Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) : non-executive directors appointed by the Home Secretary

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The Home Office has announced the appointment of 5 non-executive directors to the board of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which is headed up by the Chair Sir Stephen Lander and Director General Bill Hughes and ex-MI5 and ex-MI6 people like David Bolt and Paul Evans (presumably they are Executive Directors).

Home Secretary appoints non-executive directors to Serious Organised Crime Agency

"ELIZABETH FRANCE CBE
Age: 55

Present role: Telecommunications Ombudsman

In a very distinguished public sector career, Elizabeth joined the Home Office in 1971, rising to Assistant Secretary and Head of the Information and Pay Services Division, before leaving in 1994 to become Data Protection Registrar. That role changed to become the Information Commissioner when Freedom of Information was added to the responsibilities. Since 2002 she has been the UK's first Telecommunications Ombudsman. She has also just completed six years as a member of the Committee for the Control of Interpol Files. Elizabeth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a graduate in politics of the University Wales, Aberystwyth (where she is now a fellow). She has honorary doctorates from the Universities of De Montfort, Loughborough and Bradford and was awarded a CBE in recognition of her achievements in the field of data protection in 2002.

KEN JARROLD CBE
Age: 57

Ken is former Chief Executive County Durham and Tees Valley Strategic Health Authority, and is also the former Chair of the Drugs Action Team for Durham. He was formerly Director of Human Resources (and Deputy to the Chief Executive) for the NHS in England, and Chief Executive of the Wessex Regional Health Authority. Ken joined the NHS in 1969 from Cambridge University, and has maintained a career long interest in education and training; he led the development of the Code of Conduct for NHS managers. Among many other areas of interest Ken served on the NHS National Task Force on Corporate Governance. He is also an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Universities of York and Durham and Honorary Doctor of the Open University.

JANET PARASKEVA
Age: 59

Currently: Chief Executive, The Law Society

As Chief Executive of the Law Society since 2000, Janet is responsible for managing the organisation and has led a radical shake-up of its governance and systems to restore its credibility as a front line regulator for solicitors. Janet's previous appointment was Director for Englandfor the National lottery Charities Commission where she set up and ran the England operation awarding more than £1.5bn to voluntary organisations. Her earlier appointments include the Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency and as a non executive director of a community NHS Trust. She has also served as a member of the Youth Justice Board, as a magistrate, and been a council member for ChildLine.

General Sir ROGER WHEELER GCB CBE
Age: 63

Currently: Constable HM Tower of London

General Sir Roger Wheeler was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the Army, for three years from 1997 to 2000, prior to which as Commander in Chief Land Forces he was Joint Commander of the UK's forces deployed on NATO operations in Bosnia. Earlier appointments included Director of Military Operations in Northern Ireland. He became a non-executive director of Thales UK PLC in 2001 and Chairman of Thales Air Defence in 2003. He takes an active interest, and holds appointments in, a number of ex-service charities welfare organisations and is a patron of the Police Foundation. He is also a Trustee of the Historic Royal Palaces and of the Royal Armouries.

STEPHEN BARRETT
Age: 49

Currently: KPMG - International Chair Corporate Finance

Appointed as Chair of Corporate Finance in 2002 to add to his role as Global Head of Risk and Compliance, Stephen advises multi-national corporations at the most senior levels on corporate finance matters. He is responsible for the governance, risk, and regulatory ethical and professional practice of KPMG's corporate finance function employing over 2,000 staff in 50 countries. Stephen initially qualified as a solicitor and then gained experience in corporate sales, mergers and acquisitions from legal, banking and financial perspectives. As a Fellow of the Compliance Institute and Fellow of the Securities and Investment Institute."

What exactly is the role of such non-executive directors in running the Serious Organised Crime Agency ? How much power do they really have, compared with that of, say the Home Secretary ?

Remember that unlike any of the main 43 Police Forces, there is no independent "civilian" equivalent of a Police Authority to questiona and check the policies, priorities and budgets of SOCA, it is the creature of the Home Secretary, who could be tempted to meddle and politically micro-manage the organisation.

14 Comments

I like the way that they call it a "serious" organised crime agency. Presumably there are also unserious agencies, where the executive directors all wear false mustaches (Foliba!) and Charlie Chaplin trousers.

Sir Stephen Lander gave the impression that he is not happy with the name of "Serious Organised Crime Agency", especially its acronym SOCA, perhaps due to the confusion with the soul / calypso music and dance style originally from Trinidad.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=SOCA&meta=

Astonishingly, there is still not yet a www.soca.police.uk or www.soca.gov.uk website explaining what it is meant to do, and giving contact details for recruitment purposes etc. even though it is meant to be fully operational in only 4 months time in 2006.

stephen barrett "is responsible for the governance, risk, and regulatory ethical and professional practice of KPMG’s corporate finance function".

if he's in *corporate* finance, does that imply he has no connection whatsoever with the sale of fraudulent tax shelters to wealthy *individuals* for which KPMG just agreed to pay a $456m fine to the IRS?

@ Phil - At a guess, Stephen Barett would have been in charge of the *policies* and *procedures*, which attempt to insulate the management of KPMG from individual or collective blame, as a result of the actions of any of their "rogue traders", who might have been responsible for the tax shelter scandal.

