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Posted by: John Brace | 21st September 2015

Who was paid a £150,707 salary by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority?

Who was paid a £150,707 salary by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority?

                                          

Monty Python’s famous sketch about chartered accountancy (as it’s very hard to make jokes about this subject)

Councillor Phil Davies shows off the LGC award Wirral Council received for being most improved Council 12th March 2015

Councillor Phil Davies (Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) shows off the LGC award Wirral Council received for being most improved Council 12th March 2015

As it states in the video above, accountancy can be dull. However I wrote this email below (sent the day before the meeting) about a disclosure mistake in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority accounts for 2014/15. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meets this morning to approve the accounts for 2014/15.

It’s quite simple really, about six years ago the law changed so that public sector employees that are paid a salary of £150,000 or more had to be named in the accounts.

For example on page 160 of the accounts for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority approved last week Dan Stephens, the Chief Fire Officer (on a salary of £170,000) is named. In fact Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority also name the Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, as despite their salaries being below the £150,000 threshold it is more transparent to do so as the total they receive is over the £150,000 threshold.

The Chief Executive of Merseytravel (David Brown) on a salary of £150,707 should’ve been named in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s accounts. The email below from myself details the reasons why (KPMG are the external auditors for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority). Hopefully this will be sorted out at the meeting and corrected.

Subject: agenda item 7 (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Final Accounts 2014/15) meeting 20th September 2015

To: Cllr Phil Davies
CC: Mayor Joe Anderson
CC: Cllr Barrie Grunewald
CC: Robert Hough
CC: Cllr Andy Moorhead
CC: Cllr Rob Polhill
CC: Cllr Ian Maher

CC: David Brown (Chief Executive/Director General, Merseytravel)
CC: Louise Outram (Monitoring Officer, Merseytravel)
CC: Angela Sanderson (Monitoring Officer, LCRCA)
CC: Stephanie Donaldson (Head of Internal Audit, Merseytravel)
CC: Tim Cutler (Partner, KPMG LLP (UK))
CC: Ian Warwick (Manager, KPMG LLP (UK))
CC: Richard Tyler (Assistant Manager, KPMG LLP (UK))

Dear all,

I am bringing this up in advance of Monday’s meeting, in the hope it can be amended. If it isn’t amended, please class this as a formal objection by a Merseyside local government elector to the accounts of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for 2014/15.

The draft statement of accounts at note 9 (which is page 41 in the numbering of the report or page 67 of the supplementary agenda) contains details of the remuneration paid to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s senior employees.

For the year 2015 (I presume this means financial year 2014/15), the Chief Executive/Director General received a salary of £150,707.

A number of years ago the Accounts and Audit (Amendment no 2) (England) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/3322 changed the audit regulations (this change started in financial year 2009/2010) and added the paragraph below:

"(c) the remuneration, set out according to the categories listed in paragraph (d), by the relevant body during the relevant financial year of—

(i) senior employees, or

(ii) relevant police officers,

in respect of their employment by the relevant body or in their capacity as a police officer, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, to be listed individually in relation to such persons who must nevertheless be identified by way of job title only (except for persons whose salary is £150,000 or more per year, who must also be identified by name)."

This requirement was kept in The Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011, SI 2011/817 reg 7(2)(c) and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, SI 2015/234 (which although referred to in the draft statement of accounts will apply from the 2015/16 financial year onwards).

Clearly, the Chief Executive should’ve been explicitly named and wasn’t. I think everyone I write this email to will know he’s called David Brown, but the draft statement of accounts should be amended to state this.

It’s a basic issue of openness and transparency (which I’m sure you’d expect the press to take a viewpoint on).

Yours sincerely,

John Brace

P.S. I know Merseytravel’s accounts are audited separately to the LCRCA, has the same error been made there too?

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Responses

  1. £3.000 a week, I’m clearly in the wrong job then!

    • Well that’s gross pay, I think a lot would go on income tax and national insurance.

      As Chief Executive of any organisation requires high level managerial skills, political skills as well as tact and diplomacy as you represent the organisation externally. I think you’d hate being in a politically restricted post though.

      If you really wanted to make a lot of money based on your skill set and earn far more than me in the media, try working for a PR company. The ones with government body contracts have a steady stream of income courtesy of the taxpayer. Course it all depends on how much your price is for selling out. 😀

  2. I haven’t even finished reading this yet, but I am so furious! £170,000 salary and he claims expenses for a McDonald’s!

    • It was the councillor that claimed the expenses, but decided to split the amount with the officer concerned when he put in the claim.

      I have pretty much all the senior officer expenses paperwork digitised too for MFRS, but it’s the councillors’ expenses that are of more concern to the public.

      I probably have too much paperwork and should find a way to publish it all.

      I suppose when I write things like that I incorrectly make the assumption that everyone knows how much the Chief Fire Officer is paid. See if you can guess how much the Merseyside Police Chief Constable earns?

  3. Even if they shared the cost, didn’t they both McMuffin gain?

    We don’t all know this stuff!

    Ooh.,. a much more pleasurable game to get my head around though…

    Ok… I’m guessing that the Merseyside Police Chief Constable earns more than Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer)?

    Is it a bdillion pounds plus expenses?

    If I’m wrong is it higher or lower Bracie?

    I just can’t stick (it) though!!

    (Sorry, I couldn’t resist this one!)

    • Didn’t they do well?

      Higher, lower, higher, lower.

      Well the figure for Merseyside’s Chief Constable from 2013 was £157,260 (if the media can be believed). Frankly I’ve no idea what it is in 2015.

      Technically police officers aren’t employees (therefore can’t go on strike), they are officers of the Crown, so on a technicality his pay AFAIK although over £150,000 doesn’t need to appear in the accounts (I reread the regulations and realised employees and "relevant" police officers are covered). They get paid extra to account for this not being able to go on strike issue.

      However the politician locally in charge of the police for Merseyside (Jane Kennedy) extended the Chief Constable’s appointment by three years earlier this year so I suppose Merseyside won’t be looking for a new one until 2018.

      Can you tell I used to report on the Merseyside Police Authority yet (before it got abolished)? 🙂

      As the amount is over £150,000 he should be named in the Merseyside Police (or Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside) accounts for 2014/15. When I get round to figuring out where such documents are published I’ll update this comment!

    • OK, I’ve found the draft statement of accounts for Merseyside Police.

      For 2014/15 the Chief Constable Jon Murphy received a salary of £158,177, expenses allowances of £16,723, £0 in pension contributions making a total of £174,900.

      In 2014/15 By comparison the Chief Fire Officer received salary/fees/allowances of £170,000, benefits in kind (eg car allowance) of £1,431 and a pension contribution of £31,055 which makes a total of £202,486.

      So you’d be wrong to guess the Chief Constable is paid more than the Chief Fire Officer, it is in fact the other way round!


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