This page contains details of the procedural standing orders, which regulate the conduct of the Authority's business to ensure fair and accountable decision-making. This is part A of the MPA's standing orders.
- Procedural Standing Orders and regulations
- Section 1 - Members' rights and responsibilities
- Section 2 - Meetings of the full Authority
- Section 3 - Meetings of the committees and Sub-committees
- Section 4 – Rules relating to all meetings of the Authority and its committees
- Section 5 – Conduct at meetings of the Authority and its committees
- Section 6 – general matters
- Appendix 1
Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).
See the MOPC website for further information.
Procedural Standing Orders and regulations
Part A of Standing Orders
- References to the chairman in these standing orders
- The Mayor of London is the Chairman of the Authority. He has nominated the Vice Chairman to act on his behalf on a range of matters. Therefore, any reference to the Chairman in these Standing Orders can be taken equally to apply to the Vice Chairman acting on behalf of the Chairman.
Section 1 - Members' rights and responsibilities
1.1 Members’ entitlement to attend meetings
1.1.1 All members are entitled to attend meetings of the full Authority and to speak and vote.
1.1.2 Any member may attend any meeting of a committee or sub-committee, whether or not he or she is a member of that committee or sub-committee. If not a member of that committee or sub-committee they may speak with the permission of the Chair, but not vote or count towards the quorum.
1.1.3 The Chairman of the Authority shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and sub-committees of which he is not otherwise a member, with the exception of the Standards Committee. Where membership is ex-officio, he may not vote and does not count towards the quorum.
1.2 Removal from office due to non attendance
1.2.1 If a member is absent from meetings of the Authority for a period longer than three consecutive months, without the consent of the Authority, the Authority may remove that member from office by written notice. (In accordance with the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (Schedule 26) (14)(1)(a))
1.2.2 Meetings of the Authority or of its formally constituted committees, sub committees or panels will qualify for the purpose of 1.2.1 above.
1.2.3 If a member is absent from meetings of an Authority, committee or sub-committee, for three consecutive meetings, without the consent of that committee or sub-committee, the Authority or the parent committee respectively may remove that member from the committee or sub-committee membership.
1.3.1 A member may resign as a member of the Authority at any time, by notice in writing to the Chief Executive. If an Independent Member resigns, he or she must also copy this notice to the Secretary of State.
1.4 MPA members' code of conduct
1.4.1 Within two months of their appointment, all members must agree in writing to comply with the Authority members' code of conduct, which is Part D of these standing orders.
1.4.2 A member must observe the Authority's code of conduct whenever she or he:
- conducts the business of the Authority;
- conducts the business of the office to which she/he has been appointed; or
- acts as a representative of the Authority.
1.4.3 In relation to meetings of the Authority and its committees and sub-committees, members must declare any personal or prejudicial interest, as set out in the code of conduct. There will be a standing item at the beginning of each agenda to give members the opportunity to declare any interests. If a member of the public who knows all the relevant facts would view a member’s personal interest in the issue to be so great that it would be likely to prejudice his/her judgement of the public interest then the member must leave the room and cannot seek to influence any decisions made. (There are some limited exceptions to the requirement to withdraw from the meeting. Members should refer to the details provisions of the Code of Conduct (Part D) or speak to the Monitoring Officer.)
1.4.4 Declarations of an interest by a member shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting and further recorded in a register kept for the purpose by the Chief Executive.
1.5 Inspection of documents by members
1.5.1 Subject to the provisions and exceptions of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and Freedom of Information Act 2000 all members have the right to inspect reports submitted to the Authority or its committees, sub-committees or panels.
1.5.2 A member may make, or ask to be supplied with, copies of or extracts from the documents, provided that a member shall not knowingly inspect nor ask to be supplied with a copy of any document relating to a matter in which he or she is professionally interested, or in which he or she has an interest as defined in the Authority’s Code of Conduct (Part D of these standing orders).
1.5.3 This standing order shall not preclude the Chief Executive from declining to allow inspection of any document, which is, or in the event of legal proceedings would be, protected by privilege arising from the relationship of solicitor and client.
1.6 Members’ questions at full Authority meetings
1.6.1 Members may formally ask questions of the Chair of the Authority or of Committee Chairmen at meetings of the Authority. However, this provision should be used by members only in exceptional circumstances, when other channels have failed. The Chief Executive should receive questions in writing 10 working days before the Authority meeting.
1.6.2 The relevant Committee Chairman will respond to the question. If not specified by the member asking the question, the Chief Executive will decide which Committee Chairman (or the Authority Chairman or Vice Chairman) should respond. If a question does not fall readily within the terms of reference of one committee, the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Authority will respond.
