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PSI 23-2000 - Register of Freemasons

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					                                                                              Number

                           Prison Service Instruction                        23/200
                                                                               0
                           Establishing a Register of Staff’s Freemason
                           Membership

                           8100 - Recruitment, Promotion and exit of staff

                           Immediate                                     1 May 2001


                     CONTAINS MANDATORY INSTRUCTIONS
For Action                          Monitored by
Governing Governors, Personnel Staff Personnel Management Group

For Information                          On authority of
All Prison Service Staff                  Prison Service Management Board

Contact Point                             Other Processes Affected
Mike Allingham, Freemason Register        None
Co-ordinator, Room 226 Cleland
House. Tel: 020 7217 6755. Jenny
Hedge, Filling Vacancies Policy Unit,
Room 314 Cleland House. Tel:020
7217 6353


                                       NOTES
None



                                                                Issued
                                                                          28/03/200
                                                                          0


REGISTER OF STAFF’S FREEMASON MEMBERSHIP

Policy and Output

1.      This instruction implements Government policy in                  relation     to
        establishing a register of staff’s Freemason membership.

2.      In February 1998 the Home Secretary gave a public commitment,
        when giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, that he
        would introduce arrangements for the disclosure of membership of the
        Freemasons for certain categories of staff working in the criminal
        justice system, including the Prison Service. The reason the
        Government decided to pursue disclosure is concerned solely with
     dealing fairly and effectively with the legitimate public expectation that
     the rights and freedoms of all are properly observed and safeguarded
     in any dealings with the various parts of the criminal justice system.
     The Government have said that it is extremely important that the
     criminal justice system should be free from bias and for that to be seen
     to be the case. The Home Secretary is on record as saying that he
     does not find anything about the Freemasons offensive. However, he
     has said that membership of secret societies such as Freemasonry can
     raise suspicions of lack of impartiality or objectivity and it therefore
     important that the public know the facts. Although, for existing staff,
     disclosure is voluntary it is hoped that staff will provide the information
     requested.

3.   Given the variety and nature of the work in the Prison Service it is not
     possible to single out specific groups for inclusion or exclusion. The
     policy will therefore apply to all staff. For existing staff registration will
     be voluntary. For new appointees disclosure will be a condition of
     appointment.

4.   Use of the information disclosed by employees will be strictly
     controlled. Information about an individual’s Freemason membership
     will not be made publicly available without the informed consent of the
     person concerned, or in accordance with any legal requirements for
     disclosure.

5.   The register will be maintained by a dedicated team in Personnel
     Management Group who will have sole access to the register and be
     responsible for ensuring the strict confidentiality of the personal
     information provided.

Impact and Resource Assessment

6.   The Home Secretary has given a commitment that a register will be
     established for Prison Service staff.

7.   There will be some work initially for establishments in helping
     Personnel Management Group establish the register. A small team will
     be required to maintain the register at the centre and deal with
     applications for disclosure.

Mandatory Action

8.   By no later than 25 April 2000, Personnel Offices in establishments
     must issue a copy of the letter attached at Annex A to every member of
     staff employed at the establishment. This includes casual staff but
     does not include consultants, contractors, agency and fee paid staff.
     Personnel Management Group will write to all staff employed in
     Headquarters Groups and Units, including Training Services.
9.    From the date of this notice all new staff recruited by the Service will be
      required to disclose their Freemasonry status as a condition of
      appointment. To avoid potential allegations of bias, applicants must not
      be asked to make a declaration until the selection process has been
      completed, but it must be made clear to them that the job offered is
      conditional on their making the declaration. Whether they declare
      themselves to be a member or a non-member must have no bearing on
      whether they get the job; all that is required is that they make a
      declaration one way or another. From the date of this notice all
      appointment letters issued must be amended to include the wording at
      Annex B. Applicants must be asked to complete a separate slip and
      return it with their letter of acceptance. Once the person has been
      recruited and their details entered onto the PERSONNEL system then
      a copy of their signed letter of acceptance, together with the separate
      slip on which they have disclosed their Freemasonry status, must be
      sent to room 226 Cleland House. The individual’s personal file must be
      marked to say they have completed and returned the Freemasonry
      declaration and that the form has been sent to Personnel Management
      Group. Under no circumstances may any record be kept locally, either
      on an individual’s personal file or elsewhere, of whether the person is a
      mason or not.

