Organisation unable to provide evidence of contracts

AN ACPO consultant provided with a 12-month contract in 2005 ended up working for a further four years, with the organisation unable to provide any evidence of further contracts being agreed.

Linda Van De Hende, former director of occupational health at the Metropolitan Police, was brought in as a personnel consultant initially on a part-time 12-month £400-a-day deal under which total payment, including expenses, was not to exceed £48,000.

But according to ACPO’s records, payments for Ms Van De Hende’s services totalled £103,216 after she continued working for ACPO until 2010. ACPO said the money was paid to the Windmill Consultancy but did not respond when asked what had happened after the initial contract.

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ACPO has been unable to provide any specific information on how any consultants were employed but did say it had a record of a minute from an ACPO cabinet meeting in March 2005 which referred to a decision to seek contributions from forces towards the cost of a personnel consultant. No other information was available.

ACPO cited retention of specialist knowledge was behind some of the consultant appointments.

As a detective superintendent, Brian Shelby was seconded to ACPO in 2004 to lead a programme involving data screening at UK border points. After leaving the police, his company, Pyrope Solutions, was awarded four six-monthly contracts between September 2008 and October 2010 to work on the e-borders programme. The total value of the contracts was £162,000, but Mr Shelby’s company received a total of £205,982. ACPO said the extra payments included costs travel costs and VAT.

The payments were more than the superintendent salary Mr Shelby would have received on secondment.

In common with all the consultant appointments, ACPO was unable to provide any specific information on how pay rates had been arrived at. A spokeswoman did say Mr Shelby’s “specialist knowledge meant he was retained to ensure continuity.”

ACPO also gave three consecutive consultancy contracts worth £85,000 to its president’s former chief of staff. Paul Toland was taken on in November 2008 “to provide additional support to the Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre for the 2012 Olympics,” a spokeswoman said. She added he was “uniquely qualified to discharge this role,” which ended in August 2009.

A former Cabinet Office communications officer was given a short-term contract between June and September 2009 to provide interim communications support to Olympics planning. Emma Heywood was paid £8,742.10 at a rate of £185.20 a day. No rationale was provided for why she was chosen for the job or the pay rate.

A Metropolitan Police officer seconded to ACPO to work on the National Community Tension Team was given a series of contracts to continue in a similar role after he retired from service. Adrian Haughton’s company Practical Solutions received £30,600 for eight months work up to November 2009. ACPO said his services were retained “for the purposes of continuity and completeness”.

The only consultancy appointment ACPO was able to provide a job advert for related to the contract provided to Pauline Weaver, former head of shared services at City of London Police.

The advert, in the form of a letter circulated to police forces in 2010, said ACPO was seeking to appoint a new workforce development co-ordinator. A spokeswoman said Ms Weaver succeeded Ms Van De Hende. She was paid £15,262.20 having been given two separate contracts at £400 a day.

Another former police officer, George Frame, was appointed to provide technical advice on the Police National Database. ACPO said the appointment of the retired Nottinghamshire detective superintendent in January 2009 was needed urgently to avoid delays and Mr Frame was familiar with the work. His consultancy was paid £24,438.97 for two months work at £550 a day.

Former Northumbria Chief Constable Crispian Strachan was given a £10,000 contract in 2009 to provide constitutional advice, of which ACPO said he had specialist expertise.