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Police Reform Act 2002

Section 99: Power to modify the functions and structure of PITO

488.The Police Information Technology Organisation was established by Part IV of the Police Act 1997 (the 1997 Act) to carry out activities relating to information technology equipment and systems for the use of the police service. PITO acquired its statutory status on 1st April 1998. It is a body corporate and an executive NDPB. It operates within the provisions set out in the 1997 Act and any relevant subordinate legislation. The Home Office is the sponsor Department. Schedule 8 to the 1997 Act sets out the constitution of the PITO Board, conditions applying to Board membership, conditions applying to appointment of staff (regarding numbers, terms and conditions), membership and conduct of Committees, regulation of proceedings, evidence, money, requirements for an annual report and the status of the organisation with respect to the Crown.

489.As currently constituted, PITO has two broad statutory functions:

  • to carry out activities relating to information technology (IT) equipment and systems for the use of the police service; and

  • to provide the police with a procurement, contract management and advisory service covering both IT and non-IT related goods and services.

490.NDPB status, coupled with a tripartite governance involving ACPO, the APA and the Home Office, was adopted to enable partnership working and to better reflect policing IT requirements.

491.This section provides a broad enabling power which will allow amendment, by affirmative procedure secondary legislation, to Part IV (sections 109-111 and Schedule 8) of the 1997 Act, to enable changes in the functions, name, structure, accountability and management practices of PITO.

492.Subsection (1) sets out the scope of the amendments that can be made to the provisions governing PITO. Subsection (1)(a) ensures that the amendments can give PITO additional functions or amend existing functions. Subsection (1)(b) ensures that the amendments can impose duties on PITO in relation to how its functions are to be carried out. Subsection (1)(c) ensures that the amendments can modify the constitution of PITO (currently set out in Schedule 8 to the 1997 Act) and can also modify any provision in Schedule 8 to or sections 109-111 of the 1997 Act which relate to the management or control of PITO. Subsection (1)(d) ensures that the amendments can give the Secretary of State powers in relation to the functions, duties, constitution, management or control of PITO.

493.Subsection (2) clarifies the provisions that can be made under this section. Under subsection (2)(a), the provisions can amend primary legislation in Part IV of the 1997 Act in such manner as the Secretary of State thinks fit (as long as the purpose of the amendment falls within one of the purposes set out in subsection (1)). The power also enables other statutes that refer to PITO, such as the 1996 Act, to be amended to ensure that their provision is consistent with any amendments made under this section to Part IV of the 1997 Act. Under subsection (2)(b), the provisions, if they are intended to confer functions on PITO, can confer functions on any agencies, bodies, organisations and persons outside those connected with policing, but not outside the criminal justice system. Under subsection (2)(c), the provisions can require any persons in relation to whom PITO has been given functions to consult with PITO and perform other tasks related to PITO as specified by the order. Under subsection (2)(d), the provisions, as a consequence of any change to PITO’s functions under subsection 1(a) can also change PITO’s name. This is to ensure that if PITO’s functions are changed, the name continues to accurately reflect the functions of the organisation. This provision does not mean that PITO can be abolished – the same legal entity would continue in operation, but under a different name. Under subsection (2)(e), the provisions can impose obligations on PITO under subsection 1(b) in relation to PITO’s planning process and in relation to any consultation that the Secretary of State may decide to require PITO to undertake. Under subsection (2)(f), any provisions made under subsection (1) can also provide for the Secretary of State to make determinations, or give approval, or give an opinion from time to time, in relation to any matter. This is to ensure that requirements can be made under subsection (1) for PITO to seek approval or an opinion from the Secretary of State, or to comply with his determination on any given matter.

494.Subsection (3) ensures that the prison service and the probation service are included in the definition of ‘criminal justice system’ in subsection 2(b).

495.Subsection (4) places an obligation on the Secretary of State to consult with Scottish Ministers prior to making any order under this section.

496.Subsection (5) provides that any orders made under this section are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

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