Sunday, September 11, 2011

HOLLYWOOD HARPER??? BDO Alto .23

Acting Chief Officer Warcup



Senator Ian Le Marquand


Police Consultant Mike Kellett

Accounting Officer Steve Austin Vautier






We are now coming to the end of the Scrutiny Sub Panels look into the issues surrounding the BDO Alto Review




I feel 100% justified in raising the issues concerning the BDO Review - I believe a better understanding is forming of what happened in 2008 and not the total rubbish that keeps getting served up by our local media 




There are more Transcripts to look at. The two I have published here are from the Accounting Officer Steve Austin Vautier  & Home Affairs Minister Senator Ian Le Marquand.



They make for a fascinating read. The Sub Panels Review and the evidence gained has probably been one of the best investigative looks at the financial handling of Operation Rectangle.  All the main characters have been interviewed and been able to put their side of the story across in an open and transparent way



We keep coming back to the local Media and their rabid pursuit of the Character assassination of Graham Power & Lenny Harper. The Media problem again pops up in these transcripts.



Why haven't the media mentioned anything about the abhorrent actions of former SIO Mick Gradwell?




This is what  Acting Chief Officer David Warcup said about the leaks. Look what he say's about the damage and danger leaks can do yet our powers that be and our media seem quite happy that former SIO was leaking information to known Abuse Denier Journalist Davis Rose of the Mail on Sunday during a live investigation into Child Abuse in the Jersey Care Homes and no one says a word.



A couple of quid spent on a curry and we have Damnation and Armageddon yet our Media cant mention the abhorrent actions of Mick Gradwell - apart from CTV who helped him in his trashing crusade.




Deputy T.M. Pitman:


So just the last question I will ask you on this point.  The leaking, however it came about, to the media, you would expect to see consistency in this because obviously there has been huge and very negative focus on leaks which allegedly came from during Mr. Harper/Mr. Power’s time yet the Minister, for example, seems very unconcerned about leaks that have come subsequently.  Is that not a concern that should be ongoing all the time?  Should there be consistent policy?  That seems to be what you are saying.

 

Mr. D. Warcup:


I cannot speak for what the Minister would say but I can speak from my conversations with the Minister during my time with the States of Jersey Police and my impression at that time of the Minister’s point of view was he, like I, thought it was totally wrong, irresponsible and unprofessional.  But I would agree entirely that there needs to be a consistent approach.  Leaking of information to the media is something which can, as I say, seriously undermine criminal inquiries and the consequences could be quite serious.  That is not serious to you or I or others, it is to the victims of crime who will not get justice through the courts.



That speaks volumes does it not. But it doesn't stop there, it gets worse. Look at what Senator Ian Le Marquand say's about the leaks;


For reference, the Acting Chief Officer is David Warcup  & Retired D/Superintendent Is Mick Gradwell.



Did David Warcup have any control over Mick Gradwell?   Mick Gradwell was also the one who was pulling the strings of Police Consultant Mike Kellett - Mick Gradwell is the only person who has refused to give evidence to Scrtiny.





Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Despite the sacrosanct nature of police operational independence, did you, for example, sit down with [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] and say: “Look, there are some terribly controversial and mixed messages coming out of the police.  What is going on here?”

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Do you mean when [retired D/Superintendent] went public?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, obviously I did discuss that with [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] and he was very upset - I could actually use a stronger word than that - because he had become aware there was a risk that something was going to happen and had sought assurances from [retired D/Superintendent] that he was not going to do anything of this nature in relation to that, and then discovered that even before they had held some of the meetings … I think he may have said before there was a meeting where the Attorney General of the day was involved to try to persuade [retired D/Superintendent] not to do whatever it was thought he might do, and he then subsequently found, if my memory is correct, that he had already given his press interviews prior to that.


Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Were you aware that [retired D/Superintendent] through this … not mythical but through this sort of ephemeral States of Jersey Police inquiry which [Police Consultant] was initially helping with, were you aware that he had the potential to have a great influence obviously on the outcomes of these inquiries because he was involved in supervising in a sense or overseeing [Police Consultant]?  He had gone very public with a certain view of the situation.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I did not understand the structure because, as I say, I did not understand the role of [Police Consultant] until very recent times.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Do you think your new understanding influences your view of the report, of the BDO review, sorry?  Now that you have understood, you have seen [former Acting Chief Officer of Police], you have seen Kellett, you have seen Power and you have seen these various bits of evidence we have been given, a lot of new information, has that affected your view of the report?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think there must be a very significant risk that the view of [Police Consultant] will have been influenced by the view of [retired D/Superintendent].  I think that must be right, yes.


 


Here are the transcripts. Like I say they make for fascinating reading they really do


Rico Sorda



Team Voice






STATES OF JERSEY

 

Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel

Review of Issues Surrounding the Review of the Financial Management of Operation Rectangle

 

THURSDAY, 25th AUGUST 2011

 

Note: The witness has not corrected the transcript

 

Panel:

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

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier of St. Saviour

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

 

Witness:

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

 

Present:

Scrutiny Officer

 

[10:02]

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Minister, thank you for coming back a second time.  A lot to get through, as I say, so perhaps we could start on what [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] had to say about the supremacy of the Wiltshire inquiry.  To put it in a nutshell, he felt that it could have seriously undermined the investigation by the Wiltshire Police doing this BDO Alto review at the same time.  So, in a nutshell, would you agree, Minister, that the timing of BDO Alto was inappropriate and that it would have been much better to deal with the disciplinary matters first and separate out the other issues?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I am very surprised that [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] raised that because clearly he never raised his concerns with me at any stage.  I think his concerns were a bit overrated in the sense that all these reports were fundamentally being produced for me and at the end of the day it was my task in terms of the way in which I used the reports and information and what happened with them and when to ensure that there was not any prejudice to the Wiltshire inquiry.  I agree that the Wiltshire inquiry takes primacy in relation to that, but of course the purpose of this inquiry was much wider.  Indeed, if you think about it, if I had basically said: “No, we are going to have to wait until the end of the Wiltshire inquiry”, we would have been waiting a very, very long time and people would be saying: “Why are you not looking into these other aspects?” et cetera.  The other factor, of course, is that at the time when I dealt with this, if you recall, both the previous Minister and myself were initially told that the inquiry would be completed by March of 2009.  So by the time I signed this off, which I think was in February, I was probably still under that impression.  I remember the dates going back; I remember at the end of the suspension hearing they conducted in this room for Mr. Power, being told then it was going to be May and it then slipped and slipped and slipped.  So, you can see that, in fact, I probably was under the impression that the Wiltshire stuff would be completed well before BDO Alto.  But as I say, no one ever raised this issue with me and I think he has overcooked it a little there because at the end of the day it was me that was going to look at the stuff and decide what was going to happen with it.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

When you say “overcooked” why would [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think his concerns are a bit overrated.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

… come up with that argument now?  It must … I would assume his thoughts were consistent all the time.  Why would he be saying that now and you say he never mentioned it to you?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not know.  I do not know.  He clearly had concerns; I have read his statements.  But what puzzles me in relation to this, where there were concerns why was no one actually coming to talk to the Minister about it and saying: “Minister, I think you need to be careful here.  Can you not put this back?” or whatever?  That clearly did not happen.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Put what back?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Put back the date for the BDO Alto report.  It is fine raising concerns now but if no one actually raised these concerns with me at the time how am I to know that there were these concerns in existence?  I would then have considered them, of course.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But, of course, [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] says that his decision - and he makes it very clear - not to let [Police Consultant] interview Mr. Harper as a part of the States of Jersey Police was purely into advice received about the primacy of the investigation.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I think also my reading of his statement he is saying that that was only police officers he meant and that he did not mean BDO Alto.  I think that is what he is saying in his statement.  If you remember there is a passage where he talks about there being no property - I think it is misspelt in the report - in a witness and that is what he is talking about there.  Now, I do not know if that is right or not but that is what he is saying.  Can I just interject something because I went into - and I apologise for this - the previous hearing a little underprepared because I had not, in fact, focused sufficiently on the initial report documents which I got.  As a result of that I am afraid I was rather vaguer than I should have been.  I actually prepared reading other areas and did not focus sufficiently, but I subsequently discovered you will, of course, have received the copies of the supporting report.  But you will find, in fact, that attached to that was attachment A, which were draft terms of reference.  Now, clearly I had forgotten about that.  You will find at the end of the section called “scope” …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, can you just clarify, supporting report, which supporting report?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

This is the report provided to me by, not [the chief Officer, Home Affairs], I think the chief accounting person in the department, which was the basis of my ministerial decision to do this.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Oh, fine.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I was asked questions on that previously and I am sorry I was underprepared and had not read this adequately.  But if you look at the bottom of the first page of attachment A, which is effectively the draft terms of reference for the report - I have not checked the wording against the final terms of reference but I am told they are substantially similar - you will see it says there: “Direct contact should be made with the appropriate key individuals to secure a full and thorough assessment.”  That is clear.  I was actually asked that question by Deputy Wimberley as to whether there was anything in the documents about seeing Mr. Harper, but in fact there was that clear statement.  It was part of the terms of reference.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, I am not finding what you are referring to.  Is this the M.D., the ministerial decision?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

This is the report attached to the ministerial decision.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Which page are we on of the report?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, you find that there is a 2-page report and then there is attachment A which is marked “draft”.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, fine.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

If you go down to the bottom of the section marked “scope” you will see: “Direct contact should be made with the appropriate key individuals to secure a full and thorough assessment.”  So that was always envisaged from the start and so again I am slightly surprised that when issues arose in relation to that, as I said last time, that it was never referred back to me.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We did not think you were vague.  I thought you were doing an Oliver North impersonation.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Sorry?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I thought you were doing an Oliver North impersonation.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I know nothing …

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

If you remember Oliver North.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, he was a general, was he not?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Colonel North.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, I can only tell you the things I know and …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

On this point, Mr. Minister, sorry …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

… frankly, I have discovered this subsequently.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Okay, but you never had any indication that Mr. Harper had been - shall we put it in inverted commas - “overlooked” as the thing was proceeding?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I did, I did in the report itself.  The report is quite clear on that, that he had not been seen, but then, as I think I said last time, it then contained all sorts of references to his statement and so on which clearly gave any reader the impression that his account and views on the matter had been considered and taken into account.  Now, I accept that is not … I accept that that is not sufficient, I said that last time, and it was not good practice.  I suppose I could be criticised for at that point not having picked up that point, but I obviously was of the opinion that they had taken the view they had sufficient knowledge of what he was saying in relation to things to formulate an opinion sufficient for the purposes of this report.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But you still hold to that view even though there was this incredibly feverish attitude around, there were people saying: “Why are all these police officers earning these fabulous amounts of overtime on manning the cordon?” and so forth and so on, and it was inevitable that the finger was being pointed at one individual, and yet having taken account of what was going around the situation you still felt there was no real issue in not having interviewed almost the prime accused?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I think that is the view I took, yes, and obviously I was comforted by the fact that this is a professional body.  They, of course, say in the statement … sorry, say in the report that they had interviewed key people like the dog handler, like the forensic company for whom they were still charging on an hourly rate when they should have been on a daily rate and things like that.  Now, some of those issues, no matter what Mr. Harper might say, the criticism would still be there.  I think that is undeniable.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, but the criticisms are then put in the report without any opportunity being given to Mr. Harper in particular to …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, I accept that.  I accept that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It is untenable as a position, really, is it not?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I accept that is good practice.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

More than good practice, it …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It is clearly good practice and clearly that is what was initially envisaged.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

It is natural justice, surely.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Minister, it is more than good practice.  It means that the report, really you can hold it up and say that because the person who is responsible for these various financial decisions, as he was … and we are going to come to why he had that responsibility and maybe he should not have had, but he did have it and he accepts that in his statement, I think.  He did not have any opportunity to explain these different allegations, if you like, or these different statements by BDO one by one to say: “Well, that was because of this and this was because of that and I did not have a right‑hand person” and so on, whatever he would have said.  But the fact that all that is missing is not just something that is sort of … that is acceptable and is, as you say, not a real issue.  You said: “That is the view I took.”

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think the view I took was here I had professional people who were reporting back to me and clearly they were satisfied that they had a sufficient basis upon which to reach judgments.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

[Police Consultant] actually resigned over this issue.  He left the inquiry because he said: “I cannot work without having interviewed …” and he made that clear to [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police].  He said: “Look, if I cannot interview Mr. Harper I am going” and he went.

 

[10:15]

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I know that from his statement now but that is the first time I had any knowledge of that because, as you know - and again I had not checked the detail sufficiently - the report itself does indicate that it is a joint report.  So I am not quite sure as to why if he had resigned why he was happy that this still be a joint report.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

If I can jump in there, you view it as the professional people.  If nothing else, so far we have learnt the whole basis for BDO not speaking to Mr. Harper was allegedly instructions from [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police].  [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] has told us that is not true; he had only said that [Police Consultant] could speak to him in one aspect.  You have [Police Consultant] working to terms of reference that he did not even understand.  Nobody checked on him for 4 months.  You then had the fallout and, as Deputy Wimberley said, [Police Consultant] actually walks.  How can that leave you confident to say that this was professional people and professional review?  There are huge problems there.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Hang on, I am telling you what I thought at the time when I received the report and when I put it into the public domain in relation to that.  Yes, I agree, questions are raised but at the end of the day fundamentally the money was spent.  The actual accounting aspects of what happened still fundamentally remained.  Some of these matters, I am afraid, are not capable of being explained away in terms of mistakes having been made, but I accept that the failure to give Mr. Harper an opportunity to comment is a significant procedural failure.  Whether it has any significant effect on the outcome is, of course, another matter.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

This issue, if I can revert - and the Chairman will stop me if I have digressed too much - this issue, Mr. Minister, of running in parallel with the Wiltshire report, which, of course, was also looking in a fashion at finance and financial management, albeit not from the same angle and perhaps not to the same detail, it has been put to us that there is a procedure in the police service, indeed in most big organisations, a learning from mistakes procedure.  Did you feel let Wiltshire proceed, albeit under the belief it is going to finish at a fairly reasonable time, which we all know was not to be, let it proceed and then, okay, that will be when the discipline issues will be dealt with, I will consider and make decisions, and then can we all step aside and try and learn from this.  Did anyone … because Mr. Power has argued that he was very … he was very persuaded by that view that that sort of exercise should happen, albeit when the feverish thinking and emotions had died down, that there should have been a learning from mistakes session, but all it seemed to be was a lay the blame kind of culture had taken root.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

