Home Office spending review equality considerations
This document summarises the findings of the initial screening of the Police and Home Office Spending Review (SR) settlement, which was considered by the Home Secretary and was conducted at the start of the negotiation process with Treasury. The Spending Review settlement is the start of a longer process of policy development and/or detailed budget allocations, and equality impact assessments (EIA’s) will be conducted as appropriate.
The Home Office will ensure the relevant equality considerations are taken into account in the context of expenditure under consideration in the spending review in compliance with the gender, race and disability duties set out in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (“the Equality Duties”).
Whilst we were able to identify the potential impact of the high level Spending Review decisions through the initial screening, we will assess the impact of our distribution of the departmental allocation by the Treasury, for each of our policy responsibilities, through individual EIA exercises.
Key areas of the Home Office spending review settlement:
The police funding settlement covers core government police funding, including funding from Communities and Local Government and the Welsh Assembly Government. The Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government will propose to Parliament exactly what the settlement will mean for each police force in December. There are potential equalities impacts on police officers and staff, and individual forces will need to consider these.
The Review of Remuneration and Conditions will be critical to the impact of this settlement, and will be accompanied by a full EIA when it publishes its initial recommendations in February 2011.
Core government police funding does not have conditions attached to it for how it must be spent, and individual forces will decide how they will allocate their revised budgets. Forces will need to conduct their own local level equality impact assessments before they make these decisions. The introduction of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners will make forces truly accountable to the communities they serve and ensure that resources are properly targeted to where they are needed.
An EIA conducted at the time of the publication of the Policing in the 21st Century consultation (which outlined proposals for the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners) concluded that the core policy themes would not result in any disproportionate impact. It also concluded that an individual EIA should be completed for each of the detailed proposals as they were developed, to ensure any emerging impacts were identified and assessed. All aspects of the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, including their powers to control funding, will be examined and an EIA will be published alongside the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.
Any reduction in crime and drugs grants will have an impact on certain disadvantaged groups and certain voluntary and community sector organisations. A full EIA will be conducted once we are at the point of decisions on the future of individual grants.
Cutting the cost of Quangos
The creation of a National Crime Agency is intended to improve the co-ordination of efforts against serious and organised crime and to improve efficiency, helping to rationalise and streamline the policing landscape to reduce duplication and multiple points of contact for police forces. The proposals are not expected to make any significant contribution to inequality or impact on particular groups.
The National Policing Improvement Agency will be phased out, and some of its functions will be absorbed into the NCA. Staffing issues will be linked to decisions about the future of the work currently undertaken by NPIA and some posts may migrate to other organisations or back to police forces. An EIA will be conducted as proposals are developed for the phasing out of the NPIA and setting up of the NCA, to ensure all equality issues are considered.
Security and Counter Terrorism (not including CT policing)
The Olympic Security Safety Programme is designed to ensure the safety and security of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, including its venues, participants and spectators.
A full EIA is being conducted for the Olympic Safety and Security Concept of Operations, the overarching and defining policy for the whole programme, which encompasses all Olympic Safety and Security activity.
The Home Office will ensure that there is sufficient funding within the spending review settlement for Olympic security up until 2012, although efforts will continue to drive value for money gains from the programme.
Securing our border and controlling immigration
The precise level of budget reduction for the UK Border Agency has yet to be finalised. Its priority will remain to secure the border and to control migration. Through modernisation and new technologies, it is already working to reduce its budget and ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
Through appropriate fees, the UK Border Agency will continue to ensure that migrants and visitors to the UK pay a fair and increasing proportion of the costs of controlling immigration and securing our border. A full EIA was conducted in 2007 around fees, and this will be reviewed where any changes are made to existing fees paid by applicants. Overall, the charging policy does not cause unlawful direct or indirect discrimination.
UKBA will consider the equalities impact of any other policy decisions taken in the light of the budget reductions.
It is clear that changes of this level will impact on the workforce and any reductions will affect staff across the whole Home Office. As the department has a diverse workforce, we expect there will be different needs arising. Until reductions are actually implemented, it is difficult to know the impact this will have on the diversity of our workforce. We are monitoring fairness and transparency of each process as it is implemented.
Date: Wed Oct 20 15:03:13 BST 2010