Saturday, July 23, 2011

HOLLYWOOD HARPER??? BDO Alto .21


Senator Le Marquand Home Affairs Minister






Accounting Officer Steve Austin Vautier




As we have seen from the previous submissions, there are now serious issues being raised concerning the BDO Alto review, the States of Jersey Police ("SOJP") and Jersey mainstream media (the "JMSM").



The issues relating to the JMSM will be closely scrutinised regarding the historic abuse investigation in a forthcoming blog post.



So alarming are the leaks that have been originating from the SOJP under the leadership of Warcup and Gradwell that I fear it will have a major impact on the upcoming enquiry on the HCAE.  I believe this committee of enquiry ("COE") cannot go ahead until we know exactly what was going on between Warcup, Gradwell and the role played by the JMSM.  The JMSM should be included in the terms of reference for the COE.



Below are the submissions of the Home Affairs Minister, Senator Ian Le Marquand, the accounting officer, Steve Austin-Vautier



You will see that the Home Affairs Minister has been struck down with some strange form of amnesia as he simply cannot remember anything concerning the BDO review.  I find it shocking that the Minister came to the scrutiny review with no preparation or notes, yet knew exactly what the terms of reference for the review were.  Once we have looked at these submissions, I will be putting them onto one blog posting so they will be easily accessible for cross referencing.



D/Supt Mick Gradwell, as far as I know, has yet to submit any evidence to the Scrutiny Review. His evidence is now vital.  We know he was leaking information to Child Abuse denier Journalist David Rose which appeared  a month after his CTV debacle 


CTV - 1st & 3rd of September 2009



The Sunday Mail 4th October 2009



This is all happening during a live investigation into Child Abuse 



We will be having a very close look at Mick Gradwell and his role in the Suspension of Graham Power, his leaking to David Rose, the trashing of an Historical Child Abuse Enquiry, his showing of evidence on BBC TV during a live investigation, his interviews to the local media on his leaving where he is again trashing the child abuse investigation under Lenny Harper, what he actually brought to the 'HCAE' and who was actually pulling his strings? Did ACO David Warcup assert any control over this officer? Should we call in Wiltshire.



This Anonymous comment really hits the point;


"Let's not lose sight of one simple fact in all this.


The sin that Lenny Harper was accused of was primarily based around his dealings with the media. As Mr Harper has said himself on several occasions, there would always be room for improvement and he has never denied that he might have made a few honest mistakes. However, it appears to have been demonstrated clearly that his successor as SIO, Mick Gradwell, made no mistakes - he deliberately and maliciously used the media to further his own cause - whatever that might have been!  Equally, it seems that Graham Power's cardinal sin was not to exercise sufficient control over Lenny Harper. Well - what are we now to make of his successor (Acting CO David Warcup)? It would appear that he had no idea what he was doing in relation to BDO/Mike Kellett/Mick Gradwell. At best it seems he was guilty of negligent management. At worst????


When I think of how much money has been spent on persecuting Power & Harper and, in so doing, trashing the whole abuse investigation, it makes me very angry. 



Rico Sorda



Team Voice






STATES OF JERSEY

 

Education and Home Affairs

Issues Surrounding the Review of Financial Management of Operation Rectangle

 

FRIDAY, 15th July 2011

 

Panel:

Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier (Chairman)

Deputy D.J.A Wimberley of St Mary

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier of St. Saviour

 

Witnesses:

Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs)

 

Also present:

Mr. M. Haden (Scrutiny Officer)

 

[14:07]

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier (Chairman):

Welcome everyone back for the third instalment of Scrutiny Sub-Panel Review, Education, Sport and Culture and Home Affairs.  I welcome the Minister.  He is well familiar with the oath I think, so I do not need to run through that with him anymore.

 

Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs):

Absolutely.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

For the record we will introduce ourselves; Deputy Trevor Pitman, Chairman of the Sub-Panel.

 

Deputy D.J.A. Wimberley of St. Mary:

Daniel Wimberley, Deputy of St. Mary.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier of St. Saviour:

Roy Le Hérissier, Deputy of St. Saviour.

 

Mr. M. Haden:

Mike Haden, Scrutiny Officer.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

For the record?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Ian Le Marquand, Minister for Home Affairs.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Okay.  Thank you for coming in, Minister.  Our Panel has shrunk to 3 but I am sure we will fill the gaps admirably or we will do our best, so with that I will get underway.  By the way, you have not said that you are happy being filmed, have you not?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, that is fine.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Thank you.  Perhaps, to being with, Minister, could you just outline, for the record, the purpose of the review of financial management carried out by BDO Alto Limited?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Okay, yes.  Obviously you have the Ministerial Act and you have the report; it goes with that so you have it, in a sense, more formally so I am just going to explain it in my own words.  When I first became Minister for Home Affairs it was drawn to my attention very early on, I think probably in December 2008, that there were issues and concerns in relation to financial management of BDO Alto.  Those issues and concerns did not just involve use of money by the States of Jersey Police but also involved the role taken by staff in the Home Affairs Department, which obviously would include my own Chief Officer at Home Affairs, Mr. Austin-Vautier, and his staff and so on because if there had been serious failures in terms of financial management there were issues as to whether those failures also extended.  Clearly that was going to go well beyond the remit of the disciplinary investigation which had already been begun by my predecessor in relation to the then Chief Officer, Mr. Power.  It was clearly going to go well beyond the remit of that because that investigation was going to look fundamentally at his role and any responsibilities that he had in relation to that role and this was going to go much beyond that and, as I say, would include not just police officers but also Home Affairs staff.  Basically, I had been asked in principle back in, I think, as early as December in relation to that and said yes, I was in favour of there being such a report and then subsequently more formally I received papers and made the ministerial decision which started that off.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you actually write the terms of reference?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not think I did, no.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Who did?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, again, looking at the witness statements that I have seen, the statements of individuals, it appears that it was worked out between Home Affairs Departments and BDO Alto; that appears to be ...  There was some involvement at some stage, I think, of the Acting Chief Officer of Police in relation to the details as to how it was going to happen in practice but it seems to have been dealt with entirely by them without my being involved.  If my staff think otherwise then they are probably right and I am wrong but I have no recollection of dealing with it and I have not been able to come across any documentation in house which indicated that I did.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I just come in there; how do you react to the fact that I am surprised when you say that you had no involvement in drawing up the terms of reference of the report which will cost a lot of money and which will come to you?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.  I have to say that when I was asked the question by Mr. Harper as to whether or not I had been involved I could not recall and said to him: “I might have been” because there certainly had been instances where I have been involved with reports and had been involved with approving the terms of reference and this particular case I do not think I was.  I am not sure of that but I just do not have any recollection of it.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Again, it surprises me that you, as the Minister, can say that it was: “I found that record that I would have agreed this or had not been involved” and it is such a big sort of commitment and obviously a lot of money would be involved, is that the way it normally works at Home Affairs?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Remember I had in the ministerial decision defined what it was going to be.  It would have been then the details of it so if you could go back to that; I have the ministerial decision somewhere among my papers.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

It is okay, we have ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

But if you look at the ministerial decision you will see that I have received the report and on the basis of that report I have made a decision.  There was obviously detail contained in that report which told me what was going to be done on it and that is what I approved.  But I did not, I think, in any way get involved with the how it was going to be done and I have to say that there had been cases where I have been involved in ministerial decisions but again, when you see Mr. Austin-Vautier’s submission and so on, you will see that there were complexities involved in who should be appointed, who was the States approved, preferred option to do these sort of reports and the exact terms and negotiations which is why it did not succumb to a final, final, final agreed form until about September of that year.  I was not involved in that sort of process; the staff just viewed those as an administrative organisation.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We have been quite surprised today to hear some quite conflicting views that we find hard to marry up but could you tell us from your point of view, as Minister, did you set any boundaries or limitations on the review, as to who they ...?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, no, I approved the review in accordance with the report which I received.

 

[14:15]

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

In approving the report, Mr. Minister, were you briefed on the kind of evidence collection and the kind of witnesses that the review would be required to consult?

 

The Minister for Economic Development:

I am not familiar with the details of the report; I have re-read it recently but I do not recall receiving information beyond that which is contained in the reports.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

One of the obvious things that was going to happen because obviously even at that point the whole inquiry was highly, highly contentious and people were watching it very closely and you still did not think it was worth imposing upon the terms of reference some very clear terms and ensuring that it was as independent as possible and that its reach was as great as possible.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That is always a difficulty in relation to independent reports.  My view is that the role of the Minister is to set the ambit of it and say: “Look, this is what I want you to inquire into” but not to be getting involved into the how.  If there had been a specific issue, if at some stage somebody had come to me and said: “Look, there is a difficulty here; we some need guidance on it” or whatever then I would have made a decision or given direction ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

One of the things that is perplexing the Panel or is perplexing me, maybe the others have resolved it, is are there 2 parallel reports?  There was apparently a States of Jersey internal report on matters somewhat similar and then of course there was the BDO Report and then we had the introduction of Mr. Kellett and we have been very unclear as to whether he is working for both reports, whether there was, at some point, a decision taken to merge them for conveniences sake or whatever and whether there was a decision taken on the basis of a key witness to be excluded from one report but to be apparently allowed to attend upon the other report.  Were you aware that these 2 reports were running ...?

 

The Minister for Economic Development:

No, I do not think I was.  I think ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I just clarify, you said States of Jersey report which meant the States of Jersey Police report?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

It is the Jersey Police?  Sorry, yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

You are talking about the States of Jersey internal ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Police report, yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am aware in general terms that at some stage that the police were looking at the performance of their own officers in relation to this because there was a potential for internal disciplinary matters in relation to continuing serving officers.  I am aware of that in general terms but if you ask me was I aware that there was a specific thing taking place I am not sure that I was; I think I probably was not.  I can recall the name Mr. Kellett being mentioned at different times but I have to say that until I looked in more detail in preparation for this I was very unclear as to what his role was.  I was aware that somehow he was playing a role that was co-ordinating, if you like, between the Wiltshire investigation and this but I was very unclear as to precisely what role he was playing and he was ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did the Chief Officer inform you that he was carrying out this review?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

The Acting Chief Officer of Police.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It certainly did not lock in my mind if he did.  As I say, in general terms I was aware that there were internal things going on but I am pretty sure I was not aware of the particular structure because, as I say, it was only looking at the papers in recent weeks that I realised what role Mr. Kellett was playing.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Taking on from that we have been quite surprised, I think it is fair to say, reading Mr. Warcup’s submission; he said that he had never approved the joint report between Mr. Kellett and BDO and he says, quote: “Indeed I did not feel it appropriate for Mr. Kellett to carry out any further work as my original instructions had not been complied with and the review had become advertently focused on Mr. Harper, lacked objectivity, had the potential to be unfair to Mr. Power and could have seriously undermined the investigation by Wiltshire Police.”  As Minister, how would you react to that?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Again, I only saw that for the first time just a couple of days ago and was quite surprised because I would assume that Mr. Warcup would have known exactly what arrangements were taking place in relation to things.  As I say, that is not what he is talking about; the matters he is talking about there were not within my knowledge.  I knew that BDO Alto were producing a report as a result of this.  I knew that there was a Mr. Kellett doing something somewhere in the middle or playing some sort of intermediate role but I did not, I think, know any details at all.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But, with due respect, so you knew there was a Mr. Kellett doing something.  This is a major ... I mean now it is run and run and the way it has been put out across the media.  You say surprised but surely you must be a bit alarmed at, there you have the former Acting Chief Officer saying about a lack of objectivity; is that not a huge concern to you?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, it is a concern to me, yes, but obviously that is the first time I have seen anybody express a view.  I am not sure I quite understand precisely what you are saying.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I go to the nuts and bolts, if you like, updates on the progress of the review; were you getting any updates as it progressed?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I was not getting updates in terms of draft reports or anything of that nature.  There will have been conversations between myself and Mr. Austin-Vautier about this in general terms, but my memory really jumps from setting it up to a situation where I think I saw a draft report or something of that nature, which was longer than what was eventually produced, and which had a lot of detail.  I cannot remember if I read it in detail at that stage and I cannot tell you exactly when I saw it, but I have a recollection of being aware that something was in existence.  Then I have a recollection that was being transformed in terms of its format and so on, into something that would be more readable and would exclude references to individual people and other items, which should not be in the report.  But again my understanding of that is in general terms because Mr. Austin-Vautier was really dealing with that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I ask a simple question: as the Minister you meet with your Chief Officer how often?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

There are 2 Chief Officers of course, but at that stage I ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That is Home Affairs.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Home affairs, we try to meet on a weekly basis relatively formally, in practice we probably meet about fortnightly, but in addition to that we meet and call into each other’s office to discuss things very regularly, I mean he has an open door, I have an open door, but on a formal basis about fortnightly we will review particular matters, which are outstanding.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That would have an agenda?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It has an informal agenda, yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

