Monday, 12 July 2010

Proper Job (2).

Following on from Chief Police Officer Graham Power’s Briefing notes to the media the first one being HERE. Team Voice are happy to bring to our readers, the second in this series.

One must remember ALL island “accredited” media have copies. As the story is unfolding, we are more, and more able to become aware as to how Senator Le Marquand, and others, have been “operating”.

Briefing note 2. July 2010.
The following briefing note has been issued to Editors by Graham Power in order to assist with the reporting of issues relating to the decision by the Minister for Home Affairs to abandon all disciplinary proceedings.

Topic:

How did all the delays happen?
There is already a lot on this subject in the public domain regarding missed deadlines and commitments which have not been kept. (Remember that the Minister originally stated that he expected to be in a position to take decisions in respect of the Wiltshire investigation in March 2009.)
This briefing note will seek to set out some additional information which may not yet be in the public domain.

Key to the issue is paragraph 2.1.2 of the Disciplinary Code for the Chief Officer of Police which sets out the processes which must be followed before there can be a disciplinary hearing. All media organisations have previously been provided with a hard copy of the Code. I do not have an electronic copy available at this time but will search further and forward one if it can be found.

Three features of this paragraph of the code are relevant for the purposes of this note. The first is the requirement that the Chief Executive (in this case the Deputy Chief Executive) conducts a “Preliminary Investigation” (in this case assisted by the Chief Constable of Wiltshire.) The second is that the Chief Executive prepares a report on his investigation, which has been referred to as the “Preliminary Report.” The third is that the Minister and the Chief Officer are provided with copies of the Preliminary Report and meet to discuss its contents along with the Chief Executive and representatives as appropriate. It is at this meeting that the Minister has to decide whether the matter goes any further, for example to a disciplinary hearing. It is probable that the authors of the Disciplinary Code saw the meeting as an opportunity to settle matters without further formal process. We cannot be sure of that. What is however certain is that there can be no disciplinary hearing until both parties have received copies of the “Preliminary Report” and a meeting has taken place. It may therefore be worthwhile exploring the history of the “Preliminary Reports” in this case and the meeting which did not occur.

On 11th February 2010 the Deputy Chief Executive wrote to me and said that he had received the information he needed from Wiltshire to produce a Preliminary Report in relation to the management of the Historic Abuse Enquiry and that he expected the Minister to arrange a meeting “as soon as possible” in order to progress matters under the Code.

It was however not until 19th April 2010 that received a copy of the “Preliminary Report.” This nevertheless appeared to clear the decks for a meeting with the Minister under the Code and for the process to move forward.

However, at this point an issue arose which was the subject of correspondence over the following months. Namely, was the proposed meeting about “Haven 1” (the abuse enquiry) alone? Or would it also cover “Haven 2” (Operation Blast?) It was hard to get a clear answer to this question but eventually it emerged that the Minister appeared to want to deal with both issues together. That being the case he then had to comply with the requirements of the Code in relation to “Haven 2” and provide a further preliminary report. But by that time “Haven 2” was seriously behind schedule. It did not get off to a good start. The investigation was announced by the Minister in June 2009 (source-Hansard) but no Investigating Officer was appointed until September 2009 (source – letter from the Chief Constable of Wiltshire.) Even then it was clear that the estimated timescale of “three to four months” (source-letter from Chief Constable of Wilts) was seriously over-running.

An exchange of letters took place in April 2010 in which the Deputy Chief Executive spoke of his intention to arrange a meeting under the Code. I replied reminding him that the meeting could not take place until the Preliminary Report in relation to “Haven 2” had been received and studied by the parties. I also asked for a draft agenda for the meeting. I did not receive an agenda and I did not receive a Preliminary Report. A similar exchange took place in May 2010. Again, I did not receive an agenda or a Preliminary Report. It therefore remained impossible for a meeting to take place in accordance with the Code.

