Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hansard 1

I was going to look at an email exchange i had with Senator Perchard but have now decided to look at a question asked by Deputy Tadier of the Chief Minister.


2.10 Deputy M. Tadier of the Chief Minister regarding the suspension of the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers:

Given that he has now agreed to an investigation into the circumstances and procedures surrounding the suspension of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, and in the light of concerns expressed about misconduct and political interference made against the Chief Executive at the Council of Ministers, will the Chief Minister undertake to suspend the Chief Executive immediately so that these serious issues can be investigated transparently?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur (The Chief Minister):

No, I have no intention of suspending the Chief Executive at this stage. Suspension is a serious matter and will only be undertaken in one of 3 particular circumstances. Firstly, if there was evidence of gross misconduct or criminal behaviour or a police investigation was in train; secondly, if by the person remaining in post the alleged offence might be repeated; and thirdly, if there was a danger that evidence could be tampered with or removed. A key element in any decision to suspend an employee is whether there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. I have no such evidence in respect of the Chief Executive.

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Just repeat the second reason; I could not hear it.

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

The second reason I gave was that if by the person remaining in post the alleged offence might be repeated.

2.10.1 Deputy M. Tadier:

Exactly, I would take up that last point. But first of all let us get it clear, suspension in this context would be a neutral act. We have had other neutral acts pending investigations and reviews. Also I think the last reason the Chief Minister gave was that the offence could be repeated, and this is exactly the problem. This is the person who is advising the Chief Minister; serious allegations have been made in the form of an affidavit and it is completely unacceptable, if we are to believe in transparency, that this person remains in a post to give advice about himself to the Chief Minister. Will the Minister accept that he is simply only giving ammunition to those who already have suspicions about corruption at the heart of government and the correct thing to do is to suspend the Chief Executive Officer, as a neutral act, while the review is being carried out?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

As I am not relying simply on the word of the Chief Executive, as the Deputy is well aware, I have also commissioned an independent review into the suspension process. If that review provides any evidence which might cause me to think again, or make a different decision, I will act on that evidence when it is produced.

2.10.2 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Could the Chief Minister just confirm that the investigation he initiated some 18 months ago was carried out by one of the Chief Executive’s subordinates and can that honestly have any credibility whatsoever?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I confirm that the investigation into comments made was carried out by a member of the Human Resources staff and that is perfectly normal as an initial process. If anything untoward had come to light from that then further action might have been taken, but nothing untoward came to light and so the matter rests there.

2.10.3 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Sorry, if I am being a bit dim-witted here, but is the Chief Minister telling us that it is credible that the most powerful civil servant in the Island is investigated by one of his juniors?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

It is not a question of the Chief Executive being investigated by one of his juniors. Comments were made and I wanted to make sure that those comments could be substantiated. I therefore tried to find ways of substantiating that and have so far failed.

2.10.4 Deputy P.V.F. Le Claire:

Helpfully this morning the Chief Minister has given us the 3 reasons why a member of the States employment will be suspended. In suspensions, people who are suspended pointed to the reason or the reasons why they are suspended among those 3 categories and, if they are, which of those 3 categories would the Chief of Police be suspended under?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

The person suspended normally would be advised of the reason why they would have been suspended. The suspension of the Chief Officer of Police was carried out by the Minister for Home Affairs, not by myself so the question has to be directed to him.

2.10.5 Deputy P.V.F. Le Claire:

The Chief Minister failed to answer, maybe inadvertently, are the 3 reasons that are given to suspended employees given to the suspended employee and identified as 1, 2 or 3 in all cases?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

They are not identified as 1, 2 or 3, but the reasons for the suspension would be given to the person concerned at the time of suspension.

Deputy G.P. Southern:

If I may on a point of procedure: in the absence of a Minister during question time is there not arrangements made for another Minister to cover or the Assistant Minister to cover question time if that Minister is absent; why is that not happening?

The Deputy Bailiff:

These are questions put of the Chief Minister; the matter does not arise at the moment. The Deputy of St. Mary.

