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PCVC's office 'highly commended' for transparency and openness

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The Office of the Durham Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner (OPCVC) has received a national prestigious award for its commitment to being open and transparent.

The ‘Open and Transparent Quality Mark 2021’ has been awarded to Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Steve White and his team by the independent organisation Comparing Police and Crime Commissioners (CoPaCC).

Criteria assessed by CoPaCC includes how easily information can be accessed by the public online and whether information is present, as well as how business of the PCVC is conducted.

Over the years the process of the assessment has been refined and strengthened, with CoPaCC adding further criteria for assessment, ‘ease of use’, which considers how easy is it for a member of the public to find the information disclosure.

OPCCs across the country were assessed between November 2020 and January 2021 with CoPaCCs researcher acting as a ‘mystery shopper’ looking for the required information on their individual websites.

39 OPCCs reached the required standard for the 2021 Open and Transparent Quality Mark, with Durham OPCVC being one of 18 OPCCs who were highly commended.

Steve White, Acting Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner said, “I am delighted we have been recognised by the CoPaCC for our efforts in ensuring transparency. We strive as an office to be as open and transparent as possible, and I am extremely proud of the team who have an ongoing commitment to transparency.

“This award identifies that key information from the office has been published but it is also easily accessible. We will continue to ensure our dedicated transparency page on the office website is updated regularly, where information regarding spending, decision making and progress against the Police, Crime and Victims’ Plan can be easily found.”

CoPaCC Chief Executive Bernard Rix said, “Congratulations to the 39 recipients, and many thanks to the OPCC staff who have worked tirelessly since the Quality Mark was launched in 2013 to improve publication of statutory disclosures and in some cases exceed the requirements.

“There is still much work to be done, even for those OPCCs highly commended, to go beyond fulfilling the guidance and truly make their information easy to find. This means using language the public understands and making key information highly visible and navigable with minimal clicks.  

“I congratulate all the responsible OPCC staff on their award-winning work, and I look forward to what I trust will be continued excellent work by each and every one of them in this area.”

CoPaCC would normally hold a formal presentation to OPCCs of the Open and Transparent Quality Mark at the CoPaCC Police Governance Summit but plans for this year’s event are currently under review due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

Further information on OPCVC transparency can be found at : https://www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/Information-Hub/Transparency/Specified-Information.aspx

Posted on Tuesday 23rd February 2021
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