Running alongside these exchanges were discussions I was having with the HR Branch of the Chief Ministers Department, regarding the administrative formalities associated with my retirement. As part of this exercise I asked that Department (who I should add have been courteous and professional throughout) to designate my “last working day.” Most readers will be familiar with this process but I will give brief details for the benefit of any who are not. In order that retirement can be a “clean break” it is necessary to identify any outstanding entitlements, such as untaken leave, and to resolve these before the actual retirement date. This ensures that after retirement neither party has a claim on the other in respect of untaken leave or related issues. The Chief Ministers Department applied this process and identified Tuesday 15th June as my “last working day. I was told that I would thereafter be on leave until the end of my service. Having been given this written assurance I made appropriate leave arrangements with my family.

Subsequently, the “Preliminary Report” in relation to “Haven 2” was delivered. It was sent to my home address by courier and was received and signed for by a family member who was at the house at the time. Its receipt is therefore a matter of record. The delivery of the Preliminary Report took place on the morning of Wednesday 23rd June 2010 over one week after my “last working day.”

My professional representative, Dr Timothy Brain, learned of the delivery and wrote to the Minister pointing out that my “last working day” had been and gone and that matters were effectively at an end.

While I am not an impartial judge in these matters, the sequence of events does appear to raise some questions regarding the extent of the Ministers commitment to allow a hearing of my case. Why for example did he not proceed on the basis of “Haven 1” when he was in a position to do so? Also, what was the thinking behind providing a copy of the Preliminary Report for Haven 2 after I had effectively retired? Was it some sort of token gesture or had the Minister simply lost sight of the passage of time?

Whatever explanation is correct there is some irony in this sequence of events. The whole saga began in November 2008 in a confusing exchange in the midst of a family holiday.It appears to have ended the same way.

I hope that this note is helpful. Other notes will be circulated as issues are identified.

Submitted by Team Voice.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Astonishing.
Seems like a clear case of incompetence thoroughly mixed with negligence and disingenuousness on the part of the Home Affairs Minister!
Well done Graham. Your professionalism continues to shine through this murky and sordid affair.

GeeGee said...

I would have said 'unbelievable', but in light of the way this whole affair has been mishandled by our Home Affairs Minister, sadly it is very believable.
Keep it coming VFC and Mr Power. Let us hope and pray that these issues are quite firmly put to Mr Le Marquand both by the media (accredited and Citizen's media) and by politicians on the release of Wiltshire.
The very best of good fortune Mr Power. Both I and a lot of others are appalled and ashamed at what has happened to you.

voiceforchildren said...

GeeGee

There is plenty more to come, if ILM survives this, I will be amazed. He certainly won't survive it by way of his world wide reputation, nor, will he escape unscathed historically!

TonyTheProf said...

I am pleased that Graham Power is giving part of his Defense; I hope this continues so we can make a balanced assessment, which is now impossible as a disciplinary hearing, and must be done in the messy but public arena.

voiceforchildren said...

Yes Tony, but as we know, that was Ian Le Marquand's call. There is more of Chief Officer Power's defense to come. Will be interesting to see how the "accredited" media cover the Kangaroo Court tomorrow. Will they just churn out ILM's prosecution, or will they use the defense given to them by the Chief Officer and "challenge" ILM?

Ian Evans said...

Perhaps Ian (get me out of here) Le Marquand has been granted one wish from the "save your bacon fairy"?

Or, he could simply say that GOD told him to do it !!!

Anonymous said...

This morning I posted this on Stuart Syvret's blog.

Stuart

The BBC story is clearly woefully inadequate in so many ways.
Equally, other recent snippets in the JEP have been just as inadequate. The reason for this can really only be one of two (or a mix of both) -

1. Deliberate attempts to continue to mislead the public.
2. Incompetent reporting.

I'm pretty sure that there is an element of misleading the public. But I'm also pretty sure that there is a measure of simple incompetence in some cases. The reporter simply looked for the easy summary to regurgitate.

The fact is, though, that both reasons are unacceptable.

I know that the BBC and JEP read your blog so here's a simple challenge for them.

Please take the opportunity presented by the current Power controversy to show that you are both unbiased and competent. Do this by simply analysing the whole of the available evidence objectively and then reporting on that accurately.

When reporting, make sure that you clearly differentiate between facts/evidence on the one hand and the conclusions which you draw from these facts/evidence on the other. After all, what do you, the media, have to lose if you can demonstrate clearly that you are professionally ethical and competent?

