Police Federation

Independent panel appointed to review past failings and future governance of the Police Federation of England and Wales

Panel will undertake review into failings at PFEW which led to recent pensions challenge judgment.

3 July 2024


An independent panel has been appointed to investigate past failings and share their findings on the future governance of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).

The panel will be chaired by former President of the TUC Professor Mary Bousted, alongside former President of the Law Society Dr I. Stephanie Boyce and former CEO of Which? Mr Peter Vicary Smith.

The appointments come after a tribunal in 2023 found PFEW discriminated against officers who had previously made claims against the Government after being moved onto pension schemes that reduced benefits.

The panel members bring expertise in organisational finance, legal risk and governance of membership organisations. They have not previously worked with or had prior affiliation to PFEW.

Chair of the Independent Panel Professor Mary Bousted said: “As a panel, we are determined to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong at PFEW. Members deserve to have confidence that the Federation is working in their best interests and the best interests of policing. That is clearly not the case.

“The panel will use its independent remit to investigate how the Federation is operating. We will share our findings about the ways in which the Federation must change to bring back its legitimacy in the eyes of its members and the wider public.”

PFEW CEO Mukund Krishna said: “This review is needed to ensure closure on the mistakes of the past and allow the Federation to move on.

“Through the independent review, we can ensure the Federation is delivering for our dedicated members. The appointed panel members will bring the best expertise and advice to support a transformation so it can better support officers for the long haul.”

PFEW Acting National Chair Tiff Lynch said: “Having joined the police at 18, I understand both how challenging and rewarding the job can be.

“The Police Federation has always been there for me when I needed them most and I chose to become a Fed rep because I felt I could make a difference. Now in my role, and as part of the leadership team, I want to make sure the Federation is able to deliver to our members as it has done for me.

"The independent review is not only beneficial but necessary so we can continue to support our hardworking officers at their time of need."

The review will have two phases. The first phase which runs until October 2024 will be “looking back” and will focus solely on the failings that led to the decision not to fund the original pensions challenge and the subsequent challenge brought by the claimants to PFEW. This includes:

1. The governance and leadership failings that led to the litigation outcomes.
2. The cultural, behavioural and other failings which contributed to the situation.
3. The risk that the same issues could arise under the current structure.
4. The size and scope of various governing bodies – such as the National Board and National Council – providing their external perspective on best practice.
5. The extent to which changes now proposed by PFEW for governance and culture change will deliver an organisation that is fit for the future.

The second phase will look into making necessary changes to PFEW and the scope will be set following the conclusion of phase one.

Members of the panel

Professor Mary Bousted, Chair

Mary Bousted has over 25 years of experience leading major trade unions representing teachers, leaders and support staff and workers in the public sector. She was elected president of the TUC in 2017 before becoming joint general secretary of the National Education Union, a position she held until August 2023. She is currently a member of the World Board of Education International. Prof Bousted was granted an Honorary Professorship with the Centre of Teachers and Teaching Research from UCL.

Dr I. Stephanie Boyce

I. Stephanie Boyce is the former president of the Law Society of England and Wales. Admitted as a solicitor in 2002, she has a wealth of experience in corporate governance, regulatory frameworks and professional regulation.

She holds Honorary Doctorates of Law from Keele University, the University of East London and the University of Law for her work on equality, diversity and inclusion and contribution to the legal profession. Dr Boyce is also an Honorary Professor of Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, a Fellow of King’s College London, the RSA and Society of Leadership Fellows. Dr Boyce is a trustee of JUSTICE, a founding member of King's College London - Impact Leaders Board and recently completed her term as chair of the Guildhall School of Business and Law‘s Advisory Board.

Mr Peter Vicary-Smith

Peter Vicary-Smith spent 14 years as chief executive of the consumer membership organisation Which?. He advises both established companies and digital start-ups on engaging with their customers and members and putting their needs front and centre of decision-making. Mr Vicary-Smith is the chair of the BMJ Publishing Group and a non-executive director of its parent the BMA. He is also an independent non-executive director of Northumbrian Water and has just finished his term as chair of Oxford Brookes University.

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