In this posting I have set out to explore who they could be because he (the Education Minister) hasn’t told us. One would expect them to be the Attorney General, the Police, the Minister himself, and/or the States Employment Board when dealing with the subject of a Senior Civil Servant being named in connection with a Child Abuse trial.
On June the 3rd 2009 the then Attorney General, and now Deputy Balliff, William Bailhache released a Press Statement after deciding not to prosecute some alleged Child Abusers. The Press Statement was published by channelonline and can be read HERE
I reproduce a paragraph from that Press Release, where it says this.
The above paragraph basically explains that a suspect has not been proved innocent. The suspect could quite well be guilty but proving it in court is a different matter.
It is however legitimate to focus on whether there is any conduct or any matters relating to a suspect which, although not meeting the standards for criminal prosecution, cast doubt regarding their suitability to hold the position he/she might be in. Criminal charges have to be proven "beyond reasonable doubt" disciplinary issues have to be proven "on the balance of probabilities" which is a lesser test. In any event it is possible for action to fall short of being a "crime" but still be misconduct.
The other question is one of “confidence” in our Education Minister, a Senior Civil Servant and the department. How is it that a Police Chief can be suspended without due regard to due process on disputed allegations of a managerial nature, and a Civil Servant in the Education Department can be a suspect in a Child Abuse Investigation and remain in post? It just doesn’t stack up, it doesn’t make sense.
It is paramount that the public have confidence in public administration and parents must have the right to know, that any allegations involving Child Abuse, have been dealt with thoroughly, with no stone left un-turned. So far this doesn't look to have been the case. The Minister for Education Sport and Culture has been deafeningly silent after a Senior Civil Servant from his Department has been named in open court, by witnesses under oath, in connection with Child Abuse. Furthermore the Senior Civil Servant has been named in the "accredited" media, but still the Minister remained silent up until Deputy Shona Pitman asked him this question in the States.
“Following the naming of a senior Civil Servant from the Education, Sport and Culture Department in court by alleged victims within the current historic abuse proceedings, will the Minister give members and parents assurances that the matter has been fully investigated by his department?”. The audio of which can be listened to on TJW.
In answer(s) to that question, the Education Minister said things like “all States employees come under the remit of the State’s Employment Board” (S.E.B.). He also repeatedly said “all allegation had been thoroughly investigated by THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES” So we could be led into believing that the decision "not" to suspend this Senior Civil Servant was taken by the S.E.B.
The Education Minister goes on to say “the S.E.B. are the body that oversees all issues to do with staff”. So again it looks/sounds like the S.E.B. are wholly, or partly, responsible for any investigation concerning the Senior Civil Servant at the Education Department.
Deputy Shona Pitman then asks why the Civil Servant was not suspended and the Education Minister replies “I cannot answer for the States Employment Board”. (S.E.B.)
So from all those answers we can be forgiven for believing that the S.E.B. have investigated and concluded there was no need to suspend the Senior Civil Servant and he appears to be innocent of any wrong-doing. (Although that’s not how the former Attorney General explains it).
OK then, let’s buy into that scenario.
Why is that significant?
Well as we know the former Police Chief submitted a sworn affidavit. And in that affidavit he swears this.
"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.”
So if we are to assume that the Civil Servant named in the sworn affidavit is the same Civil Servant at the Education Department, and we accept that the former Police Chief did not commit perjury by knowingly giving false testimony in his affidavit, then it would appear that the CEO, Bill Ogley (of the State’s Employment Board) has said “the suspect had his total support and that “if anyone wants to get…….(the suspect)…….they would have to get me first”.
But this is all, of course, if we buy into the scenario, as we have been led to believe by the Education Minister, that this all has nothing to do with him and it’s all down to the S.E.B. Them being “The Appropriate Authorities”.
Right at the end of this question period, in the States, another member of the S.E.B. (I think it was Deputy Debbie de Sousa) stood up and said “The S.E.B. do not make judgments as to whether somebody is suspended or not”. So was the Education Minister being economical with the truth?
Who are “The Appropriate Authorities?” if it is the Police, and subsequently the Attorney General, then the suspect has not been proved innocent. If it was the States Employment Board then was Bill Ogley involved in any part of it? And if so doesn’t the Education Minister see any kind of a perceived conflict of interest there?
Far from instilling confidence in the Minister, the Senior Civil Servant and the Education Department, I’m sure the public, and in particular, parents of children in the Education Department, will be filled with terror and fear………………….I know I am.
We want "assurances" Deputy Reed, we want the truth, we should have the right to know that our children are safe and we still don't know who are the appropriate authorities?
Submitted by VFC.