Monday, 2 August 2010

How did we get into this mess?


This next instalment of briefing notes from Graham Power QPM sent to all “accredited” media sets out a few more “facts” that have been missed by our “accredited” media. Indeed one could be forgiven for believing the “accredited” media didn’t receive them at all!!

Once more Team Voice are pleased to be able to fill the massive void left by our “accredited” media and have our reader(s) that much more informed.

Will Senator Ben Shenton as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee be instigating a review or enquiry into how Ian Le Marquand was willing and able to spend probably close to two million pounds on something he apparently knew was never going to come to anything?

Just what were/are Ian Le Marquand’s motives?

This briefing note alone should be enough to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Home Affairs Minster.

Briefing note 4.

This note has been issued to assist editors in reporting issues relating to the decision by the Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Ian Le Marquand, to abandon all disciplinary proceedings.

Topic:

How did we get into this mess?


Among the many comments that have been made over the 21 months of my suspension some have stood out and have been repeated by a number of independent sources. Among these is the statement that no private sector organisation would get itself into such a costly mess. A suspension which carries on for 21 months, a bill of over one million pounds, and the abandonment of the case without a single disciplinary charge being brought, is hardly the kind of thing which would be looked upon as best practice in HR management..So how was this mess created and how could we have got out of it?

It might be best go back briefly to the situation in November 2008. There had been an election. A new government was about to take office. During the changeover period the outgoing Home Affairs Minister takes the only significant decision of his political career by suspending the Chief Officer of Police on the strength of a disputed letter from the Deputy Chief Officer (who is then given a pay rise and made Acting Chief Officer.) We will soon receive an independent report on this sequence of events. So far nobody has expressed confidence that it will be positive news for the Government.

In November 2008 I was already well past my official retirement date. After some discussion I had earlier agreed to stay on and provide continuity during a challenging period. But this decision conflicted with a number of family priorities and was becoming a source of difficulty. I had by that time privately decided that once the new Council of Ministers had been appointed it would be appropriate for me to have discussions with the new Ministers regarding my future. After a difficult period I could see the argument for a “fresh start” and would have been content to retire in 2009. This was not widely known at the time but it has become widely known since. My initial plan to discuss retirement in early 2009 is set out in my statement to “Operation Haven” and other correspondence with the Minister. Since the middle of 2009 he has been aware that the suspension was being sustained against an officer who otherwise might already have retired.

Opportunities to bring this expensive matter to an end, and for all parties to move on to other things, have occurred at regular intervals. In early 2009 a number of concerned States Members urged the Minister to take a fresh look at the situation and to seek a way out before more expenditure was incurred. The Constable of St Helier, Simon Crowcroft, brought a proposition to the States seeking a quick informal review. This was narrowly defeated after the Minister gave assurances about progress and timescales. The Minister then pressed ahead with the process under the disciplinary code.

Further opportunities for reflection arose in the summer of 2009 during my application for a judicial review of the suspension. During that case the extent to which I was being subjected to “dismissal by stealth” was subject to a number of exchanges. During that hearing there appeared to be a general acceptance from all parties, including myself, that a point had been reached at which a return to work was improbable. It is unlikely that any private sector organisation would have pressed ahead with a long and expensive disciplinary process at that point. The Minister did press ahead. While we all have different styles of doing things, it has appeared to many observers that the Ministers approach to this matter has been excessively bureaucratic, slow, legalistic, and obsessed with following process at the expense of seeking an actual solution to the situation he was managing. Pragmatism, imagination, and a desire to bring the issue to an end have not been notable characteristics.

Towards the end of 2009 I became increasingly frustrated with lack of progress and made it clear that when it got to 2010 I would “name the day” on which I would retire. In January 2010 I confirmed that I would retire on 20th July 2010. I gave a number of reasons for this decision which included my view that the disciplinary process had at least another 12 months to run and that under my contract I had to retire before the end of the year come what may. From the documents I have seen it appears to be clear that not only did I know, but the Minister also knew in early 2010 that there was no longer enough time left to finish the disciplinary procedure. Yet he pressed ahead regardless.

