Finance experts needed for independent panel

Tuesday, 30th August 2016

PEOPLE from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being given the chance to join an independent panel to strengthen public scrutiny of policing.

The Ethics, Transparency and Audit Panel (ETAP) was launched under the “New Dawn of Transparency” agenda by Matthew Ellis, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Staffordshire, and aims for policing in Staffordshire to be the most open and transparent in the country.

Eight members of the public currently sit on the panel and meet regularly to examine the work of the police. Recent reviews, available on the PCC’s website, include financial strategy, expenses, the IT strategy, body worn video use and Taser use. The rigour and scrutiny brought by the ETAP has received national recognition.

ETAP particularly need qualified accountants who have an analytical approach and eye for detail to help with the scrutiny of public finances. They will take a lead on issues of financial reporting, internal audit and external audit so that they can discharge ETAP’s statutory duties as set down by the PCC and in the terms of reference. The Panel is looking for people who have a minimum of five years’ management experience as a qualified accountant as well as an ability to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of public accounting and governance requirements.

It is especially important to be able to demonstrate how they would support openness and transparency in the financial affairs of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, (OPCC) and support other ETAP members’ role in ensuring this is maintained. Those applying for ETAP must be based in Staffordshire.

As well as financial experts, ETAP requires more members of the public to join the panel in a general capacity. Appointments are made for a minimum of two years with work on ETAP taking up to three days per month. An attendance allowance is available.

Application forms are available at from today, 30 August, with a closing date of midday on Monday 19 September.

Interviews for successful candidates will take place at the OPCC Block 9, Weston Road, Stafford on 27 and 29 September.

Mr Ellis said: “Honest and independent scrutiny by the public is crucial as we strive to set the bar higher and create a new dawn of transparency in policing.

“This is about being open and transparent so that public confidence across policing and criminal justice is improved.

“This panel has used its wide-ranging and rigorous powers to scrutinise forensics, Taser use, body worn video use as well as how officers tried to support a man who was in mental health crisis to make sure decisions made by the police are correct and in the best interests of the public. We’re looking for more members of the public with financial expertise to step forward and get involved in this vital work.”