1.6.3 The Chief Executive, in consultation with the Chairman of the Authority, is authorised to decide that a question should not be accepted, for instance if it is not relevant to Authority business, uses inappropriate language or if the answer would divulge exempt information.
1.6.4 Questions will be asked in the order that they are received and the number of questions which may be asked by any one member at each meeting shall be limited to two.
1.6.5 The time allocated for members' questions at each Authority meeting shall not exceed 10 minutes. Any questions not answered within this time will be replied to in writing.
1.6.6 The member asking the question may ask one supplementary question, which must relate to the subject of the original question. One further supplementary question, relevant to the original question, may be asked by another member.
1.7 Members' right to place items on agendas
1.7.1 A member may place an item for discussion on the agenda for the Authority or for a committee or sub-committee of which he or she is a member, provided that the request is supported in writing by two other members of the Authority. Such requests must be received in writing by the Chief Executive 10 working days before the meeting. At the Chief Executive's discretion, in consultation with the relevant Chairman, this time requirement may be waived on the grounds of urgency. This provision does not give individual members the right to commission reports from the officers on the subject they wish to place on the agenda.
1.8 Co-opted members
1.8.1 Committees, sub-committee and panels may appoint co-opted members. All appointments of co-opted members shall be made by the full Authority or the Strategic and Operational Policing Committee, on recommendation from the relevant committee or sub-committee.
1.8.2 No Committee, sub-committee or panel shall appoint more co-opted members than the number of its full membership.
1.8.3 Co-opted members may be appointed at any time, but their co-option will be reviewed, and renewed or otherwise, at the annual meeting of the Authority. Committees etc may recommend co-options for a shorter period if they so wish.
1.8.4 Co-opted members shall be non-voting and do not count towards the quorum of the committee or sub-committee.
1.8.5 A co-opted member's membership of a committee, sub-committee or panel will be deemed to have lapsed if he or she fails to attend three consecutive meetings, without the consent of the committee.
1.8.6 Co-opted members are required to confirm in writing that they will abide by the Authority's Code of Conduct.
Section 2 - Meetings of the full Authority
2.1 Annual meeting
2.1.1 The Authority must hold an annual meeting each June.
2.1.2 The purpose of, and order of business for, this meeting, is to:
- be informed by the Mayor of his decision in respect of appointments to the position of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Authority;
- appoint the Authority's standing committees and other bodies and their membership ;
- appoint the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen for these committees (with the exception of the Standards Committee, which will appoint its own Chairman and Vice Chairman); and
- make other member appointments and the Authority's representatives on other bodies.
2.2 Ordinary meetings of the full Authority
2.2.1 The Authority may in every year hold, in addition to the annual meeting, such other meetings as it may determine. All meetings of the Authority shall be called by or through the Chief Executive.
2.3 Extraordinary meetings of the full Authority
2.3.1 An extraordinary meeting of the Authority may be called at any time by the Chairman of the Authority.
2.3.2 Any three members of the Authority may requisition such a meeting, in writing and signed by those members.
2.3.3 If, on receipt of that requisition, the Chairman refuses to call an extraordinary meeting, or does not call one within seven days after the requisition has been presented to him or her, then those members may call an extraordinary meeting themselves. (See also Standing Order 4.1.1 in relation to the notice for this meeting.)
2.3.4 The order of business for an extraordinary meeting shall be:
- to deal with any business required by law; and
- to deal with the business for which the meeting has been called. No other business can be transacted.
2.4 Vice Chairman presiding
2.4.1 If a Vice Chairman is presiding at the meeting in the absence of the Chairman, he or she may exercise any power or duty of the Chairman of the Authority.
2.5 Appointments by the Authority
2.5.1 Every candidate nominated to represent the Authority in any capacity or for any position to be filled by the Authority shall be openly proposed and seconded.
2.5.2 At the close of nominations the Chairman shall state the names of the candidates who have been duly proposed and seconded and the number of vacancies to be filled if the number is limited.
2.5.3 If the number of nominations does not exceed the number of vacancies or if the number of vacancies is not limited the Chairman shall immediately put the appointment of the duly nominated candidates collectively as a substantive motion upon which no amendment may be moved.
2.5.4 If the number of nominations exceeds the number of vacancies there shall be a secret ballot of the members present at the meeting in which each member of the Authority may vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies to be filled. The nominee who receives the least number of votes will be removed from the list and a fresh ballot taken, and so on until the number of nominations equals the number of vacancies.
2.5.5 In the event of there being an equality of votes at any level the Chief Executive shall draw the name(s) of the candidate(s) who will proceed to a further ballot or shall be declared elected as the case may be.
