For the new Scottish Police Service be a success Chief Constable, Stephen House, and the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, Vic Emery, require to display leadership and work together.
At the Justice Committee meeting on 27th November 2012, John questioned the Chief Constable and the Chair and establish each had obtained legal advice about their roles which they had ‘authorised’ themselves.
On 29th November John posed Parliamentary Questions about this expenditure and was advised “The Scottish Government does not hold this information. This is a matter for the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland and the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority.”
John then wrote both men and received replies confirming that Senior Counsel had been engaged and the cost to the public was £6300 in total.
“I first encountered Messrs House and Emery at the Justice Committee and was astonished they both thought it appropriate to rush to lawyers, at public expense, rather than seeking to clarify matters with civil servants.
“Of course you cannot consult a Senior Queen’s Counsel and not incur considerable expense and the fact that those public servants spent more than six thousand pounds of public money on their personal uncertainties is completely unacceptable.
“This episode shows the need for close parliamentary scrutiny of Scotland’s new police service, from across the chamber in the form of a parliamentary committee.
“The two individual’s conduct is in stark contrast to the professional ‘let’s get on with the job’ approach taken by their counterparts in the new Fire and Rescue Service.”