There has been a learning from mistakes in relation to this and [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] will be able to tell you if you ask him about the additional safeguards which have been put in place.  The fact is that at the time in all the different sections of Home Affairs you had senior officers who had the power to … customs, prison, police, whatever, to authorise expenditure and there were very limited controls in place, with double checking procedures in place, as to whether there was proper value for money, et cetera, and we will come to that in more detail.  That applies right across the board.  Indeed, you will see some references to accountants having checked whether there were appropriate procedures for authorisation and things of that nature, of payments as just referred to in the start of the report.  But what I understand is now happening, in fact, is we now have a situation where finance officers or the equivalent of finance officers in different departments are checking samples of other things from other departments, so there have been lessons learned.  The lessons have been learnt I think also in relation to the issue of the accounting officer.  Home Affairs should always have had 2 accounting officers; there is no question about it.  Mr. Power should have had the position of being an accounting officer with responsibilities.  Ironically, I have a draft letter here in which [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] actually invites him to take on that role during the investigation and he declines to do so.  He is actually offered essentially that and you may wish to look at that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

With respect, how can he possibly offer Mr. Power to be chief accounting officer when the law prohibits that?  The 2005 Finance Law does not allow the police officer, police chief, to be an accounting …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] will show you this letter in which in order to try to deal with any difficulties he invites him to effectively take on responsibility for ensuring there is proper financial management of resources, investigation being administered in a prudent economic manner, resources being used efficiently and effectively.  He will show you that letter.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

What date is that email?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not know because it was an attachment to an email so it is best if … Mr. Power declined to sign that, although clearly he was aware of his responsibilities …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

He could not possibly sign it, Minister, because he had no accounting staff.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, hang on, can I say that … we are going to go on to that area.  Can I say that Mr. Power’s statement and evidence to you is grossly misleading in this area in a whole number of ways.  He has, frankly, misrepresented in a big way the nature of the financial set-up and the safeguards and so on.  If you want to double check this, you must look in detail at the analysis contained in the Wiltshire finance report which analyses this very carefully in relation to that.  You must also obviously look at the BDO Alto report, which has a section which also analyses all this.  But at one point Mr. Power was even implying that officers of the Home Affairs Department would have been countersigning individual payments and he knows better than that.  Surely he cannot have forgotten exactly how things run from a financial point of view at that time within Home Affairs.  My understanding of the situation, and again [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] will confirm this … I am speaking quite strongly on this because what he is saying is clearly wrong and if you wish to have independent confirmation on that then you should call a witness from the Treasury or someone like that who can confirm what the arrangements were at the time if you feel that there is a dispute here.  But essentially the system that operated at the time was that individual officers in individual departments authorised payments.  That happened right across the board.  The Home Affairs Department did not authorise payments other than payments for monies expended within the Home Affairs Department, a small department that sits across the road there.  So you have a system in which there is effectively authority given to officers in each individual department.  They know what they have ordered.  They know the basis on which they have ordered it and the way the system is supposed to work is that the person who authorised it will approve that and then it will be countersigned by somebody more senior.  Now, in practice in relation to the historical abuse inquiry, very, very many of these actual payment instructions - I will call them that - were authorised by Mr. Harper personally in relation to that.  Now, that is the way the system ran.  The functionality of the Home Affairs Department was to provide central accounting services, to manage the overall budget, to tell departments how much money they had spent, how much money they had left, et cetera, but not to make any individual decisions as to whether to employ a particular dog handler or a particular contractor or whatever.  That is where it is very, very misleading for Mr. Power, particularly in the context of the meals, to be saying: “I did not countersign” … sorry, can I just finish?  I will come to you very quickly.  “I did not countersign any of the meal receipts.”  He is correct, he did not countersign them, and to imply that Home Affairs therefore did, it simply did not.  It was countersigned, in fact, by a more junior officer than …

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Can I come in there because you are saying we should really look at certain documents?  What about us looking at the 62,000 words from Mr. Power because surely it is equally valid that we finally see that?  It would certainly help.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Can I say that I came today intending to provide you with a redacted version of the financial part of the statement.  Work has been going on on the redaction, as I indicated, as I promised, of the whole.  I received a draft of the redaction of the whole of that statement just before I went away on holiday.  I have looked at it.  I am about to arrange a meeting to continue work on that, but I accelerated forward this particular part I intended to come with today.  Then I had pointed out to me that the agreement with Mr. Power was that we would go back to him and say: “Look, this is the form of the proposed redaction.  Are you happy with that?”  It so happens that that particular section has a section already which was redacted out of it, believe it or not, by the Wiltshire Police.  So when it was presented to me there was a section which they took the view should be redacted out in the first place.  So that is redacted, where I have tried to put some words back in there.  But I am sorry that I have not come today … that was my intention and as soon as we get the confirmation from Mr. Power on the financial section you will have that.  I would have brought it today otherwise.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Second point.  You are explaining to us all the reasons why things were not as they should be and it seems again it is all down to Mr. Power.  In July 2008 - that is a month before Mr. Harper went - there was a letter, I think it was from [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs], saying everything was hunky-dory, so to speak.  None of these real problems, although we all know there were rumblings publicly, none of these real problems were highlighted until the December.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

[the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] can better argue for himself, but all I am saying is that which has been said in the different reports in relation to this.  Because bearing in mind not only did BDO Alto look at this but also the Wiltshire financial report looked at it.  Subsequently, the Comptroller and Auditor General looked at it, although he did not go into any detail.  He merely looked at what had been said elsewhere.  Again, you must understand, as I said before, that when I set out on this road with BDO Alto I was fully aware that it might lead to a situation where there would be potential disciplinary matters concerning the staff of the Home Affairs Department.  So I might have both my chief officers in trouble at the same time.  Now, on the basis of the reports which I received there was no basis for that.  [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] can better answer himself, but you can see that essentially what he did was he sought confirmations from people.  He could not get from Mr. Power the overarching confirmation he requested here, but he got confirmations from Mr. Harper that money was being properly expended, that there were proper controls in place, et cetera.  [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] will present those to you himself.  I have looked through his file in relation to that and you will see the detail.  That was the best he could do because in a sense on the accounting officer issue the theoretical problem is this.  An accounting officer should be in a position to control monies by virtue of all the people spending it being his subordinates.  In the case of the police force, they are not his subordinates.  The police force is a second organisation which has its own chief officer and there is no line of accountability from the Chief Officer of Police to the Chief Office of Home Affairs.  There is in all the other Home Affairs Departments.  He is the boss of the Prison Governor and so on and so forth.  So that puts the Chief Officer of Home Affairs into a very difficult position.  The other thing that has to be said is that, rightly so, the States of Jersey Police under the leadership of Mr. Power and subsequently have been very jealous of operational freedom and any impinging on that and, therefore, have said: “We must be free to get on and do things and make decisions and so on and so forth.”  That leaves the Chief Officer of Home Affairs in a position in which he is entirely reliant upon their assurances as to what is going on.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

We do not want to unscramble everything, but one of the very important statements, Mr. Minister, made by Mr. Power was that when the Finance Law came in, he had strenuously objected to this arrangement.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

He apparently was told by [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] that it was workable.    Then as, of course, the Haut de la Garenne thing flowed on, in his view it patently proved unworkable.  So the compromise was then suggested of the Financial Oversight Board where all relevant parties would be together, admittedly at a fairly high level.  They would not be looking at receipts for meals and so forth but they would be setting policy.  Were you aware that that was the background?  Because if indeed Mr. Power’s assertions are true, it suggests that Home Affairs had accepted that situation and they thought it could work.

 

[10:30]

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Was I aware when?  Because …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Well, when you assumed office, shall we say?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

By the time …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Because this issue is raised all the time to basically excuse Home Affairs from responsibility for what proved apparently to be a mess.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

By the time I assumed office, which was in December 2008, of course completely different arrangements had been in place for some time because the gold command group had been set up by [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] and was in place and that brought into place much better financial control measures, so in a sense the situation had been diffused.  The basic problem here, to put it simply, is this, that for whatever reasons Messrs Power and Harper decided to run the investigation and to control it between the 2 of them and excluded the next 2 levels of management.  They did not want a gold command group.  They had their reasons in relation to that, but that is what happened.  Clearly, their priority was getting on with the investigation, getting on with what they would have seen as the real key issue, which was finding out were there bodies, what was happening and so on.  They simply were taking their eye off the financial ball.  Their focus would have been elsewhere.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But why … if what I am saying is true and, okay, it predates you but it is very important because it contradicts the version of history you have put forward that Home Affairs could not work with this situation.  If Home Affairs thought it was a manageable, workable situation why did they not assert themselves?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

How was Home Affairs going to assert themselves?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Well, presumably when the receipts came in and people or the public started saying: “Why are all these people on the court and earning these fabulous rates of overtime?” and so forth, surely the message got through and somebody said: “What is going on here?”

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, what you are saying is that as public concern started to come in Home Affairs should have taken a more controlling attitude.  You need to talk to [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] about that because I think you will find that he sought yet further assurances.  But the mechanism was that monies were being committed; decisions were being made by the police; monies were being committed; monies were being expended; contracts were being entered into.  Those are then reported in, as it were, to the central system and Home Affairs could start looking at them but would have great difficulties in evaluating whether this was money properly spent or not properly spent because they are not police officers, et cetera.  Also, you must understand the resourcing of Home Affairs’ account team is actually quite small.  You have a senior person and you have 2 other people, one of whom works mainly with the police and one who works mainly with the prison.  They are essentially supporting the individual sections but they are not running their finance departments for them as such.  They are not making decisions.  They are not making evaluations.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I say in a sense your response a while back was the answer that you came to office in December 2008 so this was all water under the bridge, the details of it was water under the bridge.  My question to you is, or my first question is, the terms of reference of the BDO report, you signed these off effectively in the ministerial decision, is that right?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I approved the …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

You must have approved the terms of reference.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

… on the basis of the draft terms of reference, yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

They say that the review should consider the following: the costs associated with personnel, the costs associated with external supplies, the internal governance arrangements.  Now, my first question to you is when you took office, December 2008, were you at all aware, did you become aware, that there was this issue of financial tension between Home Affairs and the police in general?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

You must have become aware?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Right from the start I was of the opinion that the Chief Officer of Police should be a separate accounting officer.  That was my view right from the start.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That is a generally held view and, indeed, Mr. Power expressed it strongly in 2005, or pre 2005 as the arguments raged.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Okay.  So my question now is the terms of reference are all … we are talking about the financial, whether the money was spent effectively and efficiently to further the aims of the investigation, and yet no terms of reference … there is not a term of reference exploring this relationship between, if you like, the accounting officer side of it, which is Home Affairs, and the operational side, which is the police?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I expected that to happen and, indeed, it did happen insofar as there was the chapter in the report …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

BDO do, in fact, ignore the terms of reference and go there.  It is just a bit odd that it was not in the terms of reference.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It is not expressly there, yes.  I am surprised because I think with the evidence I gave to you last time, which was without having looked at this document in detail again, I was clear right from the start that part of the functionality of that was to see whether there was fault in the Home Affairs Department.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Good.  Well, I am glad we are clear that although it was not in the terms of reference that should …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That was always in my mind.  That seems to have ended up in the …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It has ended up in the report.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.  No, that was quite clear and this is one of the reasons that made this a much wider thing than issues in relation to Mr. Power.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

My next final question on this particular line is do you think that the report then gives a balanced view of the difficulties inherent in the 2005 law as expressed to us by Mr. Power, and we will go into it in more detail with your Chief Officer because he was there and you were not at the time, but how the inquiry was managed financially in the overall sense?  Do you think it gives a balanced view of that tension and those issues?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It does not go into the detail, which is why you may have been in some confusion as to how in practice things were working.  It does not actually explain who authorised payments, where the information went, what the role of Home Affairs was in …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, that is interesting, is it not?  It does not look at the role of Home Affairs, as you say.  It does not really go into detail in that.  It focuses on expenses in restaurants; it focuses on Australia; it focuses on the dog handler.  Well, fair enough, but there is no emphasis on what the control mechanisms were, where the challenge was, why it was not there, who wrote to who about that and so on.  It did not seem to cover that at all, or not in detail.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Of course, if you look at the Wiltshire financial report, which you must in detail because this is the more authoritative and more detailed report, it is highly critical of the failure to create posts within the police force of a finance officer, highly critical of the police not having established within the organisation a person whose role was going to be to go out and get the best value for money and so on.  Now, I am quite clear that that is not a Home Affairs function.  That was a policing function.  It is no different if we were talking about the Customs Department or the prison service or whatever.  The individual department has the responsibility within States of Jersey financial guidelines to go out and ensure they are getting value for money.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

They may have that responsibility, Minister, but the law says that the Chief Officer of Home Affairs is the accounting officer for the States of Jersey Police.  So one would assume that BDO would look at that aspect and ask questions around the issue of should that chief officer have made provision to manage this huge extra expenditure which suddenly appears outside the normal operations of the police, should that have been in place and why not, and now you are saying Wiltshire say the Chief Officer of Police should have done that.  But BDO do not go anywhere near this issue of how this might have been arranged better in advance.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, I think it is clear that there should have been put in place better arrangements for ensuring that there was good value for money at the nitty-gritty level.  The decisions were actually being made by the police, particularly by Mr. Harper, in relation to that and there were failures.  Now, there were also failures on the part of Mr. Power as set out in the Wiltshire reports for not having put in place the appropriate systems to ensure that best value for money was being obtained.  What you are suggesting, I think, is that there may in addition to that be failures on the part of the Home Affairs Department.  That is what you are suggesting and that in a sense was looked at to a degree by BDO Alto, it was looked at by Wiltshire, and my understanding of it - in the sense that I had responsibility to consider whether there was any disciplinary matters which could flow - is that they concluded that by seeking assurances from the individual departments that they were operating correctly and properly that they did the best with a bad job.  That is what the report said.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Just to conclude, in my view - and I put this to you - Wiltshire actually say there is a debate here.  Chief Officer Power said this; we were told that by Home Affairs; and then they come down on the side of that is another case for disciplining Mr. Power.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That is correct, yes.  They …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But it is a debate, you see, and I would have expected BDO Alto to have followed that debate through and to have really looked at those issues.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I presented to the public, as you know, the outcome of the reports in relation to this.  I presented them into the public arena as I have received them.  Now, other people may take a different view of these matters, but was I supposed to impose my own views over the top?  Where there was a conflict between the 2 reports, between the finance reports and BDO Alto, particularly in relation to the area of the decision to start digging at Haut de la Garenne, I have expressed a view because there was a conflict there.  If you go back, as I am sure you will, to my text, the written text of my statement to the press, you will see that I express a clear view on that.  I had to because there was a conflict.  But in other areas, I am just reflecting the reports as I have received them.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I have 2 questions and then I will come to Deputy Le Hérissier to move to the next point.  Firstly, I really cannot understand what you have said about how Mr. Power was offered the accounting officer role when, as I understand it, under the Jersey Finance Law it could have no legitimacy whatsoever.  How could that be a realistic option, with due respect?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, he was not offered the accounting officer role, but he was … you have to read the text of …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Could you let us have the text of that, please?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

[the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] will show you.  You may say it cuts both ways so it is a question for him, because he is actually being asked to assure that he is running it and managing it as if he were the accounting officer, taking full responsibility.  He comes back and says: “I cannot do that because I do not have the necessary accounting staff” and so on.  In fact, as I said before, the conclusion of Wiltshire was that it was a police responsibility to put in place, embedded within the investigation, somebody who was going to seek to get best value for money.  It is very difficult for anybody from outside the investigation to do that because of the confidential nature of information floating around.  They would then get privy access to the names potentially of individual suspects.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But with due respect this comes back to the flaw in the system, that if it was not there, that problem was not there, arising from that law …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I agree there is a flaw in the system.  Interestingly enough, although we have now agreed in principle that the law will be changed and, in fact, it will be written into the new Police Law, the old system is still in operation for the purposes of this accounting year and will change over from the start effectively of next year.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

One final question and I will move to Deputy Le Hérissier.  Given the fact that I think we have agreed it is the system that initially is to blame and sets this all in motion and clearly there has to be questions on both sides, Home Affairs as well as the police, what attempts did you do to try and correct some of the media assumptions, the way … really, let us be fair, what we were seeing was almost character assassination.  There was no mention of the Home Affairs side.  What did you do to counter that focus just on meals and things and taking it away from a child abuse inquiry?  To be honest, look at the breakdown of the money.  The £7.5 million that is often talked about, 50 per cent of that was spent by [the former acting Chief officer of Police and retired D/Superintendent].  Now, you do not read that in the media.  What did you do as the Minister because surely you have the duty of care to those individuals as well?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I was very careful, as I said before, to produce a written statement and to read it out at the initial press conference, which I think I said before caused great impatience among the press who just wanted to get on and question me.  I was very, very careful to do that so that the text would be correct and accurate.

