Tom Winsor – The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing Like The Truth

OK, so I’ve done with Overtime for a while.  I know we’ve all had the Tom Winsor, Case & White, G4S, Lincolnshire debate for days now, but I’d thought I’d have a stab at putting it all together in one place, try not to put too much of my own spin on it, and let you all decide for yourselves whether ‘The Truth Is Out There’.

As you all know he, with a little help from his friends, wrote that magnificent work entitled “Independent Review of Police Officer and Staff Remuneration and Conditions“, more commonly known as the “Winsor Review of Police Officer and Staff Remuneration and Conditions“, a title I prefer for obvious reasons.  I’m not going to waste very much of your time on debating the quality of his research, I heard him try to justify it on Radio 4 and it just stunk.  His figures in relation to Obese Cops are pathetic, he clearly stated that he didn’t have a comparator so he went to the only one he could find – Cops who were worried about their weight.  I don’t think I need say any more on that.

Anyway, to get back to the point, on 22nd March 2011, a gentleman called Nigel Tompsett (@PolicePensions), who is a Sergeant in the Suffolk Constabulary asked the Home Office “how much Tom Winsor has either been paid or will be paid to carry out his review on remuneration and conditions of service for police officers and staff in England and Wales?
In relation to this review, can you please also inform me the amount of money paid or being paid to Sir Edward Crew and Professor Richard Disney for their work in participating with Tom Winsor?”

In reply to this question he was given the following information The law firm White and Case, at which Tom Winsor is a partner, will receive £300 per day for his services. Sir Edward Crew, who is the review’s Policing Advisor, will also receive £300 per day for his services. Richard Disney is Professor of labour market economics at the University of Nottingham. The university has received £16,000 for his report.  So far, so good.

Then on 22nd June 2012 I asked the Home Office a subtly different version of the same question

In relation to Mr Tom Winsor’s Review of Police Officers’ & Staff Remuneration & Conditions I request that you furnish me with the following information

1) What was the total amount of money paid to Mr Winsor’s firm, White and Case, for his services in compiling the report in relation to this review.

2) What was the total amount of money paid to Sir Edward Crew for his services in assisting Mr Winsor in this matter.

This request relates to both Part 1 and Part 2 of Mr Winsor’s report”
On 18th July 2012 I received the following response;
Q1. Neither White & Case nor Mr Winsor has received any remuneration in respect of Mr Winsor’s work on the review.

 The terms and conditions of Mr Winsor’s appointment provided for £300 per day to be paid to him in remuneration for his work on the review. However, the Home Office has received no request for payment from Mr Winsor. I understand that he does not intend to claim this money.

 Mr Winsor has submitted expense claims that amount to £3,910.19, incurred during the production of his report, although these have yet to be paid.

 Q2. Sir Edward Crew provided advice and research support to Tom Winsor during the course of the review. Sir Edward Crew was paid £23,493.45, which was paid on several dates.

This response raised a few eyebrows because it almost contradicts their earlier response to Sergeant Tompsett.  It also raises the very important question as to why anybody working for a private, international firm of lawyers would not claim any fee that was due to them for work done, and neither did his firm. Why?

Then we had Mr Winsor’s remarkable performance at the Home Affairs Select Committee when Tom was almost laughing at Keith Vaz and said that at £300 per hour his firm could not have made any money.  I guess most people will have seen his performance and formed their own opinions as to his credibility as a witness.

This performance had people asking why on earth Mr Winsor would not claim approx £104,000 in fees which had been approved and were due to him. I don’t know many people who could afford not to claim a pay cheque of that magnitude.

Just as the dust was settling from that, Keith Vaz then Tweeted a few days ago that White and Case had informed him that they had continued to pay Tom Winsor his salary, as a partner, whilst he was engaged on a project for the Home Office.  If you go back a few paragraphs you will see from the Home Office’s original response that the agreement was that THEY would get paid the £300 per day for Tom Winsor’s services.

So now we have the question “Why would White and Case not claim the £104,000 that was due to them for Tom Winsor’s Review?”  It can surely have nothing to do with another team of lawyers from White and Case who were advising G4S on a proposed contract with Lincolnshire Police Authority to take on some of their ‘back room’ services.

