply sections 7 and 53, to give the Service Authorities equivalent powers in relation to other members of the NCIS/NCS (except those appointed by the Directors General under section 9(8) or 55(8)). Sections 7 and 53 are repealed by the Bill and replaced with the provision made by clauses 116 and 119. Accordingly, sections 9(10) and 55(10) can no longer operate by reference to those sections. Clauses 115 and 118 insert two new sections into the 1997 Act (sections 9A and 55A) to make provision equivalent to that previously made by sections 9(10) and 55(10). Sections 9(10) and 55(10) are consequently repealed by the Bill.

Clause 116 and 119: Removal of NCIS and NCS Directors General etc

335. As mentioned in paragraph 334, the Bill repeals sections 7 and 53 of the Police Act 1997. Clauses 116 and 119 amend sections 29 and 74 of that Act so as to enable the Secretary of State to call upon the Director General of NCIS or NCS to retire in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness.

336. Before exercising his powers under those sections, the Secretary of State must give the Director General an opportunity to make representations. In the case of the Director General of NCIS, he must also consult the Scottish Ministers. Before exercising his powers under this section, the Secretary of State must appoint a person or persons to hold an enquiry and report to him.

Clauses 120-123: Police ranks

337. Clauses 120,121, and 123 amend the Police Act 1996 to reintroduce the ranks of deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, deputy chief constable and chief superintendent and make consequential amendments. Clause 122 inserts a new section 12A in the 1996 Act which enables the deputy chief constable of a police force to carry out the functions of the chief constable in the absence or incapacity of the chief constable, during a vacancy in that office, or at any other time with the chief constable's consent.

Clause 124: Inferences in police conduct proceedings

338. Amends section 50 of the Police Act 1996 to enable regulations made under that section to provide for section 34 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to apply in a modified form to procedures leading to a sanction being imposed on a member of a police force. Such regulations would allow a modified caution to be given when an officer is notified of an allegation of misconduct. If the officer then chooses to remain silent, the tribunal at the subsequent hearing will be able to draw inferences from this.

Clause 125: Pensions for members of NCIS and NCS

339. This clause amends the Police Pension Act 1976 to enable senior officers with fixed term appointment to NCIS and NCS to be included within the Police Pension Scheme.

Clause 126: Pensions for ACPO staff

340. This clause adds the staff of the Association of Chief Police Officers - both current staff and deferred pensioners - to those who may be members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme established under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972.

Clause 127: Amendments relating to NCIS and NCS

341. Subsection (1) introduces Schedule 7, which makes minor and consequential amendments relating to Part VI of the Bill. Subsection (2) makes transitional provision in respect of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland of the kind mentioned in paragraph 324 of these notes.

Schedule 7: Minor and Consequential Amendments relating to NCIS and NCS

342. This Schedule makes minor and consequential amendments to the Police Act 1997, local government enactments applying to the NCS Service Authority and various other enactments.

Paragraphs 2 to 11

343. Paragraphs 2 to 11 amend the Police Act 1997 in consequence of the new arrangements concerning the constitution and funding of the Service Authorities.

Paragraph 12

344. Paragraph 12 inserts a new Schedule 2A to the Police Act 1997 which makes further provision about the Service Authorities. Provision is now required because the local government enactments do not apply to the NCS Service Authority and the equivalent orders will no longer apply to the NCIS Service Authority. Provision is as follows:-

Paragraph 1 gives the Authorities certain powers which, in the case of the power to acquire and dispose of property or borrow money, are subject to obtaining the consent of the Secretary of State.

Paragraph 2 provides that the Secretary of State's approval is required prior to the appointment to committees of persons who are not members of the Service Authorities and further allows him to set the amount of remuneration and allowances to be paid to such members of committees.

Paragraph 3 provides the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities with the statutory power to regulate their own procedures subject to the provisions set out in this Schedule.

Paragraph 4 requires the quorum for Service Authority meetings to include a minimum of three core members from independent, chief officer of police and police authority representatives and in the case of committee or sub-committee meetings, one member or employee of the Service Authority.

Paragraph 5 concerns the delegation of powers and provides for the discharge of any of the functions of an Authority to be carried out by a committee or sub-committee, or by an officer of the Service Authority. Further delegation to a sub-committee or officer is permitted unless otherwise directed. The Authority or committee will not be prevented from exercising any of its functions after making such arrangements.

Paragraph 6 specifies that either Service Authority can discharge any of its functions jointly with the other Service Authority or with one or more police authorities and allows for the provision of those functions by a joint committee or officer of one authority. Similar to paragraph 6, the carrying out of functions can be delegated to a sub-committee unless otherwise directed.

Paragraph 7 defines the discharge of Service Authority functions for the purposes of paragraphs 6 and 7 to include doing anything to facilitate, or which is incidental, to the discharge of those functions.

Paragraph 8 defines an officer of the NCIS or NCS Service Authority as the Director General, his deputy and any employee of the Authority. Provision is made for the Director General of NCIS or NCS or his deputy to delegate any of the functions of the Authorities to another member of NCIS or NCS.

345    Part II: Paragraphs 13-45 of this Schedule make amendments to a number of local government enactments by removing references to the NCS Service Authority.

346    Part III: Paragraphs 61 and 62 of this Schedule amend section 1(1) of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 and prevent members of the NCIS and NCS Service Authorities from being members of Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

347    Paragraph 77 of this Schedule amends section 62 of the Police Act 1996 (Police Negotiating Board) in consequence of the new arrangements for appointment of the Director General.

 
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Prepared: 19 January 2001