 

[10:45]

 

But, of course, you must understand that we had already had the situation in which the allegations of [retired D/Superintendent] had been given massive publicity some months before, so you already had a view out in the public domain of this and that and the other in relation to that.  Frankly, all I could do was make a clear statement which I believed was fair and balanced as to what the reports were saying.  Inevitably, you are going to get misstatements of detail in various different areas.  You cannot go chasing all those hares, as it were, around.  It is just impossible.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

On the [retired D/Superintendent] issue, if he was supervising directly [Police Consultant] who was doing the police side of the BDO, do you think there is an issue there?  Did you follow that issue at all?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I have only become aware of that issue, of course, during these hearings because …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But [retired D/Superintendent] … oh, you did not know [retired D/Superintendent] had …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I was not even clear what the role of [Police Consultant] was in relation to this.  It comes down, does it not, to the integrity of [Police Consultant] and whether [Police Consultant] allowed his views to be influenced by [retired D/Superintendent] in a way that was unfair?  That is the key issue, is it not?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That is an issue.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But following on from that, Mr. Minister, [retired D/Superintendent] was a very vocal person and he made some quite dramatic comments, as you have just said, which seemed to sort of obviously change the whole direction of things.  He was technically, as my colleague has said, supervising [Police Consultant]. Of course, [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] has told us that the review had become overly focused on Mr. Harper, it lacked objectivity, and it had the potential to be unfair to Mr. Power.  So you had the situation of a very senior officer who appears to be at odds by his statements and so forth with his own chief officer, acting chief officer.  So how did you … did you become aware of that, that this had the potential to really destabilise the report and that there were competing versions, so to speak, of the truth being placed in the public domain?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Obviously, I became aware of the fact that [retired D/Superintendent] had gone public in a big way with his statements when that occurred.  I made statements in the Assembly in relation to that which were very critical of that.  But because I did not understand the interrelationship of the different people until the evidence was given, I think even at the last hearing I did not really understand the interrelationship of the people, it is only reading the most recent set of statements that I can actually see what [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] intended to set up and how in fact the role of [Police Consultant] became different to that.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you actually …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Because no one was speaking to me about these issues.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Despite the sacrosanct nature of police operational independence, did you, for example, sit down with [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] and say: “Look, there are some terribly controversial and mixed messages coming out of the police.  What is going on here?”

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Do you mean when [retired D/Superintendent] went public?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, obviously I did discuss that with [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] and he was very upset - I could actually use a stronger word than that - because he had become aware there was a risk that something was going to happen and had sought assurances from [retired D/Superintendent] that he was not going to do anything of this nature in relation to that, and then discovered that even before they had held some of the meetings … I think he may have said before there was a meeting where the Attorney General of the day was involved to try to persuade [retired D/Superintendent] not to do whatever it was thought he might do, and he then subsequently found, if my memory is correct, that he had already given his press interviews prior to that.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Were you aware that [retired D/Superintendent] through this … not mythical but through this sort of ephemeral States of Jersey Police inquiry which [Police Consultant] was initially helping with, were you aware that he had the potential to have a great influence obviously on the outcomes of these inquiries because he was involved in supervising in a sense or overseeing [Police Consultant]?  He had gone very public with a certain view of the situation.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I did not understand the structure because, as I say, I did not understand the role of [Police Consultant] until very recent times.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Do you think your new understanding influences your view of the report, of the BDO review, sorry?  Now that you have understood, you have seen [former Acting Chief Officer of Police], you have seen Kellett, you have seen Power and you have seen these various bits of evidence we have been given, a lot of new information, has that affected your view of the report?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think there must be a very significant risk that the view of [Police Consultant] will have been influenced by the view of [retired D/Superintendent].  I think that must be right, yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Can I ask something?  Sorry, Minister, but I found what you said there quite profound.  You seem to say that [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] became aware that there was really a threat that [retired D/Superintendent] was going to go public, totally unprofessionally it has to be said.  How did he become aware of that threat and would that not have been a disciplinary matter?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, except that, again if my understanding is right - and I have not checked documents - [retired D/Superintendent] was seconded from another force and was about to retire from that force.  Under the Police Force (Jersey) Law you cannot … Jersey cannot discipline seconded officers.  It can only discipline Jersey officers.  It can send them back but it cannot discipline them.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

So if he had been a Jersey officer he would have been disciplined, is that what you are saying?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, no, because he had retired by the time.  He had retired by the time that this came up.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So had Lenny Harper but he could not be interviewed.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am sorry?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So had Lenny Harper retired and, as Mr. Power said to us, he was a civilian but he could not be interviewed for the purposes of BDO.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not think that is right.  I do not personally think that I can see why he could not be interviewed, particularly in the latter stages.  I said this last time, particularly in the latter stages because …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Wiltshire had already finished, in fact, in the latter stages.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, it had not …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, it had.  The final report was December 2009.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Oh, I am sorry, Wiltshire had finished and had delivered their reports, yes.  Yes, that is absolutely right.  That is why I am left slightly puzzled as to why in the latter stages they did not think: “Well, now that that has been gathered, let us put it to Mr. Harper.”

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

They certainly had the opportunity.  They had months.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Sorry, Deputy Le Hérissier wants to come in, but you have not answered my question.  It is like question time.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Sorry.  Well, I think another question came in and it superseded.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

How did [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] become aware of this threat, then, from [retired D/Superintendent] that something was about to be … and he was going to really try and discredit the whole operation?  That is what it boils down to.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, no, I think that is unfair to [retired D/Superintendent] in relation to that.  I do not know, it may be that there were rumours flying around.  It may be he was talking about … you would have to ask …

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We would like to ask [retired D/Superintendent] but he will not speak to us.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, you have to ask [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] but I know that he became aware.  I know that he intervened to try to prevent it.  I think I have said this previously in the Assembly.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But what would his motivation be to do such a thing?  This is a professional you have brought in to do a job, he has been seconded here.  What would a professional’s motivation be to go and act so unprofessionally?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Okay.  Well, I did have a conversation once with [retired D/Superintendent] - I think I mentioned that to you last time - and that was after I had answered some questions in the Assembly giving my opinion as to what his motivation had been.  He rang me up because he was upset by what I had said and he wanted to make it plain to me what his motivations are.  So this is hearsay but obviously I can tell you.  I had assumed that his motivation initially had been because he felt he had been unfairly treated by blog sites, et cetera.  There had been all sorts of allegations of a coup d’état between himself to push out the existing leadership, his integrity had been called into question in various different ways, and I had initially assumed that what he was trying to do was to put the record straight, to say: “Look, all these things went wrong” and, as it were, to fight back with countering matters.  That is what I had assumed had been his primary thing.  He rang me upset at that kind of suggestion and said: “No, no, my primary motivation in relation to doing this was that the truth came out.”  That is what he told me.  “I felt it was very, very important that the truth came out.  There was so much misinformation about the mistakes that had been made.”  Of course, from my perspective that just was not his role.  At the end of the day, it was going to be my decision on the basis of all the reports I received at the end of any disciplinary proceedings or whatever to decide what should properly go into the public domain, not his decision.  That is what he told me.  I can only reflect.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Two issues, Mr. Minister.  Some are being dealt with as we go through in an intermingling kind of fashion.  The first one, it was said about the … we mentioned the focus on the guest who was not at the wedding, you know, for the BDO, in other words Mr. Harper, and it was also said, asserted by Mr. Power in fact, that the BDO Alto report lacks a strategic focus.  There is this almost I suppose relatively easy obsession with restaurant bills and hotels and all that, issues it should be said, of course, where there are clear States standards.  So if Home Affairs had wanted to assert itself it is very easy to get policy on hotel prices, on restaurant prices, et cetera.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Except bills …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You are not totally at the mercy of the police here.  There are very clear States standards.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, except that bills were being split and there were occasions when the bills were split between 2 charge cards, I think on one occasion 3 charge cards.  Well, you would have to be very astute to ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Here we are going into the detail again and then Lenny Harper has a different version of why they were split, because the States cannot keep its credit card accounts in functioning order, so there are different accounts.  But we are looking at the strategic …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Well, yes, what I was about to ask … sorry, it is my fault in a way.  I pressed that restaurant bill button again which seems to get people excited.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

You did take us there, yes.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

What I was asking was did you think that the BDO Alto report, as Mr. Power thought, did you think it lacked a strategic focus and it really should have come down to this issue of who on earth is responsible?  A second not terribly related question but it is one you have been asked time and time again in the States as the frustration builds up about the Wiltshire report, about the reporting day which receded, time and again it receded into the future.  Do you think that it imposed a blight because it was a disciplinary report or it was associated with a disciplinary outcome; it imposed a blight on all other associated reports and it took on a life of its own?  It should never, never have been allowed to run to the extent that it did?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Sorry …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Two separate issues.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Two separate, I have now forgotten the first one.  I will have to come back to that.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

The first is strategic focus, was it missing in the BDO report?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, because the primary purpose of the BDO report is to look at whether monies had been spent efficiently and effectively and, therefore, by its nature it was always going to be delving into a great deal of detail and producing some sort of view - we now know with the help of [Police Consultant] - as to whether or not this was the proper use of expenditure.  It was always going to be focusing on the … I forget the one that annoys the Deputy of St. Mary, but it was always going to be focusing on the dog expenditure, it was always going to be focusing on the hotel expenditure, it was always going to be focusing on the outside company being paid an hourly rate rather than a daily rate, it was always going to be focusing on the overtime at double time running on, et cetera.  It was always going to be focusing on those individual things because that was the nature …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But should it not also …

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But, Minister, you said yourself that it should have covered the term of reference that was not there and, in fact, it did cover that; in other words the arrangements for controlling expenditure and the relationship between Home Affairs and … but it did not cover them in detail and that is what other people are saying.  They are saying to us this strategic focus was absent, and we would like you to comment on that.  Sorry, it was not …

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It does not cover it as well as the Wiltshire report, I have to say.  The Wiltshire financial report actually does really go into much more detail on that.  Of course, if you like, I think I have said this before that I treated the Wiltshire financial report as the primary report and the BDO Alto report essentially as providing me with detail in relation to areas which were controversial.

 

[11:00]

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Shall I try your second question now?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Wiltshire being pushed …

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did Wiltshire take on a life of its own and by doing that it totally obscured and took away from all these other reports and learning from mistakes exercises you should have been undertaking?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think that the problem that I faced for a very long period in relation to Wiltshire, firstly it was the problem that it took much longer than expected and so time was drifting on.  Then there was a delay when they would not provide me with statements which I needed to have because they were not happy with the nature of the disciplinary code and wanted to receive assurances on that.  So that further delayed matters.  Then, of course, the financial report came in as a separate report later and then I had the same problems repeated with the statements in relation to that.  Now, all that led to a situation in which that which initially I thought was going to be reporting quite quickly and with me being able to then proceed on to hearings if that was appropriate, quite quickly drifted on.  This then created concern in the Assembly as to what was happening and why.  Then we had the unfortunate situation where there was selective leaking of parts of Mr. Power’s defence case, which caused me enormous difficulties.  You will recall when there was leaking of the A.C.P.O. (Association of Chief Police Officers) Homicide Advisory Group’s reports and so on.  All that created great difficulty.  So in addition to what had happened initially, I was then faced with the unfortunate situation in which the way in which the disciplinary process was going was in itself becoming controversial with selective leaks of partial information, and all this at a time when I was still bound by the confidentiality aspects contained in the disciplinary code.  So I find that all unfortunate.  Mr. Power has commented that ... I was going to paraphrase what he said but effectively some sort of tactic going on here to distract attention away from the main issue of there being victims of sexual abuse, et cetera, et cetera.  Well, it was not my doing that caused what should have been allowed to proceed as a disciplinary matter in an orderly fashion to suddenly become politicised and to become a political football.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

With respect, Minister, the question is about ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

That was not my doing.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

The question was the delay, I have not sure that you have explained why Wiltshire took one and a half years, or whatever it took, and therefore blighted the other inquiries.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am not sure what you mean by blighting other inquiries.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, it means that ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Because it was disciplinary, it has been argued that, for example, Mr. Harper could not give evidence.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

It effectively shut up a lot of people and was that possibly not the motivation for letting it drag on?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It was not within my control.  You have got ... I produced you again the timescales of various different things, the dates on which I got reports, the first report, which at that stage was an interim report because I had not yet spoken to the former Minister in October of 2009, then a month or so later confirmation that it was going to be ... that there was no change to that, and then a delay of 2 or 3 months before they released the statement.  Until I could start looking at the statements, start looking at what people had said, I was no in a position to make a final decision as to whether I was going to proceed with disciplinary hearings and on what basis.  Then, of course, you have further delay while the financial report came out, which I cannot remember when that was, a further delay in relation to that and then, of course, in addition to that I had the other disciplinary matter, Operation Blast, and the reports on that came out even later in relation to that.  It was never any part of my doing to delay the process in relation to it, and I had that put to me many times.  I had no possible motivation to do that.  I wanted to get on with it.  But the fact that it, in itself, became a political football is regrettable.  It did.  It did distract and in a sense we are still there.  I have no motivation ... can I say this very clearly, I have no motivation, I never had had any motivation, I never will have any motivation to take away from the fact that there was abuse of children in children’s homes and other institutions.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Although you probably accept that that is what has happened?  I am sure you would accept that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

That the spotlight has been turned away.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

You may think this is unfair but what I do regret is that Mr. Power, when he realised there were serious issues, was not prepared to say: “Yes, maybe I could have done things better” and held his hand up, as it where, and said: “Look, there were ...” and accepted some degree of fault, instead of fighting to the last drop of blood.  Once he made that decision, to fight to the last drop of blood, it was always going to distract matters away from the core issues.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Would you say then that the problem that you have just alluded to ... Mr. Power says there was a confusion between disciplinary and learning from and those 2 things, because they were confused, muddied things.  You have just alluded to the problem that Mr. Power felt he was on the back foot, had to defend himself rather than having a learning from type appraisal which would have been completely different.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Sorry, just to back that up, we have got [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] saying he would have gone for focus on learning for mistakes, not a blame game.  That is really what happened.  You share that, as Deputy Wimberley is saying.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

The disciplinary process had started before I arrived.  You know that I was not in involved in the initial discussions with Mr. Power and the initial suspension.  It had already happened by the time that I arrived and very shortly ... there was a debate, if you remember, in January 2009 about some procedural aspects initiated by the Connétable of St. Helier and so on and so forth.  Then very shortly after that Mr. Power launched a judicial review of the initial decisions, and then continued that after my decision, which was unsuccessful.  So, in a sense, the whole issue had already become adversarial to a degree even before I had come on the scene.  Whether or not another route could have been achieved, I do not know.  If at the end of the day Mr. Power was always going to say: “I do not accept any blame in relation to this” I think it was inevitable that we would go down this route.  But it has had a side effect of distracting away from the main issue.  It has become a show in its own right, as it were.  That is not of my volition.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Okay, can I ask you a couple of quickies?  A nice easy question.  The Wiltshire inquiry, was it funded from the Haut de la Garenne ... from the historic child abuse inquiry budget?  The Wiltshire inquiry?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It was funded from various different sources.  I have asked questions on that in detail.  I have not got the information in my mind but there were various different sources that it came from.  I have answered questions fairly recently from the Deputy of St. Martin on that.  There was a variety of different sources.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

The same question for the BDO Alto report, where was that funded from?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I do not know.  I do not know the answer to that.  You will have to ask [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs].