2.10.6 The Deputy of St. Mary:

Firstly, the allegation was reviewed by a senior officer, that is the allegation about the meeting of the Corporate Management Board in July 2007. That is what we were told earlier today and now that made me understand that that was a police officer, so could the Minister just confirm who did this review of the allegation? Also can the Chief Minister confirm that suspension is not a neutral act in that when he was talking about the Chief Executive Officer he used the phrase that he will take no action against the Chief Executive Officer.

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I have already indicated that the review of that allegation was carried out by a member of the Human Resources staff. I do not have a habit of naming individual people in the Assembly. It is simply a member of the staff. The question about suspension being a neutral act is something which clearly gives Members cause for concern as to what is neutral, particularly when a suspension goes on for some length of time. The intention of suspension being neutral is in the same way as there is normal presumption in justice that a person is innocent until they are found guilty.

2.10.7 The Connétable of St. Helier:

I understand from the Chief Minister’s responses that he does not believe the destruction of the minutes before they were agreed by all parties involved in the original suspension meeting should be a ground for suspension. Could he say in that case what action he does believe should be taken in respect of that act?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

The matter of the so-called destruction of the minutes is a matter which has been taken out of all proportion. Handwritten records were taken of a meeting, they were subsequently transcribed. The transcribed version remains in existence and the handwritten version is no longer there. Questions of destruction of minutes suggests allegations that the evidence has been changed. The contents of the notes of the meeting were checked after they had been transcribed and they were consistent with that. I think the Constable is barking up the wrong tree here, and certainly it would give me no grounds whatsoever suggesting that that activity, even if proven, would be a matter for suspension under the reasons that I have just given.

2.10.8 The Connétable of St. Helier:

Does the Chief Minister not believe that it is good practice after any meeting to agree the minutes with the people who are present at the meeting? [Approbation]

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

This was notes of a meeting and the notes of the meeting remain in existence. The notes are there, if the Constable wishes to see them, he is entitled to see them. But there is nothing untoward about the contents of those notes.

2.10.9 The Deputy of St. Mary:

That does not answer the question, Chief Minister. Through the Chair, the question was why were the minutes not shown to all parties in order to be agreed that they were a correct record?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I was not a party to the meeting or to the handling of the minutes. I believe that they were shown to all parties of that meeting but I cannot corroborate that without having spoken to all 3 parties, but I certainly believe that they were shown to all 3 parties.

2.10.10 Deputy M. Tadier:

I welcome the comments that everybody is innocent until proven guilty; that applies to many police officers. That applies to also doctors who are suspended as a neutral act while investigations go on. But how can the Minister seriously expect us and the public to believe that a review will take place, part of which the terms of reference are to look at serious allegations against the Chief Executive Officer while he remains in place. It is simply not a tenable position and I would suggest that the Chief Minister is doing damage to the credibility of our government.

The Deputy Bailiff:

Is there a question there, Deputy?

[11:00]

Deputy M. Tadier:

There was a question buried in the middle. The question was: how can the Chief Minister say that a review will take place, a part of which the terms of reference are to look at whether the Chief Executive Officer did engage in serious misconduct while he remains in position? That is the question.

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I stand by the actions I have taken and I believe that the terms of reference for the current review are perfectly reasonable.

So a member of HR investigated the complaints against the chief executive can this be right?

Can the chief executive remain in post whilst an investigation is under way?

Would it not be better if he was suspended under a neutral act? surely this would protect him from any allegations of hampering the investigation.

I think this exchange shows just what is happening in the upper levels of our government.

Untouchable springs to mind when we are talking about the Teflon Chief Executive

rs

10 comments:

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

If one of the criteria for suspension is (to quote TLS) " police investigation was in train" then why wasn't the senior Civil Servant at the Education Department suspended while he was a suspect in the Child Abuse Investigation?

I think TLS is well out of his depth!

Anonymous said...

TLS IS HELL BENT ON NOT SUSPENDING OGLEY

GeeGee said...

Rico - I was one of the people in the public gallery on the day TLS made an utter fool of himself (again) with his answers to these very pertinent questions. I think a lot of other States members were likewise disbelieving that a) A person employed in a position beneath Ogley could impartially investigate him and
b) That Ogley's 'word' is acceptable as the truth when a sworn affadavit by a decorated Police Chief is deemed not to be sufficiently credible!!