10.   Staff who move into the Prison Service on level transfer or promotion
      from the main Home Office, or another Home Office Agency, must be
      asked to provide information about their Freemasonry status on a
      voluntary basis before their transfer takes place, and the letter at
      Annex C must be used for this purpose.

11.   Staff who transfer, whether permanently or on secondment, into the
      Prison Service from another Government Department must be treated
      as new recruits for the purposes of disclosing Freemasonry
      membership. Disclosure must therefore be a condition of transfer. The
      letter setting out the terms and conditions of transfer must have the
      wording at Annex B included. If someone fails to declare their
      Freemasonry status their transfer must not proceed.

12.   Existing staff will be voluntarily required to inform Personnel
      Management Group, on the form attached at Annex D, if their
      Freemasonry status changes. For new staff who, as a condition of
      appointment, have been required to make a declaration, any
      subsequent change of Freemason status must be disclosed to
      Personnel Management Group on the form at Annex D. The Staff
      Handbook will be amended in due course to reflect this.

13.   Staff in Personnel Management Group must maintain a register of
      staff’s Freemason membership. Details of membership will be held
      against a member of staff’s record on the PERSONNEL system. Only
      staff in the dedicated section working on the Freemason Register in
      Personnel Management Group will be able to view, enter or amend
      information on PERSONNEL about an individual member of staff’s
      Freemason membership. The Prison Service trade unions will be
      provided with the names of all those in Personnel Management Group
      with access to the information.

14.   From the information collected, the Freemason Register Co-ordinator
      will provide statistical information about Freemasonry membership in
      the Prison Service. Any statistical information provided must not,
      without the individual member of staff’s informed consent, identify
      whether an individual is a mason or not. Additionally, the Unit will look
      into allegations that a member of staff’s membership of the masons
      may have led to lack of impartiality or objectivity.

15.   Details of individual membership must be kept securely and disclosure
      of an individual member of staff’s membership may only be made with
      their informed consent.

Monitoring

16.   The Government is committed to establishing a register and Ministers
      are keen that the voluntary register is a success, and will therefore
      monitor the progress of the register. Setting up the register will
      generate a good deal of public and media interest.

17.   A dedicated team in Personnel Management Group will ensure the
      security and integrity of the information stored about an individual’s
      Freemason membership.

Advice and Information

18.   Further advice can be obtained from Mike Allingham or Jenny Hedge in
      Personnel Management Group on 020 7217 6755/6353.

19.   The Prison Service Trade Union Side, Prison Governors’ Association,
      Prison Officers’ Association, Joint Industrial Council and the Royal
      College of Nursing have been consulted over the contents of this
      instruction.




Gareth Hadley
Director of Personnel
                            RESTRICTED - STAFF


VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE OF FREEMASONRY MEMBERSHIP

Please tick appropriate box and complete personal details below.


        I am a Freemason, and am content for this information to be stored on
         my PERSONNEL record and used for statistical purposes
        I am not a Freemason, and am content for this information to be stored
         on my PERSONNEL record and used for statistical purposes
        I do not wish to declare whether or not I am a Freemason. I note that
         this response will be    stored on my PERSONNEL record.




 FULL NAME
 (IN BLOCK CAPITALS)


 GRADE


 ESTABLISHMENT/GROUP/UNI
 T


 NATIONAL INSURANCE OR
 DPS NUMBER


 SIGNED


 DATE


Please return completed form, in a sealed envelope marked “Restricted Staff”, to
Daniel Francis in room 226 Cleland House.
                                                                                                                ANNEX B

MODEL PARAGRAPH IN LETTER OFFERING AN APPOINTMENT

You may be aware that it is the Government’s policy to require all new
appointees to certain posts in the criminal justice system to declare whether or
not they are Freemasons. This policy applies to all Prison Service posts. This
offer of appointment is therefore conditional upon you completing the attached
declaration about whether or not you are a Freemason. It is not intended at
present that the information collected will be made public. It will be used for
statistical purposes only. If, in the future, it is to be made available publicly, the
informed consent of each individual affected will be sought.