An informal agenda?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

What is an informal agenda?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Deputy Hilton is normally there as well when we do that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, sorry, I am puzzled, I am coming to a question, but I want to test what is an informal agenda.  An agenda is either: “We are going to discuss 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7”, there may even be recurring items and you say: “Number 6 is under control, Minister”, and it is gone in a few seconds, but is there a list of what you are going to discuss?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Mr. Austin-Vautier would normally prepare a list in advance and I will come with other items as well, and Deputy Hilton may come with other items.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So on that list, would you normally have the progress of the BDO review, given that it is quite a big-ticket item?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, it would not be on there?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, I cannot remember that appearing, not until perhaps the latter stages when there might have been some discussion in relation to changes, but no, it was not being dealt with by me in that sort of way.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I am trying to fathom out how you did not know really much about Mr. Kellett’s role, because it was pretty important, given that he was not just the grommet in between the 2 reports, but he was doing a lot of the work on the whole information.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, I was surprised by that when I saw that, I was surprised by that, I always assumed this was a BDO Alto report, now I see that in fact it was a joint Mr. Kellett and BDO Alto report.  I was slightly surprised by that; if that is in the document itself then I have missed it.  But I have not spotted it in the document.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Jumping to the report, when you received the report, Minister, what was your reaction?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

You are talking about the final form of the report?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes, the final form.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well I read it, I noticed that obviously it contained a number of areas where opinions were being expressed in relation to areas of failure.  I received the report in time ... let me just check my timescale, because we provided a timescale for this ... but I received this report I am pretty sure in time well after I had received the financial management report in relation to Wiltshire.  My recollection is I think that was received in February.  Yes, 10th February I had received that, so I had already read that obviously sometime before and noted the conclusions, which were reached in there, in relation to a whole lot of matters.  Then, when did I receive, according to this, the final report?  That seems to be in July.  That was very late.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

So, having read that report, were you happy with its structure, the evidence that had been collected, the assessment of the evidence, the witnesses that had been covered, were you happy with all those aspects?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well fundamentally it was coming to the same conclusions as the finance report had done, except with much more detail, and in particular, if you take a particular area, which was dealt with in detail in the finance report, the expenditure of money on meals in London, that was dealt with in great detail in the Wiltshire finance report, so there was nothing new there, perhaps there was slightly more detail, but, if one looks at issues like the view in relation to whether or not it was imperative that the police operate in an efficient way, manage the thing effectively in terms of costs and so on, that is dealt with in the Wiltshire report.  All those issues, which I know that Mr. Harper has been making submissions to you on, they are all dealt with in there, so there was not anything new in relation to those kind of issues, it was merely following the same ground.  The new areas I think was that much more detail was gone into, and one of the passages that I have noted, which is significant to explain that I think, is paragraph 2.1.6 of the financial management report, the last redacted version of it, the fuller version of it, because it is quite interesting because there is a cross-reference there and what they say is ... this is in relation to Mr. Power: “He should not be held liable in misconduct terms for errors over which his governance did not directly extend such as, for example, management of the security cordon at Haut de la Garenne, employment of a specialist dog handler and the associated costs and forensic expenditure.”  So it is clear that they were aware, in the Wiltshire financial report, of there being other issues, but they do not go into those issues because they do not think that Mr. Power should be held responsible for any failures in those areas, because they do not think that was within his oversight.  But they are clearly aware of that and so I viewed frankly the BDO Alto as just providing me the detail in relation to some areas where the detail was lacking in the Wiltshire financial report.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Do you think there was anything missing from the BDO Alto report; did you read it and think ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well it did say that Mr. Harper had not been interviewed, but then on the other hand it contained references to sections of things that he had apparently said, and it therefore gave me the impression that, although he had not been interviewed, that his views on different matters had been considered.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Would you, as somebody very expert in the assessing of evidence and so forth, do you really think to take quotes of a person from another context and then use them as the basis for assessing that person’s behaviour in another context is right?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well it would be better to speak to the person and put the issues to them, of course that is right.  What seems to have happened here is that there seems to have been ... well there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding in fact, if the statements are to taken at their face value, between Mr. Warcup on the one hand and Mr. Kellett on the other, as to the reasons why Mr. Warcup did not want, at the particular time, Mr. Harper to be interviewed, and then subsequently he could have been.

 

[14:30]

 

But, as I say, this was their report.  I mean it was ... they were producing this for me, it was up to them to ensure that they had sufficient grasp of the evidence, et cetera, to be able to express a clear opinion.  But, as I said, because in terms of issues of the generalities, which are perhaps the most important issue, as to whether the police were under a duty to be managing public funds properly and so on and so forth, because all that had been looked at and determined by Wiltshire in terms of, yes, they had, even on their own statements and letters and assurances, given to Austin-Vautier, and all that sort of stuff.  Because other parts of the data were dealt with, I merely viewed it as providing me with the extra detail in relation to areas where clearly there were concerns.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But the result was of course, Mr. Minister, maybe none of your doing, all it did in people’s minds was just sort of basically reinforce this stereotype that Mr. Harper was spending money like there was no tomorrow, and that there were absolutely no controls over that investigation, no financial controls.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That is not right; the financial controls were not adequate, there was no finance officer appointed, because no Goal Group was set up.  There is no question the financial controls were inadequate and mistakes were made, but there were some things that were done, which were good, I mean for instance I recollect that Mr. Harper and his colleagues renegotiated terms internally of some of the forces so that they received a lower rate of some of the staff.  There were some good things, which happened.  The trouble is that reports tend to highlight the bad things.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I go back to when you said it is “their” report, you said, i.e. it is BDO’s report, with reference to the fact that Mr. Harper had not been seen.  You are the person the report was written for, so in a sense it is your report, would you not agree with that?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, no, it is their report.  They have been contracted to do the work, it is up to them to ensure that they are in a position to express a judgment.  I mean, if they did not think that they could express a proper judgment on these matters, if they had thought: “Well we cannot do the job properly without seeing Mr. Harper and putting these matters to him, it is not enough that we have had access to ...” whatever they have had access to, again I am entirely dependent upon having looked at statements in relation to that, then it seems to me they should have then come back to me and said: “Look, we cannot do the job, we do not think we can do the job properly without doing this.”  Then it would come back to me and I would have then no doubt have made sure there was a way of doing it.  But they did not say that; they seemed to be content to reach their conclusions, they seemed to think that they had weighed things up sufficiently.  That is the impression the report gives.  I mean if you look at the report I think that is the impression the report gives.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So what is your view then on whether it was thorough and objective?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well they felt that sufficient ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

What is your view; not their view?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

My own view is it would have been better for the conclusions to be put to Mr. Harper; that must be right.  It must be right.  I mean even if they were not going to interview him, it would have been better for the conclusions have been put to him so that he could have expressed his view and then they could have made a decision.  Paradoxically, as I understand it, they have now seen his statements and have now said: “Well that does not change our view.”  But you may say they would say that because they had already formulated a view.  But, yes or no, it must be better as a process.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But, in fairness, we probably would not be here today if a simple step of Mr. Harper being interviewed, maybe it would have changed something, maybe it would have changed nothing, but you agree that a lot of this could have been avoided probably if BDO had interviewed Mr. Harper.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, I do, yes, I do, but of course the particular difficulty did arise because of Mr. Warcup’s view in relation to this, which again I only know of because I read his statement on that in the last couple of days.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That is why I asked the questions about whether you ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

But it is a pity that, if there was that sort of logjam situation, if: “We want to see him.”  “No, you cannot.”  It is a pity that nobody referred it back up the line to me to have said: “Well no, you do need to do this.”

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That is why I asked the questions about the measures taken to update you and you said there were no updates, and then I asked whether it was on the agenda of your meetings with your Chief Officer of Home Affairs, and it was not on the agenda.  So I am struggling to see how this would have ... there did not seem to be a channel ready-made for this to come up to you.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

What could have happened is that BDO could have said: “We do not think that we have a full enough picture to be able to express a view.”  But again I have seen their written submission to you and it is quite interesting, there is one area involving the question of the usage of a particular officer like as a chauffeur for Mr. Harper, which they did not feel able to express a view on, so they say in their statement, because they had not been able to speak to Mr. Harper.  So, to be fair to them, in that particular situation, they clearly did not think they had sufficiently good ...  One of the difficulties here, as I say, is that much of the work they were doing is forensic, looking at the figures, looking at the accounts, seeing what was spent, what the charge-out rates were for hotels, et cetera.  Now, whether an excessive amount is being paid for a hotel or not, frankly is going to be a forensic type activity of what the going rates were, et cetera, it really does not matter what the view is of Mr. Harper on that.  If they are paying over the odds for a room, they are paying over the odds.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But, with due respect, if they had been able to speak to him, for instance we look at the Wiltshire expenses, we discussed ... you said you were quite happy that those expenses were higher than normal, but you were happy it was good value because they were close to where they were working.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Because they were closer, yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Now, if BDO had been able to speak to Mr. Harper, possibly he could have offered some kind of explanation like that.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.  It is difficult to understand why people were being placed right across the Island.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But, to be fair, the Island is 9 by 5.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, I accept that.  I am not denying it would have been better practice for it to have been bounced off Mr. Harper, I think that is pretty self-evident.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

If I could take you back to what Deputy Wimberley asked about whether you were getting reports and feedback, when we hear that the Acting Chief Officer was already expressing concern about the methodology being used with this review, alongside BDO, if he was already concerned, did Mr. Warcup never express those concerns to you as Minister?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, I am sure he did not.  I tried as far as possible, and he understood this and co-operated in this, not to discuss matters with Mr. Warcup, which would relate in any way to the disciplinary matter of Mr. Power.  It was a difficult situation in the sense he was my Acting Chief Officer for some time, but we tried to steer away from those areas, for the simple reason that he was going to be a key witness himself in relation to aspects of that, and it was a sort of off-limits area in terms of us discussing it, in order to maintain my objectivity.  Now, whether that transferred itself over into the BDO Alto, I do not know, but that is possibly an explanation as to why those matters were not discussed with me.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So he would not have mentioned to you either way: “I am not letting anyone see Mr. Harper as part of the finance review because that would prejudice the Wiltshire review”, which seems to be his position.  But you are saying that he would not have ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not think he did.  I mean it is very difficult to remember the details of all the conversations that I have had with different people over the period of time, but certainly absolutely nothing of that nature is logged in my mind.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

You also say you knew nothing of the internal States of Jersey Police review that apparently the Chief Officer commissioned?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Accept in general terms.  As I say, I was aware at some stage that there was being some sort of internal review to try to assess the responsibility of other officers who continue to be serving officers.  I was aware of that in general terms.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That is interesting because that is a very different type of review from what we see in Mr. Warcup’s submission to us, which is a very fluffy review, if that is a quite specific review you are talking about, it is an extra review.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

In that case I have not understood the nature of the other review; I assumed it was disciplinary in nature.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Maybe there are 2 other reviews.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You say, Mr. Minister, that: “Look, they were fair, for example they said they would not proceed on the chauffeur issue because they had not received Mr. Harper’s view”, but ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well that is what they say.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But the fact remains, on a vast range of other issues, like his allegation that he was trying to get bed and breakfast rates and they were saying: “No, you were staying in very upmarket hotels at upmarket prices”, there are a vast range of other issues where basically ... and I have no apologies for Mr. Harper ... but basically he was castigated.  So the balance of the report, there may have been one area where they said: “We must have his view”, but essentially the balance of the report was very much in the other direction.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, of course I do not know whether that is dealt with or not in his statements to Wiltshire, because I do not know if they went into those areas or not.  We have this precarious situation where apparently, again I have gleaned this from reading the opening statements, the written submissions of people, so I had no knowledge of this at all ... now I have lost my train of thought, oh dear.  Where was I going?  We were talking about the ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Well the balance of evidence and all the examples essentially, other than oddly enough the one you picked on about the chauffeur, they all sort of suggest that there was basically rampant spending going on and there was no real financial discipline.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, well of course I do not know what areas he went into in terms of his statement to Wiltshire on financial matters, because I do not know if they went into these areas, because, if they had already decided that Mr. Power could not be held responsible for those areas, then they may not have done.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You mention Wiltshire a lot, and sort of the trend of your comments seem to be that Wiltshire cover an awful lot of BDO Alto.  Did anyone say at any point: “Look, this is a bit crazy, we have all this duplication going on, why are we sort of bothering?”  Did anyone ever say that?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, they were 2 separate reports, one was very strictly for disciplinary purposes and therefore had to be subject to the highest standards, if I can put it that way, and the other one was for purposes of determining whether things had gone wrong, if so, what had gone wrong, to learn lessons from that, to see in general terms who was responsible, but it was not a disciplinary report.  It was always going to have a much lower level of ... I am struggling for the word ... not intensity; that is not the right word.  It was not going to be done to the same sort of meticulous standard, if I can put it that way, because it was not a ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yet the impact on people, although you argue an interesting argument that it was looking at the system and the procedures, but undoubtedly of course it was going to have a major impact upon individuals because we work in a society where it is all often down to personalities, and that is of course what happened, was it not?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, but ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

It just continued the saga of: “Here is so-and-so and so-and-so is utterly ill-disciplined when it comes to finance and they are spending money like there is no tomorrow.”  This simple reinforced that, did it not, at the end of the day?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, but the criticism in my view is there in the Wiltshire financial report, as I say the key issues as to what the level of duty was an so on are dealt with there.  This is a matter of detail.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

How much, with the quite unique setup in Jersey with Home Affairs and your Chief Officer and his responsibilities financially, and the system in the Jersey Police Force, how much was, really Mr. Harper was irrelevant, anyone in that situation was in a position that was not ideal, is that not fair to say?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

The system is not ideal, but in fact, in my view, the person who should have been the Accounting Officer at the time was the Chief Officer of Police.  But frankly in practice, if he had been, I do not think it would have made any difference at all to the way things happened, in reality.  Although, there are issues there, Mr. Power has always contended that, to be fair to him, he has always contended that this arrangement caused difficulties, they did not have their own accounting staff and so on, but the Home Affairs accounting staff provide services to all the Home Affairs departments, it is just that the accounting function is centralised, as is the H.R. (Human Relations) function in relation to that.