2.5.6 Any ballot shall be conducted by the Chief Executive whose return shall be final and conclusive.
2.6 Presentation of petitions to the full Authority or a Committee
2.6.1 Any person may present a petition to the full Authority or appropriate Committee, providing it:
- contains a minimum of 100 signatures from people who live or work in the Metropolitan Police District; and
- is relevant to the Authority's business, functions or responsibilities.
2.6.2 The Chief Executive shall determine whether the petition is appropriate to the full Authority or should be presented to a committee.
2.6.3 The Chief Executive of the Authority will, in discussion with the Chairman of the Authority, have the discretion to refuse a petition. In this event, the Chief Executive shall respond in writing to the person presenting the petition outlining the reason(s) for this decision. This letter will be copied to all members of the Authority and the Chief Executive’s decision reported to the Authority meeting as part of the regular report on action taken under delegated authority. Without fettering that discretion, reasons why a petition may not be accepted include that it refers to the Authority’s roles:
- as an employer;
- as discipline authority under the Police (Senior Officers) (Discipline) Regulations;
- under the Police Pensions Regulations;
- in respect of requests for financial assistance to officers under Section 88 of the Police Act 1996.
2.6.4 Someone wishing to present a petition must inform the Chief Executive of this, in writing and, as a minimum, inform the Chief Executive of the text of the petition and the number of signatories. The petition must be made available to officers of the Authority prior to the relevant meeting. The Chief Executive will not agree to the presentation of a petition unless satisfied on 2.6.1 and 2.6.3 above. The Petition will be presented to the next appropriate Authority or Committee meeting (see 2.6.2) provided that it is received at least ten working days before the meeting.
2.6.5 The presentation of a petition will be limited to not more than five minutes. Wherever possible, the Chief Executive or his or her representative will respond to the petition, orally or in writing, at the meeting and seek members approval to this response Following the Chief Executive’s (or his or her representative) response, the person presenting the petition may speak further for no more than three minutes. Members may also comment on or discuss the issues raised by the question and answer.
2.6.6 Petitions will be presented in the order in which the Chief Executive received notice, and there will be a maximum of three petitions received at any one meeting of the Authority or Committee.
2.7 Questions from the public at Authority meetings
2.7.1 Members of the public, who live or work in the Metropolitan Police District may ask questions of the Authority, which are relevant to its business, functions or responsibilities. The Chief Executive must receive the question in writing not less than ten working days before a meeting of the Authority and shall determine whether the question is appropriate to be heard by the Authority or be presented to a committee.
2.7.2 A person may ask a question on no more than two occasions in a rolling 12 month period.
2.7.3 The Chief Executive of the Authority will, in discussion with the Chairman of the Authority or in his or her absence the Vice Chairman of the Authority, have the discretion to refuse a question. In this event, the Chief Executive shall respond in writing to the questioner outlining the reason(s) for this decision. This letter will be copied to all members, before the Authority meeting. Without fettering that discretion, reasons why a question may not be accepted include the following:
- The reasons set out in 2.6.3 above;
- The question cannot be answered satisfactorily without the disclosure of exempt information (as defined in the Access to Information or Freedom of Information legislation);
- In the Chief Executive's opinion, the question has already been answered by another means and contains no issues of wider public interest that require a public answer;
- The question actually contains a number of different questions, in which case the Chief Executive will ask for an amended question to be submitted; and
- The question is similar to, or on a similar theme to, a question asked by someone else in the preceding three months.
2.7.4 Any question(s) shall be included on the agenda for the meeting, in the order of receipt and must be addressed to the Chairman. The Chairman will then invite the Chief Executive to respond, orally or in writing, on behalf of the Authority. Following the Chief Executive’s response, the person asking the question may speak further for no more than three minutes. Members may also comment on or discuss the issues raised by the question and answer.
2.7.5 The person asking the question can attend the meeting to put the question. If they are not present, the answer as reported to the Authority shall be sent to them following the meeting. If the person asking the question needs some clarification in relation to the answer, this will be given by the Chief Executive or appropriate officer, in person or in writing, within ten working days of clarification being sought.
2.7.6 The Chairman may use discretion to limit the number of questions asked by members of the public in order to avoid the business of the Authority being disrupted. In any event, no more than 30 minutes will be allowed for public questions and answers. Any questions that remain unanswered within the timescale shall receive written responses only..
2.8 Deputations to the Authority, Committees or Sub-committees
2.8.1 Deputations may address meetings with the prior agreement of the Chairman. Where a committee has not established its own rules for dealing with deputations the following rules will apply:
- Requests for a deputation must be made in writing to the Chief Executive not less than ten working days before the meeting. The Chief Executive, in consultation with the Chairman, has the authority to waive this requirement if, for instance, the deputation is in response to an item on the agenda published in the week before the meeting. The request must outline the issue that the deputation wishes to address.
