How we make decisions

Formal decisions

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 does not refer to the need to take specific decisions, but sets out clearly the functions that commissioners are required to discharge within their statutory role.

It does not require that decisions are made in a particular way, other than in relation to the conduct of the decision taker.

Any formal decisions taken by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are subject to review by the Police and Crime Panel.

Principles of decision making

The core purpose of good governance in public services is to ensure public bodies take informed, transparent decisions and manage risk. It is also essential that decisions are fair and effective as well as being timely and proportionate.

Accordingly, the following policy principles underpin the Police and Crime Commissioner’s formal decision-making approach:

  • Transparency - unless there are reasons for confidentiality, consistent with legislation, decisions and the supporting reasons should be publicly available.
  • Openness – subject to confidentiality, the most important decisions should be taken in a public forum and should be the subject of public engagement and consultation.
  • Proportionality – the administrative process should be proportionate to the nature of the decision being taken.
  • Timeliness – the process should enable timely decisions to be made
    Auditable – there should be evidence to demonstrate, if necessary, how the decision was made and what advice was taken.
  • Engagement and consultation – formal decisions will be made, wherever possible, following engagement with local people and other stakeholders to ensure robust public accountability. 

Types of decisions

In Kent, formal decisions will broadly fall into three categories. These are:

  • Decisions required to be made under legislation (i.e. setting of the Policing Precept, appointment of the Chief Constable etc).
  • Decisions relating to significant expenditure or investment/
  • Other key strategic decisions that may be deemed of significant public interest.

In addition to the principles set out above, the Police and Crime Commissioner will carefully consider the below when deciding whether a matter should be listed as a formal decision:

  • Is the decision more than merely administrative in nature?
  • Is the decision likely to impact on the public generally?

Decision making process

It is important that the Police and Crime Commissioner has sufficient time and information to consider and make decisions; additionally the process should be proportionate to the importance and complexity of the particular matter.

Once a formal decision has been taken, it is published on this page above.