 

[14:45]

 

I do not personally think that it would in practice have made any difference because of the failures of oversight on the part of Mr. Power generally, I have to say sadly.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

This is a more general question, and I did pose it to Mr. Kellett as he sort of unfolded his story, did no one think it was very odd that, even if, for the sale of argument, you had a totally innocent police officer running an area where he had absolutely no financial knowledge, did no one think it was rather odd that you have this highly complex investigation, you have masses of money being ploughed into it, and apparently it carries on for ages with total financial ill-discipline, did nobody say: “There is something wrong here”?  I mean how ... it begs the question, how was it allowed to run for so long without any intervention?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That is an issue you need to talk to Mr. Austin-Vautier about, because he found himself in the situation where, because there was no budget set, and I think, if we look at the wider issues, and they are criticised in the finance report, I mean there was an extraordinary situation that the historical abuse inquiry, as it unfolded, it expanded in terms of Haut de la Garenne, had their budget, and had no additional financial safeguards, no Finance Officer, no Goal Command Group, et cetera, it is quite an extraordinary situation, I mean it is quite contrary to the normal probes that would happen where you would expect there to be a budget, it may have to be exceeded, but then you have to come back and explain and so on and so forth.  I think you will find that what Mr. Austin-Vautier will say is ... and I cannot really speak for him ... is that he found himself, it was setup, and then it was: “Over to you now.”  But he had no managerial control, he was not Chief Officer of the Police Force, over the Police Force, they are a separate thing and operational freedom issues arise and so on and so forth.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But that is the point I come back to.  That is the point I was trying to make, it is almost an impossibly flawed setup for anyone to be put in.  That is not an excuse for Mr. Harper.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

The initial setup was flawed, yes, but, having said that, it is accepted ... and certainly that is the view of Wiltshire based upon the documentation and so on ... that all those, Mr. Power and Mr. Harper, and Mr. Austin-Vautier accepted that the police had to run it efficiently, as it were.  Now, I think you can differentiate on the one hand between what I might call the ambit of the investigation in terms of which cases they should pursue and so on and so forth on the one hand, and the methodology used to do that, which then gets down to the nitty-gritty of overtime rates and all these other things, and in my mind there is a clear distinction.  Now I think there was a problem because of the ambit aspect, but then that was a political response to a particular crisis as it was then perceived, where the politicians decided that they should not seek to set the normal controls in relation to the ambit of the size of the thing, but that does not detract, in my opinion, at any stage, from the need to be operating efficiently, which is what the finance reports are about.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Can I just ask you from that, Mr. Harper claims in his evidence to the Panel that obviously that he was slapped down by Mr. Ogley for even questioning the issue of costs and told: “You do whatever is necessary basically, cost is irrelevant.”  How do you respond to that as a Minister?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I would be very surprised if Mr. Ogley said that other than in the sense of the first aspect of it, and that is contrary frankly to the undertakings given to Mr. Austin-Vautier and all the other stuff.  That is dealt with in detail; that is not for me to argue the case, please look at the financial report of Wiltshire and you will see the reasoning there.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, I can understand the tensions between saying: “Get on with it, spend what you need to” and needing the controls that you would have normally; that is not an issue.  But what is an issue, and I want you to comment on it, is where ... I do not know in this mass of paperwork ... but somebody has said that: “Why did BDO focus on the police side?” which of course goes straight to Mr. Harper as the decider of basically most expenditure, and why does it focus so little on the Home Affairs side, where that is where the professional money counters are; that is where the people who are paying the bills are, so why did they not say: “We ought to put somebody in there to help you”?  Why was there not that kind of joint approach that would have saved a lot of grief?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Sorry, you have confused me now by saying: “We need to put somebody in there to help you.”  Because, by the time this was happening, by the time the report was produced, I mean we are into June/July 2010, and the whole system has changed.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

There is a question, why did BDO focus on, if you like, the police side, and not where the accounting power was, the professionals who do that sort of thing at Home Affairs, and there was a gap over here, so firstly why did BDO not focus on that issue ... well let us leave the question there, do you think the report is balanced in that sense, because that might be worth ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well I thought they had reached conclusions in relation to that; that effectively it was very difficult for Home Affairs to control because they received the invoices in after the event, as it were.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But when they have received ... just to pursue it, and this is getting almost to micro-management, but presumably when they received the invoices in, somebody, if indeed it was as bad as it has been portrayed, somebody would have said: “There is something seriously wrong here, we had better sit down and see if we can sort it out with the police.”  As far as you are aware, did that happen?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think that could not have happened, I think, in relation to some areas, like overtime system, because they simply would not have understood that.  But in other areas, if the rates being paid for hotels were too high, yes, somebody could have picked that up.  So there could be areas where staff might see repetitively things happening.  Again, staff could not possibly have known how the dog was being used or how much the dog handler was being used or in what way he was being used, they could not possibly know that sort of thing.  But things like hotel rates, yes, possibly someone might have said: “Well, is this a bit high?” when it carried on going on.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I am not concerned with the detail, Minister, it is when the expenditure is up to ... what are we looking at ... £5 million a year, so how much is that per month?  You are looking at £400,000 a month, something like that, then you start going: “Gosh, so where are the controls on this whole investigation?” and then you have a talk with the S.I.O. (Senior Investigating Officer) and then you say: “All right” and then you have a discussion about that and then maybe he does what the recommendation is now, 2 years later, and we have a finance manager who scrutinises all this and runs the ship.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That is where there should have been a Goal Command Group; that is where much of the managerial failures came down to the decision of Mr. Power and Mr. Harper to centralise control in the 2 men alone.  That is the core of the issue because, if you had a Goal Command Group you would have had finance people on it, you would have had other police officers, and you have proper checks and balances built in.  The decision for 2 men, as it were, to take the total control of leadership on their own and to exclude the third and fourth ranks of the police force, led to a situation where unfortunately there were not the checks and balances built within the police.  Now, within Home Affairs, the finance officers will log things, but there has to be a high degree of trust in the individual officers, whether it is Customs and Immigration or Fire Chief or whatever, that they are not wasting money, otherwise you can only pick it up subsequently.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, the Goal Group is a known issue of, we know the reasons why Power and Harper did not go down that route, and it may be right that for 2 people to have the sort of say and without the checks and balances was wrong, but I am saying, was there not another way of Home Affairs relating to the States of Jersey Police that would have avoided this ghastly thing where there is no finance manager at the L.B.O.(?), no finance manager within M.I.R.(?) to look at the deal with all these things?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That is an issue you would need to discuss with Mr. Austin-Vautier as to whether he made suggestions or not in relation to financial management.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But the issue for you is the balance in the report between looking at the police’s handling and when we are looking at Home Affairs’ handling of money; that is what I am putting to you, as to whether that was satisfactory.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Again, I cannot remember the timing of this, because there was another report of course, which also looked at the issue of responsibility of Home Affairs, and that was produced by the Comptroller and Auditor General.  Again, I am not sure as to which order those reports came in, because I think I am right in saying that the view of the Comptroller and Auditor General was that Home Affairs did the best they could do out of a pretty bad job.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Can I take us back to the report itself.  One of Mr. Harper’s opinions expressed, and perhaps could have been avoided if he had been interviewed, was when he says how BDO seemed to deliberately play down the decision based on the evidence to excavate in Haut de la Garenne, which obviously is where a lot of expense really kicked off from there.  What is your comment as the Minister on this?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

My comment is contained best in my press release in July where I discussed this very issue.  The difficulty I think was that BDO Alto seemed to have been influenced by the terms of the Metropolitan Police report.  The Metropolitan Police report’s view, this is the report that even I have not seen in detail, and therefore I am going on my understanding of it.  I have physically seen it, but I have not read it.  I think this is what happened: the Metropolitan Police’s view was that they should not have started digging at all in the first place.  The Wiltshire view was that the decision to start digging in the first place was questionable, but not clearly wrong, certainly not a matter that should be subject to a disciplinary matter.  My own view, which, as I think was expressed in my press release document, was that, even if it was questionable to start, once the police had thought that they had found a piece of skull fragment, then I think it was not unreasonable for them to carry on.  So I take a more positive view I think that anybody else.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But to try and get even further with that detail, and I am sure you will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe even you said that some of this confusion is led by perhaps the angle that Mr. Gradwell put on the decision to go in and dig, is it fair to say that seems to have influenced BDO?  Because I mean it must ... my interpretation of natural justice, you would look at things and you would weigh up the evidence, where I think what Mr. Harper is trying to say, BDO just seem to have accepted one view as being black, black is black, and that seems to be the problem to me.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I just simply do not know.  I mean you would have to ask other people.  Mr. Kellett no doubt you have asked about the influence of Mr. Gradwell.  Mr. Gradwell’s view, certainly in terms of what he said to the press, was that they should not have gone in the first place.  But, as I say, it is my understanding that was the view of the Met, although, as I say, I have never seen the report, it is only on the basis of hearsay I say that.  Curiously enough, in a strange paradoxical sort of way, the fact that this situation ended up does to a degree support the view of Mr. Warcup that there were dangers in having 2 lots of people looking at similar issues in parallel.  But certainly my view is well documented that, although it might have been questionable to start digging, once they thought they had found the skull fragment, it was reasonable to continue.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

On the Met issue, just quickly, can you see how it polarises the public and how it makes people suspicious if you get a report, BDO Alto’s report, and they rely on the Met report, and the Met report also did not speak to either Graham Power or Lenny Harper, so they are relying ... they are not speaking to Lenny Harper, they are relying on a report that did not speak to Lenny Harper, so you are getting a kind of self-fulfilling look, and then they criticise the decision to go in, or whatever it might be, all these different aspects.

