ACPO is dedicated to transparency: A blog by ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde on our Freedom of Information Disclosure Log publication.
I am very pleased that today we have announced the publication of our Freedom of Information (FOI) disclosure logs – a key part of our commitment to openness and transparency in policing.
It has always been a major priority of mine to ensure that ACPO as an organisation is as accountable as possible and I made it my business on becoming President in 2009 to push hard to have ACPO be brought under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, a process which was completed, wholly voluntarily, in 2011.
Frequently, as part of my work, I refer back to the guiding principle of policing by consent – the police are the public and the public are the police – and I am conscious of the need to retain and build on public confidence in the police if that consent is to be maintained and if the UK police service is to continue to be the best in the world.
Confidence in the police is a constant talking point in the mass media at the moment, even though confidence has been fairly steady for the last six years. However, we can never be complacent about its maintenance, and part of that process is making sure that all our work is as transparent as possible.
The disclosure logs on our website cover all disclosures made since 2011 and are divided up, helpfully, according to national business areas, providing what I hope is an easily navigable way for the public to access information that has been requested by others.
These published logs form the first part of a rolling publication scheme and we will, over time, continue updating the information and adding new items that have been requested.
I welcome all FOI requests – it is important that the public know how we, as the body that brings together the operational leaders of our service, use our time, and both make and enact our decisions. We have a field-leading team of dedicated FOI experts delivering corporate advice and assisting forces as well as a dedicated ACPO FOI Officer and Decision Maker managing all ACPO FOI referrals. Their commitment to the job and the people who request their services is exemplary. I am proud to have them on my team and I am confident that, if you seek information from them, you will be impressed by the service you receive.
It may seem obvious to state it, but as a public service, our principal duty is to serve the public. In so doing, we owe it to you to be transparently held to account by a variety of means, including FOI requests. ACPO’s information stream is open to scrutiny, and we welcome the chance to show you how we help make a real difference to serving the public and keeping them safe.
Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM
President of the Association of Chief Police Officers