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Policing and Crime Act 2009

Section 24AO Powers of Secretary of State in relation to disputes

453.This section provides the Secretary of State with a power to intervene in a dispute in order to seek to resolve it. The use of this power is at the Secretary of State’s discretion. The intention is that, if such intervention is successful, a determination of the dispute under section 24AP may not be necessary.

454.In practice, the power contained at subsection (2) could be used to compel parties in a dispute to take actions that the Secretary of State considers will assist them in resolving the dispute. Directions made under this section will primarily be used to ensure that participants in a dispute take all necessary actions such as completing the required security analysis, and attending meetings with supporting materials so that officials can facilitate agreement over the levels of security resources required at an airport. However, the nature of the provision means that the examples set out above are not exhaustive.

455.Subsection (3) provides the Secretary of State with a power to compel parties involved in a dispute to contribute to costs relating to the provision of services by a third party. In practical terms, it is expected that there may be circumstances in which the Secretary of State considers it appropriate to attribute costs to the disputing parties relating to services provided by a third person for the purposes of resolving a dispute. In practice, persons who may be employed by the Secretary of State to facilitate in the resolution of a dispute could include legal professionals, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary or independent security consultants. Subsection (4) also permits the Secretary of State to recover costs relating to officials’ involvement in the determination of disputes. In practice, the Secretary of State might use this power to recover costs where he or she considers that it would be inappropriate for the full extent of costs relating to attempts to resolve the dispute to fall to the public purse.

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