Is a Single Force the Only Option? Colin Mair, Chief Executive, Improvement Service
The Consensus Scottish Government & Parliament have the constitutional authority to shape policing in Scotland Basis for decision-making should be transparent and accountable Police budgets will reduce in real terms We all want to maintain and improve outcomes
Options for What? Improving deployment of police resources to front line policing despite budget reduction Rationalising/improving current ways of delivering policing functions to ensure this is possible: T.O.M. Ensuring key measures of safety and security outcomes continued to improve (and local partnerships that deliver them work) Ensuring national policing functions are properly governed and accountable nationally Ensuring local policing functions are properly governed and accountable to local communities
The OBC No statement of purpose of policing (outcomes) No statement of national or local accountability arrangements No baseline or organisational models of options Focus largely on ‘efficiency’ gains
The Core of the OBC The analysis of T.O.M.’s and efficiencies: 5, 10 and 15 years Linking realisation of efficiencies to structural options OBC combines (1) and (2): depends on reliability of both
Some Quotes from the OBC On the T.O.M. Efficiencies “In some limited cases the nature of the function and level of information available allowed the team to rebuild a function from the ‘bottom up’ and this provided a relatively high confidence in the assessment of efficiency. In other areas where complexity, scale and limitations of data were significant factors. Efficiencies were estimated and validated for reasonableness using benchmark data.”
Some Quotes from the OBC On Deliverability “All of the options rely on significant change to deliver the scale of efficiency that is likely to be required. Payback time will be highly dependent on the availability of funding as well as prioritisation and profiling of change project alongside business as usual activity. In order to better profile the cost of change and financial benefits within the full programme, a further stage of more detailed analysis will be conducted.”
Some Quotes from the OBC On the Attribution of Costs and Benefits to Options “To date detailed assessment of risk, sensitivity and optimism bias for the cost and benefit profile has not been undertaken.”
To Be Precise…Efficiencies and T.O.M.’s What percentage of the efficiencies attributed to T.O.M.’s are evidence based and how much based on ‘benchmarks’? Which benchmarks used and how applied? (e.g. are they achieved benchmarks or benchmarks projected in other business cases?) Do any of the benchmarks derive from a context of structural mergers? (e.g. ‘Quest in England does not)
The UK Conclusion “The Government does not support the imposition of structural changes on local forces which will be seen by the public as creating vast and distant conglomerations, weakening their capacity to influence and hold to account those who keep them safe. Scarce resources in challenging times need to be focused on strengthening front line policing, not bankrolling controversial mergers with little public or political support.” (Home Office, June 2010).
To Be Precise: Cost and Benefits of Structural Options How were costs and benefits attributed in the absence of a baseline and models of each option? What percentage of cost and benefits were based on analysis of actual evidence and what percentage by judgement? If by judgement, whose judgement? How many involved?
For Example: Outcome Improvement (Table 5.3, P51) 8 Forces: 1.86 (limited) ---- Single Force: 8.4 (significant) Numbers but: who involved? How involved? Any critical voices? Process for wider validation: ACPOS, etc.
For Example: Savings on Staff & Supplies (5 years) (Tables 5.4 – 5.6) Officers:8 Forces: £36 million 1 Force: £43 million Staff: 8 Forces: £47 million 1 Force: £66 million Supplies: 8 Forces: £19 million 1 Force: £23 million ‘Always show your working’
So…. All these are critical to business case: publish them Piles of tables dependent on assumptions: sensitivity analysis on explicit assumptions 10 – 15 years projections & NPV dependent on 5 year projections being accurate: add no further information
Financial Projections Across 5 Years NB. Difference = 0.3% of base per annum
Reconstructing the OBC The ‘Sustainable Policing’ report identifies major efficiency opportunities In the past 8 CC’s and Boards have not found it easy to collaborate and share services Therefore: 1 Force is necessary to drive this through But: detailed evidence and analysis necessary to make this secure But: outcomes, accountability and failure risk in mergers
End Points OBC establishes future detailed work on options warranted: not a basis for final decision making There is not a credible case just now but ‘structural bingo’ not sensible Factor back in outcomes and accountability (e.g. local protection and resilience partnerships; composition of board; local budget and plan approval) The Scottish Government preference is stated: should be respected Positional bargaining Mutual outcomes
POLICE REFORM PROGRAMMEDRAFT OUTLINE BUSINESS CASEScottish Government July 2011 Ceci n’est pas une business case