Saturday, 10 September 2011

Will Scrutiny Pay the Price?

In Part two of this exclusive and in-depth interview with the Chairman of Home Affairs Scrutiny Sub-Panel, Deputy Trevor Pitman, we discuss the “Mind Boggling” bill sent by BDO/Alto to the Home Affairs Department for having to give evidence to the Panel.

We discuss the possibility as to whether this could be seen as a form of intimidation. We believe it is unprecedented that a Scrutiny Panel has been presented with a bill from witness(es) that could indeed be subpoenaed to attend. BDO/Alto, according to Deputy Pitman, even sent in a bill for a letter they wrote trying to get the Deputy off the Panel!

Deputy Pitman, tells us in this interview, that he believes “Scrutiny is finished”, a view shared by many and it certainly would be finished if the bill of £14,000 gets paid to BDO/Alto, who have already been paid £64,000 of Tax Payers money for a Report, that many believe, was a complete waste of time………..And money.

Not only do a number of people believe it was a waste of time and Tax Payers money, but according to David Warcup, had the potential of undermining the Wiltshire Review that was going on simultaneously. It also, according to Mr. Warcup, had the potential of being perceived as a personal attack on Lenny Harper.

The JEP, and other “accredited” media, certainly tried to use it as an attack on Lenny Harper with their misleading Headlines and selective reporting on “The Lavish Lifestyle of Lenny Harper” something the Report actually bares little resemblance to.

If BDO/Alto get paid this £14,000 then Scrutiny will be finished in no time (if it’s not already). Scrutiny will not have the budget to scrutinize anything if they have to pay witnesses astronomical amounts of money for turning up to give evidence. Deputy Pitman has vowed not to pay them a penny.

Question is “Will Ian Le Marquand set ANOTHER PRECEDENT and pay it?

Part one of this interview can be viewed HERE


  1. Excellent Team Voice! Deputy Trevor Pitman has to be one of the most articulate States members ever. Plain talking and no messing around. But what I like about him most of all is he just comes out with total common sense. Being charged by a private company for the letter they wrote to try and get rid of you? Like Stuart says you just couldn't make it up!

  2. Scrutiny has no teeth, it should have, shame it doesn't because if it did it could do some real good for the island as we do need checks and balances.

    As for that bill, I do not think you would find anyone who would not find it outrageous.

  3. Submission by Tom Gruchy to Senator Philip Ozouf’s Blog dated 9 September 2011 regarding Lime Grove House – St Helier.

    “I have attended most of the Scrutiny hearings regarding this failed project and been impressed by the professionalism of expert witnesses.
    On the other hand, I have been appalled at the blustering and bullying attitude of yourself and the inconsistencies of your evidence.
    In spite of the large team assembled by your Treasury Department to support you and your actions I have heard more than enough to convince me that your decision to abandon this project was wrong.
    Your decision is certainly not supported by the spurious reasons offered before the Scrutiny Panel or the written statements offered by you since.

    The financial loss to the public of Jersey by your personal decision could be many £millions and this is of course particularly blameworthy since you are forcing cuts and your CSR policies elsewhere.

    The further delays in providing adequate accommodation to an already demoralised Police department is just one part of the considerable practical, public loss arising from this and related developments.
    The reputational damage that has been caused to so many by your words and actions must also be considered and it is possible that legal actions will follow from those who have been damaged.

    All in all, I hope that you will take the earliest opportunity to step back and to reconsider your ministerial position. I have no doubt that the Scrutiny Panel must publish a damning report of your department’s behaviour very soon. But we are now in the midst of Jersey’s first ever General Election and there are many other important issues that need to be discussed with the electorate. If you now allow this particular failure to dominate the elections and if you leave the public in any doubts about your political future it will be especially unfortunate for the democratic process.

    Of course, the failure is a very important issue and needs to be discussed as part of the election process but such matters in Jersey have a habit of dragging on for years with reports being made upon reports - and those who are blameworthy allowed to slip away into the fog.

    On this occasion, I would ask that you make the clearest statement now about your own position. I think that your resignation is inevitable but I am aware of the personal magnitude of such a decision for you since politics is an important part of your life.
    In all the circumstances I invite you, in the public interest, to make the appropriate announcement.”