- The Chief Executive will determine the most appropriate forum – the Authority or one of its committees - to receive the deputation.
- The subject matter of deputations must be relevant to the Authority’s business, functions or responsibilities.
- No more than two deputations may be heard at any meeting. If more apply the first two received will be entitled to present their case.
- Five people are the maximum number for a deputation. Of these five, two may speak for up to a total of ten minutes.
- Members may ask questions of the people who have spoken or of other members of the deputation.
Section 3 - Meetings of the committees and Sub-committees
3.1.1 The Authority may establish and determine the terms of reference of such committees, sub-committees, boards and panels, as it considers appropriate. These bodies shall, unless otherwise determined, continue until the next annual meeting of the Authority. The terms of reference of these committees etc are contained in Part B of these standing orders.
3.1.2 The Authority shall retain the ability to call in any committee decision irrespective of the extent and terms of delegation of functions to committees or sub-committee. This power shall be exercised in the following way:
- The Chairman of the Authority may determine that a committee or sub-committee decision should not be acted upon until the next ordinary meeting of the full Authority.
- This call in power may also be exercised by any three members immediately upon the making of the decision by the committee or sub-committee by means of an oral request that the item be called in (which shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting) or by writing to the Chief Executive within five working days of the committee meeting at which the decision was taken.
- As soon as the call in power has been exercised, no further action shall be taken to implement or give effect to the decision.
- When the call in power has been invoked, an item will be placed on the agenda for the next ordinary meeting of the Authority. The Authority will then decide whether to call in the committee or sub-committee’s decision. If it decides to do so, it will then proceed to consider whether to confirm or change the committee or sub-committee’s decision.
- The Authority shall take into account any legal advice in respect of its ability to change a committee or sub-committees decision, for instance in cases where a contractual commitment or other legal liability had been entered into before exercise of the call in power.
3.1.3 The Authority may dissolve or change the membership or terms of reference of any committee established by it, as it sees fit.
3.1.4 The Authority may appoint the chairmen and vice chairmen for each of its committees. Parent committees may appoint similar positions to any of its sub-committee. In the event of this option not being exercised, each committee, at its first meeting after the annual meeting of the Authority, shall appoint a chairman and vice chairman. The appointments shall be conducted in the same way as an appointment made by the Authority.
3.1.5 A committee may set up a sub-committee or panel to deal with a particular area of work within the terms of reference of that committee. The committee will determine the membership, terms of reference and period of operation of that body. Powers delegated to sub-committees etc can also be exercised by the parent committee.
3.1.6 Committees, sub-committees and panels shall meet for the transaction of general business on dates agreed by the Authority as part of the Authority’s annual calendar or as the chairman may determine.
3.1.7 Appointments to fill casual vacancies on committees shall be made by the Authority at the first opportunity, unless use of the urgency provisions is necessary.
3.1.8 All meetings shall be summoned by or through the Chief Executive, who, after consultation with the appropriate Chairman, may also convene a special meeting at any time, subject to the provisions of Standing Order 3.2.
3.2 Special meetings
3.2.1 A special meeting of a committee etc may be called at any time by the Chairman.
3.2.2 Any three members of the committee etc may requisition such a meeting, in writing and signed by those members.
3.2.3 If, on receipt of that requisition, the Chairman refuses to call a special meeting, or does not call one within seven days after the requisition has been presented to him or her, then those members may call a special meeting themselves.
3.2.4 The summons to a special meeting shall set out the business to be considered and no other business will be considered, subject to the Chairman power to accept matters of an urgent nature.
3.3 Application of Standing Orders to committee etc meetings
3.3.1 Standing Orders relating to meetings of the full Authority also apply to meetings of formal committees, sub-committees, boards or panels unless specifically excluded.
3.4 Arrangements for joint meetings of Committees, Sub-committees, Boards or Panels
3.4.1 An item will be placed on the agenda of any joint meeting to appoint a Chairman for that particular meeting.
3.4.2 The quorum of the meeting will be a third of the number of the membership of each of the committees involved in the meeting.
3.4.3 If decisions are required which are within the terms of reference of one of the committees only, they must be taken by that committee and recorded as such.
3.4.4 Standing Orders relating to meetings of the full Authority and its formal committee, sub-committee, board or panels will apply to joint meetings..
