The RUC – they haven’t gone away you know?

Over on BBC NI’s site, it notes that in a report from the Audit Office the PSNI has hired on temporary contracts one fifth of former RUC members who had been paid off in line with the Patten Reforms.

The 4,000+ ex-RUC officers were paid off/bribed to the tune of nearly £500 million and now they have been rehired as temp staff with some 64 being paid through limited companies, probably to minimise the payment of tax to the exchequer.

Further, the report notes that a £44m contract that was awarded to a local recruiter was done without a competitive tender process.

Needless to say, the BBC notes one of the findings of the Report:

‘It said the way the PSNI had recruited temporary staff had not always met with the high standards of governance and accountability expected of public bodies.’

Aside from the fact that it would appear that the ‘compensation’ packages given to ex-RUC members appear to have been in vain (many of whom were hired the day after they were made surplus to requirements) the more pertinent point is whether the spirit of the Patten Reforms have been implemented?

Whilst the compensation money wasted has largely come from the Treasury in Westminster, we are now having to look after the budget for the PSNI in straightened times and that means paying the wages of people who were given a nice big lump sum to leave the policing of the North as they had shown they were largely unfit to do so objectively for both major communities.

What’s more worrying is that former members of the RUC’s ‘canteen culture’ are still assisting in the day to day administration of the new and reformed PSNI, including in the HET (former RUC members investigating themselves?). So, is Gerry Kelly right that:

It is a story of cronyism and jobs for the boys at the expense of the Police Service and the public interest.

Or how about Conall McDevitt when he notes that:

The revelation of hire and rehire in the PSNI which emerged some months ago has undermined public confidence, especially in the Nationalist community.

Needless to say, a number of Unionist politicians who did not want the RUC to be reformed/done away with seem to be absolutely fine with this turn of events.

Peter Robinson believes it is perfectly understandable:

There was such a rush to get rid of the RUC through the Patten proposals that we lost a lot of expertise in the police service and that’s why this kind of mess, if you like to call it that, commenced because of this head long rush to get rid of the RUC

Whilst many would not disagree with the PSNI needing to hire on occasion temporary staff, the fact that large numbers of ex-RUC members who were given huge lump sums to leave and were hired shortly after they were made redundant/fired/whatever, it kind of makes a mockery of the whole Reforms and the need to reform what was internationally recognised as a partisan police force/militia with a history of discrimination against a specific and large minority.

I look forward to hearing the ‘reasons’ offered by Matt Baggot at the next Police Board meeting.

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11 responses to “The RUC – they haven’t gone away you know?

  1. Its bad….very bad. Although Gerry Kelly might be on weak ground at jobs for the boys.
    Indeed everybody in politics is tainted by it.
    Because like everything else, …victims…..prisoners…..amnesty (in all but name) the politicians of all shades signed up to it. And nationalist politicians of any shade trying to act surprised is as incredible as unionist politicians expressing surprise at other revelations.
    Sometimes I think that my family and I are the only people in Norn Iron not to have done well out of the Troubles…then I realise theres quite a few others like me.
    By the way FC, I tried emailing you earlier but it bounced back to me.
    Can you email me at the edaddy shown in this comment.

    • You know, my Mum this evening was pretty peeved about the whole thing saying ‘they’re all at it, dipping their hands into the cookie jar while we have to try and get by,’ and she is right.

      This has been presented as a need to fill gaps presented by quick paced reform, however, it shows the contempt some have (usually those at the top of large bureaucratic organisations) for the democratic will of people as it does not usually fit in with making their day to day lives running something any easier.

      Then again, we do have the still unresolved issue of Conor Murphy and NI Water to deal with and I am pretty certain we could see further reports from the Audit Office noting the tendering of contracts were not done competitively.

      I could make an argument that this is the problem with have government being largely quango driven as they are not known for their accountability, as they are after all, quasi autonomous.

  2. It seems strange that nonone asked the PSNI the right questions to oncover the extent of this problem and Gerry Kellys remarks above (perhaps he said more elsewhere) are very lame – he could be talking about the the rehire of bus drivers.

    This is similar to what many organisations (justifiably) do for purely practical reasons but given the nature of this orgnaisation I’m afraid the boy Baggott is open to the allegation of deception by non disclosure.

    • Agreed Sammy, it would seem that the line of questioning was pretty sub-standard. He (Baggott) had plenty to answer for and yet was let off the hook. Seems like too much of a consensus up on the hill.

      ‘This is similar to what many organisations (justifiably) do for purely practical reasons but given the nature of this orgnaisation I’m afraid the boy Baggott is open to the allegation of deception by non disclosure.’ I largely concur, but seeing as the organisation was one that had huge problems in its previous guise this matter should have been dealt with in a more transparent way years ago.

    • Thanks Janet, where’s Ciaran from btw?

      The sentiment is a bit much Janet, no? I mean, I’m not a great fan of any police force but they are not as bad as the RUC, I mean they were pure awful tbf and I am from an estate in Craigavon that has plenty of experience of dealing with either the RUC or the PSNI.

  3. Agreed ciaran’s sentiments are VERY strong .
    Just thought the title of the song suited the topic.
    There is a certain irony somewhere in there with so many ex-RUC men being re-hired!

  4. Pingback: Ongoing PSNI collusion with the UVF? | footballcliches·

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