New Zealand Police has announced the release of a public consultation paper on a proposal for Cost Recovery.
Police is seeking public feedback on the possible introduction of charges for the police vetting service.
Mike Webb, Acting General Manager Strategy, Policy and Performance says: “like other public sector agencies, Police is constantly looking to deliver better quality services as efficiently as possible.
"Police provides most policing services free of charge to the general community as part of general taxation, but there are times when some services go beyond these responsibilities and introducing cost recovery may be appropriate.
"New Zealand is one of few modern Police forces that does not already have a cost recovery system in place.
"This is not a new idea; a number of government agencies already recover the costs of providing certain services, as do Police in other jurisdictions", he says.
Cost recovery for certain Police services will enable Police to focus its resources on front-line services and preventing crime.
Police is considering cost recovery as part of the Policing Excellence programme, which is aimed at ensuring Police is better equipped to deal with changing demands.
This proposal will not affect the core services provided by Police, which will continue to be provided free of charge to any person.
Police does not intend to charge for services where that may impact adversely on public safety.
Police is committed to ensuring the provision of services is fair and accessible for all New Zealanders. For this reason any fee for the vetting service would be set at a level that is reasonable, and encourages and assists organisations to undertake vetting checks.
Some fee exemptions may be considered, for example for registered charities.
The public will have from 11 December 2012 until 5 March 2013 to make submissions on the proposals. A recommendation will then be made to the Government on the next steps, which may involve an amendment to the Policing Act 2008.
For more information, visit the Police website at: www.police.govt.nz/costrecovery.