Section 4 – Rules relating to all meetings of the Authority and its committees
(All references in this section relate to the full Authority and its formally constituted committees, sub-committees and panels, unless otherwise specified)
4.1 Notice of meetings
4.1.1 At least five clear days before a scheduled meeting:
- a notice of the date, time and place of the intended meeting shall be published. Where the meeting is called by members of that body in accordance with standing orders 2.3.2 or 3.2.2, the notice shall be signed by those members and shall specify the business proposed to be transacted; and
- a summons to attend the meeting, specifying the date, time and place of the meeting and the business proposed to be considered, shall be sent to every member of the Authority or body in question, at an address nominated by them.
4.1.2 Failure to serve a summons on any member of the Authority shall not affect the validity of that meeting..
4.2 Reports to Authority and committee meetings
4.2.1 All reports to meetings will be in writing. Any exceptions must be agreed with the appropriate Chairman and must comply with the Access to Information legislation.
4.2.2 At least five clear days before a meeting, copies of the agenda together with copies of any non-confidential reports for the meeting shall be open for public inspection at the offices of the Authority during office hours. Reports that are exempt or confidential under the Access to Information legislation will not be open for public inspection.
4.2.3 Every document deemed exempt or confidential shall be so marked and the reason specified by reference to Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
4.2.4 Items of urgent business shall not be dealt with unless the Chairman is satisfied that by reason of special circumstances the item should be considered as a matter of urgency. The special circumstances shall be stated by Chairman and recorded as part of the minutes of the meeting.
4.3 Venue for meetings
4.3.1 Meetings of the Authority will be held at City Hall. Committees and sub-committee meetings will normally be held at the Authority’s offices.
4.4 No meeting to clash with the Authority
4.4.1 When an Authority meeting is in progress, no other MPA meetings of committees, sub-committee, panels or scrutinies may take place.
4.5.1 The quorum for Authority meetings is half the membership. The quorum for committees and sub-committees is one third of its membership (rounded up) provided that no quorum shall consist of fewer than three members. No formal business shall be transacted at any meeting unless a quorum is present.
4.5.2 A quorum must exist throughout the meeting. If, at any stage during the meeting, the Chairman declares that there is not a quorum present, the meeting shall stand adjourned until the date and time fixed for the next ordinary meeting, unless another date is subsequently agreed..
4.6 Chairman of meetings
4.6.1 At any meeting the Chairman shall preside, if present. In his or her absence, the Vice Chairman will preside. If both the Chairman and Vice Chairman are absent then the members present shall appoint one of their number to act as Chairman for that meeting.
4.7 Admission of press and public
4.7.1 All meetings of the Authority, its committees, sub-committees, boards and panels shall be open to the press and public, subject to 4.7.2 below. Accommodation will, as far as is practicable, be made available for them to observe the proceedings.
4.7.2 In accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, and the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006, the Authority, committee, sub-committee, board or panel may pass a resolution to exclude the press and public from all or part of a meeting if:
- publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest because the business being transacted is confidential or exempt as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended (exemptions are given at Appendix 1 to this part of the Standing Orders);
- the conduct of the press or the public is disorderly and is inhibiting the holding of the meeting, or is likely to be disorderly and to inhibit the holding of the meeting.
4.7.3 There is no right for anyone to record the proceedings (for instance, by way of photographs, audio recording, broadcast or video recording) without the approval of the Chief Executive, which must be obtained before the meeting.
4.8 Order of business
4.8.1 Business shall be taken in the order it appears on the summons for the meeting except that the order may be varied by the Chairman or by resolution at the meeting.
Section 5 – Conduct at meetings of the Authority and its committees
(All references in this section relate to the full Authority and its formally constituted committees, sub-committees and panels, unless otherwise specified)
5.1 Record of attendance at meetings
5.1.1 The names of members who are present at meetings will be recorded in the minutes of that meeting.
5.1.2 Members must ensure that they sign their name on the attendance sheet provided for the purpose at each meeting. The Chief Executive will maintain this record.
5.1.3 A summary of member attendance during the preceding year at meetings of the Authority and those committees etc to which they have been appointed, shall be reported to the annual meeting of the Authority.
5.2.1 Minutes must be kept to record all the decisions taken by meetings of the Authority, its committees, sub-committees, boards and panels.
5.2.2 Minutes must be submitted to the next following ordinary meeting (not an extraordinary meeting) for approval. When the minutes have been confirmed as a correct record they must be signed by the Chairman.
5.2.3 Signed minutes must be kept available for inspection by members and members of the public during office hours for a period of not less than six years from the date of the meeting. [Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985]
5.3.1 Voting at meetings shall be determined by a show of hands.
5.3.2 The names and votes of members shall not normally be recorded in the minutes, but any member may request that his or her abstention or dissent be recorded.
