P Files--How far do you go with them at a department level?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Scally, Jun 8, 2009.

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  1. I wonder if anyone can lend me some advice regarding P Files, or more specifically Troop/Section personnel files. What is the official line on them? I have been to a few units before where it was highlighted on an Logistic Support Inspection that holding detailed information on soldiers at the department level is a big no no; when I mean detailed I am referring to the following areas: Passport Number and Dates, NOK, Family member names and DOB’s, Family Addresses, TV Licence Details, Copies of Full Driving Licences and Insurance Doc’s and so on.

    I was lead to believe that the only information that should be held by a department head covers areas that are required to allow the smooth running of the department i.e. Trade related information and basic personnel information such as, Service Number, DOB etc. All other information should be held by the clerks with the main P File both for traceability and security.

    It was recently highlighted on a Pre-ALSI that we should have detailed P Files in the department. I have and a look through a few JSP’s but they seem a little ambiguous. Can anyone point me in the right direction? This is a genuine question, not a Barrack Room Lawyer issue. I want to make sure I am going by the book when it comes to holding detailed personnel information on my guys.

    Many Thanks
  2. Why would you even need a lot of that information at department level?
  3. Quick answer I don’t know… basic information is okay and widely used at the department level, but more in-depth stuff would be used so rarely it would be in danger of going out of date by the time it is required.

    I get the feeling that when people make new forms up on their computer; they automatically try to populate the whole page with random information gathering exercises. Take driving licences and car insurance documents for instance, very useful in Germany but why do we need to gather that information in the UK? And passports, they are a legal document issued to an individual who is then legally responsible for its care and use. With that in mind, why is the security of the document being compromised by individuals wanting copies of it for their records, isn’t the passport number and date on JPA enough??
  4. TV Licence Details - Bit of a scientific wild arrsed guess here, but I bet you do that for the singlies but not the pads? Why is that?

    Copies of Insurance Doc’s - Why would you WANT that? I've seen them having to be shown annually to get a car pass by the juniors, but keeping a copy?

    Also - NO WAH - What's the ALSI? (I'm familiar with the LSI bit which I know is annual, has its name changed?).

    Well done for asking the question anyway, rather than just making it up as you go along, I'll be interested in any definitive answers.

    On the button!
  5. Arrr sorry, ALSI is Arms Logistic Support Inspection, same thing they have just changed the name, another exercise in randomness I guess.

    Your points are spot on to what I am thinking; why do we need all this information. I personally have always been a little reluctant when it comes to relinquishing my personnel details to someone who I think does not require it. I can understand a clerk in the process of their duties, but not a line manager.
  6. msr

    msr LE

    Sounds like a data protection disaster area to me.

    All the info you need should be held on JPA anyway. The rest is frankly bizarre.

  7. Mileage claims.

    You need to have business insurance to claim your mileage back for duty travel. I had an OC who refused to authorise any journeys using a private vehicle unless he'd seen a copy of your insurance certificate.
  8. We still run the risks of 'Old' meeting 'PC'. Years ago when greatest source of accurate detail on an individual was to be found in the Tp Comd/Sgt's notebook because they had the face contact with their people and had the time to corolate and confirm. 15 - 20 years of Cold War bored stupid routine allowed that to be verified.

    But we now find ourselves in the age of responsability (sorry - blame) and one point of entry information, legalised cr@p. All the information that any level of command requires is avail at the click of a button....problem one begins. Old school still requires returns from the unit level...why?? cos the system is not being used, or developed as it was promised in the user manual.

    What good is the notebook when the owner is deployed for 6 months away from the source because of a gap in manning??

    Why are management repeatedly punished for not being able to provide data that has rock-all to do with them when we are ordered to tell the soldiers that it is the 'individual's' responsibility to ensure that all the vehicle documents are in order or that the Emergency Contact details are up to date or their passport should be valid?

    Middle Management are always plagued with the same problems, too few people, too little control, too many returns of complete bone info required 10 minutes ago..... The systems are there, we need to understand them, use them and trust them. Before we can do that you as a Tp Sgt or Comd are piZZing in the wind.

