Memorandum by the Northern Ireland Office
ROYAL ULSTER CONSTABULARY (UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE)
REGULATIONS 2000 (S.R. 2000/316)
1. The Committee considered the above instrument
at its meeting on 21 November and has instructed that the NIO
submit a memorandum on the following points:
(1) If the Regulations are
made under sections 25 and 26 of the 1998 Act, explain why the
preamble refers to consultation in accordance with section 64(4)
which applies only to regulations made under section 64 and not
consultation in accordance with sections 25(8) and 26(6).
2. The reference to Section 64(4) of the Police (Northern
Ireland) Act 2000 in the preamble is incorrect in these regulations.
We shall remove the reference and replace with the correct reference.
(2) The definition of "personnel
officer" in regulation 2 includes words in square brackets
and bold type. Explain the significance of the brackets and typeface.
3. There is no significance attaching to the brackets
and bold type in regulation 2 this is simply a carry over from
an earlier version and was presented as a clean office copy for
the Secretary of State's signature. The brackets and bold type
will be omitted from the final printed version.
(3) Regulation 6(4) provides
that, at a first interview, "the interviewing officer may
only, if he considers it appropriate, recommend that the member
concerned seek assistance in relation to any matter affecting
his health or welfare". Explain the purpose and effect of
the word "only".
4. In the draft version, issued for consultation,
Regulation 6(4) did not contain the word "only". Consultees
felt that what, at the outset, was intended as help to a police
officer going through the unsatisfactory performance procedures
ended up looking like a directive. To change this to what was
intended we added in the word "only" to ensure that
all the interviewing officer could do was to recommend that the
officer seek assistance in relation to any matter affecting his
health or welfare. The "only" in this instance reflects
that the recommendation is by way of help and not as a directive.
(4) Regulation 11(5) requires
the countersigning officer to send a copy of the record of a second
interview "to the personnel officer and, if the interview
was conducted by the countersigning officer or any other person,
the reporting officer". Explain the purpose and effect of
the italicised words.
5. The purpose and effect of the italicised words
is to ensure that the reporting officer, regardless of who conducts
the second interview, receives a copy of the record of the interview.
This would be placed on the officer's work record which would
be held by his department and travel with him throughout his working
career. Having re-examined the content of Regulation 11(5) we
feel the phraseology could have been better and the Department
accepts it could have been worded more clearly.
(5) Explain, in regulation
(a) the reference to "references
to the chairman in regulations 19 to 21";
6. The reference to "references to the chairman
in Regulations 19 to 21" means where and if the chairman
is referred to in pursuance of these regulations it shall also
have the meaning attributed to it by Regulation 18(6).
(b) the reference to
an appeal made under regulation 19(2).
7. The reference to an appeal made under Regulation
19(2) means an internal appeal which is now defined as a Chief
Constables Review or simply a Review. To avoid confusion we propose
to amend the text of the regulation from "appeal" to
(6) Regulation 19 entitles
a member to request a review of a sanction imposed under regulation
17. Is it the intention that there should be a similar entitlement
in respect of a sanction imposed under regulation 18, and if so
how do the Regulations provide for this?
9. The chief constable has the power to review the
finding of an Unsatisfactory Performance Hearing, when requested
to do so by the appellant, and to confirm the decision of the
hearing or impose a lesser sanction providing that sanction was
available at the original hearing. The only other sanction available,
apart from a reduction in rank and a requirement to resign is
the issuing of a written warning. The chief constable does not
have the power to quash the finding of a hearing and likewise
the sanction this seems inappropriate and we shall amend accordingly.