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'Guru' on £720 a day for police

A NATIONAL police body behind plans to slash hundreds of jobs has seconded a "behavioural management" guru on rates of up to £720 a day.

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA), which is having to make £130m of savings, has turned to Bruce Faulkner in a bid to make the new organisation effective.

On April 1, Scotland's eight exisiting police forces, along with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, will make way for a single nationwide force.

The new crime-fighting force will be accountable to the SPA, which itself will take on the functions of the existing Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA).

One of the biggest challenges facing the SPA is making the savings that were used as the justification for a single force.

As revealed last week by the Sunday Herald, the SPA could cut up to 1400 police staff jobs at a cost of over £60m.

But despite the prospect of massive job losses, the SPA is using an external contractor for business advice.

According to his biography, Faulkner uses his "professional experience" to provide clients with "skills to create work environments that lead to discretionary effort from their employees".

He is managing director of 3 Simple Rules, a consultancy that specialises in applying "behavioural management techniques".

The three rules are: "Tell people what you want them to do"; "provide them feedback on how they are doing"; and "use data to make decisions about the first two rules".

Faulkner was initially hired by the SPSA in October 2010, but was seconded to the SPA three months ago. His current role involves developing the SPA's "decision-making processes", while for the SPSA he focused on "business improvement" in ICT.

He is paid through Hays, a recruitment group, on daily rates of between £600 and £720. A source close to the SPSA said he did not believe the Faulkner post was advertised.

It can also be revealed that SPSA staff have been going on behavioural management training (BMT) courses. These have not been delivered by Faulkner.

Upon completing the courses, employees become BMT "graduates" and lead projects designed to save money. An SPSA source said many "projects" seemed like nothing more than common sense activities that should not require training.

One staff member is behind a project to reduce the time spent "looking for keys", which the SPSA estimates could save £8000. Another employee is "owner" of a project to reduce the organisational coffee bill by £2000.

Other "graduate" ideas for saving cash include introducing electric bikes (£2000) and reducing the time taken to book a meeting room (£25,000).

Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, a former senior police officer, said: "The absence of a proper recruitment process for a highly paid consultant leaves the SPSA and SPA open to criticism."

He added: "Savings from door-keys protocols to coffee supply principles erodes one's faith that the SNP Government has a budget plan for the way forward that makes sense."

An SPA spokesperson said: "The SPA intends to take a very robust approach to how money in policing is spent and investment decisions made. Bruce Faulkner is part of the team designing this decision-making process so we drive the right kind of behaviour needed to deliver policing in an efficient way."

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