$400 or $500 million dollars in fines seems to be the usual level of fine for the Big Accountancy firms, in recent years. It is hard to think of any of them who are beyond reproach.

The people on this list of non-executtive directors, given their backgrounds, seem likely to be able to ask some awkward questions of Sir Stephen Lander and Bill Hughes, if necessary, although whether they get any straight answers is another question.

It is striking that there is no ex Police Chief Constable on this list of non-executive directors.

2 wtwu, re lack of soca web presence.
the absence is odd but then the plan must b 2 fill as many of the 4-5k posts from existing ncs, ncis, c&e so that soca can hit the grnd running - assuming that the majority go over. and that is the caveat of course. no further news on how negotiations r going & whether the police federation have changed their opposition & advice 2 serving officers not 2 sign up(concerning agreements on terms & conditions).
the whole thing must b a nightmare exercise in change management 4 all concerned. unless there is a crisis in staffing levels i.e. staff don't transfer, soca will need 2 get bedded down as an organisation 1st b4 active recruitment proceeds & they make the move towards civilianisaiton???

How do you actually apply for SOCA?

If you have to ask how to join, then maybe it is not for you.....Or put another way: you can't join something that doesn't exist (yet)

I would be interested in working in a HR admin role, please advise when these vacancies are likely to arise

I guess you'd have to go through the home office recruitment department, their website will help. Get in touch with them and see if they can direct you.

There is a current shortfall of staff for SOCA which stands at approximately 40% of the original target, from what I hear, they plan to carry out a second recruitment exercise across HMRC Law Enforcement, and if all else fails, will then resort to external recruitment. When the original exercises were run, people did not know what role they were applying for, where they would be based etc. and up to the point of transfer, are still confused about their actual roles. The internal website is up and running, and the majority of the staff have already gone across; many of those waiting to transfer, have been carrying out SOCA work in the interim.

@ who me? - thanks for that update.

It is interesting to see that the common practices of "management consultant" led organisational mergers is being followed to the letter - speculation and uncertainty about jobs, job locations, titles, reporting lines, empires etc. going on over a period of months.

Have SOCA staff had the "confidential" staff opinion surveys and the "talking heads" video lectures by the top management, repeating what you knew from yesterdays press releases or last weeks internal emails and rumours ?

Presumably many of the people actually doing the work will be doing almost exactly what they used to do before, but perhaps with a different title.

Any sign yet of a SOCA specific esprit de corps developing, or is it all too early ?

Have all the office stationary and business cards been printed yet ? If so, then expect the image re-branding consultants to be working on the changing the name of the agency and on the re-design of all logos and corporate graphics, intranet / internet domain names etc.

8-)

wtwu,

the most useful information for those moving across came from sources other than SOCA including media. Most people have felt in limbo, and had to make major life changing decisions about their future work/relocation based on very little information. People who applied were mapped (by computer) to jobs based on their aplication forms (I know personally that some of these individuals are completely unsuitable for the roles they have been given) and I know a lot of 'dead wood' have gone across - these individuals will actually have to work now after skiving for many years just talking the job (it will be interesting to see if SOCA actually stand by their word and kick out ineffective staff after 6 months). Some good staff have gone across also.

The stationary, logos etc. are all complete, the logo is a panther jumping over a globe.

From what I hear, the staff currently working in SOCA are afraid to do anything (vast array of legal implications attached to the work). SOCA structure is more like a business than a government agency, fully embracing things like knowledge management, innovation, keeping the workforce happy etc. etc. etc.

wtwu,

the most useful information for those moving across came from sources other than SOCA including media. Most people have felt in limbo, and had to make major life changing decisions about their future work/relocation based on very little information. People who applied were mapped (by computer) to jobs based on their aplication forms (some of these individuals are completely unsuitable for the roles they have been given) and a lot of 'dead wood' have gone across(it will be interesting to see if SOCA actually stand by their word and kick out ineffective staff after 6 months).

The stationary, logos etc. are all complete, the logo is a panther jumping over a globe.

From what I hear, the staff currently working in SOCA are afraid to do anything (vast array of legal implications attached to the work). SOCA structure is more like a business than a government agency with less beurocracy.

Many staff are doing exactly the same work as before (although some excellent new, innovative areas being set up) titles have changed, i.e. moving toward knowledge officers rather than intelligence officers.

i want to become a spy if any1 can help plz email me plz plz pzlz

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Recent Comments

  • lidsmsrie: i want to become a spy if any1 can help read more
  • who me?: wtwu, the most useful information for those moving across came read more
  • who me?: wtwu, the most useful information for those moving across came read more
  • wtwu: @ who me? - thanks for that update. It is read more
  • who me?: There is a current shortfall of staff for SOCA which read more
  • snowcloud: I guess you'd have to go through the home office read more
  • Samina Aziz: I would be interested in working in a HR admin read more
  • F.U.B.A.R.: If you have to ask how to join, then maybe read more
  • aa: How do you actually apply for SOCA? read more
  • cDb: 2 wtwu, re lack of soca web presence. the absence read more

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers