Police Arboretum Memorial Trust exposé in The Times

  1. On 18 July 2017, Billy Kenber, investigations reporter, used my Police Arboretum Memorial Trust exposé (see 13 June 2017 post) as the basis of a report in The Times newspaper.
  2. Kenber’s report (“UK Police Memorial Trust spends £640,000 on private consultants”) is available on the newspaper’s website, behind a paywall: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/uk-police-memorial-trust-spends-640-000-on-private-consultants-shn3cjzcf. Here too is a scanned copy of the page for those like me outside the paywall: The Times 18 July 2017.

The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust: an opaque, unresponsive charity with excessive – and increasing – management costs

  1. I first came across The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust (PAMT; registered charity number: 1159831) when I read an article by chair of trustees, Sir Hugh Orde, in the Daily Telegraph newspaper on 17 May 2017. The charity is raising funds to create a new UK Police Memorial (UKPM) at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. A laudable aim, but there are problems: PAMT is an opaque, unresponsive charity with excessive – and increasing – management costs.
  2. Sir Hugh wants to raise “at least £4m” to design, build and maintain the new UKPM: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/16/join-campaign-honour-memories-police-officers-have-died-line/. Last month’s Telegraph article marked launch of a new phase of fundraising, so it’s unfortunate that the public contact for the charity has been obstructive and unresponsive from the outset. I initially emailed Joan Cagney on 18 May 2017 because I wanted to read the latest trustees’ annual report (TAR) and accounts. On 11 May 2017, the Charity Commission received the charity accounts made up to 31 December 2016, according to its online public register of charities. Yet at 18 May 2017 the accounts weren’t – and at date of publication still aren’t – actually available via the register. On 23 May 2017, Ms Cagney said in her reply (email): “I am happy to send our annual accounts, however can you tell me why you need them please?” Strange, I thought, why not just send them anyway? Nevertheless I told her in an email the next day I was interested in PAMT after Sir Hugh’s article. Yet two weeks since first requesting the latest accounts, that is at 1 June 2017, I still hadn’t received them.
  3. Meanwhile, I noticed that the charity recently filed the accounts at Companies House – on 19 May 2017 (registered company number: 08961292). Thus I obtained them there, despite the ongoing unavailability on the online public register of charities. At date of publication I still haven’t received the accounts from Ms Cagney despite a third email, on 1 June 2017. There I also said it was revealing, too, that she hadn’t told me about the recent submission at Companies House, either. No response.
  4. It appears that PAMT wants to avoid scrutiny. Examining both sets of accounts to date, I can understand why.
  5. The management of the charity is opaque. Both TARs contain the sentence: “The trustees are supported in day-to-day operational matters and project management by a small management team.” This is too vague, and says nothing about the role of Ms Cagney’s company, Morgen Thomas Ltd (registered company number: 07603228). The company is hidden.
  6. Non-disclosure of the company has a misleading consequence: PAMT has no employees, according to the Charity Commission public register of charities (screen shot in Figure 1).

    Figure 1. The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust on the Charity Commission public register of charities at 27 May 2017: no employees

  7. At date of publication Morgen Thomas Ltd isn’t mentioned on the PAMT website, either. I refer to both “The Trust” and contact pages.
  8. It’s a different story on the Morgen Thomas Ltd website, though, where the company trumpets its role at client PAMT (screen shot in Figure 2).

    Figure 2. “Client” The Police Arboretum Memorial Trust on the Morgen Thomas Ltd website at 19 May 2017

  9. Both accounts report expenditure on “management,” which again is too vague. What exactly does this mean?
  10. Fundraising itself isn’t a charitable activity – but nor is “management.” Yet both are erroneously reported under “charitable activities.” Why?
  11. The charity fails to disclose the pay details of the “small management team.” Yet charities must report the pay details of their staff.
  12. PAMT has excessive – and increasing – management costs. Why? That is, in 2015, 38.8% (£241.8k) of the £623.8k income was spent on “management.” While in 2016, the percentage had increased – 43.6% (£249.4k) of the £572.3k income went on “management.”
  13. I put the above points to Ms Cagney in my third email, on 1 June 2017. At date of publication PAMT hasn’t responded to my request for comment.
  14. Sir Hugh is former president of the Association of 
Chief Police Officers (ACPO), predecessor organisation to the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). Chief constable Sara Thornton, who in April 2015 became the first chair of NPCC and continues in that role, is also a trustee of PAMT. Two criticisms of ACPO were its lack of transparency, and unaccountability: as a private company it was immune to Freedom of Information requests, for example (registered company number: 03344583). As a charity PAMT is similarly exempt from Freedom of Information requests. It’s also non-transparent, as I’ve shown. What’s worse, the charity has excessive – and increasing – management costs.
  15. There’s another reason why PAMT needs to be more open, transparent and accountable: it’s a recipient of government largesse. “George Osborne, while chancellor, generously committed £1m from the LIBOR funds,” writes Sir Hugh in the Telegraph. That’s handy. Let’s hope PAMT will have more to show for the LIBOR funds than some of the military charities that Mr Osborne gifted large sums to this way. Military charities like Veterans Council, for example (see 17 October 2016 and 23 December 2016 posts).

