I was thinking the other day. Dangerous I know, but it happens occasionally.
After 30 glorious years (or not so glorious, it would depend on who you spoke to) I left the MPS or the Metropolitan Police Service as they prefer to be known, although it will always be Police Force in my head. Then I went to join another set of initials, the MPA, or Metropolitan Police Authority as they preferred to be known. I worked as a Forensic Auditor in the IAD or Internal Audit Directorate as they preferred to be known.
Internal Audit assisted both the Metropolitan Police Authority and the Commissioner in the discharge of their responsibilities for the policing of London. Internal Audit supported the MPA by providing the Treasurer and the Audit Panel with reports and analyses of the degree of adequacy and effectiveness of internal control within the MPS and MPA, and contributeed to the Commissioner’s objective of ensuring that systems are secure and safe against corruption through:
- advice on the prevention and detection of fraud affecting the MPS and investigation of waste or abuse within the systems that support the policing of London;
- evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of the corporate control framework;
- risk based reviews of all internal systems;
- advice on the adequacy and effectiveness of planned controls in new and developing
- promulgation of best practice across the MPS.
The bit of IAD that I worked in (Forensic Audit) had a reputation for either recovering through civil actions, prosecutions etc, or saving, more money than we cost every year. There were 9 of us in the office, more than half retired Police Officers, and this was where our problems started.
My personal opinion is that the MPA Senior Management saw that we already had a pension so they didn’t really play ball with our pay.
A comprehensive pay review was undertaken by an outside body which recommended certain adjustments to our pay. Well for a variety of reasons they didn’t appear for me and some others. So being a belligerent (some may say bolshy) sort of Forensic Auditor I launched what became the first of a series of grievances against the MPA Pay Policy. I got to have a personal appearance in front of (I think it was) Sir John Quinton, who listened very carefully at what I had to say and carefully read the documentary evidence I had submitted. In the fullness of time he issued his decision.
Tough – you’re not getting another penny more, if you don’t like it…….. you get the idea? He sent me this decision in a personal letter which also stated (presumably in his opinion rather than fact) that I was being DISLOYAL to my employers by pursuing this grievance. DIS bloody LOYAL!!! I was incandescent now, never pretty. That marked the birth of my annual grievance against the Pay Policy, it was never the same because it seemed to change every year, a peculiar side effect of which was that if you were on the bottom of the pay scale you always seemed to remain there under the next year’s scheme. I do so wish that I had kept that letter rather than shred it in total disgust when I resigned.
The flaw in the MPA policies was that they seemed to assume that individuals never discussed their pay with their peers. Oh how wrong they were, and this marked the birth of actions under the Equal Pay legislation that rumbled on long after I had left. The final straw for me was when a young lady that I had been helping to train (literally that, I take no great credit for her success) was promoted to Forensic Auditor from Trainee and immediately seemed to be paid more than I was being paid. Now who’s being DISLOYAL eh?
This coincided with my decision to relocate to France, so ultimately I couldn’t be arsed, and let it go, but I was not impressed. I also received information from other sources that indicated that some of the females were being paid more than their male equivalents. Political Correctness gone mad, and those of you that know me in real life will know my take on PC, like “No you can’t have a Christmas Tree in your office, it might offend the non-Christians” that one got me well fired up.
Eventually the MPA was swallowed up by a bigger Acronym, MOPAC and they got what they deserved. Redundancies across the board, certain high-profile people disappearing overnight, and whilst I am completely out of touch, the Forensic Auditing capability still exists but it has been slashed, possibly to 3, I’m not overly certain. If 9 of us were permanently fully employed and still saved/recovered more than we cost I can only guess at what’s happening now. Or maybe people have simply stopped ripping off the MPS. Not to worry, they can always buy in services from PWC and the like, won’t cost much.
Here endeth today’s rant.