Pensions for ACPO staff
321.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.
322.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.
323.In the Act, 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.
Section 104: Vice-chairmen
324.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 section 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.
325.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 335 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.
326.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.
Section 105: Political balance on police authorities
327.Subsection (1) amends Schedule 2 of the Police Act 1996, which requires the balance of the parties on the relevant council or councils to be reflected, so far as practicable, in appointments to the police authority. A High Court judgement has determined that ‘parties’ must be taken to refer to political parties, thereby excluding councillors who are not members of a political party from being taken into account in allocating places on the authority. This section will ensure that appointments reflect the composition of the entire membership of the council or councils concerned. It requires the council (or joint committee) to ensure (so far as practicable) that the proportion of members from any political party appointed to the police authority is the same as the proportion of those members on the council (or relevant councils taken as a whole). Any other places on the police authority must then be allocated to councillors who are not members of political parties. For example, if party A and party B each hold a third of the seats on the relevant council or councils taken as a whole, and the remaining third are held by councillors who are not members of a political party, party A and party B would each be allocated a third of the relevant places on the police authority. The remaining places must be allocated among the other councillors. Neither party A nor party B could be given extra places, as this would exceed their proportion.
328.Subsection (2) amends Schedule 2A of the 1996 Act, to apply the same provision to members of the London Assembly appointed to the Metropolitan Police Authority by the Mayor.
Section 106: Removal of age qualification for membership
329.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 section 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.
Section 107: Payment of allowances to authority members etc
330.Subsection (1) amends existing legislation (the Police Act 1996 and the Police Act 1997) to enable 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 on allowances of which the authorities would be required to take account.
331.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 sections 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.
332.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.
Section 108: Number and appointment of the members
333.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.
334.Subsection (3) introduces Schedule 5 which makes amendments to Schedule 1 to the Police Act 1997. Schedule 1 makes provision about the appointment of members of the Service Authorities.