Unbelievable.

TLS always reminds me of the song Nowhere Man. I do not think I have ever known him to agree with anything, give a positive answer or say 'yes'! An embarrassment.

He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his no-where land
Making lots of no-where plans
For nobody
He's as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man don't worry
Take your time don't hurry
Leave it all 'til somebody else
Lends you a hand
He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody!

rico sorda said...

Hi GeeGee

Its good that members of the public get down to the states sittings i will be there on the 20th.

I find this comment from terry strange especially number 3 and why i think Teflon Bill should be suspended until the investigation is over

Suspension is a serious matter and will only be undertaken in one of 3 particular circumstances. Firstly, if there was evidence of gross misconduct or criminal behaviour or a police investigation was in train; secondly, if by the person remaining in post the alleged offence might be repeated;

and thirdly, if there was a danger that evidence could be tampered

Now with Teflon Bill still in place how can that be right?

So far we have the alleged

The removal of Senator Syvret?

The removal of the Chief of Police?

Destroyed notes in the removal of the Chief of Police?

The Protection of fellow civil servants, even if they batter children?

Involved in Operation Blast?

Terry did ask teflon bill

rs

Anonymous said...

Comical Terry, doesnt he make you laugh. he says:

Suspension will only be undertaken if even one of the three particular circumstances is applicable.

In the case of Bill Ogley all three are very evident, but not according to Chief Minister(?) Terry.

GeeGee said...

Off tack a bit Rico, but I have the book Nobody Came. I have not read it yet as I get quite sickened when I read or hear about everything that has happened to children, not only here, but anywhere.

I just turned a few pages this afternoon and see that the author (who was a resident at HdelaG)makes reference to the CELLARS and a bath. So, for any of the doubters read this book and see the words cellars, not voids.

Anyway Rico, I think there may be a good turnout on the 20th - I think there are a lot of disgruntled people out there, and they are growing.

Jill

rico sorda said...

I love this little exchange a classic bit of not answering the question

Deputy M. Tadier:

There was a question buried in the middle. The question was: how can the Chief Minister say that a review will take place, a part of which the terms of reference are to look at whether the Chief Executive Officer did engage in serious misconduct while he remains in position? That is the question.

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I stand by the actions I have taken and I believe that the terms of reference for the current review are perfectly reasonable.

But Terry what about teflon bill?

rs

Anonymous said...

Well done for finally seeing that PJ was a waste of your time! It's dead without you, and even they are blogging now, have you seen their really vile blog?

Anonymous said...

Well spotted Rico,

In a sea of words, you find some more important information. No one can dispute the words you have offered to us, coming from Hansard.

Further more CM Terry Le Suer cannot hide behind smoke and mirrors on this one. He was well and truly caught in the headlights of clear concise questions, with the most revealing answers. Oh they were answers, but even his fans must be burying their heads in their hands !

What is most appalling is the deathly silence of his council of ministers and Senator Ozouf especially. Have they not the decency or strength of character ? Have they not the integrity and conscience to see this is clearly wrong ? And not at all good Government.

Mr Bill Ogley is not only conflicted but capable of lying as he did when asked if he was the second man in the operation blast fiasco. No he said, and took out an injunction on the JEP story. He was the second man, why should he deny it. The truth evaded him again.

They think and say Stuart Syvret is out of control, that maybe so, but at least he speaks as he finds and comes over as having more integrity and honesty than this bunch.

Anonymous.





Anonymous

rico sorda said...

Hi Folks

The reason for leaving planetjersey is that it got really uncomfortable. I don't mind fighting my corner but realized with nothing coming back i was just fighting abuse deniers.

Then with no posting of other blogs on PJ the HDELAG blog turns up.

Abuse Deniers nothing more nothing less

Tuesday the 20th should be a good day for a states visit.Question time should be good, its also questions without notice for Home Affairs and Chief Mininster

I believe there will be more questions regarding teflon bill

rs