Editors may wish to enquire whether those with a responsibility for the oversight of public finances are taking an interest in this aspect. There may well be questions about the appropriateness, or even the legality, of the significant expenditure incurred in relation to the disciplinary process which was incurred after it became clear that the process would never be finished.

At this point it might be worth recording some reflections on the mystery of what the Minister and those supporting him actually hoped to achieve through the disciplinary procedure. It is true that after a detailed and lengthy procedure a Chief Officer can be dismissed. But what does “dismissal” actually mean for someone who is already past retirement age? So far as I can work out it just means that he or she has to retire when dismissed. But I wanted to retire anyway. The process to dismiss the Chief Officer of Police involves an investigation (achieved) followed by a formal meeting with the Minister (this was not achieved at the time of my retirement nor was any subsequent part of the process.) After the meeting there then has to be a formal hearing. After the hearing the Chief Officer has a right of appeal to an independent tribunal. If it is still considered that he should be dismissed then the Minister must bring a proposition for debate in the States. It is estimated that the time needed from the first meeting to the debate in the States is about one year. So if the Minister had managed to take the case all of the way through the process and achieve my dismissal my “punishment” would be to retire much later than I intended. There would however have been the compensation of the additional salary which would have been paid meanwhile.

So what did he hope to achieve at the end of it all? What was the point of all this expense and effort?

24 comments:

  1. You keep on saying its a mess yet it isn't reported as a mess anywhere else but only here? So why is that? Believe it or not but life moves on and nothing you write on here will be acted upon by anybody in the States anymore because this is over.

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  2. I am sorry that the last commenter has missed the point completely. But in order to help the commenter here is a sentence from the main text of the Blog.

    "Once more Team Voice are pleased to be able to fill the massive void left by our “accredited” media and have our reader(s) that much more informed."

    Hope that helps you.

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  3. The machinery of Government has brought the police force into disrepute. Sadly this has been done to cover up poor decisions by Crown officers in child abuse cases. To this day people in significant posts have yet to account and the raft of voluntary redunancy is a cover up to pay off the incompetent staff. The tax payer will pay £6 million to make supposed savings in the States spending.
    Mr Power have a happy retirement and forget Jersey, your reputation is not stained by these events.

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  4. You only report it because nobody else in Jersey is actually interested in this as a story anymore. Sorry but that is the truth and where you go from here with this exhausted story god only knows because it is becoming cumbersome.

    Why not try a new direction?

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  5. When are we getting Napier that is what I want to know?

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  6. The other question is "how much" of the Napier Report will we get?

    One would imagine the old "redaction machine" will be getting flashed up again after its massive workload on the Wiltshire Report.

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  7. [Anonymous said...
    You only report it because nobody else in Jersey is actually interested in this as a story anymore. Sorry but that is the truth and where you go from here with this exhausted story god only knows because it is becoming cumbersome.]

    The poster of this comment is yet another one who contradicts.

    This poster was interested enough, to not only read this new briefing, but even take the time to make a comment!!!

    [Why not try a new direction?]

    I think that is something that will follow in due course. Lets face it, one cannot berate for alleged overspend on expenses (a small % of the overall sum) without asking why spend over a million pounds to do nothing!!!

    So yes, who WASTED a million pounds, ILM!, probably, he will have to resign.

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  8. Exhausted story? I don't think so. In fact it gets more intriguing as time goes on, and I for one am far from tired of it.

    So what do you think Anonymous about the huge amounts of money squandered on the Wiltshire report? That which the public paid for and that which we only saw at worst 10% of and at best 30% of. That which resulted in so many delays that even if disciplinary action were required it was so far overdue that it would never have happened.

    And yes, I really do not see how Napier (again probably very costly and again much later than promised)can be redacted to any great degree. There are no reasons for names to be 'blanked out' as the main players are known to one and all by now. Let us have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth for a change please Mr Le Marquand.

