The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

I can see some value in it, sir, but I can also see some value in another model, which is that the head of communications, which is Mr Shorthouse's remit, sits on our management board, what would be in the Met called the management board, therefore he is subject to cross-examination and questioning by myself, my deputy, my three ACCs, my director of finance and resources on a variety of different issues around how we're handling this story, how we're doing that, how our communications are going, what's this story all about, because he is in the cut and thrust of the management of the organisation on a daily basis.

I think that's a good model. It works, I believe, fairly well in Strathclyde -- more than fairly well, quite well in Strathclyde. It may not have worked elsewhere in other organisations. That may be a personality issue, I don't know. But I think if the person is at the senior level -- I think the danger -- sorry to go on -- is if they're not at that senior level and they're hidden away in their own specialism unwatched, then exactly the sort of thing you mentioned can become the case: I'll always give the story to X, because they look after us, I'll freeze them out.

If the media head is within the management board of the organisation, that's one of the things that would be brought out and would be questioned, and indeed in Strathclyde has been. How are we handling this story? Why is it going there? Why are we not doing this? Why are we releasing this now? Why are we not holding onto it? We look at all the different issues.

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