The slip below must be reproduced and sent out with all letters of appointment.
An applicant must complete and return the slip before they take up the offer of
appointment. The slip must be sent to Personnel Management Group with a
signed copy of the applicant’s appointment letter. No record should be kept
locally of an applicant’s Freemasonry status.



................................................................................................................................
.....

DISCLOSURE OF FREEMASONRY MEMBERSHIP




                         I am a Freemason, and am content for this information to be
                          stored on my Personnel     record and used for statistical
                          purposes
                         I am not a Freemason, and am content for this information to be
                          stored on my Personnel      record and used for statistical
                          purposes
                                                                           ANNEX C

PERSONAL

From :


Date


Dear [NAME]

In February 1998 the Government announced a policy on disclosure of
Freemasonry membership affecting employees working in the criminal justice
system.

2.       This policy was introduced in the Prison Service in March 2000. It applies
         to all staff, male and female, in all grades and areas of work. Disclosure is
         voluntary for existing staff but is a condition of appointment for newly
         recruited staff.

3.       I am therefore writing to you to ask you to provide details on the attached
         form about whether you are a member of the Freemasons. The purpose
         of requesting the information is to allow management to provide statistical
         information about membership, and deal with any allegations that a
         member of staff’s membership of the Freemasons has led to a lack of
         impartiality or objectivity.

4.       There will be no disclosure to the public of an individual’s status other
         than with their explicit consent. In the longer term, the information may
         need to be made available publicly but, before that happens, each
         individual concerned would be asked to consent to this use of the
         information about them.

5.       Finally, I should stress that this policy is being pursued throughout the
         criminal justice system, including the judiciary, the police and probation
         service. It is not intended to impugn the integrity of Prison Service staff,
         but rather to ensure increased confidence in the way the service carries
         out its responsibilities. So, although the declaration will be voluntary, I
         hope that you feel able to provide the information requested by completing
         the attached form and returning it to Daniel Francis in room 226 Cleland
         House by no later than [1 month from date of letter].
[Name]
[Grade]
                            RESTRICTED - STAFF

STAFF TRANSFERRING FROM THE MAIN HOME OFFICE OR ANOTHER
HOME OFFICE AGENCY TO THE PRISON SERVICE

VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE OF FREEMASONRY MEMBERSHIP

Please tick appropriate box and complete personal details below.


                I am a Freemason, and am content for this information to be
                 stored on my PERSONNEL record and used for statistical
                 purposes

                I am not a Freemason, and am content for this information to
                 be stored on my PERSONNEL record and used for statistical
                 purposes

                I do not wish to declare whether or not I am a Freemason. I
                 note that this response will be stored on my PERSONNEL
                 record.




NAME
(IN BLOCK CAPITALS


GRADE AT WHICH WILL
TAKE UP POST IN THE
PRISON SERVICE


NAME OF
ESTABLISHMENT/GROU
P OR UNIT TO BE
EMPLOYED IN


NATIONAL INSURANCE
OR DPS NUMBER
SIGNED


DATE


Please return completed form, in a sealed envelope marked “Restricted Staff”, to
Daniel Francis in room 226 Cleland House.
                                                              ANNEX D
                     RESTRICTED - STAFF


         NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE OF FREEMASON STATUS




NAME
(IN BLOCK CAPITALS


GRADE


ESTABLISHMENT/GROUP/UNI
T


NATIONAL INSURANCE OR
DPS NUMBER


                            My Freemasonry status has changed.
                            Please amend my PERSONNEL record as
                            indicated below.



                            I am now a Freemason, and am content
                            for this information to be stored on my
                            PERSONNEL record and used for
                            statistical purposes



                            I am now not a Freemason, and am
                            content for this information to be stored on
                            my PERSONNEL record and used for
                            statistical purposes



SIGNED
  DATE




Please return completed form, in a sealed envelope marked “Restricted Staff”, to
Daniel Francis in room 226 Cleland House.

				
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