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  9. "You only report it because nobody else in Jersey is actually interested in this as a story anymore. Sorry but that is the truth and where you go from here with this exhausted story god only knows because it is becoming cumbersome"

    Dude can you do us all a favor and F*** Off, you come on here telling us this telling us that how no one is interested, well you are right if anyone is interested in your Cr*p they can shove to the other blog where you post the same crap.

    You then come on my blog and post even more crap, your crap goes along these lines

    All wasting your time... Crap

    I worked with ILM.... crap

    I know Di Simon....crap

    I know bloody everybody.....crap

    I jerk off on the Fast Blog.... correct

    I have known a bent copper for 30yrs.....crap

    crap crap crap all bloody crap

    We work to hard for your 1 second crap

    Im sick of you now dude so please just F*** Off, do you get the message? get some bloody help like women do when they want to stop eating cake. Put a sticker in the top corner with " DO NOT COMMENT" On it, even when your finger is hovering about the Enter Button " JUST SAY NO" remember Zamo at Grange Hill, he showed the way.

    All i,m saying is no more of your crap

    Thanks

    rsx

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  10. It might be best go back briefly to the situation in November 2008. There had been an election. A new "government was about to take office. During the changeover period the outgoing Home Affairs Minister takes the only significant decision of his political career by suspending the Chief Officer of Police on the strength of a disputed letter from the Deputy Chief Officer (who is then given a pay rise and made Acting Chief Officer.) We will soon receive an independent report on this sequence of events. So far nobody has expressed confidence that it will be positive news for the Government"

    So we await Brian Napier, well all the letters have gone out so everyone is well briefed, Dave has handed his notice in and ILM will resign

    Lets build a finance centre whilst we wait, and if they dig down far enough they might find the Wiltshire report

    rs

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  11. With letters already sent out to Civil Servants and Politicians who are/will be critisized in The Napier Report, only goes to prove that the report is ready and obviously purposely being held back until some other news happens to stop this report being the only thing happening.

    What they do have to accept though is that it is now the Summer break and not much important new news is going to occur.

    Therefore what are they waiting for?!

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  12. Couldn't help but notice the photo you use of ILM - AKA 'Sir Bungle' Of Jersey - looks remarkably like some kind of police mug shot! be a bit ironic wouldn't it if it turned out that the old Operation Blast boys had a nifty little file on Sir Bungle?

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  13. Rico Rant at 2 August 2010 18:45

    Well done sir - I'll give you 9/10 for that well deserved rant.

    You would have got 10/10 but there were a couple of grammatical errors :-)

    The Beano is not the Rag

    ReplyDelete
  14. " Anonymous said...

    You only report it because nobody else in Jersey is actually interested in this as a story anymore."

    When did the population get asked their opinion on this? I never got the email/letter/phone call. Who should I now contact to get my view on the list?

    "Sorry but that is the truth"

    It's the truth, is it? Then it can proven. So you'll be happy to explain exactly how you managed to ask the opinion of 100,000 people upon this matter. And explain how you forgot to ask me, every islander I personally know, and seemingly a number of people who've commented here, past and present.

    "and where you go from here with this exhausted story god only knows"

    From what I'm seeing on this blog (and a number of others), a stream of new revelations are what has been keeping this story going on for so long. Hardly "exhausted", I'd say.

    "because it is becoming cumbersome."

    To whom is it becoming "cumbersome"? Certainly not to the readers of this blog who regularly visit to see what piece of the puzzle will next fall into place.

    The only people I would think consider this story "cumbersome" are those who would rather see awkward and embarassing facts about our government remaining locked tightly away and remain unspoken.

    "Why not try a new direction?"

    That'll be the direction of not questioning political shenanigans? The direction of not pursuing the awkward political stories ignored by the local media? The direction of not spreading public awareness of political events and intrigue? The direction of politely looking the other way and not rocking the boat?

