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Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

Constitution of the Service Authorities, Financial Provisions, and Directors General for NCIS and NCS

306.The National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service were established by the Police Act 1997. This part of the Act makes changes to the constitution of the Service Authorities that maintain the NCS and the NCIS, alters the financial arrangements for those Authorities and makes further provision relating to the Director General of NCS and NCIS.

307.The main source of funding for both Service Authorities is levies issued, under the Police Act 1997, to police authorities in England and Wales. (The NCIS Service Authority, as a UK-wide body, also receives separately negotiated contributions from Scotland and Northern Ireland.) The Act replaces the provision for levies with provision for annual grants, to be made to the Service Authorities by the Secretary of State.

308.Currently, the Audit Commission audits the accounts as is the case for police authorities. This Act changes the auditing arrangements to provide for the National Audit Office to take on this role.

309.As a result of the change in funding arrangements, this part of the Act also disapplies a wide range of local government enactments that apply to the NCS Service Authority. Provision equivalent to that made by these local government enactments applies to the NCIS Service Authority by virtue of orders under section 44 of the Police Act 1997. Section 44 is also being repealed by the Act and, accordingly, the orders under that section will cease to have effect.

310.With the abolition of levies on police authorities, provision is made to reduce the number of members of the Service Authorities who are appointed to those Authorities by virtue of their membership of police authorities. At the same time, the restriction that police authority members must be local authority members is removed by the Act and a wider range of police authority members will now be eligible for appointment as service authority members. In addition, the membership of the NCIS Service Authority is being widened to encompass the Security Service and the core membership of the Service Authorities is being widened to encompass HMCE so that the NCS Service Authority will include HMCE.

311.At present, Directors General for NCIS and NCS are appointed (and removed) by the Service Authorities with the approval of the Secretary of State. The Act provides for their appointment (and removal) by the Secretary of State. This is because under the new funding arrangements the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office will become the Departmental Accounting Officer (DAO) for NCIS and the NCS, and the Director General of each service will be that service’s Accounting Officer (AO). The DAO is responsible for providing funds to both services and for ensuring that the financial and management controls applied by the services conform with the propriety and good financial management requirements applied by the department. The DAO is also accountable to Parliament for those funds. The Accounting Officer (AO) for NCIS and NCS is responsible for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the services and for ensuring that there is a high standard of financial management as a whole. The AO is responsible to Parliament for the resources under his control. By providing for the Secretary of State to make the appointments, the Act enables him to ensure that each person appointed is competent to fulfil the role of Accounting Officer.

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