 

[15:00]

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, now I agree with what you are saying there, and that is why, in my own press release, I was very careful to deal with this matter and to use my own comment.  Now of course the trouble is inevitably, no matter how careful you are in wording your press releases, I produced it in writing, insisted on reading it out in full, much to the annoyance of some of the press who wanted to hurry on and ask me questions, nevertheless they do not print what you say sometimes and end up putting their own spin; that is why I did it so carefully, and I did look, as I say, and come to my own conclusion on that one.  I think it is unfortunate that BDO Alto did take that particular view, and I did not agree with it on that particular issue.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Mr. Minister, I wonder if we could move to a new area, because time is of the essence.  It is the question of leaks.  You made a revelation in the States quite recently that the leaking of the document and whether it was “the” document, the content of the document, or a remarkably similar document, to a national newspaper was carried out by the former superintendent, Mr. Gradwell.  Were you aware that there was another leaking going on, for example?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Other leaking by Mr. Gradwell, do you mean?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No.  The first I was aware of an issue in relation to Mr. Gradwell was when he went public just before he left the Island and that was the first time.  I viewed this as merely a continuation of that, he had already gone public with his views to the local press, radio.  It is my understanding from Mr. Warcup that Mr. Gradwell, although he was asked very strongly not to do anything before he went, and not just by Mr. Warcup, but I understand even by the Attorney General of the day, again this is hearsay, this is obviously what I have been told, that he had already pre-recorded interviews before he had left.  So that is the first that I was aware of an issue, and then of course my staff picked up the Mail article and they did some excellent detective work, emailing, and then sent to me the consequences of that, which clearly pointed to Mr. Gradwell.  I have to say, when the issue came up again, I had completely forgotten about this, I had just totally forgotten about it.  I had to look back and find the emails and then say: “Oh yes, now I do recall it”, because it was not that significant to me once I knew it was Mr. Gradwell.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Why do you say that?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well he had already done it in Jersey, so ... second leak, it is helpful to me because I have a question from Deputy Pitman in the States next week about a second leak, and I did not know what he meant by the second leak; what is the second leak?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Well it was said to us with Mr. Harper’s evidence that there were previously emails that had gone and somehow made it into the hands of Mr. Rose, the journalist for the Daily Mail, which allegedly came from Senator Perchard.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Sorry, yes, I picked that up in ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Which again must ring alarm bells with ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I picked that up from his statement I think.  But I was not clear, I have to say, again I only just read that by reading the ... was that in his evidence rather than his statement?  I think it was in his evidence.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think it was in his evidence because he was diffident about giving the name of that.  I have to say that I was not clear what it was that Mr. Perchard was supposed to have leaked, I was left unclear about that from the evidence.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Coming back ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

But I had not heard about that before, no.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Coming back to the, if you like, the Gradwell leak, although we have not spoken to Mr. Gradwell yet, but we know that he has told people on the phone that it was him, the question is how you said you did not think it was that significant, and yet clearly the effect of the leak certainly in Jersey and his whole sort of farewell, was quite dramatic, so ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, do not misunderstand me, I am not saying it is not significant, the fact that he went to the press and so on and so forth, what I am saying is that going to the Mail in addition to what he had already done in Jersey was not a significant level of things from my point of view.  It was just the same thing, but ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well how did you react then to the Jersey end of it, which was in the beginning of September I think, where he was on Channel TV and all the rest of it?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I answered questions in the Assembly on that and very firmly indicated I viewed it as thoroughly unprofessional.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Is there not an irony in that one of the big criticisms of Mr. Harper is his handling of the media, and yet here you have the person who has replaced him investigating him and he is really inappropriately interacting with the media?  I know you cannot control that now.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

There is, but I am afraid there is strong evidence that Mr. Harper was improperly interacting ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But that is not the question.  I am saying ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, fair enough.  Yes, it is ironical, if you are going to complain that somebody else is doing something improper, you should not be doing it yourself.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you warn him not to do this after he had done it locally?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, the first time I ... I have only ever once spoken to Mr. Gradwell, and that is when he rang me up to protest at something I had said in answer to a question, and he was very unhappy because I had basically said, in answer to a question in the Assembly, that I thought he had been annoyed by unfair treatment he had on blog sites and so on, and claims that he had ulterior motives, and so on and so forth, and he rang me up and said he was very unhappy with my having said that and that his primary motive was simply to get the truth, as he saw it, out into the public domain.  That is the only conversation I have ever had with him.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Some people might say that is almost the actions of an incompetent maverick though to go and do that the way Mr. Gradwell did.  [Laughter]

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It is improper.  It is undoubtedly improper.  I have said that right from the start, I mean you gentlemen are my witnesses, you have heard me in the Assembly whenever it has been raised, I have said that is improper.  The trouble is, it is a thin end of the wedge, once one officer does it for whatever reason, it creates a major difficulty.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

In the nature of a winding-up question, Mr. Minister, I wonder, without making it too much of a statement of the obvious, can you tell us what lessons you have learned from this episode and how in your view it should have been handled differently?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not think I did anything wrong, but I would say that, but I do think that more consideration should have been given to finding a way to allow Mr. Harper to see what the report was likely to say and to comment on it; I think that is right.  That is my view.  I mean I could go into other areas of the financial management and so on, but I do not think that is what you are asking me, I think you are asking me in relation to the BDO Alto report.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think that is my view.  I expect it would be your view as well.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

When you, and obviously you have only just read Mr. Warcup’s submission, if I can take you back to that, without making any final conclusions, and you will probably want to mull it over, I appreciate it, does it not undermine the report slightly that you have had such conflicting views from people apparently working together very closely, we have heard Mr. Kellet and then Mr. Warcup has completely come from a different angle and said: “No, this was not how it was.”  Does that undermine the credibility of the report to you, because it perhaps was not as tight or as thorough as it should have been?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am puzzled as to why there appears to have been this misunderstanding between Mr. Warcup and Mr. Kellet in relation to why it was that Mr. Warcup did not want Mr. Harper to be interviewed at that time and that was not an indefinite thing.  I am puzzled as to what happened there in terms of the misunderstanding.  I do not really understand precisely the nature of Mr. Warcup’s criticism of the process.  I have read his statement but I did not assimilate that.  He is a very professional officer; I know that people have criticised him, but he is a very professional officer, and objective, and I think something of his objectivity comes out in the fact that he is prepared to criticise in this context.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I will leave Deputy Le Hérissier to try and clarify this, because we spent several minutes trying to get our own heads around it, when you hear a former senior police officer sitting there and telling us that he was not even aware of the terms of reference of a review that he was carrying out, that has to worry you?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, he was not ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But those are his words.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

He was not carrying out the review; the review was being carried out by ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But he did not know the terms of reference; he said that.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

All right.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Of the other review.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am sorry, which review are you talking about?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

The internal States of Jersey Police review.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Mr. Warcup is saying he did not know ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

No, Mr. Kellet.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am sorry.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

That seems to be the problem, nobody knows what the other was doing at all.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That confuses me even more as to what Mr. Kellett’s role was, I have to say.  I thought I was just about starting to understand Mr. Kellett’s role.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Maybe by 5.00 p.m. we will know there is another role.  We have our next witness.  Is there anything else that you would like to clarify or point out for us, Minister?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, thank you very much.  It has been a very fair hearing and thank you for that.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Thank you.





 


STATES OF JERSEY

 

Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel

Issues surrounding of the Review of Financial

Management of Operation Rectangle

 

FRIDAY, 15th JULY 2011

 

Panel:

Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier (Chairman)

Deputy D.J.A. Wimberley of St. Mary

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier of St. Saviour

 

Witness:

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department

 

Also present:

Mr. M. Haden (Scrutiny Officer)

 

[15:16]

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman of St. Helier (Chairman):

We welcome you once again to Scrutiny.  I know you are very familiar with the oath, so I am sure I can take it that you are fully happy with that; I do not need to run through it.  To begin with then, could you just outline for the record why it was necessary in your opinion to commission an external review of financial management, in a nutshell?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes.  I think you have to go back quite a long way to I think the sort of genesis of expenditure, if you like.  So I think I will start with the former Chief Minister’s statement on 26th February 2008 where he said that all necessary resources will be made available to the investigation.  That had various interpretations at the time and I think the former Chief Minister himself sought to clarify it later what he meant by that.  But, as we now know, because it is a matter of record, that gave rise to quite an unprecedented level of spending, during the course of which, because I am the Accounting Officer for the Home Affairs Department and I am legally accountable for public money, I clearly had an eye on expenditure right the way through.  So, in the course of the next few months, we did have 2 sample audits, one was on the police budget, which was a routine audit of expenditure.  I then followed that up with a sample audit of some of the expenditure, which was just to check that some of the invoices had been correctly authorised.  At the same time, I was in liaison with the Treasury and Mr. Harper and [former Police Chief] over what arrangements were being made to make sure that money was being spent appropriately.  I will not go into that unless you want to, but I think that then culminated, towards the end of 2008, with a situation where most people still, including me, still wanted some reassurance about what had been spent, how it had been spent, whether it was value for money, and so there seemed no alternative than to authorise a value-for-money audit.  That was first authorised by the former Minister, the then Deputy Andrew Lewis, but because of the timing, it was December 2008, we then had a new Minister, and it was the current Minister who then made the Ministerial Decision to commission the audit in February 2009.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you have a major part to play in framing the terms of reference?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes,

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you discuss those with the Minister?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

The Minister was aware of them because they were attached to the Ministerial Decision.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did he question them?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I recall we had a discussion at the time; the Minister is not in the habit of just signing Ministerial Decisions, and we always put a report with a Ministerial Decision so that [the decision] is a matter of audit what it was taken for.  So he would have been aware at the time what was being agreed, yes.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

I may be running slightly ahead; at that point, were you aware that there was, or was about to start, an internal police review, which was going to look at some areas, which it appears overlapped with the BDO report?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Well, I have read [then Acting Police Chief]’s submission, but when I read it I did not know at the time that there was such a detailed review going on that [Police consultant] was involved in.  [Police consultant] was taken on by [former D/Superintendent] I think it was to assist with the BDO report, but the significance of why else he might have been in Jersey was not apparent to me at the time.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did it become apparent to you?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Not until I read the submission.

 

Deputy D.J.A. Wimberley of St. Mary:

Sorry, I did not quite catch it; you said the significance of what, of being in Jersey?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

[Police consultant].  Yes, I mean my understanding of why [Police consultant] was in Jersey was to help BDO do what was a very unusual value-for-money audit, because of course they have no pre-knowledge of police procedures or how the police do their business, other than what is common knowledge, and so to do an audit of that fashion it was decided that they should have an advisor who knew about those things and that was his role.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Obviously you were following this closely, were you surprised when you read [then Acting Police Chief]’s submission?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I was mildly surprised that there was that other review going on, but then again I am fully conversant with need-to-know principles, so why I say “mildly surprised”, because there is no reason why I should have known; it is a police matter.  There is no reason why [then Acting Police Chief] should confide in me deeply as to what else he might be doing.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

While we are on that issue, the view very strongly expressed by [then Acting Police Chief] that he was not happy with this joint report, as he had never agreed to that.  Was that more than a surprise to you?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, in fact I had a conversation with [then Acting Police Chief] about broadly whether a joint report should be produced, so I was aware of his concern at the time, I just did not fully understand the context in which we were having that conversation until I read his submission.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I am just looking at the engagement letter and I cannot find [Police consultant]’s name in it.  Maybe I am wrong; maybe it is there somewhere, but it looks as if BDO are contracting to provide certain services and they will review the documentation, identify further documents, prepare a written report, and then they specify how that report is to be distributed, and then the fees and so on.  But no mention that there is going to be someone to help them with the interface with the police, with getting into the whole setup and finding out the things they need to find out.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, in the terms of reference we just asked for an audit job to be done, with these terms of reference.  We did not say how they should go about it; that was a matter for them.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

So to take on from Deputy Wimberley’s question, because it has been quite difficult for us, and especially the Minister seems to be having memory problems, he is struggling with what he can remember and what he cannot.  Were there any boundaries or limitations set by you in your role on the review that was going to take place.  Obviously you set the terms of reference, but was there any: who could be spoken to; who could not, I mean what part did you play in that?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, not at all.  We did not specify that and I mean I must stress it was a request to do a value-for-money audit, pure and simple, for the purposes of checking that taxpayers’ money had been wisely used.  To anticipate your next question, I did ask in a meeting, I think we had in July with the auditors, whether Mr. Harper was going to be interviewed, because I thought he should have been, not because the report was about him, it was not, or the audit was not about Mr. Harper, but you cannot escape the fact that he authorised most of the expenditure.  So I then remember having a conversation with [then Acting Police Chief] about Mr. Harper’s contribution, so I was not surprised in his submission that he laid out what the issue was.  He did not tell me precisely what it was at the time, again I did not inquire, it was just explained to me that, for policing reasons, he did not think it was the right thing to do.  Bear in mind that the Wiltshire investigation was ongoing and I think it was connected with that.  I now know more precisely why he had an objection to it.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You are now aware, having read [then Acting Police Chief]’s submission, that he thought or he believed he was saying he cannot be interviewed for the internal report for the States of Jersey Police, but he put no proscription on having him interviewed, or him being interviewed, for the BDO report.  Was that your understanding?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.  My understanding at the time was that any interview with Mr. Harper in his estimation might have cut across the Wiltshire investigation.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you contest this with him?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, I trusted his judgment in that, and ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you feel it was possible to write the report without input or without the leading participant contesting the evidence; did you feel it was possible to write a fair report on that basis?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Well let us be clear, this was not an investigation; it was an audit, and ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But it was inevitably going to lead to possible accusations against people, was it not?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I am sure you have read the BDO report.  If you read the report, it is not couched in accusatorial language; it makes a number of recommendations.  In fact when I read it, if in fact you read it, I picked out 9 places where it says: “This was good practice.”  Maybe it is me, but I read it in that light.  It was an audit report based on evidence, based on financial evidence, which in my view tried to be objective about what they found.  It was not an investigation.  I am not naive enough to think it would not impact on certain people.  Frankly, it was quite a risk for me to commission this audit, because I am the Accounting Officer, but I felt it was the right thing to do, I was prepared to stand by the decisions I had made over the last 2 years, at the time, it has now been 3 years, and so I was prepared to take whatever they concluded.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

While you are on that subject, we have considered quite a lot today that Jersey is quite a unique system and not a normal system you find for the police to work in, in a big case like this.  How did you feel in your position, because clearly your position was less than perfect in that you have got no power over the police but, as you say, you are the accounting officer?