    That'll be the direction of "The Jersey Way". Which I believe says everything we need to know about you and the real motivation behind your comment.

    I'd say you're the one who would be better served trying "a new direction".

    I must admit though, I do feel a guilty pleasure whenever I catch sight of a blatant slice of badly attempted spin such as yours on a local blog.

    Why?

    Because it serves perfectly to remind the public of why blogs like these are needed, and helps explain why they are growing in stature as news outlets whilst our Qusiling media gradually fades further into irrelevance with each passing year.

    So, thanks for your help.

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  15. Ahh Rico - you have such a way with words! Tell it like it is my friend.

    Wish I could express myself like that, but being a female it would not be as acceptable unfortunately.

    Funny how our Anonymous friend never answers any questions asked of him. Mind you that would require a bit of thinking and brain power so maybe that explains it.

    So, if as you maintain, you know ILeM, Diane Simon and Uncle Tom Cobley and all why not ask them why the information made available on VFC and Rico's blog have not been put in the public domain by the JEP and said Home Affairs Minister.

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  16. Rico Rant

    Well done. Sometimes trolls just need to be told to crawl back down the hole that they crawled from.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The briefing note that makes up the main text of this Blog, truly does deserve reading over again.......and again.

    This short paragraph from the text justs spells out the nonsense, in my opinion, that the Home Affairs Minister has created, at huge expense to the tax payer.

    "At this point it might be worth recording some reflections on the mystery of what the Minister and those supporting him actually hoped to achieve through the disciplinary procedure. It is true that after a detailed and lengthy procedure a Chief Officer can be dismissed. But what does “dismissal” actually mean for someone who is already past retirement age? So far as I can work out it just means that he or she has to retire when dismissed. But I wanted to retire anyway."


    Sorry Senator Le Marquand but how can you expect people to take you seriously?

    Priceless absolutely priceless.

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  18. I too know Diane Simon, a nice enough old lady,,, but a churnalist in the great JEP tradition....not an investigative reporter or an analyst by any means.

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  19. "So if the Minister had managed to take the case all of the way through the process and achieve my dismissal my “punishment” would be to retire much later than I intended. There would however have been the compensation of the additional salary which would have been paid meanwhile."

    PRICELESS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous said...

    “ *** ** **** RAPED HERE 17/9/76 WHO WILL SAVE US"

    If the person that inscripted this sentence is reading this blog
    I will fight for justice for you. There are a lot of people out there that will carry on the fight until you get the justice you should have had years ago.

    Voiceforchildren, I Copied this from Rico's blog and have sent it to Stuart, Ian Evans and you .
    We must UNITE

    ReplyDelete
  21. Blogger Ex-Senator Stuart Syvret said...

    A reader say:

    "Stuart whats this about court order papers being served onto you today to closedown your blog?"

    Yes - great fun, isn't it? I've already established contacts with Chinese dissidents who are contending with exactly the same thing.

    Come to sunny, "respectable" Jersey - protected by the British establishment; Jersey - the place where political dissidents are oppressed - by child abusers.
    We must Unite

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  22. VFC - Your latest posting is headed "How did we get into this mess?"

    I think a large part of the answer must lie in the excellent, common-sense letter/article in today's JEP by Bob Hill. I think it explains fully the reasons why a number of States Members supported Mr Power and felt it right to question and challenge this whole sorry debacle.

    At this moment in time I am not sure if it will appear their on-line edition (doubtful), or whether there will be any comments permitted (doubtful!).

    If not, it may well be worth reproducing it on here VFC.

    Thank you Bob Hill.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jill.

    As you are aware I refuse to buy a copy of the Jersey Evening Post. I have looked at their online version and Deputy Hill's letter isn't on there yet.

    I will endevour to get a copy of the original letter and put it up as a Blog.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Surely they can't be that stupid?!

    If they get the blog closed down, not only will it live on in countless ways, but it would be a big story on many internet news sites! Talk about "shafting Jersey internationally", LOL, there would be no finer way to it!

    ReplyDelete