Lest the media think that I am some reactionary troublemaker, let me assure them that I am not. I am an experienced professional person who simply wants to get to the truth. This is far too important an issue to play silly games with.

Anonymous said...

CTV seems to be the only one of the media running the Power story. It's latest online piece is utterly damning - and any half conscious viewer/reader would immediately condemn GP. In the clip on the local GMTV this morning ILM is scathing and portrays GP as a totally incompetent idiot. Lenny Harper is portrayed as a throughly irresponsible grifter.

So there we have it. Harper is gone, Power is all but gone. End of story and good riddance. So let's forget all about it - learn some lessons - and get on with some important stuff for a change.....

Just one thing occurs to me - and maybe to a few others. ILM has had this information since October 2009 (I think he said he had the final report in Feb 2010). So why oh why did he not immediately convene a disciplinary hearing back then. His evidence is clearly so damning that GP could not surely have mounted a realistic defence?

But no - far better to wait until just before GP retires and then announce that, despite this damning evidence, the disciplinary action has been abandoned because time has run out.

Senator Le Marquand: perhaps you are right in that the public of Jersey are either not interested in this issue or are generally too stupid to ask these basic questions. Perhaps you are right in that the "Jersey Way" is best. Let's just get on with our lives.....

Anonymous said...

If the other news outlets are not covering this story yet do you think they have taken legal advice

Anonymous said...

A reader asks whether the other media might be taking legal advice before running anything on the current Power story.
I guess they could well be. But it does make you wonder why. Why should they need to take legal advice about facts which are not only in the public domain but have been published for a specific purpose.
In ILM's case, the purpose seems to be a simple one. To portray Graham Power in the worst possible light without providing him any real opportunity to defend himself.
From my point of view, whatever GP might have done/not done, the Home Affairs Minister has shown himself to be openly vindictive in his attitude, pompous and condescending in his manner and inept in his approach to such an important manner. I have no difficulty saying this because he has demonstrated these defects consistently during his period of office. I have deliberately not used words such as "corrupt" because I have no proof of this. But, like many others, I have a gut feeling.
I don't know how this sorry saga will turn out. I suppose the "Jersey Way" will win, as usual. But I have personally changed from being someone who, for most of my life, has thought that Jersey is generally well-run and in safe hands to someone who is thoroughly disillusioned and, frankly, disgusted by the political miasma we seem to be in.
I wonder how many others are just like me???

Anonymous said...

103 has now included a piece in its news - although it's not yet on the 103 website. Have a listen and make your own minds up. To me, it seems reasonably balanced. But you can only do so much in a few seconds on air.
I guess the real clincher will be the JEP. I don't suppose it's too hard to predict the view that they will take!

thejerseyway said...

Hi VFJ.

Just put up the recording of the interview with Chief of Police Mr Graham Power QPM. If you or your reader's would like a Listen go to the site below.

Thanks.

http://thejerseyway.blogspot.com/2010/07/chief-of-police-mr-graham-power-qpm.html

Rob Kent said...

Graham Power was interviewed yesterday. For me this will be the definitive statement on everything that has happened in the last two, three, and thirty years in Jersey, never mind all the lies and cover-ups aided and abetted by the Jersey Evening Post:

"Let's remember what happened here. People were abused in establishments run by the Jersey government. They either did not complain about it or if they did complain about it, their complaints were simply swept under the carpet. We changed that. Lenny Harper launched an inquiry, he built confidence in these people and brought these allegations out into the open and literally hundreds of allegations that had been festering for decades were brought out into the open. We deserve support in doing that and we deserve thanks and praise for the way we did that. What instead we've got is money siphoned off to try and persecute the detectives who brought that abuse out into the open. And the same Jersey government that ran the institutions where the abuse took place is now the same Jersey government that is persecuting the senior officers who tried to do something about it. It stinks. It undermines confidence in victims and I know that the day that I was suspended victims and witnesses were ringing the police saying, 'They're at it again. It's going to be another cover-up. They've suspended Graham Power, now Lenny Harper's gone - it's all going to be covered up."

(Channel TV Interview)