Joint Audit Committee for Kent Police & Crime Commissioner (“PCC”) and Chief Constable of Kent (“CC”)
Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2023
As in previous years, the Joint Audit Committee (“JAC”) considers that the 2022-23 financial year has been a demanding period for both the Force and the PCC’s Office in terms of risks, governance, and controls. The recruiting of new police officers and the requirement to make substantial financial savings without adverse impact on performance added to the pressures on both organisations. Changes to working practices brought about by the Covid pandemic, such as an increased number of staff “working from home”, has given rise to new governance practices and has presented positive opportunities for both organisations and the workforce alike. The proximity to the continent and the necessity to support partner agencies such as the Border Force and others inevitably impacts on the Force. Additionally extensive delays in the court system in Kent have added to the challenging working environment.
As an independent committee the JAC forms its own views on matters of risks, governance, and controls. These views are influenced and supported by internal and external audit reports during the year and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary & Fire and Rescue Services (“HMICFRS”) assessments. Overall, it is the view of the JAC that controls and governance have been adequately maintained during this demanding period. Its view is tempered by the extent of the challenging requirements ahead: to make significant savings during a time of economic and inflationary challenges, ensure new officer recruits are effectively deployed, implement an extensive change programme, and meet both national and local policing expectations.