ACPO or not – whither Anne Power?

  1. On 22 June 2015, I brought my last post to the attention of David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, inviting a response (email to him). It is laudable that he responded openly and so promptly: see his same-day comment on my last post.
  2. Nevertheless it is disappointing that the independent reviewer straightaway deleted reference to Anne Power, the “freelance media consultant”, in his official blog post dated 11 June 2015 (screen shot in Figure 1). This even after he seemed to acknowledge my point about the need to record publicly there retrospective edits to that blog post.

    Figure 1. Blog post dated 11 June 2015 on independent reviewer’s website at 23 June 2015

    Figure 1. Blog post dated 11 June 2015 on independent reviewer’s website at 23 June 2015

  3. On Anne Power and her potential conflict of interests, it is also important to note that Mr Anderson failed to answer my question whether it was ex-ACPO Anne Power – only saying that she has worked for “a variety of employers in the past”. Both this evasion on ACPO and the deletion of her name in his blog post dated 11 June 2015 are unacceptable.

Did HP write the press release for the report of the investigatory powers review?

  1. A named employee of Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), the US technology multinational, wrote the press release for last week’s report of the investigatory powers review – at least according to the document author information revealed by viewing the properties of the press release, a Word file, from within Microsoft Word. The author is shown as Anne Power of HP in the Summary tab (screen shot in Figure 1), yet there is no mention of either Ms Power or the company in the text of the press release. David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, conducted the investigatory powers review, and doesn’t refer by name to either Anne Power or HP in his report. He does name her, though, in his official blog post dated 11 June 2015, which records publication that day of his report, “A Question of Trust”. But there is “a question of trust” around the independent reviewer and his blog: Mr Anderson has been retrospectively editing the post dated 11 June 2015 – particularly on the role of Anne Power – without publicly recording there the edits.

    Figure 1. Document Author properties in the Summary tab: press release Word file at 16 June 2015

    Figure 1. Document Author properties in the Summary tab: press release Word file at 16 June 2015

  2. On 11 June 2015, David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, published “A Question of Trust”, the long-awaited report of his investigatory powers review. The report (including annexes) exceeds 370 pages; and makes 124 “specific and inter-related” recommendations. Here the press release is key: many journalists, especially those on daily newspapers, will read the press release only, not the report. Never mind the public. So the lack of clarity around both who actually wrote the press release and in what capacity is damaging.
  3. The independent reviewer published the report with press release in a blog post dated 11 June 2015 on his website: https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk. But Mr Anderson has been retrospectively editing the post dated 11 June 2015 – particularly on the role of Anne Power – without publicly recording there the edits. This is misleading.
  4. On 11 June 2015 itself, the first version of the blog post I saw mentioned Anne Power in connection with media enquiries, with an email address. Later that day, the text on Ms Power had disappeared. The situation was unchanged noon the next day. Yet when I looked early-morning 13 June 2015, Anne Power was back. The post now said: “Don’t bother Anne Power, the freelance media consultant who gave me invaluable help over the launch but has now gone on to other things.” At 16 June 2015 that statement remains (screen shot in Figure 2). STOP PRESS: At 17 June 2015 Mr Anderson has again edited his blog post dated 11 June 2015, adding another interview on BBC Radio 4 with link – “an interview I gave Joshua Rozenberg for Law in Action on 15 June (first item)”.

    Figure 2. Blog post dated 11 June 2015 on independent reviewer’s website at 16 June 2015

    Figure 2. Blog post dated 11 June 2015 on independent reviewer’s website at 16 June 2015

  5. But who is Anne Power? And what exactly is a “freelance media consultant” anyway? Is it Anne Power on the record as Director of Communications at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) until March 2015? ACPO was closed down 31 March 2015. Here ACPO is very much an interested party: indeed the organisation made a written submission to Mr Anderson’s review for the police (see Annex 3 of the report; HP didn’t make a written submission.) Also, the Daily Telegraph newspaper (13 June 2015) reported at length the response of former President of ACPO, Sir Hugh Orde, to “A Question of Trust”. So if it’s ex-ACPO Anne Power, she has an actual or perceived conflict of interests. Further, the conflict of interests is undisclosed, if it exists.
  6. The independent reviewer isn’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act, as he tells us on his website. The onus is on Mr Anderson for appropriate disclosure, therefore. He should make clear both who actually wrote the press release and in what capacity. But to maintain credibility, the independent reviewer must also stop retrospectively editing his blog post dated 11 June 2015, unless he publicly records there the edits.