Regular readers will be aware of the name “Bill Ogley” He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the Council of Ministers (COM). Which means he is the island’s most Senior Civil Servant and Chief Advisor to the Government.
“The third example I have chosen relates to a Strategic Planning Workshop held at the St Pauls Centre on Friday 24th October 2008. The Workshop was attended by a number of senior public servants including myself and the Chief Executive. At the commencement of the workshop the Chief Executive asked for silence and said that he had an announcement to make. He named a senior civil servant who was present. The person named is a suspect in the abuse investigation but has not been suspended. The Chief Executive said that the suspect had his total support and that “if anyone wants to get…….(the suspect)…….they would have to get me first”. This announcement was applauded by some but not all of the persons present. I took it as a further indication of the “in crowd” closing ranks against the “threat” of the abuse enquiry. The Chief Executive later played a significant role in my suspension.”
It is widely believed the Civil Servant mentioned works “still” at our Education Department, although this is unsubstantiated.
T he feeling in the room was tense and there was general talk about the questions asked by the Health Minister and the need for some sort of action in response. I had the feeling that “something was going on” to which I was not a party. After the meeting the Chief Executive, Bill Ogley, asked me to stay behind. Also remaining were the head of States H.R., Ian Crich, the Chief Officer of Health, Mike Pollard and the then Chief Officer of Education, (Tom McKeon who has since retired.) The Chief Executive said that it was anticipated that the Council of Ministers would tomorrow be asked by the then Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Health Minister and that this could result in his removal from office. I was then told of measures that had apparently been put in place to facilitate this. I was told that the islands Child Protection Committee (C.P.C.) was due to meet at the same time as we were meeting and that arrangements had been made for it to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Minister. It was then suggested that as the heads of the relevant public services we should do something similar and that this would give support to the proposal that the Chief Minister would bring forward the next day.
I was shocked by this and initially did not know what to say. I eventually made two points. Firstly I said that the Minister was entitled to ask difficult questions. As I saw
things that was his role and it was our role to provide a response, and secondly, even if that was not agreed, what was being proposed was civil servant and police engagement in political activity. I stated clearly that I did not see that as acceptable and that I would have nothing to do with it. At this point the Chief Executive asked me to leave the meeting which I did. I then made contact with a police colleague who had been at the C.PC. and discovered that this colleague had also had left their meeting for similar reasons. Shortly afterwards we both made brief notes in relation to what had happened. This was my first noteworthy experience of the formation of an “inner circle” of politicised senior civil servants loyal to the Chief Minister. The Chief Executive and the head of H.R. subsequently played a significant role in my suspension.
So according to CPO Graham Power, Mr. Bill Ogley has been a busy little “B”ee! Some might say poking his nose in where it is not permitted.
It must be said that Bill Ogley denies these allegations, although he hasn’t denied them by a sworn Affidavit, because he doesn’t have to, our Chief Minister has just taken his word for it. That's how things are done in Jersey!
Within the next few days I shall be publishing a few more “bits and pieces” involving Mr. Ogley, including an e-mail exchange involving Lenny Harper, Graham Power and Mr. Ogley. So you can view this as a little introduction.