Best in Class Finance Functions For Police Forces
Police funding has risen by £4.8 billion and 77 per cent (39 per cent in real terms) since1997. However the days where forces have enjoyed such levels of funding are over.Chief Constables and senior management recognize that the annual cycle of looking for efficiencies year-on-year is not sustainable, and will not address the cash shortfall inyears to come.Facing slower funding growth and real cash deficits in their budgets, the Police Servicemust adopt innovative strategies which generate the productivity and efficiency gainsneeded to deliver high quality policing to the public.The step-change in performance required to meet this challenge will only be achieved if the police service fully embraces effective resource management and makes efficient and productive use of its technology, partnerships and people.The finance function has an essential role to play in addressing these challenges andsupporting Forces' objectives economically and efficiently.
Police Forces tend to nurture a divisional and departmental culture rather than a corporateone, with individual procurement activities that do not exploit economies of scale. This isin part the result of over a decade of devolving functions from the center to the.divisions.In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and mitigate against the threat of "top down"mandatory, centrally-driven initiatives, Police Forces need to set up a corporate back office and induce behavioral change. This change must involve compliance with acorporate culture rather than a series of silos running through the organization.
Developing a Best in Class Finance Function
Traditionally finance functions within Police Forces have focused on transactional processing with only limited support for management information and business decisionsupport. With a renewed focus on efficiencies, there is now a pressing need for financedepartments to transform in order to add greater value to the force but with minimalcosts.1) Aligning to Force StrategyAs Police Forces need finance to function, it is imperative that finance and operations areclosely aligned. This collaboration can be very powerful and help deliver significant