Sir John Bourn, the Comptroller and Auditor General and Head of the NAO, today published his first report on the Policing Board’s arrangements to secure continuous improvement in their work and in the work of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).Jump to downloads
Under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, it is a new requirement which came into effect in February 2003, for the Comptroller and Auditor General to report on these arrangements which replicate similar requirements for Police Authorities in England and Wales which are referred to as “Best Value”.
This is the first year of the Best Value Performance Plan and consequently information relating to past performance is not included. The NAO therefore have focused on the planning process and the choice of indicators and standards.
The Policing Board have produced their first Best Value Performance Plan which is in accordance with regulations. Being the first such plan, it is necessarily set at a high level. In future years a more detailed plan should be produced.
The performance indicators and standards are reasonable and broadly similar to the mandatory indicators used in England and Wales, although these are not mandatory in Northern Ireland. The exception to this is the omission of an indicator for the number of days lost through sickness. This information is already collated by the PSNI and is a commonly-used measure which could be reported without significant additional cost. Sir John recommends that this information should be included in the future.
Sir John also suggests the use of milestones to show whether improvements are intended gradually or as the result of a single set of initiatives. There is evidence that using milestones has been successful in England and Wales and Sir John recommends that the Northern Ireland Policing Board consider developing them.
Sir John said:
“This plan is a good first step in the arrangements for securing continuous improvement in the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the work of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Policing Board. In future years I will monitor and report on the progress of these improvements.”
"This plan is a good first step in the arrangements for securing continuous improvement in the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the work of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Policing Board. In future years I will monitor and report on the progress of these improvements."Sir John
- ISBN: 102926794 [Buy a hard copy of this report]
- HC: 160 2003-2004