To return to the actual Review for one moment , I put a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office asking the following;

1) Could you please furnish me with copies of any ‘What If’
Analysis carried out in relation to the recommendations contained
within Part 1 of Mr Winsor’s Review.
2) Could you please furnish me with copies of any ‘What If’
Analysis carried out in relation to the recommendations contained
within Part 2 of Mr Winsor’s Review.”

The reply I received to this was that no formal Risk Assessment had been undertaken in relation to Winsor’s Review.

I asked the question;

“1) Could you please furnish me with copies of any Impact Assessment
carried out in relation to the recommendations contained within
Part 1 of Mr Winsor’s Review.
2) Could you please furnish me with copies of any Impact Assessment
carried out in relation to the recommendations contained within
Part 2 of Mr Winsor’s Review.”

The response I got to this question was;

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. The recommendations in the Part 1 Report were considered by the appropriate bodies, including the police negotiating machinery and the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT). The Home Secretary, having taken account of all relevant considerations, decided to accept the PAT award.

Note the wording of the 1st sentence.  How does that correspond to this document contained within Winsor’s Review?  Equality Impact Assessment Report Independent Review of Police Officer and Staff Remuneration and Conditions: Part 1 Report  Surely that constitutes a formal Impact Assessment?

I also asked them this question;

1) Could you please furnish me with copies of any ‘What If’
Analysis carried out in relation to the recommendations contained
within Part 1 of Mr Winsor’s Review.

2) Could you please furnish me with copies of any ‘What If’
Analysis carried out in relation to the recommendations contained
within Part 2 of Mr Winsor’s Review.

To date, they have chosen not to answer that question and their response is about a month overdue.  I requested a Review of their handling of my request and they just appear to have treated that as a new request, the response to which is now overdue.

And whilst all this is going on we have the absolute bombshell announcement that Tom Winsor is the Preferred Candidate for the the post of Chief Inspector HMIC.
So, if you’ve kept up with me so far, just how ‘Independent’ does this make Tom Winsor’s review?  Even if I accept that he personally had nothing to do with the G4S contract, there is still his work that has gone unpaid and his, now successful’ selection to the post of Chief Inspector HMIC, a selection that I shall return to on a later date.  Is there any connection?  You decide.  All I know is that it is far from straightforward, better men than I will debate the actual contents of the Winsor review but a wise, crusty old Sergeant once told me “Son, if it stinks, it’s probably rotten”.

At this point I will stress the point that the following comment is my opinion alone and in no way represents anybody else, although everyone is entitled to agree or disagree as they see fit.  Taking into account the various responses I, and others,  have had from the Home Office I have absolutely no confidence that we are being told the truth.  Commercially there is a lot at stake and I just feel like a mushroom, kept in the dark and fed bullshit.  In my experience the Home Office’s handling of Freedom of Information requests is woeful.  I find it incredible that every request needs more than the statutory 2o working days to process, and frequently, as soon as they are prodded a response is forthcoming.  A clearly worded request for a Review of their handling of a request should be treated as just that, not treated as a new request and give yourselves another 20 days to respond.

As I said just now I shall return to the selection of Tom Winsor to HMIC on a future date, but to my simplistic view there has been a complete lack of transparency here, it seems that Theresa May likes to use the word ‘transparency’ but seemingly only in relation to Equalities issues.

I can verify everything that I have stated in this blog. Can the Home Office, Tom Winsor et al verify everything they have said? Is The Truth Out There? You decide.
Thanks for staying with me to the end, until the next time, cheerio

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6 thoughts on “Tom Winsor – The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing Like The Truth

  1. Pingback: Tom Winsor – The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing Like The Truth | Policing news | Scoop.it

  2. R & A,
    Thanks very much for highlighting this issue. Funnily enough, for some unknown(!) reason, I received a further, totally unsolicited, reply from the Home Office a few months ago, to the effect that nothing has been paid!! Strange what a bit of adverse publicity will do!!

  3. The effects of Tom Winsor can be seen in every home office police force & non home office force where officers are also being ill health retired & reimployed in civilian roles on reduced salaries subsidised by their reduced police pension. Is there a legal challenge here? And is it coincidence that Winsor is impacting in this way on non home office Railway force BTP who are linked to G4S, privatisation & where does the BTP chief constable’s end of tax year bonus fit in? Is this all linked to global expansion & investment in britains railways – all good for private shares, all with the goverments help.

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