This Home Office Is More Arrogant Than Any I Can Remember

When the Winsor Independent Reviews were first published I asked the Home Office for copies of any Risk and/or Impact Assessments, their reply was this;

No formal impact assessment has been carried out in relation to the
recommendations.  Therefore, the Home Office does not hold the information you
have requested.

By “risk assessment”, we understand you mean a formal analysis of the likelihood
and consequences of specific hazards arising from the Winsor recommendations.
No such formal risk assessment has been carried out in relation to the
recommendations.  Therefore, the Home Office does not hold the information you
have requested.

No Risk Assessment, no Impact Assessment on something so significant.  Arrogance?

Then we move onto the latest round of Budget Cuts, again I asked Home Office for Risk and Impact Assessments, their response this time?;

You recently requested copies of Impact and Risk Assessments undertaken in relation to the planned police budget reductions.  In response we explained that your request was being handled as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) and that we had identified three pieces of advice to the Policing Minister as being relevant to your request.  We also stated that we needed to consider your request under the exemption in section 35 (1)(a) of the Act and that in order to fully consider the public interest, we needed to extend the 20 working day response period.  After careful  consideration we have decided that the pieces of advice to Ministers, relevant to your request, are exempt from disclosure under section 35 (1)(a) of the Act, which provides that information can be withheld if it is likely to prejudice the policy making process and the delivery of effective government.

The disadvantages of releasing the information are that officials would feel constrained in their advice to Ministers, if they were aware that their advice is likely to be released into the public domain. Ministers and officials need to be able to conduct rigorous and candid risk assessments of police funding policy proposals including considerations of the pros and cons of the options under discussion. Officials also need to be able to give Ministers free and frank advice without the concern that such advice may be made public at a premature point.  It is in the interests of good policy making that Ministers are able to receive the best advice from officials without  there being premature disclosure which might close off better options.  Therefore, we have determined that on balance, the public interest is in favour of non-disclosure.

This time a good old-fashioned Refusal, Arrogance?  Reasonable?

Then we get headlines such as this one recently

The Home Office doesn’t understand the police cuts it is making, watchdog says

 

The Home Office is making deep cuts to the police service without understanding their effects, the Government’s spending watchdog has said.

In a critical report the National Audit Office argued that ministers did not have enough information to understand the effects of their own policies.

“The [Home Office] has insufficient information to determine how much further it can reduce funding without degrading services or when it may need to support individual forces,” the report said.

 

The NAO said ministers would not be able to recognise signs that might appear if police services were about to grind to a halt.

Is it any wonder that the Home Office can’t comprehend their own cuts?  They either don’t carry out any Impact Assessments or don’t want us to know what they say.

For an organisation that is required to Risk and Impact Assess EVERYTHING, it is cruel and ironic that such substantial reforms and such deep cuts can be inflicted without a single Assessment being carried out by the Home Office. Or if an Assessment has been carried out in relation to the Budget cuts they’re keeping it to themselves. Transparency is not a word the Home Office uses much, unless it’s in relation to others.

Whatever else they are I can’t believe that this government is so incompetent as to not know what it’s doing, so I’m left with the conclusion that it is a totally self-absorbed, arrogant government that doesn’t actually care what the results of its policies are.  At least Maggie was astute enough to keep the Police onside.

I didn’t vote for them in 2010 and I didn’t vote for them this year.

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3 Comments

  1. We would soon get some understanding if the Police didn’t respond to matters involving MPs.At the moment nothing they do to the Police effects them.

    • retiredandangry

      In the good old days their Protection Officers would “have a word”. Doesn’t seem to happen now or they’re ignored.

  2. Arrogance is linked to privalaged persons, from a closed/narrow outlook perspective, who rarely meet ordinary people on a level footing. Consequently when given total autonomy they cannot comprehend anything outside their personal perimeter!

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