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Lastly, and this is the bigger one, revisions.  I am troubled by the fact that the BDO interim report ... well, the BDO report, bits word for word appeared in the Daily Mail early in October 2010.  So it was in some state of readiness at the end of September and yet 9th July the following year was the final report.  Can you comment on that delay?  That is 8 or 9 months.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I think what you are talking about we have established were working papers of [Police Consultant].  I think the ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, the working papers go back even further so the interim report ... in fact it is referred to in the timeline that you gave us as the report.  It is denied that it was an interim report, it is called a report, it was already there at the end of September and then it took October, November, December ... 9 months for it to be finalised.  I will give you a clue; it was redacted - fair enough - to take out names and so on, that is fair enough, that would take a few months.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It was very detailed with a lot of financial information.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, no, sorry, there was a separate process ... no, Minister, there was a separate process.  There were the background papers which were too long and they were told to write a report, so then they wrote the report, that was ready at the end of September and from then on there was redaction necessary and there were revisions.  I would just like you to comment if you can, maybe as Minister you have no idea what these revisions entailed, what this process of revising involved.  Maybe you do not know.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I cannot remember the detail.  I can tell you that basically questions were asked by the Public Accounts Committee and at that stage I looked in more detail at the various stages of generation of different matters.  The date when the report went final was May 2010.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

9th July, Minister.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

No, it is May if you look at the document, and it preserved that date although further revisions were made to it.  I afraid I just do not have this level of detail as to what had happened.  I cannot recall ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

My question really is only about the revisions, did you have any input into the revising process that went on between 24th March, when the first draft of the shorter report went to Home Affairs and 9th July when the final, final version went from BDO to Home Affairs.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I had some involvement in that.  Can I just find notes which have been provided to me by [the Chief Officer, Home Affairs] in relation to this.  Okay, these are the notes that have been provided to me, this is not from my own memory, this is notes provided by my Chief Officer.  It says: “14th December 2009, timescales for BDO report discussed at informal meeting.  Other discussions on progress were ad hoc.”  But the timeline indicates we at least had discussions as follows: “February 2010, BDO told the Minister had views on circulation; April 2010, reports released to the Comptroller and Auditor General.”  He utilised his power under the law to require me to provide that to him, if my memory is correct.  “June 2010, received a final report; July 2010, final signed report received.” 

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, so my question to you is did you have any ...

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

So clearly in those stages, as we were coming towards the end, I was getting involved.  But I must have had ... this is not from my memory but this is just thinking back, I must have had concerns in relation to the fact that report could not be going out to general circulation while the disciplinary process was still continuing.  I would obviously have had concerns in relation to that.  I could not possibly allow anything which would be expressing a view in relation to Mr. Power’s disciplinary matter to be going out while the disciplinary matter was continuing.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So that means, as were talking about before, the existence of the disciplinary process was having an impact on the BDO review and its release?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

It was probably slowing down that, yes.  As I said, that is not from memory but that is from logic.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Just another wrap up question, Mr. Minister.  You said in a BBC interview not too long that you did agree on one area with Mr. Power, that was the politicisation of policing in Jersey.  I wonder if you could elaborate on that and I wonder if you could give your assessment of how you felt that did affect the abuse inquiry.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, again, when eventually - hopefully in all our lifetimes - you see the redacted version of what Mr. Power was saying, you will see it is quite an interesting and incisive section about this sort of issue.

 

[11:15]

 

What he was talking about primarily was issues where, shall we say, there was some accusation against a particular politician or whatever.  He would say well, if there is an accusation against a particular politician then all the politicians’ friends would say, if it then went ahead: “Foul play, this is politically motivated” et cetera.  But if it did not lead to charge then all the people on the other side would say: “Cover up.”  I am afraid there is some degree of truth in this.  The difficulty is this, the work that we did on advisory group, and particularly the final piece of work which was done between myself and Mr. Bowron in seeking to define Operation Freedom has been very helpful indeed, and I think will be very helpful for the future because there is no doubt that when matters arise, when policing matters arise, which may be of a controversial nature, it does sometimes become a political football.  People get involved.  My own person view is that it should not be in the political domain unless it is in a legitimate area for me to intervene at that stage.  This is quite complicated.  As you know I will not intervene in operational matters but now in accordance with definition that we have agreed ... but this is now well understood I would say generally by politicians and members of the public.  The difficult area that arises is where there is some concern that the police may have acted overly heavy-handedly but it is with an operational context.  Although it is maybe right that that concern be raised, it is a matter that cannot be looked at effectively until the end.  Can I give an example of that?  If I give the example of the way in which the police handled the arrest of former Senator Syvret.  Obviously there was concern in relation to that.  I was saying in the Assembly: “Well, hang on, this is an operational matter at this stage, we cannot be getting involved at this stage.”  Now, it is not wrong that the issue, the concern, is raised but it is not a concern that can be pursued at that time.  The process of that example, I have now that the matter is completed - and as I said I would - called for a formal report from the police.  I will consider that, I will consider the judgments and I will then express my view in relation to that.  But can you see how difficult it is in relation to these things.  Now, if we come back to the Haut de la Garenne matter, obviously I can only speak from direct knowledge during the period when I have been Minister and hypothesise as to what happened earlier, there has been absolutely no attempts that I am aware of to politically influence the conduct of the investigation during the period that I have been Minister.  If there had been I would have been very sharp about it in any kind of operational matter.  But clearly there were concerns raised prior to my time, and some of those concerns have continued to be flagged but they were initially raised, as to various different issues, some of which have become subject to the disciplinary hearings and so on and so forth. 

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You say that there were no attempts ... like a politician did not go there and say: “You must arrest so and so or you must unarrest so and so” but to what extent were there more general concerns expressed: “This is prejudicing the reputation of the Island” and the famous phrase: “Something must be done.”  Do you think that happened?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I told you from the time when I took over, no, because there was obviously there was a disciplinary process in place and so on.  I had private comments made to me by individual Members of the States and told them that is most inappropriate, they should not be talking to me at all and sent them away so that I could be objective in relation to things.  But clearly there were concerns before and, of course, part of the difficulty here is as to what is operational and what is not operational.  We now have a better definition in relation to that.  Frankly, some of the concerns that have been expressed, if one looks ... I am talking back in time.  If one looks at an issue such as the way in which the press matters were being handled, which is obviously part and parcel of other reports and other matters.  My own view is that that went beyond operational.  It went beyond operational.  It went into an area which would be a legitimate area as to whether this was the right way to be handling this.  I think that the onus would have been then, or should have been then, upon the Minister of the day to intervene, to ensure that the right advice was being obtained, to ensure the right standards were being followed.  But it is a very delicate thing.  It is a very delicate thing.  But if I can give you an example, if we had a situation 2 weeks ago in which the police had been providing masses of information about the tragic case of the 6 deaths in such a way as to potentially prejudice fair trials, then I would have intervened.  There is no question about it.   

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Okay, thank you.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

To wrap up, Minister, can I ask you 3 points.  I do not think they are too difficult to answer.  Firstly, when you look at what has unfolded and been put to us by [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police], [Police Consultant], BDO, would you not share the view that if Mr. Power had initiated this report he would be heavily criticised, because we have seen really one hand not knowing what the other is doing.  My second point is - and it is hindsight - could you not really see, like many of us could in the States, that this disciplinary process was never going to come to fruition so it would have been better to scrap that and go down this one route with BDO, if that is what you wanted to do.  Finally, BDO made this point to us, they pointed out how they had praised Mr. Power and Mr. Harper significantly in 9 particular areas yet that had never come out in the media.  Even now, do you not concede that perhaps, given your position, that you have a duty of care to try and at least rectify that balance, because it is a very negative picture up there.  I have got no allegiance to anyone but do you not feel that you have got a duty to do that?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

In my statement to the police I did try to rectify the situation ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

To the media?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

I am sorry, in my press statement I did try to rectify the position in relation to the issue as to whether or not initially it was appropriate to go ahead with the digging and exploration.  If you go back to my press statement, you will see that I express a view there that, once there had been this false identification of what turned out to be a piece of coconut, it was not unreasonable that they carry on with digging and investigation and so on and so forth, I then take a view thereafter.  So I tried to balance that in what I said.  There are also, you are quite right, areas in which there were successes.  I will quote one, the police managed to negotiate a lower daily rate for officers from away, for some of the officers from away than would have been the standard according to the Cambridge rules or something of that nature.  Yes, I accept there were some areas in which there was good practice in relation to that and that is reflected.  But, of course, again I put virtually the whole of the report, because the redactions were very small, into the public domain so people could see the whole of what it is saving.  So it was not just what I was saying in relation to that, they could read it for themselves and get a complete balance in relation to that.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

To go back to the disciplinary, if you come to the same conclusion many of us did then a lot more information possible could have been in the public domain.  Would you not agree that is where a lot of people’s concern lies, seeing one side of the story, is never given the defence case, if you like?

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Well, as you know, I have agreed to redact it, this is not going to be easy for a variety of different reasons, I have agreed to put into the public domain the key statements of Mr. Power, and we are working on that and I am content to do that.  But you asked me a question in relation to the point at which it was clear that the disciplinary matters would not proceed to a final conclusion.  I entertained serious hopes of conducting a disciplinary hearing in relation to Operation Blast until very late on in the day.  Very late on in the day.  I accepted, I think I have said before, that by the time I had received all the reports in relation to the historic abuse aspect, and by the time I had received the report from the Deputy Chief Executive, which was the next stage as I understood the procedure, it was so late on in the day that I realised it was not going to be possible to complete a full hearing.  But I did entertain serious hopes of conducting a hearing in relation to Operation Blast until well after that.  Subsequently, in fact we got into an odd position towards the end where Mr. Power wrote to me, returned his badge of office or whatever it was, his warrant card, and left the Island.  So effectively he was accepting that he was going to remain suspended until the end of the process.  I maintain that I had very substantial grounds for his continuing to be suspended; I maintain I had sufficient grounds right from the start and that was upheld by the Royal Court.  But certainly once I had seen the first Wiltshire interim report it was quite clear there were very serious issues, very serious disciplinary issues.  So what are you suggesting?  That I should have lifted the suspension and he should have come back to work for 3 or 4 months?  That simply was never going to be possible.  There was one more question there, can you remember the third one. 

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

It was probably about the duty of care, do you feel any obligation as Minister to try and put things right to a degree?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

In the media.  That is where these messages are going out.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We saw it only last week.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Yes, I am happy to agree if you want me to agree with yourselves, insofar as I can agree it, a statement which will say I have never taken the view that he should be blamed for this or that or the other.  To reiterate, in a sense, with the digging point - to reiterate the statement I have made initially, I do not have a problem with that.  I am happy to indicate, yes, there were some areas in which there was good practice, but at the end of the day I am afraid there were some very serious mistakes made on the financial management and one cannot get away from that reality.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Okay.  I think the Chief Officer is still sitting outside, so as much as I would like to go into how we find collagen and coconut and things like that, I will draw a line under it and thank you for coming in.  Thank you.

 

The Minister for Home Affairs:

Okay, thank you.

 








STATES OF JERSEY

 

Education and Home Affairs Panel

Review of Issues Surrounding Review of Financial Management of Operation Rectangle

 

THURSDAY, 25th AUGUST 2011

 

Note: The witness has not corrected the transcript

 

Panel:

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

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

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

 

Witnesses:

Chief Officer for Home Affairs

 

In attendance:

Scrutiny Officer

 

[11:41]

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

When you look back now, Chief Officer, what do you think about the Finances (Jersey) Law 2005 and its impact on everything?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Before I answer that, can I say something else?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

Of course you can.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

A lot of the questions which I think you might have and a lot of the ground that I want to cover today arise out of [retired Chief Officer of Police]’s last transcript.  If it helps for good order it might help to turn the pages on that transcript at some point, but you are in charge.  Because a lot of the documents I have produced, which are evidential, refer to the things that he has said, or he has raised.  So, that would be a way of proceeding which I think would be an organised way.  I will come back to your question.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

I should say we got some of this information in very late, which is not our fault, or probably your fault.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

I have not read your memo about the evidence of [retired Chief Officer of Police].

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

That is fine.  If we get back to the Jersey Finance Law and its impact on how we got where we are today.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, in many ways I think it is a side issue because ever since 2005 we have had to run the departmental accounts in accordance with the Finance Law.  It is something we do every day and in many ways the fact that there was a major investigation which spent £7.6 million should not have made a lot of difference because we run and manage the accounts in accordance with the law every day.  All we are talking about here is the number of transactions and the quantum, from my point of view.  The other issue, I think, which is why we are here is whether the resources were used properly and that is where I think I then depart from my job and I would expect to look to the head of whatever service it is to see that those resources are used properly.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary: 

Can I come back on that?  To repeat the question really, what do you think now about the Finances (Jersey) Law 2005 and how it impacts on Home Affairs and, say, to Jersey Police?  What do you think now about that law?  What is your view of it?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, it is such a broad question.  It is unspecific. 

