Officer travel - 053/16
Dated: 12 Feb 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 12 January 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
1) How many employees (officers and staff) claimed first class travel on their expenses in 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15?
2) In each of the above cases, please tell me how much each officer received in first class travel expenses during each of these financial years.
3) Please provide all expenses forms on which where first class travel has been claimed.
4) Does/Has the chief constable, or any other senior employees, use/used a private driver (in 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15)? If so, please state which employees.
5) If yes to the above, please tell me the mileage of the journey and where they were driven. Please also state how much each journey cost.
6) For overnight stays at conferences or other events, has the police force paid for the overnight stay of the driver? (Please provide details of any time this has been the case since 2012/13).
7) What is the price bracket - if there is one - that all employees (staff and officers) are allowed to claim on expenses for hotel stays. If this differs for various levels of seniority, please specify (i.e. junior officers can spend up to £100 a night and senior up to £200 a night)
8) Please provide the expenses forms for each time an employee (staff and officers) has claimed hotel stays of more than £100 per night in 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.
9) What was the total spent on hotel stays for the years 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15?
10) Please provide all expenses forms for your chief constable for the years 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 (or provide a link to where this is available online if that's the case)
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Business Support, Finance and HR Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
1&2 See below attached
3. No expense forms are submitted for travel.
4. In 2012/13 we employed x 2 Support Services Administrator, who’s duties included driving. These roles were deleted in November 2012. Northumbria Police does not employ or use private drivers.
7. Officers of all ranks are limited to claim £75 outside of London and £175 within London on hotel expenses. Anything outside of this bracket is approved by the Chief Officer Team before travel.
Anything outside of this bracket is approved on an exceptional basis by the Chief Officer Team before travel.
8. No expense forms are submitted for hotel stays.
2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Accommodation Expenses £163,614 £130,492 £73,949
10. As the information you have requested at this point is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You should therefore consider this a refusal for that part of your request.
I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.
Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means
Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.
Information on this subject area has been published on the Northumbria Police website.
We have provided the relevant link below
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information via the Disclosure Log. The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.
The Disclosure Log contains copies of some of the information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the wider public interest.
The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.
I have provided the relevant link below.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure.
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.