  4. You have presented this issue from one perspective.

    The alternative is of course that the Scrutiny panel chose to call a professional, private sector firm into their review process. In order to prepare for their appearence at the panel, man hours would have been spent on preparation, and for the time their representatives appeared, for which employees would have expected to be paid.

    Do you therefore think that BDO should be expected to suffer a loss (having paid employees but received nothing in recompense) simply because this is a government sponsored review ?

    It would appear that scrutiny should have asked whether there would be a charge beforehand, rather than assuming all appearances at their review would be voluntary, and done out of the goodness of people's hearts.

    On this basis, Scrutiny made the error, so scrutiny should foot the bill, and perhaps they should prepare more professionally in future.

    Oh, and taxpayers are paying the wages of all those states members involved, so lets not pretend this was ever free of charge to the taxpayer.

  5. Then maybe BDO will think twice about working for the states again.

  6. I’d be just as interested in finding out how BDO/Alto do their sums. They charged the States (Tax Payer) £64,000 for a Report that took 18 months to complete. They spend a little over an hour at a Scrutiny hearing and the bill comes to £26,000?

    It would also be interesting to find out how much it costs to send a letter, from BDO trying to get the Chairman removed from the Scrutiny Panel?

  7. It would also be very interesting to know how similar the letter sent by this company attempting to remove Deputy Pitman was to the one we heard about from Ian Le Marquand? My guess is almost identical. Have you seen them? But your correspondent just doesn't get it. People cannot just opt out because they are a private company. They can be forced to appear. If the BDO review is half as flawed as is suggested from reading some of the media reports then maybe they should be worrying about whether they will have to pay back their fee?

  8. I wonder if Scrutiny could look into the land re-zoning scandal allegations regarding Tel Boy. He who is too scared to stand down here in St. Clement where he lives because he knows how unpopular he is. Vote Dave Cabeldu for Deputy and vote Dopey Ann out!

  9. Never thought I would EVER see myself saying this but "credit to Matthew Price".

    Each weekday morning (9 - 10am), in the run-up to the election, BBC Radio Jersey are having two of the candidates in the studio to answer questions from listeners and from Matthew himself.

    This morning was the first of this series where the guests were sitting Senator Freddie Cohen and Chris Witworth.

    Matthew ran a tight ship, challenged the candidates, didn't allow waffling, or wriggling, exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, although there weren't many, if any, strengths from either candidate IMO.

    He (Matthew) came across as fair, objective, and un-bias, let's start seeing (hearing) more of this from BBC Jersey. He did however leave their official "Political Reporter" seriously wanting. Thank god there were no school girl giggles and the subject was treated with the seriousness that it deserves.

  10. Chris Whitwell on BBC radio this morning . Thinks HDLG blown out of proportion, and people should move on. Pity seemed like a decent chap. No vote from me.

  11. Now the husband is on the attack.
    From Robert Kisch - JEP 12th September 2011
    Carrie Modal’s stinging rebuke (JEP 30 August) to my wife Astrid’s letter (JEP 2.9.2011) appears to have been written by one of the civil rights specialist lawyers brought in to handle the compensation project (JEP 26 August).
    This revolves around the importance of justice. There are always two sides to a case. What was then considered normal ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ to instil discipline, is today a criminal offence. The results are highlighted by media reports of anti-social behaviour associated with an unbridled generation more familiar with electronic devices than schooling. It is this useful energy which needs to be guided from early years. How else do you train a puppy?
    Claiming financial compensation for long past events still requires irrefutable proof in the interests of justice. When evidence is merely memory scars, this can be presented by specialist lawyers as necessary proof. But then, what about my wife, whose mental scars include that of a refugee from Russian torture, rape and execution as well as starvation and bombing by the Royal Air Force and American Air Forces. Does she, with thousands of others, have a claim? At that time is was normal to get on with surviving and working to make a new life. Claiming on a benefit system didn’t come into it. So why should she, and I for that matter, pay cash for something we had nothing to do with.