 

[15:30]

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes, it is and remains an imperfect arrangement, I will call it that, but we have strengthened it since.  I had a written memorandum of understanding with [then Acting Police Chief] about the interface between the Home Affairs budget and the police budget and I have got a similar one with Mr. Bowron which we signed in January.  I think what Rectangle showed up was the imperfection in our system when it comes to the control of the police budget and hopefully that will be fully put right when we get the police authority.  At the moment the M.O.U. (memorandum of understanding) that I have, which sets out in 2 pages what I expect the Police Chief to do for me and what he can expect from me, does give us something better to work to.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Going back to your statement that there was a risk in commissioning this audit, and I can see what you mean, how do you react, maybe, to the criticism that some have expressed that the BDO report looks at the way the police spent the money and does not look at the way Home Affairs could have had responsibility there, that the torch was shone more on one side than on the other?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Bear in mind that the BDO report is one thing, the Wiltshire finance report is another and the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report is another.  I think if I had been found seriously wanting I would be gardening by now but the Comptroller and Auditor General summed it up in his report of 14th July 2010.  If you have not read that then you need to read that because that sums up all the reports and gives his view on whether I did enough, frankly.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It is not so much whether you would be gardening now.  I think gardening is nicer than sitting here.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I like gardening but it does not put bread on the table.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

My question was about the balance of the report and it is not what I am saying.  The whole thing is about what different people are saying about this and there is a view that BDO were very intent on looking at the expenditure of the police and what occasioned it and the triggers and then the details of the dog and so on but they were not as interested in if expenditure is running at £300,000 a month or £400,000 a month, something like that.  Home Affairs is where the accounting expertise is; there is none in the police.  I seem to have read that they have not got much in the way of that.  So was there not room at that point to say: “Hey, come on, let us sit around the table and get somebody with their hands on the purse strings inside the police”?  I know it is hindsight.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes, but that does raise a number of issues.  The first thing is that we are way off terms of reference here but you have asked me the question.  To take that point though, I will say this - it is not my knowledge, it is obviously in other reports - that it is part of the procedures with major inquiries to appoint a finance team to cope with the expenditure.  That was not done.  The police had access to the Home Affairs finance staff, as they do every day of the week.  The problem we had was that we were always looking in the rear view mirror.  There was no budget for this operation or investigation.  If you have read the reports, one of the first things I had to do was ask the Treasury how I am supposed to account for all this, and I did that right at the beginning.  It is very difficult to run a proper set of accounts with no money upfront.  The other thing, of course, is we were not party to any of the spending decisions so things were being looked at in retrospect and we had to build a pattern of expenditure based on what had already happened rather than what was going to be authorised.  So it is not right to say that there was not access to financial knowledge or expertise.  One of the finance managers in the department sits on the Force management board as a finance adviser, so there was finance advice available continually.  I met Mr. Harper myself in person once on finance specifically but we were in contact through most of May 2008, because the expenditure was starting to kick off in a big way, about what exactly was happening.  So it is not true to say or suggest that they were cut adrift from a financial point of view.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Obviously I am not a forensic accountant, none of us are.  I do not think I would want to be either, but from your position - and we put this question to the Minister so I will ask you - when you compare, say, the Wiltshire expenses, which I have questioned myself.  The Minister in his answer said he was quite happy that was above normal expense, £80 or whatever it is, for a room but he justified it by saying they were close to where they were working.  What sort of guidance, if any, were BDO given in coming to their conclusions on what was good value?  Could you just clarify that for me?  As I say, I am not an accountant.  What I am trying to say is are there some sort of consistent guidelines for all these exercises?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

The Force themselves have policies on things like entertainment and travel, so they have got their own rules.  That is where you would go first of all to have a look to verify things.  Then I think it is generally known that the States has got, through procurement, approved rates on hotels and accommodation.  So those are the non-specialist areas of expenditure.  Of course there are things like the drugs dog and the cordons and that sort of thing, which are more specialist, but for these things which are common or garden expenditure anybody who is a public servant would know what you are supposed to do.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Yes, I fully appreciate that but I am saying the Minister’s answer was he brought up the fact these people were put up on the other side of the Island from where they were working, and you have to say again Jersey is 9 by 5.  Now, if it can be justified on the one side, all I am asking is is there consistency and would BDO have been given guidance on anything specifically from Home Affairs?  What I am trying to establish is if there is consistency in the approach to what is appropriate and what is not.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I did not give them any guidance on that but then it is part of an audit function to find that.  I do not think that is a particularly complicated area.  From reading the report, they benchmarked what was being spent in various places against the rates that they knew were about or against where other people were staying.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Again, I may be exceeding the terms.  You said and you implied it was a bit of a courageous thing to have commissioned this report, but do you think we should never have been there in the first place?  In other words, people knew there was not a structure to financial management and that there could have been and should have been much stronger intervention at an earlier point when it was quite obvious to some people that things were not right.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I knew from 26th February 2008 that I was on a bit of a sticky wicket.  I am old enough to know that this was going to be difficult.  Here is a huge amount of expenditure, unprecedented really, no budget, nobody telling me how the money is going to be refunded, no control over instructing the police how to spend it, and yet I am legally responsible in law.  All I could hope was that in the fullness of time people would take a broad-minded view of it, weigh up all the factors involved and reach a sensible conclusion.  Bear in mind, and this is a serious point which I have not made yet, we did think at the time we were talking about child genocide.  I am not a dyed-in-the-wool civil servant.  In February 2008, when the former Chief Minister made that statement, I was going to be the last person to interfere with what the police were doing and the last thing they needed was me on their backs saying: “Have you filled in these balance sheets?”  There was a time and a place for that but it was not just then.  So I think here we are in the cold light of day 3 years later.  What you have to do is remember that the Island was potentially, and we thought we were, dealing with something really horrible and the focus at the time was on what exactly had gone on, not about whether we are spending the precise amount of money on this or that.  So I did want to let the police get on and do what they had to do.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Okay, although the irony is, of course, as the situation was to unfold it was then alleged by some parties that the eye was taken off the child abuse allegations and it became this pantomime about finance.  The whole thing then became a scandal about finance.  So it is hard to judge.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

But I, in my water, knew that would happen eventually.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Looking at the report, so the report is going on, we have the role, as we find [Police consultant], who seems to pop up in various capacities.  Did BDO come back to you regularly and say: “This is what we have found.  These are the issues.  Can we sit down and discuss them?  These are the steps we propose to take for the future”?  Did that discussion take place?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

We had 3 meetings in person, which I have got file notes of.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Sorry, what period was that over, roughly?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

From about March 2009 to the end of 2009.  During that time they were involved in the grinding out of the evidence and looking at the stuff.  We did not question findings at that point.  Where we got more involved was late 2009, early 2010 when the first drafts of the report started to come out.  Originally it was very detailed and I did see an early draft, which was their working draft if you like, and the main observation I had at the time was that you could not put it into the public domain.  I said to BDO: “Look, this is all very good stuff, very detailed, but the public are going to want to see this.  We need a report that you can put out.”  It did take them quite some time to then change that.  For example, there was lots of email correspondence and quoting of people and what they had written, this sort of thing, rather than things written in reported speech, which would be right.  They had a number of iterations of editing the report so that you have what you have today.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But when you read it, aside from the presentational issues, did you spot anything, for example: “This conclusion is not sound.  I do not think you can say that without more evidence.  You have jumped too many steps here”?  Did you come across any of that?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

There was no need for that, no.  They had done what I thought was a professional audit.  They had based their conclusions on evidence and what they had looked at and, no, I did not have any reason to question that.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

There is a strange form of logic.  There is a discussion about Mr. Harper and why he would have been essential and so forth, and they answer their own darts because they then give a list of reasons - it is under 20, [in BDO Alto written submission] I got it wrong this morning - why they did not expect Mr. Harper to turn up.  Surely it was not their prerogative to determine whether or not he was going to turn up.  They assume he is not going to turn up so do not invite him.  Did you pick that up?

 

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Turn up for which?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Turn up to give evidence, were he to be given an invitation.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

They assume that in their submission, or they suggest that.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes, but he never was going to be asked to turn up, was he, because they followed [then Acting Police Chief]’s advice on that? 

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So you were aware of this advice?  You were aware of the conversations between [Police consultant] and [then Acting Police Chief]?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I was aware from [then Acting Police Chief] himself that he would not sanction Mr. Harper being asked to give a statement.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I am sorry.  To make that quite clear, from what we have heard today, yes he was going to be prevented from speaking to [Police consultant] on the internal inquiry, but from what we have heard, he could have spoken to BDO.

 

[15:45]

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.  It is not ... I think I answered the question, and that is not my understanding.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I am saying, that is not what was said to us today, so ...

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I can only tell you what I understood.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I just want to get that ...

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I am quite firm on that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Right.  So you had this view from [then Acting Police Chief] that it is not possible, for reason X, to talk to Mr. Harper, and did that give you ... did that give you ... not sleepless nights, but did that give you cause for concern?  Did that worry you that [then Acting Police Chief] was saying no, they cannot speak to Lenny Harper, given his role in the whole ...

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

My judgment was, he had a good reason for saying that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Did it worry you?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

You did not think it might affect the credibility of the report, given that the report also refers to the Met report, where the same situation attained that Lenny Harper had not spoken ... that they had not spoken to Lenny Harper or Graham Power, for that matter.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, because my frame of mind was that, as I said before, it was an audit, and it was an audit for the Minister and for me.  I would accept the criticism, that it is preferable, or would have been preferable, for Mr. Harper to have been interviewed because, as I said before, I thought he should have been.  If I had had a free hand, he should have been asked about it, yes.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

What I was wondering is, you did not think it was worth then saying, or it was worth suggesting to BDO: “Look, the main participant, the person who drove the expenditure, has not been interviewed, and this must inevitably short change the report.  It cannot be a complete report.”

 

The Deputy of St. Mary: 

It would taint it.  It would taint it, as well.  The point about this whole investigation, the whole lot was tainted, is it not?  It is like people do not believe anything, and so you have to make this report bullet-proof, clear, and you have to have the main protagonist.  It may be that it would not have changed the report in any way other than that.  What matters is that he was not able to give his view.  Question mark.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes, you can take that view.  It was not one I held at the time.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I want to pick up on what you say about ... and I was very surprised when I read it in the document by [then Acting Police Chief], I think, where he says that it was not a ... it was not an investigation, it was a review.  You say the same thing, it was an audit, it was: “Just an audit.”  Whether you would like to comment on what the Jersey Evening Post termed “just an audit”, on the 15th of July, when this became public, where we see 4 pages of “just an audit”, of sensational headlines.  Would you like to comment on how “just an audit” becomes ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We appreciate that you do not control the media.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It is a problem, though, with something that is an audit.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

It must be disappointing for you, though, I would have thought?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

You have to have a thick skin if you are a public servant.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But the point is it is not covered as an audit is covered as an investigation.  I mean, quite plainly, that is ... it comes out as a hatchet.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

If you gave the BDO report to a civil servant and said: “Do me a précis of this”, it would not look like that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

The problem is that it does look like that.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

But we are in different professions, are we not?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But you see, now I am getting sort of twitchy, I am getting kind of shades of Murdoch and saying: “I did not really mean to do that, these guys just did it, you know, I do not know anything about it.”  Yet, this is how it ends up in the paper, and so on.  I just put it to you there is something ... there is something worrying about this process where an objective report, as you are saying that it ... well, are you saying ...  Do you think that is a thorough and objective report?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So then the question is, how does he get it turned into this?  Or is this thorough ...

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I am not a journalist.  I mean, I cannot possibly explain or justify why journalists make that of an audit report.  Not as Chief Officer for Home Affairs, I could as a member of the public.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But you might be able to as a politician, though.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Sorry?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

As a politician, you might be able to predict how the report would look in the J.E.P. (Jersey Evening Post).

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Well, I thought it was an objective report.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It is not really a fair question to give you.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

I was going to make the point that there was no doubt that this was being played out almost as a massive propaganda battle.  Even though you had, for the finest of motives, commissioned this report and reports like that, they were clearly moving in a certain direction, and there was a view that if you rubbish the investigation officer (not you, but if the system does) then you rubbish the inquiry, that the 2 things were becoming conflated, as they say.  There was an awful lot of evidence starting to appear in the public domain, which seemed to be focused on, and I think my colleague put it well, Deputy Wimberley: I am investigating the senior investigating officer.  I am not defending him; I am not an apologist for him at all.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

For the record, you are not suggesting I commissioned it to rubbish the ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

No, but what I am suggesting is that it was moving very strongly in that direction, and there was an unending sort of supply of notes of information, ending up in the public domain.  Do you think that is what was happening?  Not with your active connivance, I should say, but that is essentially what happened.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Well, it is mere supposition, is it not?  We do not go to work every day to indulge in any of that.  It is not part of being in the public service.  I do not know what other people do, but certainly, you know, I can talk for Home Affairs, me and my staff.  That is not what we get up in the morning to do.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Something that has worried me today at the hearing, and obviously, we have to check it out.  You said you are happy it is an objective report to the best of your knowledge.  Obviously, you did not write it.  But if you are going to engage a firm of accountants to do that, and we know, we have seen the document from BDO, they did conflict of interest checks on those staff, which apparently is quite normal, I can imagine.  As I say, I am not an accountant.  But when we hear that allegations that one of the key people who wrote this was actively involved on the internet in an anti-Mr. Harper group, would that worry you?  You obviously do not know that, so I am just putting it to you.  Does that not concern you, if that is true?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Until you just said it, I had no knowledge of that.  But if it is true, of course it would, yes.  I mean, if that had been ... if that is true, and generally known at the time, you would not ignore that, would you?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I would hope not.