5.3.3 On the requisition of any member (made before the vote on any question is taken), and immediately supported by five other members who signify their support by raising their hands, the voting shall be by roll call and recorded in the minutes so as to show whether each member gave his or her vote for or against that question or abstained from voting.
5.3.4 In the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote..
5.4 Disturbance and misconduct - members of the Authority
5.4.1 If at a meeting any member of the Authority, in the opinion of the Chairman, misconducts him or herself by persistently disregarding the ruling of the Chairman or by behaving irregularly, improperly or offensively, or wilfully obstructs the business of the meeting, the Chairman or any other member may move ‘that the member be not further heard’, and the motion, if seconded, shall be put and determined without discussion.
5.4.2 If the member named continues his or her misconduct after a motion under the above standing order has been carried, the Chairman shall either move ‘that the member do leave the meeting’ (in which case the motion shall be put and determined without seconding or discussion), or adjourn the meeting for such period as the Chairman shall consider expedient.
5.4.3 In the event of a general disturbance, which in the opinion of the Chairman renders the orderly despatch of business impossible, the Chairman, in addition to any other statutory and common law power vested in him or her, may adjourn the meeting for such period, as he or she shall consider expedient.
5.5 Disturbance and misconduct - members of the public
5.5.1 If a member of the public interrupts the proceedings of any meeting, the Chairman shall warn him or her of the consequence of continuing that course of conduct and if he or she continues the interruption, the Chairman shall order his or her removal from the meeting.
5.5.2 In the case of general disturbance by members of the public in any part of the meeting room, the Chairman shall order that part occupied by persons causing the disturbance to be cleared. The Chairman, in addition to any other statutory and common law power vested in him or her, may adjourn the meeting for such period, as he or she shall consider expedient.
5.6.1 The Authority or its committees, etc, may adjourn a meeting to a day and/or time as it thinks fit. Unless the adjournment is to the next ordinary meeting, the business to be considered at the adjourned meeting shall be that which appeared in the summons for the meeting that was adjourned, but was not disposed of.
5.6.2 If an adjourned meeting is not reconvened within five working days of the adjournment, a summons to attend shall be sent to each member of that body. The summons shall specify the place and time of the adjourned meeting and the business to be transacted at it and it shall be signed by the Chief Executive.
5.7 Motions and amendments
5.7.1 Notice of motions, other than procedural motions referred to in Standing Order 5.8 shall be communicated to the Chief Executive in writing and must be received at least seven working days before the date of the relevant meeting. Details of the motion shall be included with the agenda for the meeting.
5.7.2 No motion shall be put unless it relates to some question over which the Authority has power or which affects the Authority.
5.7.3 A motion or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been proposed and seconded, and it shall, if required by the Chairman, be put into writing and handed to the Chairman before it is further discussed or put to the meeting.
5.7.4 A member may not propose or second a motion or amendment on which he/she is disqualified from voting.
5.7.5 Any number of amendments may be taken on a motion, subject to the following rules:
- only one amendment can be dealt with at one time;
- a member may propose up to two amendments on any motion
- if an amendment has been defeated, no other amendment which would have the same effect as that amendment can be proposed
- amendments must be dealt with before the motion. If an amendment is carried, the motion under debate becomes the substantive motion, as amended.
5.8 Procedural motions that may be moved without notice
5.8.1 The following procedural motions may be moved without notice:
- Appointment of a Chairman of the meeting.
- Motions relating to the accuracy of the minutes of the previous meeting, the closure, postponement of consideration of any matter, adjournment of the meeting or the debate.
- Motion under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) to exclude the public and press on the grounds that exempt information is likely to be disclosed.
- Receiving minutes, and the adoption of recommendations of committees, sub committees, boards or panels.
- An amendment to a recommendation of a committee etc or report before the Authority.
- Variation of the order of business.
- Suspending standing orders.
- That a member named under Standing Order 5.4 be not further heard or do leave the meeting
- A closure motion i.e. ‘That the question be now put’
- To fix the date of a future meeting
5.9 Rules of debate
5.9.1 The rules of debate are as follows:
- A motion or amendment shall not be discussed unless it has been seconded.
- When a motion is under debate, no other motion or amendment shall be moved except one of the procedural motions specified in standing order 5.8.
- The Chairman shall control the order of debate.
- While a member is speaking, other members shall not interrupt, unless on a point of order or in personal explanation. The Chairman' ruling on a point of order or the admissibility of a personal explanation shall not be open to discussion.
- A member shall direct his/her speech to the question under discussion, a personal explanation or a point of order.
- All other procedural matters shall be determined by the Chairman.