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

All right.  Do you think that that law should be changed so that the Chief Officer of Police is an accounting officer?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, that is a specific question.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I gave you lots of leeway.  Be fair.

 

[11:45]

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  I now think the Chief of Police should be an accounting officer.  I did not.  [retired Chief Officer of Police] is quite right in that part of his transcript of what he said, that when we were setting up the arrangements for the move to ministerial government we had a difference of opinion.  I thought that we could run things as they are now.  I will tell you why if you like before that.  I think with the benefit of hindsight when you have a major inquiry like this whatever weaknesses there are, and Mr. Warcup described them as systemic, whatever weaknesses there are show through and where you have a service that is entirely its own master, except that it clearly reports at the moment to the Minister and does not report to me, then there will be a tension set up at times like this and it would be far better in hindsight if the Chief of Police was an accounting officer.  Do you want to know why I thought otherwise?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

[retired Chief Officer of Police] arrived in November 2000.  Coincidentally I was appointed director of the Home Affairs Department in November 2000 as well but I have been on secondment since that February to set up the department; it was a new department.  One of the first things I did after we were both in post, and I remember it well, I went to see [retired Chief Officer of Police] because one thing I had to do setting up a department was to bring together those functions of it which were generic to the whole department; in other words they serve the prison, the fire service, into one place because it is just a sensible and efficient way of running things.  The 2 entities that that referred to were Finance and Human Resources.  At that time the police had a finance and administration manager and other finance staff, so I went to discuss with [retired Chief Officer of Police] whether he would agree to those staff coming with me to the Central Home Affairs Department and running it from there.  His actual words were: “I have no problem with that provided there is no degradation in service.”  That is what he said and we agreed.  So, the point I am making is that for 5 years before ministerial government and for 3 years since we have run the Home Affairs financial management and accountability without any problem.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I just clarify that?  My recollection of [retired Chief Officer of Police]’s evidence, and I am not absolutely sure, I have it here but I will not read it all to check, but I am pretty sure he said that from the outset when he came to Jersey he felt that he had to have accounting authority as well as operational authority and that was on the table from the word go.  So, I just wanted to clarify that your recollection and his recollection seem to be different.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, I stand by what I have said.  The fact is he had a very good service from the 3 accountants that make up the House Affairs Finance Department throughout the time that he was in Jersey and he acknowledges that in a lot of the papers.  The fact that they are sitting with me and not down at Police Headquarters is immaterial.  One of the finance managers goes to the force management board meetings, provides all the updates and this is why I say, in answer to the first question, in a sense it does not matter because we have had to abide by those regulations and the law for the last 3 or 4 years and we were operating successfully for 5 years before it. 

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

If I could ask one related question and then I will let my colleagues step in.  Something very surprising the Minister just said to us was that according to him the offer was made to [retired Chief Officer of Police] to effectively take on the role of accounting officer.  Now, as I understand it, and I am not an expert, that could have had no legitimacy under the law, so surely that could not work because where would he stand if a problem came up, as of course it did, and disciplinary issues followed.  How could that offer have really been made?  How could that have worked?  I do not understand.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I rephrase that as well, was the offer made, or was the Minister’s recollection wrong?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, not by me it was not, but with the current Chief of Police we have already discussed it and we are planning to move to a system of 2 accounting officers from January.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

But if the offer was not made by you, who could it have been made by?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, the Treasurer has a role.  Various people have opinions and can be influential.  If the Treasurer, for example, thinks it is best practice, or if the Comptroller and Auditor General wanted to insist then they would make that point, but nobody has pushed it to the point where it has to happen.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But you would have known if that offer had been made, surely?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, I would.  Yes.  There has been another driver of course.  We have been waiting to get police authority up and running, or established in law, and I would say for a long time the most logical time for the Chief of Police to become an accounting officer is when we move to a police authority system.  I now think: “Well, let us not wait for that; we will do it in advance of that.”

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But for the record, you are completely unaware that offer was ever made, from what you said.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

An offer made to [retired Chief Officer of Police] to become a ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I think so, yes.  Nothing stands out in my mind.  I hesitate because it is difficult to remember.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

It is quite a big issue though, you would think it would stand out if it had been put to you.  What do you think?  It impacts on your power so you would think you would recall it, would you not?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

It is probably true that it has been discussed but it has never been formally.  I think that is the way to say it.  Nothing has ever formally been put to me that somebody has written to me and said: “We want to make the Chief of Police an accounting officer, please can you submit your reaction to that” or whatever.  No. 

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Okay.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Okay.  Well, thank you for that and maybe we can pursue it through the office.  I want to ask about this business of the relationship between Home Affairs and the police in terms of oversight of the inquiry, which is why we asked the first questions around what you thought about the Finance Law.  I am referring to [retired Chief Officer of Police]’s evidence to us on his page 12.  He says: “When it became clear that Rectangle was likely to have significant financial implications I asked the Chief Officer for Home Affairs [I think it was you] what arrangements he wanted in respect of financial management.”  Can you remember this communication from [retired Chief Officer of Police]?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.  Can you show me it?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, it is page 12 of his evidence.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, the communication.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, no, we cannot because I think we have asked him for this exchange but he only spoke to us quite recently.  But I am asking you whether that letter reached you.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I do not have a letter like that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It is in his evidence to you.  He quoted it from his statement to the Wiltshire Inquiry and that has now been redacted and it has to go to him for release and then it comes to us.  We have asked for it.  So, we do not have the detail.  We do not have the date or the actual detail but I am putting it to you and you cannot remember receiving that request?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, the only letters I have specifically with [retired Chief Officer of Police] are the ones in June 2008 that are in your bundle.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Okay.  Well, that leaves us in a bit of a quandary.  He goes on: “I was conscious that it was his decision to take.  He was the accounting officer and he had a legal responsibility for the budget” which is true under the Finance Law. 

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

“He said that he would appoint the senior finance officer, who I know, to work directly with the Rectangle team.” 

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, that was in connection with the F.O.B. (Financial Oversight Board).

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Okay, so you are saying that this must refer to the F.O.B. it cannot refer to something before the F.O.B.?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, and in any case I have just had a meeting at 8.30 a.m. this morning with the Gold Group finance sub-group on the current murder investigation and the person at the meeting from the police is the Police Finance and Administration Manager, set up under the major incident room admin procedures, which are the procedures that they did not set up under for the Rectangle Inquiry.  The point I am making is that it would appear that the proper procedures are being followed for this one and if you have read the Wiltshire Police Report one of the things that they remark on is that that did not happen.  So, here we are 10 or 11 days after a major incident and the police have already swung into action.  So, despite the fact that they are heavily involved with interviewing the prime suspect they have already set up those procedures and I am already able to have a meeting with the person who, from their end, is organising all the financial issues to do with the murder.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, that is clearly a good outcome, if you like, a lesson learned.  I am just trying to chase down this exchange which either did not happen or you are saying that it relates to the Financial Oversight Board only, which was set up in July, and it does not relate to the arrangements previous when a lot of the money was being spent very quickly.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I have never set myself up in opposition to [retired Chief Officer of Police].

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, we are not saying you should.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

We enjoyed a working relationship for 8 years ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So, then ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I was just going on to say, that was a preamble, that there is an email in there where he very correctly flags up in February 2008 shortly after the then Chief Minister made his now infamous statement about all necessary resources, where he was the first to flag up, where do we stand in terms of spending the police budget?  If you want I will find it for you.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, I can remember that.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I am not saying that he never thought about finance.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, and the response was what ended up happening was he took it from his police budget and ran on air and hope until it was organised and then the money was ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, and I think that is what the Wiltshire Police have concluded.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I am concerned with what the oversight was on the inquiry and how it was set up or not.  You are saying that with this most recent event the police have a financial manager set up by themselves.  I will just carry on with the transcript: “There you go:  ‘There is the man with the big stick’ I say.  [retired Chief Officer of Police] says, ‘Yes’.  I say it never happened because it is not in the BDO report, this person from your department working directly with the Rectangle team and then [retired Chief Officer of Police] says: ‘I think that person was appointed to work with the Rectangle team.  I know it became a concern as to how effective that arrangement was.’”  So, I am just saying that this is a different version.  It is not about the F.O.B., the Financial Oversight Board, as I understand it, and this person was appointed to work with the Rectangle team and he had concerns about whether it worked and yet I do not see this in the BDO report.  So, this is what I am putting it to you.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Go back to where we started in terms of the way we normally operate.  Right as far back as when we both were appointed in 2000 [retired Chief Officer of Police], and they still do, enjoy a finance manager sitting on their monthly ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, S.M.T. (Senior Management Team).

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

It happens to be the same person.  Nothing has changed.  Now, that person was also providing the financial management backup in terms of the analysis of costs during the time of Rectangle and then a finance director, who works directly to me, both of us were on the Financial Oversight Board and then the Gold Group which succeeded it, but at no point did the police appoint their own finance manager sitting inside the investigation team to manage all their costs and resource handling and that is a point criticised by Wiltshire.  Not for me to do that, that is standard operating procedure for major enquiries.  If [retired Chief Officer of Police] had asked me: “I cannot get anyone, I need to have one of your 3 people” we would have talked about it but that was never requested.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

The problem from my point of view is that [retired Chief Officer of Police] in his evidence, and I am just trying to clarify this because this is an absolutely critical issue, [retired Chief Officer of Police] in his evidence to us said that he did ask you what arrangements you wanted in respect of financial management and presumably he asked you that because you are the accounting officer for his department.  This is the issue, is it not, what feels to me like 2 stories.  You are saying: “They should have set up under M.I.R.S.A.P, they should have set up their own financial person” and [retired Chief Officer of Police] is saying that he wrote to you saying: “What financial arrangements?  Can we talk about it?  Can we sort this out because I have an unbudgeted huge expenditure coming up” and then there is the division between the 2 stories we are getting.

 

[12:00]

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Unless I am missing something or correspondence, but I suppose another thing I would say to you is, why would I on 27th May 2008 write to [retired Chief Officer of Police] seeking assurances about the way that he is handling the spend on the inquiry?  Again, I think his transcript gives the impression that he was the instigator of those.  No.  I would go as far as to say that if I had not written to him in May about it I would never have had any contact with him about it because it was not uppermost in his mind.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

If I can jump in now, what were the precise circumstances, or immediate circumstances, that led you to write that letter?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, I do not have the monopoly on wisdom so ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Neither do we.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

As soon as the then Chief Minister made his fantastic statement I thought: “We are not going to have enough money” so at various points I sought advice.  The first time was in March after 26th February to say to the Treasury, and the letters are in there with the Treasurer: “Excuse me, what am I supposed to do here?  Who is going to give me some money?  How do I account for it?”  I did a similar thing at the point where it was becoming apparent to me that there was a lot of money going out and I was not really sure how it was being accounted for.  I took advice from the Treasurer and when you look at them you will see there are emails in there from the Treasurer.  When the Treasurer says to me: “Are you sure you have done everything you should be doing?”  In fact he said: “If I were you really you ought to seek formal assurance from the Chief of Police about the spend.”  That was the trigger for these letters.  I am not claiming that this was all my original thought.  One takes advice.  So, because of that I wrote to [retired Chief Officer of Police] saying: “You need to assure me.  You are in charge of the Force, are you using your resources to the best effect?”

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

But from your knowledge of your own role as an accounting officer, do you think a letter was sufficient?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, how else does one start?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Well, presumably receipts were coming through to your department and people were making ... I know the argument has been put forward, and in fact you may have put it forward at the last hearing, that these were operational issues and we have to take them at face value as they are presented to us but of course there were issues that are states-wide like hotel bills, restaurant bills and so forth where there are standards that apply throughout the service.  Were you alerted to any unusual patterns of expenditure that would have demanded strong and immediate intervention?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Do you mind if we go to page 11 of his transcript? 

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Okay.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

What he said there is outrageous and it is more than that, it is dangerously outrageous.  It is the bit that starts a quarter of the way down.  He starts to say that the Deputy could not incur any expenses unless I had signed them off and then he says at the end: “The rules were bypassed and it could only be bypassed by the staff in the Home Affairs Department.”  Because you are talking about signing off bills, Deputy Le Hérissier?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

That statement was put to me before 17th August when you heard [retired Chief Officer of Police] by the Scrutiny Officer and words to the effect: “What have you got to say about this allegation?”  I put in a written rebuttal of that and from what I understand that was not put to [retired Chief Officer of Police] at the hearing.  The result of that was that Channel Television in the 1 hour 40 minutes that you talked to him the only thing they reported on Channel was that all the bills had been signed off by the Home Affairs Department.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I was sick to the pit of my stomach when I heard that.  It is just not true.  We do not see any bills in the Home Affairs Department.  The process is that the person who makes the order or incurs the bill signs it off.  I have brought some with me.  The vast majority of them were signed by Mr. Harper.  The next signatory to that is the clerk who checks that it is completed correctly and has been signed.  That clerk at that time did not work for Home Affairs, they were part of the Treasury shared services section.  The first we know of expenditure is when it comes up now on the J.D. Edwards system and we are able to make our financial profiling in our reports.  I never see any of this stuff and this either needs to be retracted or corrected because at worst it is a lie, but I would not accuse [retired Chief Officer of Police] of lying, it is just ignorant and he shows an ignorance of the process.  He did not know how the bills in his own service are being processed.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I say that from our point of view we are looking at a review by BDO Alto who are a professional accountants firm, about whether the expenditure was efficient and effective and in fact they added to their terms of reference about the oversight.  This is one of the issues which we feel should have been looked at in some detail in their report.  This is the kind of thing that their report should have covered as well as restaurant bills and the detail and yet here we have a big difference of opinion between yourself and [retired Chief Officer of Police].

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

It is not a difference of opinion, it is fact.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, that is right, I stand corrected.  It is a difference of fact and yet BDO have not covered this.  I do not recollect reading in BDO that there is an argument about who was signing off ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You are right.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

This is a big part of what they should have been looking at.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

In the section on purchase cards there is and that is why there is a focus on entertainment because it happens to be that that is where most of the purchase card stuff is.  But the nature of the audit was on how the resources were used and whether they were used in an efficient way.  It was not particularly about the minutiae of signing off individual bills.  There had been an audit prior to that, which again is in the bundle.  There had been an audit in October done by KPMG which did look at a sample of bills and they valued over £1 million and they could not make any adverse observations about them because these are done correctly.  It is not about whether they were signed correctly or whether they had been processed correctly.  The BDO audit is about the effective use of resources.  It is a higher level thing.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But the issue of authorisation does come up and you and [retired Chief Officer of Police] are totally disagreeing on the facts of that and that disagreement is part of the wider issue of the relationship between the Home Affairs Department and the police and how what is going to be a huge expenditure can be effectively controlled financially.  So, those sorts of issues we would expect to be in the review.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Any senior public servant who handles money, it is common sense.  I am legally accountable in the law, that is accepted, but anybody who is spending public money knows that it has to be legitimate and 90 per cent of the time that was Mr. Harper because he was approving most of the bills.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Can we come back to that? 