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, we would not.  But until you just said it, I had no prior knowledge of any suggestion of that at all.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

If something like that would have been brought to your attention, then what could you have done?  What would happen, I mean, how would you take that up with the people doing the review?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I think you would have to see if there was anything in it.  There is so much supposition and accusation around, you would have to verify it.  If it was found to be substantiated, you know, you could not end up appointing a firm, you know, who had had a conflict like that.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Can we move to the allegations of a leak, and again, we are not accusing you of this you, by the way, but it is more to explore the issue.  Were you aware that there was leaking, initially to the local press, and then there was this major leak to an English national paper of information derived from or replicating the BDO report?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.  The first we knew about it was after (it was the 4th of October, was it not) was the first working day when we came to work.  Then our first thought was to ask BDO what was going on, because it was not from the Home Affairs, obviously.  I was sure of that, so we asked BDO if they knew anything about it.  That was our first reaction.  I think it is in the submissions, it is clear now what happened.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Had there been any other leakings, as far as you are aware?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Not that I am aware of, no.  Other people may have been, if they were closer to other information, but we did not have much meaty information.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

This sounds an astoundingly naive question, but it has to be asked (not because I am naive ... well, I might have been) what are the major lessons you have learnt from all of this?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Despite all the problems, and I knew there would be problems, and here we are, 3 years down the line, I think as the Home Affairs Department, we tried hard to let the police get on and do their job, but in the real world, you have to be able to back everything up, justify what you did, account ... you know, I am accountable, I am the Accounting Officer.  So at the same time you are giving people latitude to do an important job, you do have to spend some time making sure that you can account for decisions.  Now, I found that very difficult, because the system was not perfect, as we now know.  You know, we have mentioned all the other problems, like not having a budget.  All those things made it very, very difficult.  One of the reasons I said I found this quite an objective report was because if it happened again, and God forbid it ever does, but if we had anything similar, you could go to that [BDO Alto report].  If you look at the recommendations in there, even if you did not go to the major incident procedure manual that the police have to work to, you could pick this up and say: “Well, hang on a minute, what did we miss last time?”  So for me, this is a good reference document.  So a lot of the lessons that, from an accounting point of view, were there to be learnt, are in there and in many ways it vindicates the reason for commissioning the value for money audit, because it has been very helpful from that point of view.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

You just reminded me of one question I wanted to follow up before, from Deputy Le Hérissier.  When speaking with Mr. Harper, and [former Police Chief] I suppose, as well, why things were unfolding, Mr. Harper has expressed the view that Home Affairs were always happy with the explanations given and how things were being spent, it would seem.  Is that a fair reflection, what he said, or is it only later when you were ... dissatisfaction emerged?  Could he have gone away with that impression wrongly, that everything ... you were all happy with?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.  That was his way of expressing it.  I think, if you had been a fly on the wall, you could not say I was happy with everything that was going on.  Bear in mind, I was questioning everything in retrospect.  I did not have a chance to be happy, because I was not ever being approached and asked whether: “We are about to spend this large sum of money, is that okay?”  Or what could we be doing to put in place measures to make sure that there is an appropriate use of funds.  That is a different way of doing it.  The only conversation that we have ever had was (and bear in mind, I was the instigator of these discussions) saying: “You have done these things.  How can you assure me that you have spent the money appropriately?”  Or efficiently and effectively, to use the right words.  He would then explain, and he would give a justification.  All I could do was ask questions and accept the explanation or otherwise.  It is not me endorsing what had happened. I was not in a position to do that.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Perhaps I am getting confused, and correct me if I am, but one of the big expenses would have been the serious crime incident room, would there not?  Is that fair, to say that was?  Should that have been an expense attributed to the general police budget, rather than unfolding of the Haut de la Garenne?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.  You mean the Holmes investigation suite?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Yes.

 

[16:00]

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, because they would not normally have a need for anything of that scale, so that, in my view, is correctly attributed to the investigation.  But bear in mind, you know, you have to maintain some balance here.  I appreciate that Mr. Harper and anybody involved with the inquiry was having to make decisions on the hoof, half the time.  You do not have the chance to sit back with your feet up on the table, mulling over what to do, necessarily.  Some things ... there has to be ... the BDO report says there was not the need for urgency, but there was ...  But there were a lot of difficult decisions to be taken, and so we forget that in the calm of today, but in the cut and thrust of the time, people had to make some pretty serious operational decisions.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But I still have to come back to ... I just quote what Mr. Harper said, which is fine, and I think you have just spoken about it, you have given your version of this.  He says he got very little guidance from Financial Affairs.  “The nearest we got was sitting down and talking with the Chief Officer and the Head of Finance, and going through the expenditure, and both of those always, at every stage, expressed satisfaction.”  You have a slightly different gloss on that, you asked questions.  “And I have to say, some frustration as well with the fact that they were aware that we were trying to keep costs down to a budget that we did not have.”  So there you are, each month, having these meetings, roughly?  And it was looking at this quite big river of money going, and asking questions as well as you could.  But was there not a point at which you thought: “Gosh, can we not set up something a bit better than this, to manage the expenditure, so that it is not Mr. Harper who is saying: ‘I will decide on this and I will decide on that, and what about the transport, and what about the hotels, and ...’”  You know, which is what the BDO report ... that is what they say: “Should have happened”, in quotes.  So my question is, I suppose, why did it not happen?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Well, it did.  As I said, during May 2008 there was a lot of correspondence between Mr. Harper and myself about whether he could justify the amount that was being spent, and he gave me those assurances.  But as part of questioning and verifying that I wrote twice to Chief Officer.  So I wrote to [former Police Chief] saying: “I have been told this, I need an assurance from you that this is right.”  It was not answered the first time, but [former Police Chief] did suggest that we set up an oversight board to meet on a monthly basis to look at financial expenditure, which was a good idea, and we set it up.  But I did have to write to him another 2 weeks later and say: “You know that question I asked you, I still need your assurance.”  Then he wrote back and said he had been assured by the people in charge that expenditure was being appropriately made.  So that was me trying to get, from the top, the fact that they were looking after public money.  But to answer Deputy Wimberley’s question, we did set up this board.  When [then Acting Police Chief] came in, I think it was August 2008 when Mr. Harper had gone, he set up a different group.  He ran it more on operational lines (it is referred to as a Gold Group in some of the literature) which was a more formal board, where financial matters were part of that, and I attended those meetings, where part of that was, if they were going to incur significant expenditure, it had to be agreed at that meeting, in advance.  So that was an improvement.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can you tell us when the F.O.B. (Financial Oversight Board) was kicked off?  I know it is in one of the documents, so maybe I can just find it. 

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, no, I will find it.  The first meeting was on 23rd July 2008, the second meeting was on 3rd October 2008, and the third meeting was on 12th February 2009.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

By then it was running in parallel with the Gold Group?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

Yes.  But we subsumed it within for obvious reasons.  [then Acting Police Chief] and [former D/Superintendent] were at the last meetings, obviously, because they had now become the new team.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Can I just ask then your feelings when this leak, which allegedly came from [former D/Superintendent]; it seems that way, [Police consultant] told us it had been confirmed to him by [former D/Superintendent] it was him.  What concerns did that raise for you at that time, the fact that it ... did you worry it was going to undermine the inquiry that was going on, the review?  Did you wonder what the motivation was for that?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

I think it was a personal decision taken by [former D/Superintendent], obviously, to go public with his feelings.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Have you told him these feelings?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No, I never spoke to him personally.  I doubted the wisdom of that at the time.  I remember thinking I would not have done it myself.  But I think, again it is only my view.  He obviously felt very strongly about the issue, and felt that that was his way of dealing with it.  It is not my style, but we are not all the same, are we?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Do you have any other points that you want to make to us?

 

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:

No.  Only that it is easy to reflect in hindsight.  I think people forget too easily that at the time ...  We may be all divided now, but at the time, I would say everybody in this room had one objective, and that was to get to the bottom of whatever it was that caused this investigation.  In many ways, ironically, we are glad it did not precipitate into something else.  I think one of life’s ironies is that we were all united in early 2008, in trying to get to the bottom of something completely ghastly.  It is just a shame now that we all have different positions on it.  But that is a personal thing.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Thank you again for giving evidence, and I will end it there.  I am sure if we need to speak to you again, you will be more than happy to spend some time.  Thank you.

 

[16:07]

 

 

 





46 comments:

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

SAV saya.

"Bear in mind, and this is a serious point which I have not made yet, we did think at the time we were talking about child genocide. I am not a dyed-in-the-wool civil servant. In February 2008, when the former Chief Minister made that statement, I was going to be the last person to interfere with what the police were doing and the last thing they needed was me on their backs saying: “Have you filled in these balance sheets?” There was a time and a place for that but it was not just then. So I think here we are in the cold light of day 3 years later. What you have to do is remember that the Island was potentially, and we thought we were, dealing with something really horrible and the focus at the time was on what exactly had gone on, not about whether we are spending the precise amount of money on this or that. So I did want to let the police get on and do what they had to do."

Why has Lenny Harper never been afforded that defence? He was dealing possibly with, among many other atrocities, Child Genocide and he has been attacked by the whole of our media, and others, because he didn't stick to a budget.........that he didn't have!!.............that he and Graham Power had been "pleading" for.

Let's find out if those human remains are of murdered children. Let's find out how those remains got there, and who put them there, or indeed who murdered these poor children if that is the case.

Anonymous said...

This has been a witch hunt from the very start to trash Lenny Harper and Graham Power for showing the world the dark secrets Jersey has been hiding. These transcripts show that and ILM's selective memory as good as proves it.

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Just about all you need to know about the JEP's and other "accredited" media outlets agenda on this island.

"The Deputy of St. Mary:
I want to pick up on what you say about ... and I was very surprised when I read it in the document by [then Acting Police Chief], I think, where he says that it was not a ... it was not an investigation, it was a review. You say the same thing, it was an audit, it was: “Just an audit.” Whether you would like to comment on what the Jersey Evening Post termed “just an audit”, on the 15th of July, when this became public, where we see 4 pages of “just an audit”, of sensational headlines. Would you like to comment on how “just an audit” becomes ...

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:
If you gave the BDO report to a civil servant and said: “Do me a précis of this”, it would not look like that.

Chief Officer, Home Affairs Department:
I am not a journalist. I mean, I cannot possibly explain or justify why journalists make that of an audit report."

And the JEP have the nerve to call any other "news" paper "disgraced?"

GeeGee said...

Oh yes VFC - let us get straight to the real nitty gritty of the matter - the fact that human remains were found at Haut de la Garenne, the fact that there are testimonies that people were sodomised, raped and subjected to branding with hot irons and whose abusers have never been brought to justice.

The evidence is there, the abused are still there to give the evidence of their suffering and abuse.

If the chance of affording those who suffered the ultimate fate has passed them by, we owe it to them to at least get justice for them.

And we will.

Anonymous said...

So, who informed the former Chief Minister, Frank Walker that it looked like child genocide?

In fact he was so convinced, he gave Power and Harper an open cheque book.

Therefore this statement Frank Walker made.

Will it be in written or recorded form?

Or was it (conveniently) not written down or recorded?

rico sorda said...

"child genocide"

That was just a term used by Mr Vautier and as far as I know has never been used anywhere else.

In my opinion way over the top

rs

Anonymous said...

Bright and Shiteley need to be scutinized!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what has happened to the written agenda lists produced by SAV for the bi monthly meetings. I guess they may have been shredded.

Anonymous said...

http://tonymusings.blogspot.com/2011/07/source-critical-approach-of-bdo.html

Tony's blog has a thoughtful posting on the inconsistencies between Kellett and BDO Alto regarding the leak which quoted a conclusion from the final BDO Alto Report word for word. He makes a good case that someone has to be providing inaccurate answers to Scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

When you rearrange the letters of DESPERATION: You get A ROPE ENDS IT

When you rearrange the letters of ELECTION RESULTS:
You get: LIES - LET'S RECOUNT

When you re-arrange the letters of IAN LE MARQUAND, I'M THE HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER: You get - I HAVEN'T A CLUE WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, CLUELESS, THAT'S ME. WEASEL WORDS ARE MY ONLY SOLUTION - HELP ME TERRY.

