Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Financial Management of the Historic Abuse enquiry
The Financial Management of Historic Abuse enquiry has been in the news lately as it seems this is one of the areas Wiltshire have been investigating regarding the suspension of Chief of Police Graham Power.
I have always been interested in this aspect of the enquiry, it was the reading of the infamous David Rose article of the 4th october 2009 that run with the headline;
' Bungled Jersey Child Abuse Probe Branded a 20 million Shambles'
This one article is used often by Abuse Deniers as some kind of 'Holy Grail' on the abuse investigation.
So the noises coming out of Home Affairs is that graham power lost financial control over the Abuse Investigation but what role did the Chief Officer Steve Austin Vautier play in the financial management?
I now turn my attention to a written question asked by Deputy Bob Hill to the minister of Home Affairs on tuesday 20th april 2010
"Will The Minister Inform the Members"
a. of the cost of the Historic Abuse Enquiry from 23rd february 2008 to the date the former Deputy Chief Officer's retirement.
b. the cost since the appointment of his replacement
c. how the expenditure is monitored and who is the Accounting Officer legally responsible for expenditure.
d. who has political responsibility for the expenditure and how closely it is monitored
a. cost of the Historic Abuse Enquiry from the 23rd February 2008 to the date of the former Deputy Chief Officer's Retirement £3,202,600 ( lenny harper retired in august 2008 )
b.the cost since the appointment of his replacement from September 2008 to end of March 2010 £3,710,800
c. financial management of the enquiry is overseen by a multi-agency Gold strategic c0-ordinating group. The Chief Officer of the Home Affairs Department is the Accounting Officer,and member of the Gold Strategic co-ordinating group.
d. The Accounting Officer of a states funded body is personally accountable for the proper financial management of the resources of the body in accordance with article 38 of the public finances law( jersey) law 2005 law.
The Accounting Officer is not responsible for making decisions on policy issues but is accountable for the implementation of policy with due regard for value of money. Policy descisions are the responsibility of Ministers. Furthermore, the accounting officer does not have managerial oversight of,nor clearly any operational responsibility for the states of jersey police. Departmental expenditure is monitored on a regular basis and reported to the minister in the quarterly financial report in accordance with financial direction
So looking at the above I would say that the multi-agency Gold strategic c0-ordinating group must have been set up by David Warcup. What role did Chief Officer Vautier play in the financial management when Lenny Harper was in place?.
This is what Lenny Harper said
"I dealt with SAV on all matters relating to finance and the investigation. I had a number of meetings with him in which I kept him up to date with what we were spending money on. He was always satisfied with the deals we were getting on accomodation and the way we were doing things. He was supportive (at least I thought he was) in respect of the infamous trip to Australia. On two of the meetings the States Head of Finance was there - Liz something. Both of them professed satisfaction at what we were doing and SAV always gave the impression that he knew Walker and Co. were out to shaft us - excuse the use of Walker speak!! At no time did he ever raise any concerns about our spending - he did ask questions and pointed out frequently to me that it was he and not Graham that would take the rap if it was wrong, but he always agreed we were getting it right."
So the total spent from the 23rd february 2008 till Lenny retired in August 2008 was £3,202,600. Now I was expecting a lot higher figure especially after looking at the David Rose headline. Most of this money must have been spent Investigating Haut de la Garenne and Victoria Tower War Bunkers.
I will let Lenny Harper explain where some of the money was spent
"Due to the volume of contact and reports by victims I had to build up the team to levels not seen in Jersey before. I couldn't use too many local officers because to do so would have left no cover for ordinary policing. I had to bring in detectives from outside. I couldn't get enough from UK forces so also employed experienced investigators on contracts - mainly former detectives. They all had to be placed in reasonable accomodation - my PA did a great job in getting cut price deals in hotels. They also had to be given a couple of days off every fortnight to go home. It is worth noting that the size of the team decreased as I left and very few of them were replaced. I also had to employ a team of Forensic Archaeologists to carry out the dig - they were recommended through the National Policing Improvement Agency, and of course the Forensic Anthropologists who came in the same way. They were ever present in differing numbers throughout our time at HDLG. We also employed, on the recommendation of the NPIA, Martin Grimes and his human remains/blood dogs. Gradwell focussed on Martin as a 'waste of money' and the states threatened not to pay him until his lawyer got involved and said I would testify to his value, which was immense, both in respect of the involvement of his dogs and his own experience as search advisor. Other experts we hired at the outset were geo-physical and Ground Penetrating Radar teams. The latter were needed several times but our contacts in the Met helped us out. We also had costs for the forensic examinations, and of course the high cost of guarding the crime scene at HDLG, which was done on overtime to prevent withdrawing police cover for the island. Very little of this would have been a cost for Gradwell and Warcup, as they reduced the team, HDLG was cosed and did not need guarding, and of course all the experts were gone. I used my own contacts in the UK to get many freebies, such as the sifting machine from the Anti Terrorist Squad at Scotland Yard and security inspections, as well as advice on other aspects of the enquiry. We had the sifting machine for several months and only had to pay for the cost of transporting it and cleaning it after use."
And lets remember Aubin,Wateridge and donelly were all pulled in by Lenny's team, and the file submitted for the arrest of the Jordans.
Team Warcup has spent £3,710,600 over a 16 month period this must be on lawyers and legal issues seeing as the main part of the investigation was over when Warcup and Gradwell joined.
So what did Graham Power mess up concerning the financial management? according to CTV Harper had a curry at Bombay Nights. The Financial Management issue ' i just don't think so'
This is what Chief Officer Vautier says on the matter
Article posted on 28th January, 2009 - 2.57pm