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Can I just say I am not suggesting it was all illegitimate in that case because he had a lot on his mind at the time.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, C.T.V. (Channel Television) certainly suggested that, so you and we have issues with the accuracy of some of the media.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

We all forget, do we not, what was going on at the time?  What we thought we had on our plate.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

The pace of it.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

The pace of it, what we thought we were dealing with and as I have just said to the Finance Manager this morning: “You do not want me picking my way through everything becoming a blinking nuisance when you have a major murder inquiry.”  But it is up to the person authorising bills to make sure that that is a legitimate charge to public funds.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Can I ask you, and I know this is focusing a bit on your own role, but it is important and although you say BDO is about effectiveness, of course it is about effectiveness based on a proper structure of control.  In other words, that there are proper paths of accountability.  You as accounting officer, other than this general letter you sent to [retired Chief Officer of Police] in which you asked him to essentially sign as evidence that everything was honky dory, what did you as accounting officer think was sufficient evidence to prove that expenditure was being correctly and effectively handled within the police?  What evidence did you seek?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I think it is in his transcript.  He refers to: “I express satisfaction” I think those are the words used.  Bear in mind that I do not have any specialist knowledge on police functions and what they do.  So, if the senior investigating officer says to me in writing in his email: “I have had A.C.P.O. (Association of Chief Police Officers) over here.  They have been over, they have said that my inquiry is an example of best practice.  I have had the National Policing Improvement Agency over here.  They have not adversely commented on what I am doing.  I have my inquiry policy file up and running and I am making entries in there and more than that, in writing, which I have, it is in there, he says that all the expenditure I am incurring is necessary to further the aims of the inquiry.  Then I am hardly likely to say: “No, I am sorry, I do not care what you say, I need further evidence” and all that is in there.  Those were the professional assurances that were being given at the time.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

You mentioned this was all going honky dory, this system, from your inception in Home Affairs, when did you realise, or come to the realisation that things were not going well financially?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I hesitate there because it is like that film which has 2 scenarios running at the same time.  God forbid, say that there were bodies at Haut de la Garenne, and say this was a multiple homicide, we could postulate whether we would be here today and whether there would be any query on the spend, but after 31st March 2008 when what had been described as a piece of juvenile cranium was later described as a bit of coconut and the thing started to take a different complexion, at that point I think it would be fair to say I probably started to think: “We have spent a lot of money on something which perhaps is not going to turn out on what we thought.”  So, you then get a concern.  I think most people would.  States Members staff have a concern.  A lot of people started to have a concern about: “What exactly have you been spending all this money on?”  At that point, and I think the correspondence bears it out, I sought advice from the Treasurer and I ended up writing to [retired Chief Officer of Police] about whether he could give me the assurance that what has been spent is an effective use of the money.  That is about as fair an account as I can give you.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Would you agree that there is a substantial body of opinion which would say that those issues of the juvenile skull turning into a bit of coconut and the charred corpses and so on, the various issues that do not seem to be resolved, the teeth, that there is a real doubt?  You are saying: “Well, the thing turned on 31st March and it suddenly all became, ‘Well, frankly why are we doing this?’”  In fact, there are quite a lot of people who think: “No, the account given in BDO of those questions is partial and one-sided.”  So, there is still a debate about that.  I am saying you cannot just rubbish it and say: “Well, all that expenditure in 2008, what a wild goose chase” or a lot of it.  There have been prosecutions for a lot of it.  I mean, there were 1,500 witness statements or something.

 

[12:15]

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman: 

Before you speak, just because we will get pulled up on it, you said “charred corpses” it was charred bones, fresh and flesh, otherwise we will get accused ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, yes.  No, fair enough.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I am not qualified to criticise the conduct of the inquiry myself.  Anything that I have said about that is purely what I have read in here which is the thing that is on the internet which says what, in the opinion of the Wiltshire Police, was wrong with the inquiry.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary: 

But Op Haven said, and the Minister has backed their version and not BDO’s, they have said that the decision to excavate was legitimate, the expenses incurred up to a certain point were legitimate.  There may have been no issues.  What we are looking at is issues around how that expending was controlled, whether it was effective and efficient and so on.  We are not looking at whether these police procedures were correct.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, and that is not part of my ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Oh, I thought you were questioning them.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Not at all.  I am not qualified to do that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Can I take you to the file note, 4th June 2008, which is in the bundle that I think you and our scrutiny officer provided us with.  Now, there it says June 2008 you are present, Lenny Harper is present, the Director of Finance is present, and you just go through this.  It is looking at the meetings, looking at financial management controls that have been put in place by the S.I.O. (Senior Investigating Officer).  That is in part 1.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, I have it.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

At the commencement of the investigation he has followed A.C.P.O., accommodation was checked with States Procurement.  A trip to Australia, taking all the factors into account, could be justified.  Summary of key statistics was reviewed and expenditure we have put the extent of the investigation in proportion to the level of expenditure.  In other words it was proportionate to the scale of what was going on and that gets a tick as well, but it just says: “Was reviewed.”  So, in June 2008 that meeting was an opportunity for challenge.  I am just sort of trying to get hold of where the BDO review comes from with its extensive basically criticisms and that file note which says in June that ... well, what does it say?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, what that was was me seeking assurances from the senior investigating officer about the money he was committing and Mr. Harper was able to do that at that time.  I did not have a bad feeling after that meeting because I was basing it on those professionals who had come over and he relayed to me what they had said.  But irrespective of this meeting on 4th June I still decided to seek verification of what I was being told from [retired Chief Officer of Police], expecting that he was supervising all of this, or supervising the S.I.O. and that was the purpose of the letters in June.  I now know of course that perhaps that was not quite what the situation was at the time.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, the letter in May?  The letter that you wrote to [retired Chief Officer of Police] was 27th May.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, the first one in May and June, yes, that is right.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Your concerns were: “I will be meeting with Lenny to review some of the detailed expenditure.”

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, which one are you looking at?  Oh, are you looking at the email, are you?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, 27th May letter in part 2 of the bundle.  It is the first letter in the second ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

First letter, yes.  Yes, that is right.  Well, that is referring to the 4th June meeting.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

It says: “As I am sure you are aware through my staff I have been monitoring expenditure on the historic child abuse Investigation and advising the Treasury through reports.”

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes. 

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Then you ask for confirmation from [retired Chief Officer of Police] that ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs: 

I did and I did not get it the first time so I wrote again.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

And then he wrote back saying: “I accept my responsibility as Chief Officer in the matter but in doing so encountered the customary difficulty of having no appropriately qualified staff within my direct command.”

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

That is true.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Then after that between you you ended up setting up the F.O.B.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

It is true, but it is not true to say that he did not have access to qualified financial advice because he had it since 1st November 2000.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

On that, I think it is the same period again, we have what appears to be 2 divergent sets of evidence.  One is that [retired Chief Officer of Police] was attending meetings presumably of the F.O.B. and the inference is from his evidence that he expected to be brought up at the F.O.B. if things were going wrong, expected concerns to be laid out.  He says that there were no concerns raised with him, so he drew the inference that people were satisfied with his financial management, but yet apparently at the same time your finance and administration manager was expressing concern, which has been written about in the BDO report, that this person was getting very little information from Mr. Harper.  So, (a) what was going on on the F.O.B?  Was it all hunky dory?  Was everybody sort of happy?  And (b) did you hear from the finance and administration manager?  Did that person come to you and say: “Look, I am not getting the information I require to make sensible assessments”?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

On the point of things not being flagged up; the whole point of these letters in May and June was because I was concerned and I do not think he is being totally up front.  He is an intelligent man, he will know that the purpose of these letters was because I was not happy.  He will know that.  He has not said it, but he will know that.  This was me saying to the Chief of Police: “I need your assurance that what is going on you are happy with.”  So, that is a written challenge.  There is no other way of describing it.  In terms of the finance manager, we are in the tearoom every day.  He works downstairs.  I suppose the best way I can portray it is if you look at tab 9; have you all got it? 

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

About 4 pages in the finance manager emailed the police in February seeking information and if you want the mood of things, if you look at the top thing there is a reply from Mr. Harper to the finance manager on 22nd February.  It says: “At the moment it is a historical abuse inquiry.  Details are confidential and I have no idea at present when it will end.”  That was the reply to the request for financial information.  Well, it was not easy, put it that way, but we did stay with it.  From the records that are available electronically we were able to pull together financial reports which were provided to the police regularly and I think there is an example of one in there.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did you ever sit down with [retired Chief Officer of Police] and say: “Look, things do not seem to be going right here.  Could we discuss how we can improve matters?” 

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, but we thought they were.  I think that is the point I am trying to make.  Up until it seemed that the inquiry was not going to do what it said it did, I think that is when the trigger was for my concern and at that point I decided to confront the Chief of Police with that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, sorry, the matter of whether the inquiry was going to do what it said it would do on the tin; that is not the same as controlling the expenditure and you refer to this email from Lenny Harper on 22nd February: “I have no idea at present when it will end.”  He turned out to be absolutely right because 4 days later they took the decision to ... they found then JAR/6 and so on and then the whole thing went stratospheric in terms of expenditure.  So, he was right not to answer.  He had no idea.  I think I want to repeat the question of Deputy Le Hérissier which I do not think you answered.  Did you hear from your financial manager, your person on the S.M.T. at the police who was a regular member of the team and was updating and so on and doing the analysis?  Did you ever hear formally, or informally if you like, but formally preferably from that person about any misgivings about specifically Rectangle?  Because they are in the senior management team every fortnight, is my understanding.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Only that we had discussions about the size of the expenditure but I cannot recall specifically any conversations about anything else because of course do not forget we are not seeing the bills, like I said before.  We are not seeing what is being signed off.  We got to know about it retrospectively several weeks later because the financial information appears on the system.  So, it is only from a sense of how much is being spent from the discussions of the group.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

You see, this is problem, is it not?  There is someone who has a place on the S.M.T., it is a standing item on the agenda, the finances of the police, including Operation Rectangle, and yet in terms of strategic: dog-handler, big item; overtime cordon, big item.  These are big items and apparently nothing is getting back to you at all, even though there is somebody ...  You can imagine, you can see how this confusion arises; [retired Chief Officer of Police] is saying to us: “Well, there was somebody in on it” maybe he was referring to this person who was on the S.M.T. and there every time and yet nothing is coming back to you about any disquiet.  I am not talking about a bill for this and a bill for that; I am talking about the overall thing, big costs, £100,000 here, £500, 000 there and yet nothing is coming back to you.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, that is wrong; I was aware of that, yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

What about the challenge then on these items because obviously you go for the big items, do you not?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, that is right but you have got to get back to the point that this is a major inquiry and people who had been brought over to look at the way they were conducting it were apparently saying that this was okay, this was being conducted in the right fashion.  I am not going to question that.  Why would I challenge that?  The Wiltshire report says ... I mean I am going to have to quote it to you.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Sorry, the Wiltshire Financial Report?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Have you got a copy?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, I have.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

If you look at paragraph 1.5 in the executive summary: “Whilst it could be argued that Steven Austin-Vautier could have challenged either D.C.O. (Deputy Chief Officer) Harper or Chief Officer Power over the increasing costs of Operation Rectangle, the fact remains that he had no managerial or operational responsibility over them.”

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

So, unlike the Prison, the Fire Service, the Customs and Immigration Service, the Superintendent Registrar and the Territorial Army, where I can say: “Stop doing that and do not do any more until I have said otherwise.”  I cannot do that with the police.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Which is why I asked right at the beginning, why we asked right at the beginning the question about the Finance Law and whether you felt it was satisfactory and you said your views changed and you now know that it is not satisfactory or words ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

It has not stood the ultimate test.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

[retired Chief Officer of Police] said at the time: “It will not stand up to any of the stress.”

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

He had a lot of foresight.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I have sat very quietly because both my colleagues are on a roll here and that is fine, got my share last time.  What I still find hard to get my head around is [retired Chief Officer of Police] is effectively saying that most of the concerns, the worries, the questions, only came to a head after he had been suspended almost.  How could such a scenario be plausible?  I know there are difficulties, we all know that now, between the lack of an adequate relationship between Home Affairs and the police but how could he come to that conclusion?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, you are asking the wrong man, are you not?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Well, no, we have put questions to [retired Chief Officer of Police] but I think it is quite relevant to ask you because you are his friend.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.  Well, look, [retired Chief Officer of Police] is a colleague, he is a colleague.  You cannot ask me, as a colleague, why it is that people start to question [retired Chief Officer of Police], put some doubt on whether he should be in office, question whether he should be ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Well, I can ask you if you respect why it sort of apparently took so long; July everything is great apparently, or that is the perception and then he is removed and suddenly December, a different ball game.  That is what I find hard to understand.  I am not casting any aspersions on yourself ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I am just trying to get my head around this.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Are you saying what happened in that, say perhaps 6 months that we ended up where he was suspended; is that the question?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Well, I suppose that it is a degree, yes.  That is; I mean he is suspended and then I just do not understand how he got there without it being much more in the ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Well, lots of people caused that but I am not one of them.  I am busy getting on with my job in Home Affairs.