5.10 Length of speeches
5.10.1 No speech shall exceed five minutes except:
- The mover of an original motion when moving that motion may speak for ten minutes; and
- with the consent of the meeting.
Section 6 – general matters
6.1 Urgency powers
6.1.1 To ensure transparency and accountability, there is a presumption that all decisions required to be made by the Authority and not delegated to the officers will be made through the Authority’s normal committee processes. There is provision on the agendas of each standing committee of the MPA to deal with urgent matters within that committee’s terms of reference. The Strategic and Operational Policing Committee exercises an urgency function and can deal with urgent matters that cannot wait for the next meeting of the relevant committee or the full Authority .
6.1.2 Where these urgency committee arrangements cannot be invoked, and only in such circumstances, the Chief Executive and/or Treasurer may proceed to take the necessary decision (after consultation with the Commissioner as appropriate) in accordance with the procedure outlined below.
6.1.3 The fundamental principle is that members who under normal procedures would have considered the matter in committee or the full Authority should have the opportunity to make their views known before an urgent decision is taken. Of those members some will be asked to indicate in writing whether they support the decision that is being sought, as follows:
- Where the decision would normally be taken by the full Authority, the Chairman and / or Vice Chairman of the Authority and the Chairs of the Authority’s standing committees shall give their view in writing on the urgent action form
- Where the decision would normally be delegated to a committee or sub-committee, the Chairman and/ or Vice Chairman of the Authority and the Chairman of that committee or sub-committee shall give their view in writing on the urgent action form
6.1.4 Exceptionally, however, and only in cases of extreme urgency or extreme sensitivity the following shall be the minimum requirement. (In these circumstances where it may not be possible to communicate with all members of the committee, sub-committee or Authority before the decision is taken, they shall be informed as soon as possible afterwards of that decision.)
- Where the decision would normally be taken by the full Authority, the Chief Executive / Treasurer shall consult with the Chairman and / or Vice Chairman of the Authority and at least two Chairs of the Authority’s standing committees.
- Where the decision would normally be delegated to a committee or sub-committee, the Chief Executive / Treasurer shall consult with the Chairman and/ or Vice Chairman of the Authority and the Chairman of that committee or sub-committee.
6.1.5 The Chief Executive / Treasurer shall use the most appropriate method of consulting with these members. This may be by way of a meeting, or by telephone, letter or email. However, unless circumstances do not allow it, the general presumption is that members will be consulted in writing and supplied with sufficient supporting information to enable them to come to an informed view.
6.1.6 The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Authority or the Chair of a committee or sub-committee can nominate another member in their place if they are going to be unavailable.
6.1.7 Urgent decisions taken under delegated authority in this way must be reported to the next meeting of the Authority for information. In doing so, the Chief Executive / Treasurer shall indicate which members were consulted before the decision was taken, report any dissension from the decision and give details of the reason for urgency. An annual report shall be submitted to the Corporate Governance Committee on the operation of the urgency procedure so that the committee can satisfy itself on the correct application of the process.
6.2 Scheme of Delegation of Powers to the Officers
6.2.1 Part C of these Standing Orders contains details of the powers and duties that the Authority has delegated to the officers. These delegated powers are in addition to the normal duties assigned to officers from time to time by virtue of their designation.
6.3 Financial Regulations
6.3.1 The Authority, committees, sub-committees, boards, panels and officers must comply with the Financial Regulations set out in Part E to these Standing Orders.
6.4 Contract Regulations
6.4.1 The Authority, committees, sub-committees, boards, panels and officers must comply with the Contract Regulations set out in Part F to these Standing Orders.
6.5 Personal/prejudicial interest
6.5.1 The Chief Executive shall record, in a book to be kept for the purpose, particulars of any notice of an interest in a contract given by an officer of the Authority under Section 117 of the Local Government Act 1972.
6.5.2. The book shall be available for inspection by members of the Authority.
6.6. Canvassing of, or by, members for appointment
6.6.1 Canvassing of members of the Authority, directly or indirectly, for any appointment under the Authority or as a police officer, shall disqualify the candidate concerned from that appointment.
6.6.2 A member of the Authority shall not solicit for any person any appointment under the Authority or as a police officer, but this shall not preclude a member from giving a written testimonial of a candidate’s ability, experience or character for submission to the Authority or the Commissioner with an application for appointment.
6.7 Relatives of members or employees
6.7.1 A candidate for any appointment under the Authority who knows that he/she is related to any member or officer of the Authority shall, when making application, disclose the relationship. A candidate who fails to disclose such a relationship shall be disqualified for the appointment, and if appointed, shall be liable to dismissal without notice.
6.7.2 Every member and officer of the Authority shall disclose to the Chief Executive any relationship known to him to exist between himself and any person whom he /she knows is a candidate for an appointment under the Authority.
