Agenda item

Update on Force Finances (New Financial Tracker)

Report of the Commissioner.


Members considered a report of the Commissioner on Force Finances (New Finance Tracker) and the following points were made:


·         The provisional budget outturn for the 2019/20 financial year was looking positive and notification been received from the Home Office that costs relating to Extinction Rebellion activity during 2019 would be reimbursed, resulting in a positive variation of £240k.  At present, the budget for the 2020/21 financial year was showing expenditure over the planned budget of £200k, but this was a changeable picture due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it was anticipated that there could be £0.5M loss of income related to the stoppage of Training Academy courses as well as a reduction in the Transport for London grant.  Work was underway to explore how Training Academy courses could be delivered online; however, a number of trainers had been redeployed to the Economic Crime Unit to help tackle COVID-19 fraud.  In response to a question from a Member, the Commissioner confirmed that the 2020/21 budget offered far more granularity than previous years which would support robust analysis, including identifying areas of concern.  The Commissioner reassured the Board that that agency staff costs identified during 2019/20 were being managed closely.  The Chairman requested that the savings tracker be reported in non-public in future due to the sensitivities around reporting financial matters relating to business operations.


·         Recruitment remained a challenge with an ongoing focus on recruiting an additional 44 Police Officers funded by the Home Office.  This would include more uniformed Police Officers delivering community policing within the new geographical model as well as those supporting the National Lead Force workstream.  The Home Office funding covered all basic staffing costs including salaries, pensions and allowances, but the City of London Police would be responsible to cover any additional costs related to specialist skills.  The Deputy Chairman was concerned that there was a risk of losing some or all of the additional Police Officer posts as these roles had yet to be advertised.  A Member requested that a fuller breakdown be provided on where the 67 new posts would be placed within the Force structure and this information would be provided to Members following the meeting. 


·         In response to a query from a Member, the Commissioner confirmed that City of London Police staff turnover had been slightly higher than usual for 2019/20 with 70 staff leaving, and that this comprised a mix of Police Officers retiring from service as well as those leaving for other reasons.


The Deputy Chairman observed that there had been a £1.6M underspend for the 2019/20 financial year which represented 1% of total spend and commended the Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer and the City of London Police for reducing unnecessary costs.


RESOLVED, that the update be noted.

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