Anonymous said...

I still can not understand how SAV was able to set the terms of reference to his own position of responsibilty.

The now termed (audit)of BDO a company lorded as independent?

Anonymous said...

In none of the witness statement has an amount been provided in £ to show or even suggest an overspend.

Where is evidence that taxpayers are unhappy with amount spent?

Anonymous said...

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:
Did you actually write the terms of reference?

The Minister for Home Affairs:
I do not think I did, no.

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:
Who did?

The Minister for Home Affairs:
Well, again, looking at the witness statements that I have seen, the statements of individuals, it appears that it was worked out between Home Affairs Departments and BDO Alto; that appears to be ... There was some involvement at some stage, I think, of the Acting Chief Officer of Police in relation to the details as to how it was going to happen in practice but it seems to have been dealt with entirely by them without my being involved. If my staff think otherwise then they are probably right and I am wrong but I have no recollection of dealing with it and I have not been able to come across any documentation in house which indicated that I did"

This just gets better by the day. Rico, you are nailing these clowns. When did Mr Harper first raise these concerns with the Senator? I can't believe the answers he hasn't given. This is the Senator who went all out with the Jersey MSM in sabotaging Mr Harper & Power and now look at him.

Anonymous said...

A Source Critical Approach of the BDO submission
The transcript from the Scutiny hearing notes:

Managing Director, BDO Alto Limited:
Yes, just to clarify, and it is in our written submission, the material that was leaked to the newspaper was not a BDO work product. I cannot comment on what was leaked to the media. As again we say in our written submission, we provide you with copies of the correspondence with Home Affairs on 5th October 2009. This matter was clearly brought to our attention. We were concerned that anything that was related to our review was finding its way into the national media. As I say, it was not a BDO report. There was not an interim report at that point in time. What appears to have been leaked were, again, some of the early drafts of some of [Police Consultant]'s work. He might want to say something about that.

and later on this is stated about Mick Gradwell leaking information to the press:

Deputy T.M. Pitman:
Just for the record, you are saying he said he did not actually show documents to a journalist. He verbally, because you said he had not shown. That is what you have just said.

Police Consultant:
I cannot remember at this distance to say his exact words. What he says is content. Whether he handed documents or whether he had no idea, I am not sure.

Now the Mail article which had leaked information had quoted sentences that were, word for word, the same as those in the BDO final report. The journalist must have had a very good memory, or recorded text from the leak, because as the Daily Mail has the same sentences as BDO final report - - and the conclusion, not any preliminary material.

The Mail on Sunday has several quotes from the report, and this is the one concluding the section on dog handling:

The auditors' interim report concludes: 'It was an expensive mistake to bring in Mr Grime. It would have been far preferable and much cheaper to have tried to obtain appropriately trained dogs and handlers from UK police forces.'

If you read the conclusions of the segment on Mr Grime in the final BDO report, it matches the two sentences word for word. It says:


'It was an expensive mistake to bring in Mr Grime. It would have been far preferable and much cheaper to have tried to obtain appropriately trained dogs and handlers from UK police forces.'


It is not a paraphrase. From a point of view of historical source criticism, I would say it is impossible for that to not have been in existence when the leak occurs, which means that

(1) either the police consultant's early drafts must have reach the stage of conclusions, and that was assimilated without change into the final BDO report, which seems extraordinary

(2) or that BDO had an interim draft in existence already.

It's not even like the Synoptic gospels, where one source (Mark) gets changed slightly in later gospels. This is 100% match.

Quite frankly, I cannot see any other conclusions possible. It is a pity no one read out the sentences, and asked BDO how this ended up in the final report without change, as it is a conclusion, and hence depends, obviously, on the analysis of expenses done by the auditors which support that conclusion, unless all of that was in the police consultants early draft! In which case, exactly work what did BDO do (and were paid for) on that section? Or did he provide the conclusion, and they did the analysis afterwards?

It does not seem to agree well with the BDO interview (transcript segments above). The Mail calls it "the auditor's interim report", and on the basis of the match, I think "there was not an interim report at that time" seems contradictory. I leave the reader to make their own minds up on the truth of the matter, given the evidence of the sources matching between the leaked sentences and the final BDO report.
Posted by TonyTheProf at 02:38

Anonymous said...

OMG

What the hell is going on here? Check this part out...

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Taking on from that we have been quite surprised, I think it is fair to say, reading Mr. Warcup’s submission; he said that he had never approved the joint report between Mr. Kellett and BDO and he says, quote: “Indeed I did not feel it appropriate for Mr. Kellett to carry out any further work as my original instructions had not been complied with and the review had become advertently focused on Mr. Harper, lacked objectivity, had the potential to be unfair to Mr. Power and could have seriously undermined the investigation by Wiltshire Police.” As Minister, how would you react to that?

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Again, I only saw that for the first time just a couple of days ago and was quite surprised because I would assume that Mr. Warcup would have known exactly what arrangements were taking place in relation to things. As I say, that is not what he is talking about; the matters he is talking about there were not within my knowledge. I knew that BDO Alto were producing a report as a result of this. I knew that there was a Mr. Kellett doing something somewhere in the middle or playing some sort of intermediate role but I did not, I think, know any details at all.


SAV arranges his own TOR, ILM doesn't have a clue what;s going on, Kellett has free range of the SOJP, Warcup is looking for voids in his memory and Gradwell is sharing reports with his buddy David Rose..

Bring the curtain down this show is over

Larry Rivers said...

Yet again on the money Rico Sorda. You got fans all over the globe. Was a very good idea to start this blog. What it has shown up is truly inrcredible in an evidencial sense. Your research skills are almost as good as "the wife's".

BTW Rebecca Rivers is not my wife. But if she wants a date send her the link to my buffchests.com video profile.

Then send her Mick Gradwell's just for a laugh.

He says he can do 40 press ups an hour. And 3 star jumps. And a forward roll. In speedos.

But he wont give evidence.

Life enriching.

Not.

Anonymous said...

This part should have the Home Affairs Minister removed from office. Does he know who he is when he wakes in the morning? Read it and JUDGE for yourself.

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I was not getting updates in terms of draft reports or anything of that nature. There will have been conversations between myself and Mr. Austin-Vautier about this in general terms, but my memory really jumps from setting it up to a situation where I think I saw a draft report or something of that nature, which was longer than what was eventually produced, and which had a lot of detail. I cannot remember if I read it in detail at that stage and I cannot tell you exactly when I saw it, but I have a recollection of being aware that something was in existence. Then I have a recollection that was being transformed in terms of its format and so on, into something that would be more readable and would exclude references to individual people and other items, which should not be in the report. But again my understanding of that is in general terms because Mr. Austin-Vautier was really dealing with that.

Anonymous said...

"there is no question the financial controls were inadequate and mistakes were made, but there were some things that were done, which were good, I mean for instance I recollect that Mr. Harper and his colleagues renegotiated terms internally of some of the forces so that they received a lower rate of some of the staff. There were some good things, which happened. The trouble is that reports tend to highlight the bad things"

It's a minister with the full backing of the local media that highlighted al "the bad things"

Anonymous said...

A picture is beginning to emerge.

It would appear that Steve Austin-Vautier is a competent professional chief officer. It would be interesting to hear Lenny Harper's view on SAV's testimony. Given the circumstances at the time, it was prudent for the Accounting Officer (who has strict legal responsibilities under the law) to call for an audit of expenditure. Had I been in that position, I would have done the same - in the knowledge that, at some stage in the future, the nasty stuff would hit the fan and it would be just as well to be prepared for it.

However, the Minister's evidence is utterly beyond belief. If he is putting on an act as the champion chump of the century he deserves an oscar. On the other hand, if he is merely being himself then he is clearly both incompetent and disingenuous.

So, in a nutshell, we now have a body of evidence from both "sides". We have the sworn affidavits and other submissions from Messrs Power and Harper on the one hand and submissions and transcripts from ILM, SAV, Warcup, Kellett and BDO on the other. Also, of course, Wiltshire, the Met Report etc.

Notable by its absence is a submission from Gradwell. In the circumstances hardly a surprise!

What a pity all this could not have been put together in the form of a disciplinary hearing for Graham Power so that each side had the opportunity to challenge the other.

The picture I referred to is that the available evidence has been grossly distorted by two sets of people -

1. The Council of Ministers and others who seem to want to bury the whole abuse issue - presumably for the sake of Jersey's reputation internationally and possibly to protect certain individuals.

2. The "accredited" media. One can only guess as to their motive - possibly just to support the Ministerial stance and also, as a side benefit, produce some News of the World style headlines.

The scrutiny review is proving to be very worthwhile - keep it up.

The main event must now be the Committee of Inquiry. There is already a wealth of evidence for the COI to get stuck into so there can be now excuse for delay.

rico sorda said...

2. The "accredited" media. One can only guess as to their motive - possibly just to support the Ministerial stance and also, as a side benefit, produce some News of the World style headlines.


The relationship between the Jep, CTV and the bbc is far to cosy with our ruling elite. This must be seriously looked into. It's now so obvious as to what's gone on that it is beyond belief. The big hitters behind the scenes used their buddies at the local MSM to trash the Historic child Abuse Investigation. Protect Jerseys image at all costs and stuff the victims.

The Government led by Senator Ozouf is Morally and Socially Bankraupt it belongs to a place in the dark ages. The fools that blindly follow him are beyond a joke. I listened to the whole 1.1k debate and it really brought it home to me at just how far gone from reality the Ozouf party is.

This is one of the reasons that Children will never ever really be safe in the Care of The States of Jersey.

They will bury all news that goes against the great Jersey motto

"WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS"

Whether it's advertising Buy to Let caves from our glorious North Coast to the Taliban

Slicing & Dicing whales in a berth next to the incinerator - if this lot could get away with it they would, and why?

"WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS"

rs

rico sorda said...

Sometimes I get a comment that lifts my spirits more than overs. This morning I got one of those. I will share it with my readers. I find it uplifting because I know im seriously getting under the skin of the people who would rather help and conceal Child Abuse if it protects the Glorious 'Right' of Jersey Politics and the Islands Image.

This has not been an easy path for myself, it has taken a lot of work, but why would someone want this review stopped? Someone who is in league with paedos?

Anon

"You really a pleb. Because you are a witness to this inquiry but evidently doing your best to influence its outcome with all these posts, questions are being asked as to whether your evidence should be struck out or this inquiry should be abandoned in its entirety."


Let me tell you again. I will never stop doing this work until this whole stinking corrupt mess is fully exposed.

You would have better luck tapping Ben on the shoulder, asking for a tenner, placing it on 'Im a fecking losser' running at the 3.15 at Cover Up Jersey Paedos.

Ciao

rs

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.
Your anonymous commenter says.

"questions are being asked as to whether your evidence should be struck out or this inquiry should be abandoned in its entirety."

"or this inquiry should be abandoned in its entirety." Now just who would want this enquiry abandoned in its entirety? Surely EVERYBODY wants the TRUTH to come out don't they???

Anonymous said...

ILM selective memory & he wants to be CM cannot even organise agendas for meetings!!

God help us,unlike ILM don't believe in God & thats why when people like him LIE.

rico sorda said...

Senator ILM in the states on March 1st 2010 during the 'COI' debate
said


"The Deputy of St. Mary offers a statement made, apparently, by former Deputy Chief Officer, who he named in fact today as Mr. Harper, as being a reason to doubt that. Well, in my view, the opinion of that particular gentleman is hardly a credible source of information. This is the person who took colleagues on expensive outings to London, with expensive meals, which were totally unjustified in any way whatsoever. This particular officer, in my view, caused enormous problems in this Island, not just in this context, but in the context of the police force generally, and he is, in my opinion, an incompetent maverick and not in the least a credible person to be believed by this Assembly or anywhere else."

You just couldn't make it up could you. Have people really taken stock of what this Senator is on. This is starting to fall apart around their ears what a joke. Look at the evidence given by the Senator.

rs

rico sorda said...

Who was actually controlling Mike Kellett and should he jave been passing drafts of his review over to Wiltshire seeing as they were conducting a separate disciplinary report into Graham Power. Does anybody know if this was right seeing as ILM was in charge of that side of things and he hasn't a clue what is going on..

Anonymous said...

