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Commissioner Team again recognised for openness and transparency in 2020

Last Updated: 27/02/2020

The South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Team are one of twenty eight in England & Wales to have been awarded a 2020 Transparency Quality Mark for meeting statutory requirements in relation to openness and transparency.

Every year, since 2013, CoPaCC has assessed how the offices of police and crime commissioners (OPCCs) fulfil their statutory obligations for transparency as required by the statutory transparency factors contained in The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 and the simplified and specific guidance for Police & Crime Commissioner “Guidelines for PCCs on publishing information” based on the 2011 Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order and published by the Home Office in 2013.

This year, CoPaCC added a further criteria for assessment – ‘ease of use’ i.e. how easy is it for a member of the public to find the information disclosure. This means that it is no longer sufficient to just make the information available; it should be easy to identify where the information can be found and simple to navigate with the minimum number of steps. It is no longer acceptable to ‘tick the box’ of technical and legal compliance but then hide the required disclosures through unclear jargon and complex navigation – clear non-technical language and simple navigation should be the aim to ensure true public transparency.

The OPCCs were then assessed during November and December 2019 with a researcher acting as a ‘mystery shopper’ looking for the required information on the website of each Commissioner.

CoPaCC were pleased to announce that despite the new ‘ease of use’ criteria and a higher pass threshold, 28 of the 32 OPCCs assessed achieved the required standard for the 2020 ‘Open & Transparent’ Quality Mark including three of the four OPCCs new to the process.

Grant Thornton, the leading police assurance provider, sponsor CoPaCC’s Transparency Quality Mark analysis and the associated awards. Paul Grady, Head of Police for Grant Thornton, commented:

“Transparency is an essential part of the democratic process. For the public to be able gauge how successful their PCC is in delivering their electoral mandate, they need access to information that is accessible, easy to understand and fit for purpose. Grant Thornton is proud to once again be supporting these Transparency Awards and we congratulate all those who have been successful in meeting the standards required.”

South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Chief of Staff, Lee Jones said:

“As a team we’re extremely proud to have been recognised through the CoPaCC Quality Mark process again in 2020. Key to our approach here in South Wales is the fact that we do not simply view the publication of this information as the fulfilment of an obligation; instead it is seen as a critical element in building public confidence in the role of the Police & Crime Commissioner and enabling communities to hold them to account.

“With this in mind, we have made a firm, ongoing commitment to continuously review the structure of our website and ensure that information is not only published in a timely fashion but is also easily accessible. As such I view the new ‘ease of use’ assessment criteria as a welcome addition to the CoPaCC standard, providing further recognition of the hard work undertaken by our team to promote transparency.”

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