Sunday, 28 May 2017

One Rule for One?

Following the debacle, and scandal, of the failed Jersey Innovation Fund (JIF) which could have cost the Jersey taxpayer millions of £'s. It has been reported that two out of the three independent reports into the failings of JIF will not be published. This is apparently because the remaining reports are of a disciplinary nature. (So what)?

The one report that has been published is reported to have exonerated Senator Philip Ozouf but leaves questions to be answered of Senators Alan Maclean and Lyndon Farnham. Questions the Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst doesn't seem able to understand or ANSWER.

Back in 2010 the then Home Affairs Minister, Ian Le Marquand, set a very dangerous precedent by (possibly illegally) publishing the disgraced and discredited Wiltshire report, as explained in the below e-mail sent to BBC Radio Jersey from VFC.

This is after his (ILM's) predecessor, and now St. Helier Deputy, Andrew Lewis (possibly illegally) suspended the former Police Chief DURING a major Child Abuse Investigation amid contradictory statements of which he remains UNACCOUNTABLE.

The Wiltshire Report (Operation Haven 1) was the prosecution case against the former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM for a supposed disciplinary hearing..........That never happened!

Despite there never being an "outcome" (because he robbed the former Police Chief of a disciplinary hearing) Ian Le Marquand still went ahead and appeared to have breached the Wilts confidentiality clauses, by publishing a heavily redacted form of its report.

Former CO Wilts Constabulary Brian Moore.

Operation Haven (1) Confidentiality Clauses.

"Highly Confidential – Personal Information

An independent disciplinary investigation by Wiltshire Police
Following the suspension of Chief Officer Graham Power of the
States of Jersey Police on 12 November 2008.

Obligation to confidentiality

1. Paragraph 1.2 of the discipline code (for Chief Officers of the States of Jersey Police) requires that all parties involved in the operation of this code will maintain confidentiality while proceedings are being progressed. The outcome of any particular case arising under the code will not, as a general rule, be publicised, but it is accepted that following the outcome of a particular case, the Home Affairs Minister and/or the States Employment Board and /or the Chief Officer, might decide that public disclosure is appropriate.

2. This Report contains personal data within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998, and Wiltshire Police would breach the first data protection principle if it were to disclose that information. Hence, the information is exempt under s.40(2) Freedom of Information Act 2000

3. This Report contains information that has been, and continues to be, held by Wiltshire Police for the purposes of an investigation which it has a duty to conduct and which ought not to be disclosed (under s.30 Freedom of Information Act 2000).

4. An obligation of confidence upon Wiltshire Police arises from the duty outlined at 1. Above, and disclosure of information would be likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Jersey. Information, therefore, ought not to be disclosed (under s.27 Freedom of Information Act 2000)."(END).

With all this in mind VFC sent the below e-mail to BBC Radio Jersey.

E-mail to BBC Radio Jersey.

"I heard on your radio programme this morning that the remaining reports into the Jersey Innovation Fund will NOT be published because they are of a disciplinary nature.

I'd like to cast your/the BBC's mind back to 2010 when the then Home Affairs Minister, Ian Le Marquand, (possibly illegally) published the prosecution side of a disciplinary report from the Wiltshire Constabulary (Operation Haven 1) against the former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM.

I reported here that a precedent had been set and asked the question"Does this now mean that any states employee, even if un-convicted of any wrongdoing can face the prospect of the publication of a disciplinary report all over the “accredited” media? Or will it, once more turn out to be one rule for one????????????????????????????????"

You/BBC might want to challenge the Chief Minister's decision to bury the JIF reports on the basis of the precedent set by Ian Le Marquand back in 2010?"(END)

Of course the BBC could find itself in a bit of a sticky situation considering that it, alongside all other local mainstream media, published the prosecution case against the former Chief Police Officer. But despite being leaked the Chief Officer's interim defence case refused to publish a single WORD OF IT. Indeed, to this day, NONE of the local mainstream media have published a single word of it despite it now being a publicly available document (somewhere) on the Jersey Child Abuse Committee of Inquiry's WEBSITE. And despite ALL local Mainstream Media reporting on the prosecution case.

We await to see if the BBC (or any of the Mainstream Media) will challenge the Chief Minister on his decision to bury these Jersey Innovation Fund disciplinary reports in light of the precedent set by Ian Le Marquand. Or will it be a case of "One Rule for One?"

A Precedent has been SET. (For some?)

Monday, 1 May 2017

Public to Discover How Much "openness" £50k can Buy?

Senator Ian Gorst

Tomorrow (Tuesday 2nd May 2017) we should find out if the reported £50k plus spent by the Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, (the Taxpayer) on UK Spin Doctors has paid off.

In answer to Deputy Russell Labey's previous WRITTEN QUESTION the Chief Minister claimed that the aim of the £33,500 spent on Spin Doctors (Portland Communications) was in order to help him, Ministers and Civil Servants "to improve upon the past handling of such matters by the Island and being fully open and informative in the public response."

We have since learnt that the Chief Minister has spent a further reported £18,000 obtaining advice from former Tory Spin Doctor Ramsay Jones presumably for the same purpose of being open and informative in the public response (with regard to the Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry's final report)  TO BE PUBLISHED 3rd July 2017.

Deputy Russell Labey

2. Deputy R. Labey of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Chief Minister –

“Further to his answer to my written question on 18th April 2017, will the Chief Minister advise whether the £33,500 spent on consultancy in preparation for the release of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry’s findings included any expenditure on engaging Ramsay Jones; and, if not, what was the cost of engaging him and what is the total anticipated spend for all such P.R. advice and training relating to this issue?” 

Deputy Sam Mezec

3. Deputy S.Y. Mézec of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Chief Minister – 

“What measures, if any, will the Chief Minister be taking to ensure that, in the aftermath of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry publishing its report, the evidence it received remains publicly accessible and complete?”

Deputy Mike Higgins

8. Deputy M.R. Higgins of St. Helier will ask the following question of the Chief Minister – 

“In light of the States expenditure on public relations consultants, legal representation and civil service time in preparation for the publication of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry’s report, will the Chief Minister undertake to investigate what measures, if any, can be taken to ensure there is ‘equality of arms’ for all parties involved with the Inquiry to be able to respond to that report?”(END)

We look forward to finding out how much "openness and informativeness" fifty thousand pound can buy.