One third of the staff of the Policing Board is to lose its jobs in a cost cutting exercise. The Board currently employs sixty five people and this is being trimmed back to just under forty five. The acting chief executive is expected to be among the casualties. The Corporate Services Department is taking a particularly heavy hit according to Board sources. HR/Finance/IT will all be losers. It was reported earlier this week that it costs £8.3m annually to run the Policing Board.
A statement issued by the Board spoke of ‘fulfilling its governance responsibilities and ensuring that resources are sized and shaped to most effectively deliver the Board’s key oversight responsibilities.’ The decision to reduce staff flows from yet another report, this time carried out by KPMG into the workings of the Board. Ken Reid undertook a previous review followed by a further report which terminated Chief Executive Adrian Donaldson’s contract. Retiring civil servant Edgar Jardine has been asked by the Department of Justice to to spend six months implementing the changes. There is an acceptance in most government departments and in ‘at arms length bodies” savings are necessary but there is said to be serious concern at ‘the speed of the change’ and about ‘the capacity of the Board to function if it’s engine room is ripped out.’