1. Travel and subsistence claims may be made for the costs of travel, and travel related and subsistence expenditure undertaken by the PFCC incurred in the performance of his/her functions. The fundamental principles applicable to incurring expenses are set out at Appendix 1.
2. Paragraph 3 of schedule 1 to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (“the 2011 Act”) provides that a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is to be paid authorised allowances. “Authorised allowances” means allowances, in respect of expenses incurred by them in the exercise of the Commissioner’s functions, which are of the kinds and amounts determined by the Secretary of State. These allowances are set out at Appendix 2.
3. No claims will be payable for the cost of the PFCC’s commute to and from his home to the PFCC’s permanent workplace in Northampton.
4. Journeys made as part of a PCC’s duties may be claimable where funding is not available from another source. Travel may not be claimed for:
Journeys made on the business of a political party;
Journeys made for the purpose of electioneering; and
Journeys for which funding is available from another source.
5. All claims must be supported by receipts (where applicable).
6. The PFCC should always have regard to whether any particular journey is necessary and to the most cost-effective way to undertake it. In particular, whatever means of transport is used, consideration should be given to whether potential savings to public funds could be made through the use of concessionary fares,season tickets, and advance purchase or off-peak travel.
Specific Conditions: Public Transport
7. Travel tickets will normally be purchased through the office administration or the PFCC’s procurement card, however, for allowable journeys by public transport, the PFCC may buy a ticket of any class but reimbursement will be limited to the rate of an economy class ticket available at the time of booking. In the case of air travel, “economy” includes “flexible economy”.
8. For allowable journeys made by rail, reimbursement will be the actual amount spent but limited to the rate of a “standard class rate” ticket for the journey prevalent at the time of the claim.
Consideration should be given to value for money when purchasing tickets which they may need to change at short-notice. In the interest of saving money for the taxpayer, discretion should be exercised and balance low cost, generally inflexible, tickets against the probability of cancellations and the charges they will incur.
9. Where the PFCC obtains a railcard or season ticket which allows savings to be made on future purchases of rail tickets, reimbursement of the cost of the railcard may be claimed.
10. Taxi fares will only be reimbursed when a journey by taxi is necessary because:
No other reasonable method of transport is available for all or part of the journey; or
Alternative methods of transport are impracticable due to pregnancy, disability, illness or injury.
In the interest of saving money for the taxpayer, discretion should be exercised and balance the cost of a taxi out of hours against the cost of a train fare and a hotel stay.
11. Where applicable and approved by the Chief Executive in advance air fares will be purchased through the OPFCC, in order to obtain the most financially advantageous price, taking into account business need. The Chief Executive will exercise discretion when considering the balance between cost and business need.
Specific Conditions: Private Transport
12. Private cars, motorcycles or bicycles may be used as an alternative to public transport where it is appropriate, there is a specific need or it is cost- effective to do so. A PFCC undertaking a journey by private transport as the driver will be reimbursed in accordance with the rates set out below:
Motor mileage rate
To cover business travel by private motor car
45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles, 25p thereafter
To cover business travel by private motorcycle
24p per mile
These rates are valid from 22 November 2012.
13. When using private transport, reimbursement may be claimed for costs necessarily incurred in relation to their journey for parking charged, congestion zone charging and road tolls. Penalty or additional charges for late payment, or civil charges for traffic, parking or other violations will not be reimbursed.
14. No claims will be payable for the cost of the PFCC’s home to work commute to and from his permanent workplace in Northampton.
15. In accordance with ‘HMRC Guide 490 – Employee Travel’ the PFCC is entitled to claim mileage for all necessary business travel other than his normal home to office commute, irrespective of whether the journey starts from his home or his permanent workplace in Northampton.
16. Hire cars may be used where there is a saving to the public purse over the cost of using other means of transport.
17. If required, this would be administered through the Office of the PFCC (OPFCC).
18. In order to avoid a personal tax liability the hire car must only be used for allowable business journeys; it must not be used for the PFCC’s normal home to office commute or for private (non business) journeys.
19. In normal circumstances the hire car should be parked at a secure police premise overnight. To avoid a personal tax liability the vehicle must not be taken home and parked at the PFCC’s personal address overnight.