6.7.3 The Chief Executive shall report to the Authority or to the appropriate committee or sub-committee any such disclosure.
6.7.4 For the purpose of this standing order, persons shall be deemed to be related if they are a spouse, partner, parent, parent-in-law, son, daughter, step-son, step-daughter, child of a partner, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or the spouse or partner of any of the preceding persons. ‘Partner’ means a member of a couple who live together..
6.8 Common Seal, sealing and signing of documents
6.8.1 The Common Seal of the Authority shall be kept in a safe place in the custody of the Chief Executive.
6.8.2 The Common Seal of the Authority shall not be affixed to any document unless the sealing has been authorised by resolution of the Authority or of a committee or by decision of an officer to which or whom the Authority have delegated their powers. A resolution of the Authority, committee or officer acting with delegated powers authorising the taking of any action shall be sufficient authority for sealing any document necessary to give effect to the resolution.
6.8.3 The seal shall be attested by the Chief Executive or such other officer whom he or she may appoint for this purpose who is present at the sealing, and an entry of every sealing of a document shall be made and consecutively numbered in a book kept for the purpose, and shall be initialled by the person who has attested the seal.
6.8.4 Where any document will be a necessary step in legal proceedings on behalf of the Authority, it shall be signed by the Chief Executive, or his or her appointed representative, unless any enactment otherwise requires or authorises, or the Authority gives the necessary authority to some other person for the purpose of such proceedings.
6.9 Suspension of Standing Orders
6.9.1 Any of these standing orders other than those that are statutory requirements may be suspended in relation to the conduct of any business at a meeting.
6.10 Variation and revocation of Standing Orders
6.10.1 Any motion at a meeting of the Authority to add to the standing orders or to vary or revoke any of the existing standing orders, shall, when proposed and seconded, be referred without discussion to the next meeting of the Authority for consideration.
6.11 Interpretation of Standing Orders
6.11.1 The ruling of the Chairman of the Authority, in respect of the conduct of meetings of the Authority, and of the Chairman of committees etc with regard to their respective committees, (or in their absence, the persons presiding at those meetings), as to the construction or application of these standing orders, shall be final.
6.12.1 In these standing orders, except where the context otherwise requires:
- ‘Authority’ or ‘Police Authority’ shall mean the Metropolitan Police Authority.
- ‘Chairman’ or ‘Vice Chairman’ shall mean the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Authority or, as the case may be, of a committee, sub-committee or panel of the Authority.
- ‘Chief Executive’ shall mean the Chief Executive to the Authority and ‘Treasurer’ shall mean the Treasurer to the Authority.
6.13 Commencement of these Standing Orders
6.13.1 These Standing Orders came into effect on 29 June 2006 on the decision of the full Authority meeting that day, and have been amended on various dates with the agreement of the full Authority.
Categories of exempt information
The Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006)
Schedule 12A – access to information: exempt information
- Information relating to any individual
- Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.
- Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
- Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under, the authority.
- Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.
- Information which reveals that the authority proposes:
- to give under any enactment a notice under or by virtue of which requirements are imposed on a person; or
- to make an order or direction under any enactment.
- Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime:
The following descriptions apply where the Standards Committee or a Sub-Committee of the Standards Committee is convened to consider a matter referred under Section 60(2) or (3) (investigation referred by an ethical standards officer to a monitoring officer), or 64(2) (report of an investigation sent by an ethical standards officer to a monitoring officer/standards committee) of the Local Government Act 2000.
- Information which is subject to any obligation of confidentiality
- Information which relates in any way to matters concerning national security
- The deliberations of a Standards Committee or a sub-committee of a Standards Committee established under the provision of Part 3 of the Local Government Act 2000 in reaching any finding on a matter referred under the provision of section 60(2) or (3), 64(2) 70(4) or (5) or 71(2) of that Act.
Qualification 1 Information falling within paragraph 3 is not exempt if it is required to be registered under 9a) the Companies Act 1853; (b) the Friendly Societies Act 1974; (c) the friendly
Societies Act 1992; (d) the industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965 to 1978; (e) the Building Societies Act 1986; or (f) the Charities Act 1993.
Qualification 2 Information is not exempt information if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992.
1. Note: a decision to amend the membership of committees can only be made by a decision of the Authority or through the urgency procedure. Where a committee further delegates its powers to a sub-committee or panel, that body shall be re-appointed by the committee at its first meeting following the Authority's Annual Meeting. [Back]
2. As required by the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) the chairman of the committee must agree to the matter being considered as urgent and the reason for urgency must be recorded in the minutes. [Back]
Send an e-mail linking to this page