Baggot Faces Assembly Over Re-Hiring Process

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggot is preparing to face questions regarding the police service’s hiring of former RUC officers.

Baggot will appear before assembly members regarding an Audit Office investigation which last week revealed that the hiring of former RUC staff was at one point "out of control".

The report also revealed one in five officers who had retired with Patten redundancy payments had then been rehired by the PSNI.

The Chief Constable will appear before the Public Accounts Committee at Stormont. He is expected to be asked who was responsible for the policy and what action will be taken against them.

Under the Patten reforms, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in order to attract more Roman Catholics to the force in post-Troubles Northern Ireland.

Roman Catholics now make up about 30% of PSNI officers.

But the report has revealed over 1,000 RUC officers who received large pay-offs had been rehired, in some cases within the space of three months.

It also declared that in 2004, a £44m contract to employ temporary staff had been awarded to a local company with no competitive tendering process.

In total, about 5,500 RUC officers were paid off in the scheme, which at the time was the most generous redundancy package in the world.


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