 

[12:30]

 

Neither me nor my staff are saying: “Why is Graham Power still the Police Chief?”  Lots of your brethren were, lots of Members, lots of members of the public, other people but we have got no axe to grind.  We have got a job to do and it is busy.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

I have got to press this issue again, if I may; this issue of your officer attending meetings and not getting sufficient information, it appears, from Mr. Harper and yet somehow this concern, which must have been a major concern, does not sort of find its way to you and start alarm bells ringing or find its way to the Financial Oversight Board, which is meant to be the repository for all these concerns.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, I think that the only thing I can say is that ... and it is the mildest answer; I was prepared to accept, at the time, that the A.C.P.O. group had been over, the N.P.I.A. (National Policing Improvement Agency) group had been over, the assurances that Mr. Harper himself formally had given about the fact that everything he had spent he needed.  When you piece that all together it was a plausible account as to why we needed to spend the money we were spending.  As I have said, it was only when it was quite apparent that the inquiry, the operation, was not achieving what it was supposed to achieve or it was portrayed as, that there then became a worry over whether we needed to be spending as much as we did.  But up until that point everything looked quite plausible at the time.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

See the interesting thing is that a lot of the subsequent press media coverage was ... some of it was questioning professional policing decisions, like was a dog needed?  But there are others, as I intimated earlier; essentially they were about extravagance, that there was extravagance in expenditure.  Things that strikes me; lay people could judge.  They were either staying in over-luxurious hotels or they were not and of course that is where it all ended up; the publicity, that is where the adverse publicity ended up.  That was not picked up as an issue, was it, because it subsequently became a major issue?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, it was.  Well, it was because we had new ... we spent a lot of our time answering numerous States Members’ questions around it and I have got it all.  So, we did have to, I had to ask the questions.  A classic example were the trips to Australia, for example; I had to go into all of that.  We had a meeting with the police; they provided, again, a plausible reason why they had spent the money they had on going to Australia or to do with the length of the travel they had to endure, the work they had to do while they were airborne and you cannot do that sitting in the 3 and 4 pennies when you are juggling your tray of food with muggins looking over your shoulder at what you are writing; all good reasons, all perfectly plausible.  So, we were dealing with those things at the time; there were numerous questions about hotels.  I know that they did go to length to try and get one of the bills in now; I brought examples with me in case you wanted to see them.  But there is a receipt in it or a bill in there, quite a large one, for the Hotel de France; £70 a night bed and breakfast.  Well, you cannot say fairer than that; that is a good rate for the Hotel de France.  There was some trouble being taken over things like that; it was not all ... and I said that the last time I appeared.  The impression has been given that the BDO report just rubbishes everything that the police did.  It does not; there are 9 examples at least of where they are saying steps were taken to be careful.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

This is the problem, is it not, that the public perception is totally different from what you have just said?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, who is putting that about?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Ah, I know, it is the media.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We discussed this with the Minister.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

We have referred to the Channel T.V. (television) who have used the Australia example as an example of profit and expenditure only last week and you are saying and of course we all know that that expenditure was justified and it is on record in your documents that you have given us.  So, there is a problem with the way the media goes about reporting this whole issue and I wonder if you have any comments on what could be done about that in terms of rectifying, getting them to put out the micro version corrections to the mistakes they are making?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

We are on an impossible mission.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But you do share that concern.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But can I have some insights into how that came about?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, sorry, Deputy ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Well, sorry, there are 2 questions.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I share the concern because of the mass indignation I felt last week.  I mean I just found it extraordinary; one hour 40 you had him on the phone and the one thing they report is tosh, sorry, it is drivel.  They are both in the dictionary actually.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

We can agree on some things then.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Tosh is fine, so what do you ...?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

I wonder if I can jump to a new issue, although we do have a tendency to keep being drawn back; the lack of a finance manager.  [retired Chief Officer of Police] of course, just as we are following this theme, he says of course he had asked for such a person to be appointed and so forth.  Were you convinced that you moved as quickly on this one as you could have and were you convinced, once you had made the appointment, that you were getting the right information to start making some fairly informed judgments and assessments of what was going on?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, there always was a finance manager; there has been for 8 years.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Within the operation team?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, but as I have said before, that was Mr. Harper’s responsibility to appoint his own finance backup for his operation in accordance with police procedures.  That is not me; I have got a department to run.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Presumably though you would have been of the view ... say, for example, you follow the argument; Mr. Harper, as you have said earlier, was running a very fast-paced investigation.  He may not have had very recent experience of running such investigations and certainly you ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

They do.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes, well quite; bureaucratic niceties were not going to be sort of top of his agenda as he tried to get things moving.  You did not think that there was a role for your department to intervene and say: “Look, we have got to push this along and it will help me because it will ensure that I am getting right from the frontline the right kind of financial data and I do not have to rely on these sort of letters from [retired Chief Officer of Police] that everything is hunky-dory.”

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, 2 things to say about that; the first is there has been a very sad incident in Jersey in the last 10 days but the senior investigating officer found time to, in the first week, sort out his admin and finance, point one.  Point 2, this was all very new; we had not been here before.  I am the first to admit we are all human beings and fallible.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Absolutely.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I, despite my 18 years in the Air Force and things I have seen and done, this was new for me.  Nobody knew how it was going to unfold.  It is great in hindsight but I am sure Mr. Harper, [retired Chief Officer of Police] and me, we would all do things differently but at the time you just do not know exactly what is coming up.  I did not know that 4 weeks later we would still have a dog roaming around and we would have all these policemen still on a cordon.  It was all new, never been there before and we all learned from those sorts of experiences.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

In a way, we are not here to assess your performance but obviously we are there ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I wondered.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Because obviously one of the issues that has arisen is the balance of the findings of the BDO report and while we are not here to sort of engage in equal opportunity of allocating blame obviously there is a distinct trend in that report and it is to put the bulk of the blame upon police and certain named officers.  So, we have to find out the workings of the Home Affairs Department.  You gave a long list of the people Mr. Harper had sought advice from and that is a well known police thing; try and break down cultures and open up to new thinking.  That did not apply to your side of the work.  You could not pick up the phone to someone in the Home Office and say: “Look, we have got this massive operation in Jersey.  I am in this position.  What are the things I should be focusing on?”  That did not come up?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.  There is not that sort of thing.  I mean we plugged for the Jersey public service.  We do get on with it and sort things out.  No, there is not the panoply of managerial oversight and advice that there is within the police force U.K. (United Kingdom)-wide.  No, there is not and in any case, come back to what I said, at the outset why is it any different?  We have managed £48 million every year or whatever it is; it happens to be that this year and this was just another operation at the beginning but it clearly unfolded into something much bigger.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

If I can just take you back a bit; [retired Chief Officer of Police] stated at the early stages of the inquiry, when he was receiving responses, regular responses, that there were no concerns about the financial arrangements, he began to feel uneasy, to use his words, that: “There was not sufficient rigour in the Home Affairs approach.  I just came towards the end of May 2008, 22nd May” and he says he took the initiative to propose the Financial Oversight Board in an email he quotes, 9th June.  He said that this was eventually accepted but not acted upon with sufficient speed and the first meeting is not held until 23rd July.  What would have been the reason for that delay?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Right.  Well, the answer to the question, before I come back on from there, is I do not know because I have looked at that.  I imagine it is something as simple as people not being available in July.  It is right in the middle of the summer, other things going on.  I honestly do not know of any other reason why there was a delay.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But something that would have seemed so important he has recognised as important.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Is that ...?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, it is a fair observation.  I cannot honestly account for anything other what was said.  I come back to; he says “insufficient rigour” and he suggested that ... I will submit that unless I had written to him in May and again in June that he would not even have thought of the Financial Oversight Board because he was not focused on the finance at all.  That is an opinion; it is not backed up by anything I have given you.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

But the only reason it popped up was because of the correspondence.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Going to a slightly more micro issue, Mr. Austin-Vautier, as you know [retired Chief Officer of Police] claimed that the rules on expenses were bypassed, that they were never signed off and then of course this was heavily criticised in the BDO report.  We are into detail again, sorry about that.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, that is all right.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Can you explain to us how police claim for expenses were signed off or should have been signed off?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, you are talking about purchase cards now, that sort of thing?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes, well, alongside it, yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Well, with purchase cards you have to have 2 signatories.  You verify the bills yourself but you did incur those and then another officer has to verify that.  Then, in addition to that, then the Finance Officer does the computation check and allocates the business unit, so there are 3 people; that is with the purchase cards.  That is why in the BDO report there is quite a long section about what happened at the Bondi Brassiere and other places and the fact that bills were split, it observes.  With other bills and then ironically they could be a lot larger and I mean we are talking £90,000 for dogs, for example; with those it just has to be certified by the person committing the expenditure and most of those are signed by Mr. Harper, nobody else.  They then go through to the Treasury clerk who then checks the computation and checks that it has been properly authorised.  So, there is a difference between purchase cards and other types of bill.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Is there no counter-signing for the items, for instance, where Lenny Harper might have thought there was going to be a counter-sign?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.  No, not necessarily, no.  No.  I mean you might find it strange but not under the current finance directions.  It comes back to the point that the person incurring the expenditure has to have the integrity to say: “I am satisfied, certified, that this is the correct charge to public funds” and every public servant in a managerial position knows that.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Which is why normally there is a right-hand person within a major inquiry to challenge and check that a competitive process has been gone through properly, et cetera, et cetera, when it is a bit item and this was not that.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, although, just to say on that, yes, in the ordinary run of events big things you would competitively tender things but clearly with something like this; we have had it this morning, I will tell you now ...

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Exactly.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

They have not tendered.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I mean they have to get forensic people in like now and they go to the people who can do the job.  They do not go out to tender in the time or anything like that.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

No, no, I am sorry.  Yes, but I just mean looking at things where there is a lead time and so on.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

But some element of challenge; we are looking for some element of challenge.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Okay, well, it is in there, is it not?  It is in there, Operation Haven.

 

[12:45]

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

One of the ways of dealing with this where you do give, shall we say, unilateral signing-off powers to an individual is the sum of money which they can sign off.  What is the limit that can be signed off?  Is it totally attached to rank in the police?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I do not have that information readily to hand and I would not try and guess it but I think I can find out for you, if you would like me to, yes?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Well, in the sense that if the allegations being made that expenditure is running out of control and someone can sit in front of a desk and sign off a whole series of £90,000 claims, obviously there is very little ... when you look at the system like that ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

That is what happened.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

There is very little control in a system like that, other than presumably your department commenting on the trend of expenditure.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, but in a sense it should not matter for the reasons I keep saying.  If there is proper professional oversight of what it is that is being done ...

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

... and it is in accordance with procedures and policies and where you could tender, you have time to you did, there is no question.  The fact that you are signing the bill for £156,000 should not make any difference because of those challenges and checks, professional ones, not from an accountant but from somebody who knows the business.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes, I take your point.  But in what you might call a steady state, as opposed to the kind of obviously urgency that governed a lot of this, you of course would do it against a budget, would you not?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

If it was not indented within the budget then obviously approval could not be made.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, you have come back to one thing that was difficult with this whole thing and why I wrote to the Treasury in March in the first place to say: “Unless you give me any more money, I have only got the police budget; if you do not give me any more money I am telling you now it will overspend.”  We never, at any point, did as just for the record; the budget was never overspent.  But, yes, unless you have got both sides of the balance sheet it is very difficult to profile a budget.  You cannot say: “Well, hang on a minute, if we go on like this we are going to be overspent in 3 weeks” because you have got nothing to measure it against.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Again, reverting to a broader question, we had the BDO report; obviously there has been considerable criticism of the absence of the main witness and we have heard explanations that the ongoing disciplinary inquiry in a sense sort of blighted that because everything had to be put on hold, in retrospect would you have handled the investigation into the alleged overspends by a mechanism like BDO or would you have taken a different approach?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Let me think about it, the alleged overspends, yes.  I am quite happy that ... because I was instrumental in asking BDO for it, yes.  In fact I would go as far as to say it was my suggestion to the Minister that we do this because if I had not asked for it somebody would, if it was the Comptroller and Auditor General or a States Member maybe.  I just knew that somebody was going to say, if I did not: “Was this money used efficiently and effectively?” which are the words in the Finance Law.  So, we just did it.  I am still happy that that was the right thing to do but it was not about overspend.  It was, what it says on the front, about the efficient and effective use of resources.  I think I read it; there was an observation on the minute that the Scrutiny Officer sent out about whether that might have interfered with the Wiltshire inquiry, whether it was the right time.  I saw it as quite discreet from that because it was an audit and they had [Police consultant].  If, at any point, [Police consultant] had spoken to Wiltshire and they said: “Back off, this is going to seriously interfere with our inquiries” it would have stopped but that did not arise, as far as I know.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

There was an apparent understanding that there were Chinese walls between Wiltshire and BDO but apparently, as you know, the allegation has been made that [Police consultant] was able to procure the statement of Mr. Harper to the Wiltshire ... you were aware of that, were you?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Not at the time.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Did that strike you as rather strange, that ...?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

What, now?

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Yes, obviously but just speaking as a man in the street, it did strike me as a bit strange, yes but I did not know until this Scrutiny inquiry that in fact he had, I think I am right in saying.  But we should say that Wiltshire do not appear to have had a problem with that; they appear to have taken legal advice.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Legal advice, yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

So, it is not quite as perhaps wrong as it might appear.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

When you say it appears a bit strange, I mean you have obviously read all the transcripts you have had; do you find it a bit strange the way things have been working behind the scenes with [former Acting chief Officer of Police] has obviously completely gainsaid the excuse for not talking to Mr. Harper.  He has totally denied that but he prevented [Police consultant] from doing so.  I mean were you aware of any sort of unfolding concerns at the time when all this was going on or were you completely removed from that?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I found that odd because I remember having a meeting with [former Acting Chief Officer of Police] where he was quite firm that Mr. Harper should not be approached.  So, I heard that with my own ears.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

What reasons did he give you?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I did not ask for them.  Well, no, that is wrong; I did say: “You have got a reason for that” and it was along the lines of ... well, it was a potential judicial reason why it might interfere downstream with anything that might arise as a result of the Wiltshire inquiry.  I did not question it further because from my own background that was a good reason.  If there was a chance that would happen then that was a good reason for not approaching Mr. Harper to talk about finance.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Do you remember roughly when that meeting was, when you spoke with [former Acting Chief Officer of Police]?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

It was certainly near the beginning of the BDO work.  It was fairly early on in the BDO work.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

There were a couple of beginnings, which beginning?  February, as in February 2009, when the M.D. (Ministerial Decision) was initially an issue.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, it would have been in the summer of 2009 I imagine.  It was quite early on.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

So, it was before Wiltshire was concluded.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Just going back to the formation of that Gold Group; [retired Chief Officer of Police] said to us that he was discussing that with Warcup very early on.  Why did that take so long to establish, can I ask you that?  He felt that Gold Group would have absorbed the work of the Financial Oversight Board.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, again, I must doubt that because I did not know that Gold Groups were the order of the day as a policing thing.  I did not know that it was in their procedures to establish the Gold Group for things like this, when they had established one right away for the current one.  So, that is very much police procedure.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

To be fair the initial view of Harper and Power was not to have one anyway and then that evolved to: “Oh, we need one” that was all outside your camp(?).

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.  Once one was established and I was going to them I could see that there was a value in them because you are able to talk real time with the senior management running the inquiry.  Just I said to them at those meetings: “Look, what is coming up that I need to be cited on?  Have you got any big items?” the sort of things we have been talking about but there was no platform for that before the Gold Group.  The F.O.B. was but that is not the Gold Group.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I think the key issue is going to turn out to be whether before F.O.B. there was some kind of process set up by somebody to monitor this thing better.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

I would submit that that is a police procedural issue.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

Yes, we know that is your view, yes.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

But I would say that.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Something that underlies a lot of these decisions that were taken and actions that were not perhaps pursued seem to go back to [retired Chief Officer of Police]’s and Harper’s concerns about political interference; were you aware of that from your side at Home Affairs?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, no.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

In no way whatsoever?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No, we are not ... I mean the ...

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

No pressure has been put on you?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

None at all.  We are obviously very close to the political machinations because we are a central department and we are working with the Minister daily.  But I was not aware of any what might be called political interference at the time.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But yet you did say that you were aware of comments being made by politicians; I thought you said that earlier.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, but those are comments which are things that you read and hear about.  They are not more Machiavellian, if I could put it like that; what you would regard as some sort of undermining, put it that way, if indeed that happened I really do not know.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Was that even the case when you had the problem ... well literally, the Home Affairs Minister at the time went and was replaced; it was Senator Kinnard then, to be replaced by Deputy Lewis?  Was there any concerns being expressed at that time as to any political motivations there or concerns being fed through to the department?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Then?

