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 

Answers

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
 Steve Austin-Vautier

Steve Austin-Vautier

POLICE spending on the historical abuse inquiry has exposed ‘serious weaknesses’ in Home 



00545141_cropped.jpgPOLICE spending on the historical abuse inquiry may have run out of control under Lenny Harper, Home Affairs are claiming.

Home Affairs chief officer Steven Austin-Vautier has told the Treasury Department that he cannot justify some of the money spent. The money includes £2.6 million for extra staff costs, and £1 million to cover travel, accommodation and other expenses.

The news comes as Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf has signed off another £1.5 million to the Home Affairs, Health, Chief Minister’s and Law Officers’ departments to fund various elements of the investigation.

In the report behind the decision, the chief officer of the Home Affairs department Mr Austin-Vautier – who is also the accounting officer legally responsible for the department’s expenditure – raised concerns for the first time about the bills coming in.

• Police officers on duty at Haut de la Garenne. Last year the States agreed funding of £7.5 million for the investigation 

Article posted on 28th January, 2009 - 2.57pm 

POLICE spending on the historical abuse inquiry has exposed ‘serious weaknesses’ in Home Affairs’ accounting arrangements, according to its chief officer.

Steven Austin-Vautier has for the first time revealed that the major inquiry, which has cost the Island millions of pounds, put the arrangements under severe strain.

Last year the States agreed funding of £7.5 million for the investigation and the Treasury department gave an extra £5.9 million to Home Affairs for Haut de la Garenne.

This week the Public Accounts Committee wanted to know who was responsible for the £5.9 million overspend.

In the past Mr Austin Vautier – who is also the accounting officer legally responsible for the department’s expenditure – suggested that police spending may have run out of control and said that he could not justify some of the money spent. The money included £2.6 million for extra staff costs and £1 million to cover travel, accommodation and other expenses.

Speaking at a Scrutiny hearing this week Mr Austin-Vautier explained how the Home Affairs budget was managed.

Article posted on 25th July, 2009 - 2.58pm


rs








 



11 comments:

TonyTheProf said...

Good post; I particularly found helpful Lenny's remarks about costs (and savings).

I intend to look at any Wiltshire analysis with a fine (accountants) toothcombe!

rico sorda said...

Hi Tony

One of the reasons for looking at the financial management is that its obviously one of the 'Terms of Reference' for Wiltshire.

When ILM gave his 'SCOOP' to the JEP at the bottom of page 15 was this

“Operation Haven (by Wiltshire Constabulary)
1. Graham Power’s supervision of the Haut de la Garenne inquiry

2. Graham Power’s supervision of the financial management of the enquiry.

You get the feeling that Steve Austin Vautier is now being shielded from the financial issues regarding the historical child abuse investigation,is this possible?

In the states on tuesday ILM said they might not bring P30 to the house until july 21st this is just crazy. They are now waiting for Graham Power to retire, I bet they don't even bring any disciplinary action against him if this happens then heads should role and ILM should resign.

They are getting very desperate when they go on about financial matters as this shows, lets not forget Graham Power was suspended on 12th november 2008 under 2.3.3 of the code (very serious) we are still waiting, Graham Power is still waiting, the Abuse Survivors are still waiting, over 2 million spent on Wiltshire and covering the suspension, 2008,2009,2010 and still nothing.

Just like the Catholic Church Jersey will have to face up to its past we are not unique when it comes to child abuse. Look at the damning evidence produced on Stuart Syvrets blog we just cant go on like this.

Our decent politicians have now got to stand up and be counted in sorting out our past and making the the future a safer place for our children.

The people who failed in the past and are still in post MUST BE REMOVED from office. NOW

RS

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

I will have to have another read of this tomorrow, as it is full of information. I would like to quickly express my bewilderment at how the heck did David Warcup and co managed to spend half a million quid more than Lenny Harper and co?

Furthermore, going by the answers given to Deputy Hill by ILM, the total spend to date is around 7 million quid! So how in January 2009 did David Rose come up with twenty million?

