Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions
Contact: Stephen Bace 01452 324204
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Steve Robinson declared that his daughter was employed within the Force.
Cllr Rob Garnham declared that he had previously worked with senior independent member who had written a report on the process. He clarified that he had not had any part in this recruitment process.
Cllr Colette Finnegan declared that her son was a special constable.
Cllr Brian Tipper declared that his niece was a member of the Constabulary
The minutes were agreed as a correct record.
This is a confirmatory hearing for the appointment of the Chief Constable.
The preferred candidate is given an opportunity to address the Panel and then answer questions from the members. The format will be as follows:
The Commissioner to introduce his preferred
b) Candidate has an opportunity to present to the Panel his/her understanding of the role
c) Opportunity for the Panel to ask questions of the candidate.
d) Candidate is given opportunity to clarify any answers given during the hearing and ask questions of the panel about the next stage of the process.
The attached papers include guidance on how the Panel will conduct the hearing, and the following:
Advertisement for Chief Constable
Candidate Information Pack comprising:
o Letter from the Police and Crime Commissioner,
o Job Description and Person Specification, and
Terms and Conditions of Appointment
· Copy blank application form
TO FOLLOW – Information on the candidate will be provided once available.
38.1 The Panel understood that the confirmatory hearing for the appointment of the Chief Constable was required by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The Police and Crime Commissioner would be invited to speak to the Panel to outline the selection process and to introduce the candidate. The candidate would then have the opportunity to address the Panel, and members could ask questions of the candidate relating to professional competence and personal independence. The Panel would then go into exempt session to make its decision on whether to recommend the appointment, recommend against the appointment or to use its power of veto.
38.2 The Commissioner explained that this was an important day for the Constabulary, and introduced Rod Hansen as his preferred candidate for the position of Chief Constable. Mr Hansen had been fulfilling the role on a temporary basis for the previous ten months. The Commissioner outlined the selection process as detailed in the report provided to Panel members. He informed members that the process had followed the guidance of the College of Policing and the papers included a report from an Independent Member.
38.3 One candidate had applied for the position; this reflected that the pool from which an appointment could be made from was very small. There had been a lot of interest from Deputies from other Forces who had asked questions on the process and about Gloucestershire Constabulary. The Commissioner suggested that the fact that only one individual had applied could be due to an awareness that there was a strong internal candidate.
38.4 The preferred candidate had gone through a written application process and met all the criteria. He had met with a staff forum to answer questions and had faced a very testing media interview that he had performed strongly in. In addition, he had appeared before the Commissioner’s Forum prior to the formal interview with the Commissioner and four other panel members.
Questions to the Police and Crime Commissioner
38.5 In response to a question, the Commissioner stated that the appointment was for a five year period which was the maximum contract he could offer. Following that period, a 1-3 year extension could be offered. He explained he had made this decision in order to ensure stability.
38.6 One member stated that she was pleased that the position had been advertised more widely, although she was surprised that there had not been more applicants. The Commissioner stated that one particular potential applicant had expressed that they felt it wasn’t the right move for them despite expressing an interest in the County. The vacancy had been advertised on the Constabulary website, the Police and Crime Commissioner website, through the College of Policing and through a number of networks including for BME and LGBT officers.
38.7 One member expressed concern about potential candidates not following up their interest and asked for assurances that they had not been put off by discussions with the Commissioner’s Office. The Chief Executive of the Commissioner’s Office stated ... view the full minutes text for item 38.
Exclusion of Press and Public
The Committee may wish to exclude the press and public from the meeting during the consideration of the remaining items on the agenda in accordance with the provisions of section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (schedule 12A paragraphs 1, 2 & 3) which are:
Information relating to any individual
Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual
Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
39.1 The Chairman explained that the guidance from the Home Office and LGA/ Centre for Public Scrutiny recommended that the Panel move into exempt session in order to consider all the information available and discuss the decision they wished to make regarding the appointment.
It was therefore resolved:
That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the remaining items on the agenda in accordance with the provisions of section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (schedule 12A paragraphs 1,& 2) which were:
Information relating to any individual.
Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.
This was because it was likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.
The Panel will make a decision regarding whether to recommend the appointment, recommend against the appointment, or use their right to veto.
Following the meeting, a report will be made to the Police and Crime Commissioner and made public after 5 working days.
40.1 Members understood the options open to the Panel as defined using the Act and the Local Government Association Guidance that:
· The Panel could recommend approval of the candidate
· The Panel could recommend against the candidate where it felt that the candidate did not meet the minimum standards and/or had cause for concern. In this case the Commissioner could continue with the appointment, making a response detailing why he would not be following the Panel's recommendation.
· The Panel could veto the appointment. This should only be exercised where it was clear to the Panel that there had been a significant failure of 'due diligence' checks, to the extent that the candidate was not appointable; this was a very high bar. The veto should only be used where the Panel felt that the candidate failed to make the minimum standards for the post.
40.2 Panel members commented on their disappointment that there had not been a wider pool of applicants but felt that the correct process had been followed.
40.3 Members discussed recent HMIC reports which had criticised senior management oversight, but noted the responses made by Mr Hansen in relation to recent challenges. One member stated the importance of ensuring that in future appointments there was encouragement of applications from candidates outside of the Constabulary in order to allow the opportunity for ‘new blood’.
40.4 Members stated that the candidate had demonstrated professional competence and personal independence. They welcomed the full answers provided by the candidate to their questions and commented that he had given an excellent account of himself.
40.5 It was therefore agreed that:
The Panel unanimously recommend the appointment of Rod Hansen as Chief Constable and congratulate him on his presentation.