PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS apparently mean nothing at the Scottish Police Service Authority, the new watchdog for Scotland’s single Police Service, who are reported to have spent nearly a million pounds of taxpayers money on private consultants who provided ‘behavioural management training’ with such fine examples as reducing time spent “looking for keys”, reports the Daily Record newspaper :
14 Mar 2013
MSP slams payments to private consultants at a time when the Scottish Police Services Authority was under severe financial pressure and police union calls for an investigation.
THE boss of Scotland’s new police watchdog ran up an £800,000 bill for behavioural management training.
Andrea Quinn brought in consultants over a three-year period while she was head of the Scottish Police Services Authority.
Hollin Consulting received £428,862 from the SPSA, with training aimed at reducing the time spent “looking for keys” among initiatives developed by staff.
Another specialist in behavioural management training, Bruce Faulkner, was paid £353,475.
Quinn is now interim chief executive of the new Scottish Police Authority, who will oversee policing in Scotland when the single force begins operating on April 1.
Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, former boss of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, slammed the spending.
He said: “At a time when SPSA staff were under considerable pressure, it is remarkable private consultants were being paid such sums.”
Quinn used Hollin Consulting in her two previous jobs at Edinburgh Council and United Utilities.
She gave a testimonial on the firm’s website, saying: “Over the past seven years Hollin Consulting have provided personal coaching for me and my various teams, BMT training to over 200 of my people, and given me access to experts in behavioural science.”
Gerry Crawley, Unison’s negotiator for police support staff, said: “The SPSA has been pushing through cuts, yet they can find nearly £1million for behavioural management specialists. “It is unjustifiable, unacceptable and needs to be investigated.”
But Quinn defended the spending, saying they had been told by Audit Scotland to develop leadership skills.
She said: “I am proud of the track record we have in SPSA and of investing in staff training.“The investment we have made has mobilised hundreds of people to improve business and deliver efficiencies.”
It also emerged yesterday that the SPSA had a backlog of 3200 DNA and fingerprint checks, which will come under the remit of the SPA. Scottish Labour blamed staff cuts for the pile-up.