Taken from Hansard States sitting 19/07/2010

“4.6.1 The Deputy of St. Mary:
Does the Minister not agree that the use therefore of an interim report based on that review was wholly … as part of the suspension process sending it to the D.C.O. and it was then subsequently used in the suspension process - does the Minister not agree that that really was wholly inappropriate as it was a review to encourage learning not a review for discipline?
Senator B.I. Le Marquand:
It was not used by me in relation to the disciplinary process and certainly not in relation to the suspension process. It was referred to in the letter written by the then Deputy Chief Officer of Police - now Acting Chief Officer of Police - to confirm some of the details in relation to his concerns. I am unable to judge whether that is proper or not.
4.7 The Deputy of St. Martin:
Will the Minister agree with me there is a certain pot calling the kettle black - or irony - in the way in which the Wiltshire Police have carried out their investigation. They were there to look at investigation of the mismanagement of funds and also the mismanagement by the States of Jersey Police and yet here we have a bill for nearly £1 million by the Wiltshire Police. A quarter of the sum is spent on accommodation and travel and, indeed, again I am poaching from the Minister’s own answer here, the meals and entertainment expenses. Does the Minister not really consider it to be ironic in the way that all this money has been spent and, in fact, that had not been accounted for until the States gave the consent only 2 weeks ago to give £260,000-odd for Operation Blast. The question is will the Minister now have an investigation into the mismanagement [Aside] [Laughter] of the Wiltshire investigation.
The Deputy Bailiff:
Minister, will you have an investigation?
Senator B.I. Le Marquand:
That is not my intention in the absence of evidence that anything improper has happened. I would have thought that the Deputy of St. Martin was the last one to want more money to be spent on further investigations. [Aside]”

There’s plenty of evidence now to hold an investigation don’t you think!!!

Ian Evans said...

SEEING EYE TO EYE ON POLICE CORRUPTION

Anonymous said...

States sitting 17/11/2009

“2.1 Deputy F.J. Hill of St. Martin of the Minister for Home Affairs regarding the suspension of the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police:
I would like to say a special good morning to Year 5, Mrs. Southern’s class at St. Martin’s school, who are listening to this hearing or sitting, ahead of their visit to the States Chamber next week. They are aware of this question and it was read out yesterday to them. Will the Minister give an update on the investigation by the Wiltshire Constabulary into the allegations made against the suspended Chief Police Officer and also advise who has been responsible for not meeting target dates, what the latest cost of the suspension is including cover and investigation costs, and what personal steps, if any, the Minister has taken to expedite the matter?
Senator B.I. Le Marquand (The Minister for Home Affairs):
In the customary manner, the question of the Deputy of St. Martin contains 4 questions and not one. I am able just to answer 2 of those without going into camera but I will need to go into camera to answer the other 2. Indeed, part of one of them I need to go into camera for. I will answer what I am able to and then we will make an application for us to go into camera, both for the rest of this question and also for question 6. The reasons for that are both requirements of the law in relation to any discussion of disciplinary matters of a certain individual and also contractual terms contained in the disciplinary code of the same individual. The answer that I am to give - first, in relation to the second question of 4 - are that target dates were not set. I have received information from time to time on the anticipated completion date. I have not played any part in the oversight of the investigation which had to be independent, nor have the States of Jersey Police played any part in the oversight. The second part of the question I am able to answer not in camera relates to costs, and the figures are as follows in relation to the original Wiltshire investigation. The costs to date are £526,000, anticipated to rise to £552,000 in relation to the investigation. In relation to the acting-up costs and the costs of an acting Deputy Police Chief, the costs are £145,057. These may increase at a rate of £13,400 a month. I now apply to go into camera.”

Anonymous said...

Rico - you posted this -
"Who was actually controlling Mike Kellett and should he jave been passing drafts of his review over to Wiltshire seeing as they were conducting a separate disciplinary report into Graham Power. Does anybody know if this was right seeing as ILM was in charge of that side of things and he hasn't a clue what is going on.."

As I said in a previous comment, the whole issue of investigations/reviews/audits appears to have been very sloppily handled. Judging by the evidence given to the scrutiny panel, my comments on the credibility of those involved are -
1. Harper and Power - consistently straightforward and open to contrary views. No claim to be 100% perfect - just doing the best they could in the circumstances.
2. Le Marquand - at best a naive incompetent. At worst a disingenuous political manipulator. Probably a bit of each.
3. Austin-Vautier - a competent professional.
4. Warcup - disaster. Might be a decent cop underneath it all but an ineffective manager at best. At worst, another devious manipulator. Or a bit of both.
5. Kellett - somehow doesn't ring true. I suspect he's a pretty savvy ex cop who's found a nice way to feather his nest. Might well have been in collusion with Gradwell.
6. BDO - desperately trying to salvage their reputation. Should never have agreed to do the audit without Harper's views. Thought they would get away with it at the time; now seriously worried.
7. Rico - a good honest attempt to put across the layman's view.

As to others in the mix -
1. Gradwell - no doubt about it. A devious weasel. Still don't know what his motivation was if he was acting on his own behalf. Different matter if he was operating for someone else - but I wonder who? Thoroughly discredited and disowned by all concerned.
2. Le Sueuer - got taken in by Walker and Ogley in the first instance and has missed every opportunity to rescue himself since then. Reputation forever tarnished.
3. Ogley - an arch manipulator who jumped overboard with the swag to save himself. Quite possibly the originator (along with Walker) of the whole problem.
4. Walker - see comment re Ogley.
5. Lewis - a puppet.
6. The "accredited" media - totally disgraceful, dishonest and should be subject to detailed investigation by any and every competent authority.

I've probably missed out a few - but there we go!

Anonymous said...

People will obviously draw their own conclusions. In my opinion,

Minister Ian Le Marquand, is on aware that Wiltshire had already done a financial review but he signed off yet another very similier financial BDO report which was fatally flawed and wasted £64,000.

The Minister can hardly remember anything about anything and has either entered the early stages of dementia or has obviously engaged in personality politics and in doing so lost all objectivity, rather than using his Judges skills which is frankly appalling.

This partly explains why, the people speaking at the scrutiny hearing are blaming each other, to save their professional skins, and telling of utter confusion, although the Minister in charge [unlike in the court room] allowed this to happen because of a personal bias and not taking a full Ministerial lead.

The good news for the Minister is the reports embellish his own view that SIO Lenny Harper was wasting taxpayers money, which is exactly as it was supposed to turn out.

The bad news is that the happy clappy unprofessional witch hunt, to again try to tarnish SIO Lenny Harper almost succeeded but has fallen apart because the truth hunters lead by Rico Sorda and followed by the scrutiny panel all got involved.

Their excellent and honest work, displays and highlights what an incompetent bunch of expensive out of control money grasping collection of people had been employed.

The Minister was happy to watch this feeding frenzy at a distance. He should have been looking for the truth not supporting confusion by " NOT " taking Ministerial control. Again a true waster of the public's money while voting to increase taxes, and where is his integrity ?

Clearly he does not deserve the trust of the people of Jersey.

Minister Ian Le Marquand should do the honourable thing, and resign.

Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Rico

It is only fair that you, Lenny, Stuart, and Graham be paid well to hand pick each other to write an official report on the professional conduct of ILM, Kellett, Warcup, Gradwell, the JEP and CTV to leak in advance to various outside media. The difference is that you guys would leak the true story, and it would actually be good value for the money.

Elle

Anonymous said...

Would Mr. Le Marquand commission a report into the way Wiltshire carried out their investigation based on statement below.

This report was prepared in connection with your wider review of the management of the Historical Child Abuse Enquiry, specifically to provide some assurance that resources have been used efficiently and effectively.



Whilst previously commissioned Internal Audit reports have endorsed the financial controls over the authorisation , completeness, validity, accuracy and timelines of recording expenditure, the issues of the use of resources has not been addressed and that is the purpose of this review.

Noting completeness, validity accuracy and timelines.

Anonymous said...

O...M...G!!! Would any objective investigator NOT see that the report's conclusions were in place before they were "researched" to justify false allegations to slam Harper with? And not just this report, or audit, review, or whatever. ALL OF THEM. Rico, you are just lining up the evidence too fast for them to refute it all now.

Damocles said...

Several times the transcript refers to a "Goal Group" when they should really have put "Gold Group".

Le Marguand and Warcup seem obsessed that there was no Gold Group set up and Wiltshire etc seem, to be the source of their obsession. Didn't Mr Harper say that they chose NOT to set up a Gold Group because some of the people they would have had to have on it were actually suspects?

Rob Kent said...

It may seem facetious, but why was a senior investigating officer in a large child abuse investigation supposedly responsible for the arranging the bed and breakfast accommodation of visiting experts?

Surely that is somebody else's job and it should be done in conjunction with an approved list of suppliers?

Blaming Lenny for that is just bollox.

Anonymous said...

Damocles,

Yes he did - and conveniently forgotten by the MSM too ... hmmm

The Beano is not the Rag

Anonymous said...

Rico, because you are exposing Gradwell for what he is and his connections with one David Rose you have got some States Members very worried indeed. Keep going and it will all come out it always does in the end. These States members worried very worried.

3 clowns said...

senator perchard,shenton&power

Sorry forgot the link

GeeGee said...

Ahhh - the Farce Blog three rear their very ugly heads again!

Couldn't be three nicer blokes. Three of our more 'upstanding', honest, whiter than white politicians!

Who do they think they are kidding Mr Sorda, because this a prime example of pots and kettles.

Senator No 1 - Suggests that fellow Senator should go and 'slit his wrists', and to all intents and purposes himself leaked information to the very dubious David Rose.

Senator No 2 - Tapes a fellow Senator's phone call to use in evidence against him quite some time later. Also appears to have gross contempt for the ordinary working man.

Senator No 3 - 'Borrows' a very personal e-mail which he 'found' on a printer. Conveniently managed to reproduce it on one aforementioned Farce Blog, and then went off sick for some time from the States.

Three of our best who have all shown an extremely nasty side to themselves and furthermore appear to have an unhealthy interest in rubbishing the Child Abuse issue.

Funnily though the more they try, the more suspicious we all get. However we must thank them for keeping it in the public eye!

As for the JEP printing this trash when they know the track records of all three is way, way beyond me! Or on second thoughts, maybe not!

rico sorda said...

GeeGee

I cant stop laughing, where do you begin and end with these 3 politicians.

I would like to thank the JEP for allowing a comments section because Shentons erotic play thing can Jerk all over it, lol he probably has 10 up already including one from Rico

Just cant stop laughing

Gradwell & Rose have them worried and so they should be

rs

Rob Kent said...

To give these three their proper names:

Ben "I record other people's phone conversations and leak them" Shenton

Sean "I steal other people's documents and leak them" Power

Jim "I receive confidential police emails and leak them to national newspapers" Perchard

And this is just their most relevant offences. We have a few others we could talk about.

The 'Farce Three' three must be really desperate to stop the truth coming out.

Anonymous said...

One thing I always wonder about this corruption is if there is any way for even the powerful oligarchy to prevent paid off ex-cops or civil servants from talking more openly now. They do seem to be blaming each other over this. Is any contract which agrees to mutual secrecy enforceable if it pertains to illegal or dishonest activities? Or is it that each party to a "confidential" agreement has too much dirt on the other party for either side to ever risk it? I have a feeling Warcup, Kellett and Gradwell may start to talk more freely. However, I would be very surprised if BDO Alto employees were forthcoming.
-observer

Anonymous said...

The Prison Board of Visitors debate.

What a total shambles at Home Affairs.

Completely unfit for purpose.

Anonymous said...

I posted this on Trevor Pitman's blog yesterday.

I am horrified to see the latest JEP story today about Perchard, Shenton and Power calling for an inquiry into whether any States Police officers were paid by newspapers for information during the H de la G inquiry.

Not that I am opposed to any inquiry per se. It's just two things that concern me -

1. The JEP bangs on again about Lenny Harper's entertainment expenses and clearly infers that he gave information to the NOTW. Time and again the JEP has run this story, just reinforcing it in the minds of the readership. But where is any account in the JEP (or other media) of the revelations of the scrutiny panel that you are chairing? Where is the righteous indignation at the astonishing revelations about Gradwell and the media? What about Warcup's submission being totally at odds with the evidence given by Kellett and BDO? What about Warcup not knowing what Kellett was doing or what the terms of reference were etc.? What about the Home Affairs Minister not knowing anything about anything? Let's have some reports on these aspects and then talk about an inquiry into any leaks to the NOTW and any payments that might possibly have been made and about which there is absolutely no evidence at all.

2. The very fact that the call for an inquiry comes from these three particular individuals is astounding. Amongst many other transgressions, Perchard leaked sensitive information to David Rose of the Mail on Sunday; Shenton recorded a colleagues phone conversation without his knowledge and then used it against him (as well as being a seriously absentee member of the States); Power's track record is less than good - data protection matters included.

I am far from being a reactionary citizen. I am a professional person who has always been a moderate in political terms. But I am now sickened by the clearly corrupt media in Jersey as well as those politicians who are most obviously corrupting them.

For goodness sake, please stop these maniacs!!

Anonymous said...

The Minister for Home Affairs:

But it is a pity that, if there was that sort of logjam situation, if: “We want to see him.” “No, you cannot.” It is a pity that nobody referred it back up the line to me to have said: “Well no, you do need to do this.”

Strange how Warcup appears to have had no problem keeping Lewis up to date over Graham Power, but then totally leaves ILM out of the 'loop'.

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