Suffolk: Police commissioner Tim Passmore hits out at claims he is not meeting ‘standards of openness’

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner

Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has hit out at accusations from a committee of MPs that he is not meeting the “standards of openness” expected.

In a damning report on the new political role, the Home Affairs select committee said Tim Passmore had not clearly published his budget data online by the beginning of May, despite being encouraged to do so after a check in April.

But Mr Passmore, who was elected in November last year, said the report on PCCs had “significant limitations” as the detail was sketchy and flawed.

He said his budget information had been published on April 15, and it could be proved through a search result. He added: “I am more than happy with scrutiny. I have never had a problem with it.

“I am more than happy to talk to anyone, about anything at any time. I do find it extremely unhelpful and disappointing that they are making this insinuation based on information that is incorrect.”

The committee said that only 10 out of the 41 PCCs had met statutory obligations and published full financial data required of them, which includes expenses and contracts tendered.

A committee spokesman said the report stood as it is and the PCCs could register any disagreements by writing to them. And Mr Passmore was among five commissioners, also including Norfolk commissioner Stephen Bett, accused of not publishing annual budget data online clearly at the beginning of May.

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The committee warned in its report, which is published today, that stronger scrutiny was required of elected police commissioners to prevent “maverick decision making”.

It also called for a national register of PCCs’ interests, pay, perks and hospitality, despite the idea being previously shot down by the Home Secretary Theresa May.

PCCs have replaced police authorities in 41 force areas across England and Wales, and have the power to set budgets and even hire and fire chief constables.

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