Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Expenses Overpayment Query


Saturday, December 13th, 2014. 11:42pm

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright

I have written to Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner:

Graham Bright,

I have just looked at your published expenses at

http://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PCC-expenses-April-2014-November-2014.xlsx (Copy on rtaylor.co.uk)

This document states you have been paid £969.89 in expenses in relation to your mileage in September 2014.

The payment is based on 2155.30 miles claimed; yet the entries for each trip in September 2014 in the spreadsheet total just 161 claimable miles.

Have you actually received the £969.89 payment?

Will you be paying the public back the £897.44 the released information indicates you have claimed, and been over-paid, in error?

I was also very surprised to see an expenses claim for your attendance at a memorial service for officers who have died in service.

If these claims are being prepared and processed on your behalf perhaps it would be worth giving them some personal attention in the future.

If the published data is different from the amounts actually claimed, and paid, then I suggest the reasons for that should also be investigated and corrected.

Regards,

Richard Taylor
Cambridge

http://www.rtaylor.co.uk

Transparency is fabulous; it has allowed me to see the error which has, according to the commissioner’s own published information, led to a massive overpayment of public funds to the commissioner.

10 comments/updates on “Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Expenses Overpayment Query

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    I have received the following:

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: cambs-pcc
    Date: 13 December 2014 at 22:46
    Subject: Automatic reply: Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Expenses Overpayment Query
    To: Richard Taylor

    Thank you for contacting the Office of the Cambridgeshire Police & Crime Commissioner. We will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

    Yours sincerely,

    Cambridgeshire Office for the Police & Crime Commissioner

    South Cambridgeshire Hall

    Cambourne Business Park

    Cambourne

    Cambridge

    CB23 6EA

    Telephone: 0300 333 3456 Fax: 01954 713066

    Email: cambs-pcc@cambs.pnn.police.uk

  2. Richard Taylor Article author

    I’m also surprised that when the Police and Crime Commissioner visits Police HQ he claims it on expenses (on the grounds his usual place of work is South Cambridgeshire District Council’s offices in Cambourne).

    The Police and Crime Commissioner makes expenses claims if he visits the HQ directly from home, or if he goes via the office. (Though he does subtract a normal day’s commute to the office from any claim).

    If I was in such a position, a position the public pay such a large salary for, I wouldn’t be making petty claims for a few extra pounds for driving to a place that Google maps says is 32, rather than 27 miles from home.

  3. Richard Taylor Article author

    I have received a response:

    Dear Mr Taylor,

    Thank you for your email to the Police and Crime Commissioner regarding his published expenses. This matter has been brought to my attention as the Monitoring Officer for the the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

    Thank you for drawing the error set out below to my attention. Unfortunately, there was an administrative error when the September 2014 expenses were published on the website. The details of the actual claim were incorrectly reflected in the published expenses. The Commissioner claimed and received the correct expenses. This error has now been rectified and administrative processes reviewed to ensure it does not happen again.

    Thank you also for highlighting the journey to the memorial service which was included in the Commissioner’s claim. I know that attending such a poignant event is important to the Commissioner. While this claim was technically accurate, I will draw this matter to the attention of the Commissioner and we will reflect on such instances in future.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr Dorothy Gregson
    Chief Executive
    Office of Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner

    The response was sent by email in the form of a scanned image of a letter which had been printed out and signed. This suggests the commissioner’s office is working in a paper-based and inefficient manner. [It’s also possible the response was issued as a scanned image to make it harder for me to re-use and re-publish. I have copied and typed in the response to display it here.

    I am concerned that the information published by the Commissioner is being specifically prepared for publication on his website and is not simply a copy of the real information being used within his office. It appears wasteful to me to be specifically preparing material for release and has probably led to errors like this.

    I note while the error is in the September 2014 expenses, the error had also been carried forward into the presentation of the total expenses paid for the financial year to-date.

    I have expressed similar concerns about the release of spending data, including when a payment for £27,029.00 was wrongly included on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s published list of transactions over £500.

    Lastly I am disappointed that when I’ve written to the Police and Crime Commissioner I have not had a response from him. Graham Bright deleted the @Graham4Cambs Twitter Account used during the election campaign on taking office.

    I don’t know if others get a similar response. Graham Bright has told me: “I will deal with the real public and not with you“.

  4. Gareth Rees

    The response was sent by email in the form of a scanned image of a letter which had been printed out and signed

    It’s also possible that they are worried about leaking information via document metadata, and do not have the computer skills to ensure that this doesn’t happen, except by printing and scanning.

  5. Ganesh Sittampalam

    I don’t see any problem with him claiming expenses for the memorial service, it’s part of his job to go to that kind of thing.

  6. Richard Taylor Article author

    The published expenses data has now been silently changed on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website.

    It now states he has been paid just £72.45 in expenses for September 2014.

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