20. To prove that there is no private use of the hire car the vehicle log book should be completed to provide a contemporaneous record of each journey, including the reason for and details of the journey and the mileage travelled.
16. The PFCC may claim for Hotel and Subsistence Expenditure and for the cost of an overnight hotel stay where they have travelled as part of their PFCC functions, and it would be unreasonable to return to their home. Hotels are normally booked through the office administration.
17. Where Hotel and Subsistence Expenditure is claimed for hotel stays this will usually be booked in advance, to obtain the most financially advantageous price and therefore ensure value for money.
18. The cost of purchasing food and non-alcoholic drinks where they have necessarily stayed overnight may be claimed where they are not included in the hotel booking. This is limited to £30 for dinner and £10 for breakfast. No payment will be made for lunch. All expenditure to be supported by receipts. No other claim for meals, subsistence etc. will be allowed.
Approval of Claims
19. The Chief Executive or Chief Finance Officer (CFO) will subject claims to verification and certification.
20. Exceptional expenses, not falling within any of the other types above, should, in advance of expenditure being incurred, be approved as reasonable by the Chief Executive and supported by receipts. Any claims for exceptional expenses incurred by the PFCC in the exercise of the PFCC’s functions will require the approval of the PFCC’s Chief Executive, or CFO in their absence. In considering whether to grant this approval the Chief Executive shall take into account the following factors:
Whether there are exceptional circumstances warranting additional support;
Whether the PFCC could reasonably have been expected to take any action to avoid the circumstances which gave rise to the expenditure or liability;
Whether the PFCC’s performance of their PFCC functions will be significantly impaired by a refusal of the claim.
21. Under paragraph 1(d) of the Schedule to the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011, PFCCs are required to publish the allowances paid to them and their deputies in respect of expenses incurred by the commissioner or deputy in the exercise of the commissioner’s functions.
22. PFCCs and their deputies should publish a breakdown of their expenses including:
Their name, Force area, financial year, month, date, claim reference numbers, expense type (e.g. Travel, Accommodation), short description, details, amount claimed, amount reimbursed, amount not reimbursed, and the reason why a claim was not reimbursed.
For travel and subsistence claims: date, place of origin, place of designation, category of journey, class of travel, mileage, length of hotel stay, category of hotel stay.
Appendix 1: Fundamental Principles
1. PFCCs should always behave with probity and integrity when making claims on public resources. PFCCs should be held, and regard themselves, as personally responsible and accountable to the public for expenses incurred, and claims made, and for adherence to these principles as well as to the rules.
2. PFCCs have the right to be reimbursed for unavoidable costs where they are incurred wholly, exclusively, and necessarily in the performance of their statutory functions, but not otherwise.
3. PFCCs must not seek to exploit the expenses system for personal financial or political gain or advantage.
4. The system should be:
a) open and transparent
b) subject to independent audit and assurance.
5. The PFCC’s Travel and Subsistence Policy will be published on the PFCC’s website together with details of his expense allowance scheme and claims to facilitate public transparency, scrutiny and accountability.
6. The scheme should provide value for the taxpayer. However, ‘value for money’ should not necessarily be judged by reference to financial costs alone.
7. The PFCC’s Travel and Subsistence Policy and expense allowances system should be clear and understandable. If it is difficult to explain any element of the system in terms which the general public will regard as reasonable, that is a powerful argument against its appropriateness.
8. The expense allowances system must serve to give the public confidence that high standards of integrity will be upheld.
Appendix 2: Table of PCC Authorised Allowance Amounts
(As determined by the Secretary of State)
Format: Type of expense, Key restriction, Rates
In course of business
Reimbursed up to standard class rates
Only if necessary
As per HMRC rates
Only where public transport not available
Cost of taxi fare
Prior authority from Chief Executive and for business purposes
Economy class for flights
Business purposes and agreed in advance. Value for money and best use of public funds – lower priced suitable accommodation. No explicit limitation on star standard of hotel accommodation
Subsistence (UK and foreign)
Only paid for evening meals and, where applicable, breakfast (not lunch) Breakfast £10, Dinner £30
Exceptional expenses not falling within any of the other types
Reasonable incurred in carrying out business of the authority as approved by the Chief Executive