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Because it seemed to be a very messy situation at the time and I just wonder if that filtered down into ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.  No, but of course the circumstances around why Senator Kinnard left office and then Deputy Lewis came in for a short period were very specific and were for particular reasons which we will not go into here.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But what I am getting at is did that impact anything on the way things unfolded and the relationship between the Home Affairs Department and the police?  I do not want to go into the case, it was going on and ...

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Not as far as I was concerned because ours is a ... you will understand that for officers it is a very businesslike thing; you are interested in getting on with the business.  Really we have to be politically aware that we do not get involved in anything like that.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Is there anything that you think we should have asked you to draw out, Chief Officer, and we have not?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, there is one thing, if you do not mind, that you have not covered; it will not take long.  It was, if I can find it, the thing to do with why there has not been so much apparent focus on the Home Affairs Department than there has on the police.  Do you know what I am alluding to?  Yes, in fact I think it was something you might have said.  Oh, there it is.  Yes.  Why the Home Affairs side has not really been given the same scrutiny and that was a question you put to [retired Chief Officer of Police]?  What I wanted to say on that was that I had to give a fairly detailed statement to the Wiltshire Police more than once, just the same as [retired Chief Officer of Police].  I clearly then, although I was part of the instigator of BDO, had all of that; they interviewed me and wanted to know what my take was on it.  Me and the department then had the Comptroller and Auditor General’s interest in all of this.  For the last 3-and-a-half years we have also had all the media attention and the copious questions from States Members to deal with and questions from members of the public.  Right throughout the last 3-and-a-half years the very few people that work over there with me, we have been at our post for 3-and-a-half years just getting on with the job that we are paid to do.  All I would like to say is it does not feel to me like we have not had the same level of scrutiny.  It has been a rough ride.  So, I just wanted to counter the impression that there has been all this focus on [retired Chief Officer of Police] and Mr. Harper and the police.  We have just been getting on with it in all this time and we have had a lot to endure rightly but we have, all of us, just been getting on with it in the meantime.  We are a very busy department.  So, I do not want people to run away with the impression that we have not been under scrutiny; we most certainly have.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I think we would probably say it is a difference between scrutiny which I am sure you would agree is completely valid, that is what we are here to do, obviously here to do and some of what has gone on in the media which has bordered on almost character assassination or certainly the way it has come across; perhaps that is the difference, which is not your fault, it is not my fault.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Okay, well, that qualifies it.  Yes, it is just that from the question you asked ... you have put it in a way that makes better sense.

 

[13:00]

 

But from the question you asked it sort of gave me the impression that we are almost spectators in a side show; we just wait for the next episode.  We have been very much part of this.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Well, I think, for the record, it is quite clear there are 2 sides to this story.  I mean there are 2 people involved; Home Affairs have been involved, the police are involved, so we are about to ask those questions and I think you would accept that.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

But it is certainly not meant as a slight on the Home Affairs Department.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

No.  There is one other thing I would just like to ask; have you read the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report as well?

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

On this?

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Well, on the whole of the Wiltshire inquiry.  Well, Deputy Wimberley gives the impression that maybe not.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

He has read everything.  If he has not read it the rest of us are in trouble.

 

The Deputy of St. Mary:

I have got to go, Chairman, because my son is just leaving the Island.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

We had better listen to this statement.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Yes, it will take 30 seconds.

 

Deputy R.G. Le Hérissier:

Thirty seconds.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Thirty seconds.  He wrote his report in July 2010.  He waited for the Wiltshire report and the BDO report and at paragraph 10 he says: “I accept the Chief Officer of the Home Affairs Department was throughout mindful of his personal responsibilities and took reasonable steps to discharge his responsibilities within the constraints I have described.”  Now, we know the Comptroller and Auditor General; I do not think he would write this unless he had thought about it and that is my last comment.

 

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

Okay.  Is there any ...?  Well, thank you coming in and for your answers and I will end it there.  Thank you.

 

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

Thank you


 






27 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you hope to gain from posting all this stuff? Nobody is interested in it and nothing will change. You are hung up about Mick Gradwell not giving evidence to the scrutiny panel so I ask why should he?

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Chief Officer for Home Affairs:

“The result of that was that Channel Television in the 1 hour 40 minutes that you talked to him the only thing they reported on Channel was that all the bills had been signed off by the Home Affairs Department. I was sick to the pit of my stomach when I heard that. It is just not true.”

The good old Award winning CTV. The transcript reads as though SAV is accusing them of lying………..Surely not? They are “accredited” and have won an Award DON’T YA KNOW

Anonymous said...

Thanks once again Rico. It is interesting that ILM wants to stick to his views even though he has begrudgingly admitted that the BDO investigation was not complete. SAV has also (perhaps unwittingly) helped support what Graham Power and Lenny Harper have said. All good stuff, betas the biased MSM.

To the poster above, what do the MSM hope to gain from misreporting facts? For those who are interested and who have kept well informed by this blog, the answer is within, so obviously you have not read it, because:

i) your not interested
ii) because your not interested you do not know why Gradwell should give evidence to the scrutiny panel.

Nothing ever changes when nobody is interested in who rules them! It often only takes one person to make a difference and change many peoples lives.

Finally, how many people are there who are so not interested, that they come to this site and then because they are so not interested decide to make a post, which I assume is aimed at those who are not interested :-). LOL

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

What do you hope to gain from posting all this stuff? Nobody is interested in it and nothing will change."

Can you tell me please where I can get one of those special viewfinder thingies that will allow me to know exactly how many people are interested in any given topic. They seem quite handy.

Kthxbye!

Anonymous said...

Now the husband is on the attack.

From Robert Kisch - JEP 12th September 2011

Carrie Modal’s stinging rebuke (JEP 30 August) to my wife Astrid’s letter (JEP 2.9.2011) appears to have been written by one of the civil rights specialist lawyers brought in to handle the compensation project (JEP 26 August).
This revolves around the importance of justice. There are always two sides to a case. What was then considered normal ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ to instil discipline, is today a criminal offence. The results are highlighted by media reports of anti-social behaviour associated with an unbridled generation more familiar with electronic devices than schooling. It is this useful energy which needs to be guided from early years. How else do you train a puppy?
Claiming financial compensation for long past events still requires irrefutable proof in the interests of justice. When evidence is merely memory scars, this can be presented by specialist lawyers as necessary proof. But then, what about my wife, whose mental scars include that of a refugee from Russian torture, rape and execution as well as starvation and bombing by the Royal Air Force and American Air Forces. Does she, with thousands of others, have a claim? At that time is was normal to get on with surviving and working to make a new life. Claiming on a benefit system didn’t come into it. So why should she, and I for that matter, pay cash for something we had nothing to do with.

Of course, we now live with a benefit culture paid for by all, whether this is right or wrong. The letter by Simon Wells (JEP 2 September) makes this point.

Villa Martinique, Chemin du Moulin, St Ouen.

Anonymous said...

"Robert Kisch" - I note the argument is changing.

"This revolves around the importance of justice."

I think he needs to read the facts of some of the cases where people were prosecuted and imprisoned.

"But then, what about my wife, whose mental scars include that of a refugee from Russian torture, rape and execution as well as starvation and bombing by the Royal Air Force and American Air Forces. Does she, with thousands of others, have a claim?"

Probably, but not against the States of Jersey.

Ian Evans said...

SPOT THE CRIMINAL?

Ian Evans said...

The £400,000 Quid Kid

moral_rightness said...

I cannot quite fathom why Warcup did not brief ILM before Gradwell went public, especially when you consider the following:-

As quoted above in Rico’s report (note the following is not linked if there is ……. between, copied to highlight points)

The Minister for Home Affairs:
Well, I am very surprised that [Warcup] raised that because clearly he never raised his concerns with me at any stage.

…………………………….

The Minister for Home Affairs:
I do not know. I do not know. He clearly had concerns; I have read his statements. But what puzzles me in relation to this, where there were concerns why was no one actually coming to talk to the Minister about it and saying: “Minister, I think you need to be careful here.

…………………………….

The Minister for Home Affairs:
Well, obviously I did discuss that with [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] and he was very upset - I could actually use a stronger word than that - because he had become aware there was a risk that something was going to happen and had sought assurances from [retired D/Superintendent] that he was not going to do anything of this nature in relation to that, and then discovered that even before they had held some of the meetings … I think he may have said before there was a meeting where the Attorney General of the day was involved to try to persuade [retired D/Superintendent] not to do whatever it was thought he might do, and he then subsequently found, if my memory is correct, that he had already given his press interviews prior to that.

…………………………….

Deputy T.M. Pitman:
Can I ask something? Sorry, Minister, but I found what you said there quite profound. You seem to say that [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] became aware that there was really a threat that [retired D/Superintendent] was going to go public, totally unprofessionally it has to be said. How did he become aware of that threat and would that not have been a disciplinary matter?

………………………………


Deputy T.M. Pitman:
How did [the former Acting Chief Officer of Police] become aware of this threat, then, from [retired D/Superintendent] that something was about to be … and he was going to really try and discredit the whole operation? That is what it boils down to.

The Minister for Home Affairs:
Well, no, I think that is unfair to [retired D/Superintendent] in relation to that. I do not know, it may be that there were rumours flying around. It may be he was talking about … you would have to ask …



As quoted at the top of Rico’s report: [Warcup]

Leaking of information to the media is something which can, as I say, seriously undermine criminal inquiries and the consequences could be quite serious. That is not serious to you or I or others, it is to the victims of crime who will not get justice through the courts.

Napier Report
83. Mr Warcup was keenly aware that he stood in a difficult position by speaking out, directly or indirectly, against Mr Power. If he openly criticised Mr Power, his superior officer, he risked being thought disloyal. On the other hand, if he said nothing, he was behaving in a way which conflicted with his understanding of his professional obligations.


Napier Report

53.
The indications from my investigations are that Mr Warcup was briefing Mr Lewis both before and after Mr Lewis took over ministerial responsibility from Senator Kinnard on 22 October of the difficulties he was experiencing in working with Mr Power


So ILM will have us believe that Warcup, the man who liked to brief Andrew Lewis even before he was Home Affairs Minister, did not tell ILM anything, thereby conflicting “with his understanding of his professional obligations”, when it was an issue that “the consequences could be quite serious”.

WHY?

Ian Evans said...

Rico

Could I ask your extensive readership to look at this case from Amnesty International and act if they feel compelled to after READING THE EVIDENCE. Same crap as Jersey, only with somewhat more dire consequences!!!

Ian Evans said...

THE KISCH LEGACY CONTINUES

Anonymous said...

It's not the same crap as Jersey. He killed a cop, even Amnesty will not say he is innocent. Let him rot.

Anonymous said...

Amnesty would never declare a public judgement on any case, but if they are involved, you can bet your last buck that something is very wrong here.

Anonymous said...

Amnesty have condemned and passed judgement on many cases, normally democracies which have overstepped the mark like the UK and the USA. They seem to be silent in many other instances.

Anonymous said...

The Minister for Home Affairs:
I did not understand the structure because, as I say, I did not understand the role of [Police Consultant] until very recent times.

The Deputy of St. Mary:
Do you think your new understanding influences your view of the report, of the BDO review, sorry? Now that you have understood, you have seen [former Acting Chief Officer of Police], you have seen Kellett, you have seen Power and you have seen these various bits of evidence we have been given, a lot of new information, has that affected your view of the report?

The Minister for Home Affairs:
I think there must be a very significant risk that the view of [Police Consultant] will have been influenced by the view of [retired D/Superintendent]. I think that must be right, yes.

Translation; Kellett and Gradwell were a couple of out of control mavericks.

Ian Evans said...

THE LION SLEEPS NO MORE

Anonymous said...

I contacted Amnesty International to ask them to do something about the secret family courts band they told me there was nothing they could do for people in the UK.

Zoompad

Anonymous said...

[I think there must be a very significant risk that the view of [Police Consultant] will have been influenced by the view of [retired D/Superintendent]. I think that must be right, yes.]

In legal 'speak' there was nothing to hang on this, as ILM did not state to which view of influence Gradwell may have applied. ie: One of Gradwell's views may have been, to start by interviewing someone or other..

Anonymous said...

RE: The above re-quote from the Minister for Home Affairs:

"I think there must be a very significant risk that the view of [Police Consultant] will have been influenced by the view of [retired D/Superintendent]. I think that must be right, yes."

Even taken all by itself, that is one profoundly significant statement!"

Elle

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

Here is how our politicians voted on Deputy Trevor Pitman's SUCCESSFUL Proposition to have an open vote for CHIEF MINISTER

Anonymous said...

What a funny old vote! Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Poor Ozouf.His concerns about a transparent vote for Chief Minister is that if he gets the job(should he put himself up for it)he may find,should he get the job, that he may have difficulty working with someone who voted against him. Is that any different to what we have now? Surely every one knows who their political allies are?

Anonymous said...

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

One final question and I will move to Deputy Le Hérissier. Given the fact that I think we have agreed it is the system that initially is to blame and sets this all in motion and clearly there has to be questions on both sides, Home Affairs as well as the police, what attempts did you do to try and correct some of the media assumptions, the way … really, let us be fair, what we were seeing was almost character assassination. There was no mention of the Home Affairs side. What did you do to counter that focus just on meals and things and taking it away from a child abuse inquiry? To be honest, look at the breakdown of the money. The £7.5 million that is often talked about, 50 per cent of that was spent by [the former acting Chief officer of Police and retired D/Superintendent]. Now, you do not read that in the media. What did you do as the Minister because surely you have the duty of care to those individuals as well?



The Minister for Home Affairs:

I was very careful, as I said before, to produce a written statement and to read it out at the initial press conference, which I think I said before caused great impatience among the press who just wanted to get on and question me. I was very, very careful to do that so that the text would be correct and accurate.



[10:45]



But, of course, you must understand that we had already had the situation in which the allegations of [retired D/Superintendent] had been given massive publicity some months before, so you already had a view out in the public domain of this and that and the other in relation to that. Frankly, all I could do was make a clear statement which I believed was fair and balanced as to what the reports were saying. Inevitably, you are going to get misstatements of detail in various different areas. You cannot go chasing all those hares, as it were, around. It is just impossible

Anonymous said...

The Minister for Home Affairs:

"I was very careful, as I said before, to produce a written statement and to read it out at the initial press conference, which I think I said before caused great impatience among the press who just wanted to get on and question me. I was very, very careful to do that so that the text would be correct and accurate."

Has anyone asked for this statement? is it in the public domain? Has the scrutiny review got this statement? Has anyone published it online so that we can see what the Senator was saying about the reports he was releasing.

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

A story of Jersey's "accredited" media in a few short VIDEO CLIPS

voiceforchildren said...

Rico.

An "answer" from Channel Television that Philip Ozouf would be PROUD OF

Ian Evans said...

THE PARKING TICKET-UNLAWFUL