In common with all Police & Crime Commissioners, the PCC for Cleveland has received a recommendation from the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners, to the effect that as local policing body for Cleveland, the PCC should enter into the new corporate governance arrangements for the National Driver Offending Retraining Scheme (NDORs).
NDORs is the umbrella arrangement under which alternatives to prosecution such as ‘speed awareness courses’ offered in respect of certain categories of driving offence are accredited, administered and technically supported. A briefing paper from the Cleveland & Durham Specialist Operations Unit, setting out the local collaborative arrangements for delivery of courses and the handling of the fee arrangements, is attached to this Decision Record.
New national corporate arrangements are necessary mainly as a result of the changes to the national umbrella body for Chief Police Officers, specifically the transition from ACPO to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The ACPO Transition team and the APCC Board prefer – and have agreed - that residual review and professional advice work in respect of the predecessor arrangements should abide the establishment of new arrangements. The full text of the recommendation from the APCC Chief Executive is as follows
I am writing to update you on the modified governance and operational arrangements for the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) and to seek your agreement to join the Scheme.
Currently all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and most, if not all safer roads partnerships benefit from membership of the Scheme and the ambition of the new structure is to ensure that NDORS achieves the aims and objectives of police forces including: transparency, oversight, accountability and operational efficiency focused on improving the safety of UK roads for all road users.
Earlier this month we sent out the final proposals for the new arrangements. As you know, I have recently been working with the ACPO Review Team and PWC to address a number of concerns relating primarily to executive powers, funding arrangements and organisational representation. It was absolutely right and necessary to consider alternative operating models and review the proposals to ensure absolute clarity and transparency moving forward. I am pleased to report that the Board have accepted the modified arrangements which I believe will help forces to provide added value and safety benefits for all road users.
The proposals introduces a new governance model which addresses a number of historic arrangements providing full and appropriate operational control and remove any management burden and commercial risks for forces. They provide a long term national solution, with clear accountability, responsibility and transparent scrutiny for the future including a mechanism to recover appropriate costs incurred to deliver the Scheme.
We anticipate that the new organisation, known as "The Road Safety Trust" will need to enter into commercial support contracts, through its operational arm, "UK ROEd Ltd" with IT service providers and specialist training and support services providing the necessary flexibility and expertise to support the Scheme. An independent governance board will provide oversight and scrutiny and I will have "power of veto" thus ensuring that member forces have the final say. It is hoped that a volunteer Police & Crime Commissioner, with the appropriate knowledge and experience will also join the Board. Please do contact me if you would like to be put forward for this position.
I hope that the material provided to you is sufficient to allow you to become a member of the Road Safety Trust, thereby enabling the force to continue to benefit from the Scheme.
Placing reliance upon the material supplied by the APCC, membership of the Road Safety Trust will permit participating PCCs (or Chief Constables, if Schemes of Consent allow them to assume membership) to take part in appointing the trustees and influence the development and direction of NDORs. There appears also to be the need to make special – and perhaps more complex – arrangements for participation in the scheme for those organisations who do not assume membership of the Road Safety Trust through their appropriate corporation sole (in Cleveland, the contracting corporation sole would be the PCC). Any disturbance to the smooth operation of the scheme can be avoided by assuming membership of the Trust whilst remaining committed to the effective scrutiny of the new corporate governance structure and any residual matters relating to the previous delivery model.
The Road Safety Trust will also be responsible for applying any residual surplus from administrative levies on course participants, to charitable purposes of a road safety nature. That stewardship role is important within the context of the public interest in ensuring the proper application of such funds.
The PCC will note that the APCC recommendation indicates that the maximum financial liability accruing to the PCC in respect of membership is the sum of £1.00 in the event of the winding up of the Trust.