That's before we start questioning Steve Austin Vautier's role in all this! I can see him earning the name of the 7 million dollar man!

OK I know it's pounds but you get the idea.

voiceforchildren said...

Sorry, that is October 2009 and not January.

Anonymous said...

Voices of Children should get a job on the treasury with their new ability to spin these costs!

rico sorda said...

I let that last comment through because it just shows how fecking stupid this idiot is. One for the farce blog me thinks.

rs

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

I can't see how "voices of children" spun any figures. Perhaps dealing in "facts" confuses some people.

These are the answers given by ILM to Bob Hill are they not?

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

I do concede I am no mathmatician but the difference between 3.2 million and 3.7 million is half a million quid, that is half a million quid more money David Warcup and co. have spent than Lenny Harper and co.

3.2 million and 3.7 million, is in the region of 7 million quid isn't it? Ah but what the hell, who needs facts? Let's just call it TWENTY MILLION.

Anonymous said...

Good post Rico. I would be interested to see a breakdown on what Warcup and Gradwell spent the money on as they certainly did not spend it on helping the abuse survivors get justice!!

STINKS

Carrie

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

I wonder if anybody could give us some "facts" on how Warcup has managed to spend 3.7 million?

We know Lenny Harper had a major crime scene, excavation, all kinds of ologists on top of having to draft in extra Police Officers, ground penetrating radar, Blood dogs and so on, but Gradwell and Warcup never had any of that to pay for did they?

So the question still remains, how did Gradwell and Warcup manage to spend so much money in this 100 million pound investigation?

rico sorda said...

HI Carrie

Thanks for that, you cant beat getting the facts and these figures came from the Home Affairs Department. You never know that award winning journalist who wrote the infamous 20 million article David Tulip or whatever his mane is could write another one and call it the 500 million Abuse Shambles lol

I will see if we can get a breakdown on the Warcp/Gradwell expenditure

rs

rico sorda said...

This is taken from a PAC hearing on the 20th july 2009 with Steve Austin Vautier. The whole hearing is worth a read

http://www.pac.gov.je/documents/pubhearings/S-12542-13628-612010.htm



Senator B.E. Shenton:
No, no, just to explain how the accounting officer arrangements are within the department.

Mr. S. Austin-Vautier:
Oh right, okay, I beg your pardon. Yes, it may not be apparent to all the Committee but Home Affairs is the only department with 2 Chief Officers and there is a very, very important distinction. The Chief Officer of Police reports direct to the Minister and I have no managerial or command or control or responsibility at all, but I am the accounting officer and so the whole of the Home Affairs budget, half of which is the States of Jersey Police budget, I am accountable for. The rest of Home Affairs, that is the Prison, Fire and Rescue Services, Customs and Immigration, Jersey Field Squadron and Superintendent Registrar, they do report through me to the Minister. There is a different managerial relationship and clearly I can ask more questions of those departments than I can do of the Police. That, as I said, we have been able to live with under ordinary circumstances. When we got the unprecedented situation of potential child murder and all that was concerned with that inquiry, which it was billed as at the time, it put the accounting officer arrangements under severe strain and it has exposed weaknesses.

Senator B.E. Shenton:
Yes, I think I do not want to go into it now because it is quite a big issue but obviously you said that you cannot verify the expenditure and anyway you did not have the resources to go into that area. I think that is fair enough. I do not want to search for it too deeply.

Mr. S. Austin-Vautier:
Yes, it is not in dispute that I am accountable because the law says I am and there are particular circumstances that have arisen with regard to the inquiry and they need explaining.

Senator B.E. Shenton:
I think it was raised as an issue, though, well before the child abuse inquiry came to ... and certainly we do know it was raised with the Chief Executive of the States significantly earlier than that.

Where does this leave Steve Austin Vautier

H e does not get involved in operational matters obviously and has no control over the Chief of Police but he is the accounting officer and no doubt signed off the money.

So reading lenny harpers comments it wasn't just a case of here you go son how much did you say but was or if it was,was Mr Vautier doing his job properly

rs