    Of course, we now live with a benefit culture paid for by all, whether this is right or wrong. The letter by Simon Wells (JEP 2 September) makes this point.

    Villa Martinique, Chemin du Moulin, St Ouen.

  12. VFC - what are this pair on? I'm sorry because they are obviously an elderly couple, but if what Mrs Kisch allegedly suffered is fact, it was not at the hands of people who were employed to care for children, but rather the unfortunate ravages of war.

    Furthermore his 'dig' at the Royal Air Force and American Air Forces indicates that there is still a lot of bitterness there about what was a war, not a care home environment. Therein lies the vast difference.

    Sorry Mr and Mrs Kisch, this will not wash with me or any abuse survivor. One was not controllable, the other most certainly WAS!


  13. Jill.

    Probably one of the most disgusting things about this is that the JEP churn this tripe out. There should be some kind of level of decency and taste where they would refuse publication of such letters.

    They should never, in my opinion, have published Mrs. Kisch's original distasteful letter. They (the Filthy Rag) should have left it after they had published Carrie's response.

    Now they have published Mr. Kisch's equally distasteful letter Carrie should be given the right of reply, which I hope she uses.

    Then that should be an end to it. The Kisch duo are doing so much harm to Abuse Survivors, and the reputation of our island. It certainly won't look good on the world/international stage if the Kisch duo are seen to be representative of Jersey folk.

  14. Has the Rag apologized for the fake letter attacking Shona Pitman, Stuart and Geoff Sothern yet? I haven't seen anything. If this doesn't appear soon I suppose it at least blows out of the water any pretence of fair election coverage from them.

    Differnt but related point. Here are my predictions for the St. Helier No. 2 result. Not scientific just friends in my immediate area.

    Elected (no particular order)

    Pitman, De Sousa & Southern


    4th - Manning
    5th - Le Main
    6th - Briantz
    7th - Raymond

    The only thing I would add is that if Le Main should be convicted of anything to do with these on-going corruption allegations then he will end up bottom.

  15. Ten Establishment Candidates returned unopposed

  16. Big Trev.

    Are you able to tell us how much the "Dear John" letter cost in order to get you thrown off the panel?

    Could be a lucrative business venture in the making here. We send somebody a letter that they don't want and them charge them a fortune for it!

    What do you think?

  17. Hi VFC.

    I'm back again, with more Question's Without Answer's from yesterday.

    How does Senator Ozouf get away with it. He was talking nearly all afternoon & we are none the wiser.

    If you & your reader's would like to listen to some of the Question's you can HERE

  18. "The Kisch duo are doing so much harm to Abuse Survivors, and the reputation of our island. It certainly won't look good on the world/international stage if the Kisch duo are seen to be representative of Jersey folk."

    - amazing how selective they are when it comes to 'shafting Jersey internationally'! :)

  19. BDO Alto may be vulnerable to charges it was demanding a "bribe" for making itself answerable to the government of Jersey. It would be astonishing if BDO Alto followed through on any threat to require payment for having to answer questions in relation to it's own "good use of taxpayer monies." After all, when officially charged with determining whether the police had obtained value for the tax money spent, BDO Alto was highly critical. The irony of that is breathtaking.

    Jersey cannot afford to be seen as a place where an accounting firm can demand outsize sums to answer the scrutiny questions of one of its largest clients, in fact, it's most important client, which is the Jersey government. Does BDO Alto not worry that such shameful behaviour could put its reputation at risk?

    No firm demands payment for participating in any democratic government's oversight inquiry regarding
    its own performance for that government.

  20. Here is how our politicians voted on Deputy Trevor Pitman's SUCCESSFUL Proposition to have an open vote for CHIEF MINISTER

  21. Yippee - well done Trevor. Common sense (just about) prevailed, and the 'contres' were not unexpected.

  22. Who would openly aligne themselves with either the Champion of the Greedy tax dodgers - Ozouf, or the Bumbling Buffoon who cares more about a vebdetta against Graham Power than he does about uncovering abuse - Le Marquand? Answer - nobody worth a vote from any self respecting Jersey citisen.

  23. Just to let Ian (JEP) know that posting to his blog are still getting erased/removed at "publish your comment" stage.