Expenses and allowances
The Home Secretary has laid a written ministerial statement updating PCC pay following recommendations put forward by the senior salaries review board report (SSRB) in 2018. The intention is to ensure that a suitable and proportionate remuneration is achieved for such a challenging and rewarding role.
Striking the right balance on PCC pay is important in terms of attracting suitable candidates, but avoiding extravagance with public money and addressing the fact that force budgets are constrained.
The salary range is adjusted to represent differences in force weighting and policing challenges and has been aligned but is not equal to chief constable salaries. The policing challenges a PCC faces will be different depending on the specific needs and demands of the force area. In Devon and Cornwall, the salary set for the police and crime commissioner as of May 2018 is £86,700 per annum. The next SSRB review of PCC salaries is expected in 2020/21 to enable a full assessment of the role, particularly in light of the additional responsibilities for fire and rescue services, and thereafter every 4 years.
The purpose of authorised allowances is to reimburse expenses incurred by PCCs in carrying out their duties, not to provide a general gratuity for undertaking the role. The following kinds of allowances can be claimed if reasonably incurred by a PCC in the exercise of their duties:
- travel expenses;
- subsistence expenses;
- exceptional expenses.
The amounts of such allowances determined by the Secretary of State are set out in the below table:
|Type of expense||Key restriction||Rates|
|Train||In course of business||Reimbursed up to standard class rates|
|Mileage allowances||Only if necessary||As per HMRC rates|
|Taxis||Only where public transport not available||Cost of taxi fare|
|Foreign travel||Prior authority from chief executive and for business purposes||Economy class for flights|
|Hotel accommodation||Business purposes and agreed in advance
Value for money and best use of public funds - lower priced suitable accommodation
|No explicit limitation on star standard of hotel accommodation|
|Subsistence (UK and foreign)||Only paid for evening meals and, where applicable, breakfast (not lunch)||Breakfast £10
|Exceptional expenses not falling within any of the other types||Reasonable incurred in carrying out business of the authority||As approved by the chief executive|
Chief executive approval
The police and crime commissioner's chief executive subjects all of the commissioner's claims for expenses to rigorous verification and auditing.
Any claims for exceptional expenses incurred by the commissioner in the exercise of the commissioner's functions require the approval of the commissioner's chief executive. In considering whether to grant this approval the chief executive takes into account the following factors:
- whether there are exceptional circumstances warranting additional support;
- whether the commissioner could reasonably have been expected to take any action to avoid the circumstances which gave rise to the expenditure or liability;
- whether the commissioner's performance of their commissioner functions will be significantly impaired by a refusal of the claim.
In considering exceptional claims the advice of the remuneration and appointments committee will be sought.
PCCs are required to publish the allowances paid to them and to their deputies in respect of expenses incurred by the commissioner or deputy in the exercise of the commissioner's functions.
Senior officer expenses
Value for money
As part of the transparency rules with which we are legally required to comply, we must provide the reasons why we consider that good value for money has been obtained for items of expenditure relating to travel, accommodation, and subsistence.
Decisions about the attendance of the police and crime commissioner (and senior OPCC officers) at meetings and events are driven by the objectives of the police and crime commissioner's Police and Crime Plan.
To ensure value for money, all individuals within the OPCC are obliged to use the most practical, economic and sustainable method of travel available for journeys to meetings, events etc. and where available, rail and bus passes are used. Taxis are only used when public transport is not available.
Whenever possible, business travel and accommodation is procured by the office in advance through the South West Police Procurement Department Business Travel Framework. (The SWPPD determine the best approach to the market and undertake fair and open tender processes that ensure whole life costing of the contract, and requirements management approaches are applied to determine the best value option for the force and OPCC).
Where it is necessary for the PCC or an OPCC officer to make such purchases relating to travel , accommodation and subsistence themselves, they must provide evidence that shows their choice was the most economic option for the date and time of travel before it will be reimbursed.
The scheme of OPCC allowances and expenditure provides more information about the types of expenditure and rates of reimbursement.
Allowances and reimbursements made to advisors to the PCC
The PCC has a scheme of allowances and reimbursements which aims to recognise the time commitment expected from advisors to enable them to carry out their duties effectively and take account of the public service element of the role.