    Where there is Blame...there is a Claim.....horse biscuits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. I can understand family details, passport number and run out date and driving license category details but as for insurance documents, tv licenses etc why should troop management need that information? I don't know of any landlord that asks to see a tenants tv license so why should the Army? I also don't know of another other employer who has to see insurance, MOT and car tax details before issuing car passes. The Army goes on about treating everybody like grown ups so why does it still treat us like children in some respects?
  10. I think this is because squaddies might have a tendency to park their wreck of a car on camps safe in the knowledge the poilice rarely go on to camps to check. There was a stolen car ring operating on St Georges camp in Bicester in the late 90s that went on for quite some time. (The bloke did eventully get caught).
  11. Department head level information should be work related, ie TOS dates, Due posting date, courses done, courses required, career quals.
    All information so that the section head can complete his G1 admin and ensures his men goto the promotion boards fully qualified and the soldiers career is managed correctly.

    Car tax, insurance, mot well lets leave that to the guardroom to check it at car pass issue/renewal.
    TV license, well again there is only so much you can do, leaflets, posters, tell them its the law, then leave it to the detector vans.

    People need to not get bogged down with filling out dross forms for the hell of it, or the old favourite, "Its the way its always been"
    We used to march into battle in three ranks wearing red tunics with white crosses on our chest, thank god someone saw a need for change.
  12. If I get audited on a claim I'll bring my insurance details in to show to the auditor, then take them away again. Why does a Tp / Pl / Sect Head need a copy???

    Who needs my TV License? The licensing authority and I'll show them that too. Why does a Tp / Pl / Sect Head need a copy???

    As Scally mentioned on his 1st post, the question is "specifically Troop/Section personnel files" and clarified on his 3rd post "I can understand a clerk in the process of their duties, but not a line manager".

    Moosaca - you can be my next RAOWO :D

    As plant_life and bohica said, why are we holding that crap?
  13. I have a duty of care to my soldiers.

    I prevent the young inexperienced soldier from making a fraudulent travel claim, because they have not got 'business use' on their motor insurance, by checking that they have the appropriate cover before I authorise the journey. In order to stop them having to produce their insurance documents every time I authorise them to make an official duty travel using their own private vehicle, I check the document once and keep a record of it. Every once in a while I get a soldier who tells me he did not realise that he needed ‘business use’ on his insurance.

    I prevent the young inexperienced soldier from getting fined for not having a TV Licence, whilst living in the block, because even though there are posters all over their barrack block, on every wall, in every corridor and foyer, they will try to claim that they did not know they needed a TV Licence, but I will check that they have one and keep a record of it.

    I also keep a record of my soldiers' passport details and much more, because it makes it easier for me.

    One unit I served at even kept a record of everyone's clothes sizes at sub-unit level. Do you know what? It was a bloody brilliant idea. Every time I deployed the SQMS had ordered all of the kit I needed and it actually fitted, because he knew what size I needed, without me having to go and tell him.

    I do not have a problem with keeping this information, or anyone else holding such information about their soldiers, but it should only be held as long as is absolutely necessary and the information must be protected. Herein lies the problem, we do not train our 'managers' in data protection and information management. I am actually quite glad that my unit has now switched to dii, even though it has been a turbulent transition; the 'memory stick' culture has ceased.
  14. You do not owe them a duty of care to make sure they have a tv license and all the correct categories on their car insurance. There is vicarious liability and there is taking things too far. I haven't heard of the tv licensing authority sueing a landlord for not ensuring his tenants hold a tv license. I haven't heard of a tenant sueing his landlord after they have been caught without a tv license because the landlord should have checked that they owned one. That is taking the whole duty of care thing to a stupid level.

    If you read the results of the Continous Attitude Surveys a lot of soldiers say they consider getting out because they are treated like kids. If you treat soldiers like children they will behave like children. It just causes resentment.

    We do hold clothing sizes because it makes kit issues a lot easier.
  15. B_AND_T

    B_AND_T LE Book Reviewer

    Well said Plant Life.

    We have got to let the soldiers take responsibility for themselves.

    They wanted PAYD because it gave them the choice. So they,eventually, got it. Now they moan about it but that's the nature of the beast. JPA also hands a certain amount of personal responsibility to them.

    If you keep an animal in captivity, feeding it, cleaning it, looking after it's every need what happens when you release it into the wild. It doesn't survive! This is what the army has been doing for far too long with their soldiers, look at the number of ex forces on the streets.

    The clothing idea is good, but if the information isn't on JPA you don't need it.