HL Deb 15 October 1991 vol 531 c101WA
Lard Brougham and Vaux

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to examine information flows between the police and the Government.

Viscount Astor

We have decided that an efficiency scrutiny should be carried out with the following terms of reference:

  1. (a) To identify all the requirements for statistical information placed by departments of central government on police forces in England and Wales (including the Metropolitan Police), in particular those of the Home Secretary for discharging his responsibilities for the police service; and to examine the means whereby the material is gathered, transmitted, processed and distributed and the costs of these activities;
  2. (b) To examine critically the use to which all such material is put by central government (in particular by the Home Secretary) and to make recommendations about what information is needed to meet the responsibilities of the Home Office, and to promote value for money, and what information need no longer be collected. This should have regard also to the value the material has at different management levels within police forces (either having been collected and utilised locally or following its processing and distribution by central government) in ensuring the effective and efficient use of resources;
  3. (c) To make recommendations about (i) the frequency of the collection of such material as is concluded it is necessary to have; (ii) the extent to which different demands can be met by simplifying and/or aggregating the statistics provided, and (iii) improving the efficiency of the collection, transmission, processing and distribution of this material, irrespective of the availability of technological ass stance; and
  4. (d) In the light of (a) to (c) to make recommendations about a body of statistical information which the Home Secretary might, with the agreement of ACPO and the local authority associations, suggest to chief constables as both desirable and sufficient for inclusion in force annual reports.

The scrutiny began yesterday and my right honourable Friend expects to receive the report next February.