You can read them here
Once you have read them click here and play the Flash video.
Now consider this:
- the adjudicators are appointed by the NPAS Joint Committee (comprising members of the local authorities participating in the scheme) with the consent of the Lord Chancellor, not by the Lord Chancellor (as with the Congestion Charge Adjudicators)
- the local authorities pay NPAS 55p per PCN issued
- Manchester City Council acts as the 'Lead Authority' for NPAS and their Treasurer, Richard Paver, does the NPAS accounts.
- NPAS' accounts are audited by the same District Auditor as Manchester City Council
- NPAS employees pensions are contained within the Greater Manchester Pension Fund administered by Tameside Council
- Chief Adjudicator Caroline Sheppard trains the adjudicators.
There is more to come but do you now think that NPAS is independent, given the relationship between the NPAS and Manchester City Council, or even compliant with Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights?
Once we start to examine the competence of NPAS and its adjudicators we can see that they were still finding in favour of local authorities who were issuing non-compliant PCNs post the MacArthur v Bury (May 2005) decision. Indeed, the NPAS website contained a PCN which had no date of issue some 8 months after the MacArthur Circular was sent round the local authorities.
Now the question needs to be asked ... "the money that NPAS had from PCNs now found to be non-compliant and being written off by the local authorities ... where is the money now? Is it going to be given back to the local authorities? What will they do with it"
The adjudicator in my recent case refused to accept evidence on the Article 6(1) but I introduced the point anyway (for the benefit of the tape) and a number of pieces of evidence. This avenue, and the local authorities complicity will be expanded.
We would appreciate any commentary on the ability / legality of a local authority to enter into contractual obligations on behalf of a third party (ie. acting as the lead authority for the Joint Committee set up under section 101(5) of the 1972 Local Government Act and any further information on the financial relationships between NPAS and other bodies.
I am aware that a Police investigation has now commenced in Sunderland and the NPAS aspect will form a necessary part of any evidence.
Remember that Sunderland City Council's Assistant Solicitor told NCP Ltd. in an e-mail of 16th June 2005 to change the wording of the PCNs (to include a date of issue) without delay. NCP did not change them until 4th and 30th November 2005 for the handwritten and computer generated PCNs respectively.
Over 12,000 PCNs were processed which Sunderland Council were aware were non-compliant. NCP issued them knowing that they had been told to change the tickets.
Sunderland City Council processed them knowing that they had told NCP to change the tickets.
Over 12,000 people suffered a direct financial loss as a consequence... and NPAS benefitted from this at the rate of 55p per ticket.
I think that matters are about to become a little more serious.