Friday, 26 November 2010

Culture of Fear.

Deputy Paul Le Claire gives Citizen’s Media an in-depth interview on how, is in his opinion, our Government and Civil Service operates. Due to uploading restrictions we have edited this interview in order to comply with these restrictions and at the same time represent the views of the Deputy.

The Deputy talks about such subjects as the removal of former Senator and Health Minister Stuart Syvret. The suspension of the former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. The Deputy’s own speech in the States Chamber (which can be listened to HERE) concerning the conversation he allegedly overheard of the former Chief Minister and Former Home Affairs Minister about the retired DCO Lenny Harper.

There is a culture of Fear that runs through this island that is not only felt by us mere mortals, it is also felt by the elected members of our Parliament. Deputy Le Claire fully expects reprisals for speaking out so should be applauded for doing so.

Team Voice would like to thank Deputy Le Claire, not only for showing the courage of speaking out, but for supporting Citizen’s media by giving us a full and frank interview and an insight to the workings of our government machinery…………………………The Culture of Fear.

Submitted by VFC.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Establishment Party?

In conjunction with Rico Sorda’s latest POSTING where he has published the 19 politicians who could not bring themselves to vote in favour of part (a) (v) in Deputy Bob Hill’s proposition P166/2010, we bring you 15 from those 19 WHO voted against Connetable Simon Crowcroft’s P182 back in January 2009.

Part (v) of Deputy Hill’s P166/2010 (below) is self explanatory and asks for nothing more than what most of us would assume is good governance. But still the 15 just could not bring themselves to support it…………why not?

Part (a)

To request the Chief Minister to inform States members in a Report presented to the Assembly, or in a Statement to the Assembly, of the action he has already taken and the action he intends to take in respect of the report dated 10th September 2010 into the suspension of the former Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police prepared for the Chief Minister by Mr. Brian Napier QC (‘the Napier Report’) and, in particular to provide information in respect of the following matters –

(v) What training, procedural and other corrective measures, if any, he has taken in order to ensure that personnel issues, and in particular disciplinary issues, are managed appropriately in the future;

This part of the proposition was agreed by the house but with no thanks to the 15. None of which, incidentally, even spoke on the debate!!

Connetable Crowcroft’s P182 would, or could, have saved the tax payer possibly in the millions of pounds and brought out in the open just what did go on with the, possibly illegal, suspension of former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM without having to line Mr. Napier’s pocket to the tune of FIFTY GRAND, and the MILLION PLUS pounds spent on Wiltshire. But the 15 could not bring themselves to vote for it. The proposition (which was defeated) was published on one of our sister sites HERE. Below is a snippet from it.

Purpose of the proposition

This proposition seeks a simple check by an appropriately qualified body such as the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service, or any other independent body with expertise in the interpretation of industrial relations, into the actions taken by the Minister of Home Affairs in suspending the Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police on 12th November 2008.

Any employee of the States of Jersey should be able to expect any complaints against them to be dealt with correctly. Therefore, the proposition has more general relevance as a willingness by the States to have their employment procedures checked for compliance should reassure all States of Jersey employees that their employer, the States, will not disregard the principles of good employment relations and of natural justice in their dealings with their employees.

Financial and manpower implications

Should this proposition be approved I would estimate that the work in reviewing the suspension procedure could be undertaken by a local, appropriately qualified and experienced Human Relations practitioner in half a day. The cost of this work would therefore be relatively insignificant.


We may never know as it was debated in secret.

So is it the case that these 15, against the odds of possibly trillions to one are voting “independently”, or are they voting with the “Establishment Party?”. Of course there are more members who vote almost identically along the establishment lines and over the coming few weeks/months Team Voice will be looking at them in-depth and in some cases individually.













As always the featured politicians have a right of reply, indeed we would encourage them to leave a comment so as we can understand why they vote how they do and how they manage to vote "independently" the same way so often..................If they are not in The Establishment Party.

Submitted by Team Voice.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Who is The Real Chief Minister? (4)

Below is the openenig speech to P166/2010 from Deputy Bob Hill B.E.M.

The proposition was, predictably, defeated which demonstrates how natural justice counts for nothing as far as the majority of our elected "representatives" are concerned and accountability is non existent.

Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur and his cohorts were given - by Deputy Bob Hill B.E.M.- the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and put this whole ghastly affair to bed, they chose not to.............The fight for truth and Justice continues.

Two years ago, some of the Island’s most senior Ministers, civil servants and a police officer were involved in the unprecedented suspension of the Island’s Chief of Police. Since then there has been a disproportionate amount time and money spent by Ministers attempting to justify that decision and regretfully attempting to conceal the truth. There has also been a disproportionate amount of time spent by Members seeking the truth.

It is apparent that those wishing to suspend the Police Chief were given a very short window of opportunity which they took with complete disregard to advice given by Crown Officers and the provisions contained within the Discipline Code made under the 1974 Police Jersey Law.

Following reviews, court cases and answers given during question time, it is now evident that some Ministers and civil servants conspired or colluded to suspend the former police chief some weeks before 12th November. It is also apparent that they botched the suspension process but are not being held to account for their actions.

Those responsible have now been identified in a Report paid for at public expense. Some serious failings have been identified and it is quite evident that the Chief Minister has avoided taking the appropriate action to address the failing. This has led my proposition being lodged.

The purpose of my Proposition is to request the Chief Minister to respond to a set of proposals which he should have dealt with ages ago. At the 11th hour the Chief Minister has lodged his Comments which he hopes will be sufficient for me to withdraw my proposition. I regret that cannot happen. Had the Chief Minister come up with responses that were clear, convincing, and offered a prospect of closure, I would have led the Assembly in congratulating him on his achievement.

However, the sad truth is that neither myself, nor I suspect any other member, whatever their voting intentions, can genuinely claim to be convinced, or in most cases actually understand, just what the Chief Minister is actually saying in most of his response to my proposition.

Members will now note that the Chief Minister he has now at long last published the Napier Report via R 132/2010 but has not stated why it took a Backbencher’s Proposition to make him do so. He is the Chief Minister, he is not supposed to be continually reacting to the initiatives of others. He is supposed to lead this Assembly and inspire us all with his vision.

The controversy arising from the suspension of the Chief Officer of the States Police in November 2008 has continued for over two years. That is not for any irrational reason. It is because many States Members and ordinary Islanders have genuine concerns regarding those events. These concerns deserve to be treated with respect. They do not deserve to be dismissed out of hand or fobbed off with shallow promises and evasion.

And I regret to say that unless the concerns arising from this issue are addressed today in a clear and transparent fashion they will not go away. My proposition offers members a chance to bring this matter to a close in a proper transparent manner, not brushed under the carpet.

My proposition is also about an important principle. It is about a key position in the good governance of our Island, namely the post of Chief Officer of the States Police.

The position of Head of the Force is important but it is also inevitably controversial and to a degree vulnerable. That is why our predecessors were careful to put in place a strict set of rules to ensure that any difficulty should be addressed in a way which allows for the political independence of that office to be preserved.

Break those rules and we are on a slippery slope on which none of us are safe. However we now have evidence that the rules were indeed broken, deliberately, cynically and with intent.

The authority to dismiss the Chief Officer of the Force is vested in this Assembly by law. If members feel that that the authority of the Assembly has been usurped, and there has been a “dismissal by stealth” outside of the legal process, then as States Members we have a duty to do something about, irrespective of whether we are members of the Executive or the non Executive side of Government.

Today we have the opportunity to grasp this issue and to seek some form of resolution because there have been other opportunities but these were not taken by Ministers.

In January 2009 the chance was lost by not approving Connétable of St Helier’s proposition.

In the summer of 2009 another chance was lost when the Royal Court heavily criticised the manner of the original suspension. Ministers who were duty bound to act with neutrality, took no notice.

The Wilts investigation was concluded last November yet no attempts were taken to instigate disciplinary proceedings. In January this year the Chief Officer announced his long expected retirement and said that he would leave the service before the end of July. Again no-one took a grip on the matter. Yet more enquiries were authorised, more money spent, and more time wasted.

In February this year Members had the opportunity to support my proposal for a local and public Committee of Inquiry to review the Suspension. However Members’, who still pinned their faith in the Chief Minister, rejected that opportunity in favour of the Chief Minister’s simpler and quicker review by a Commissioner.

That Report has proved to be at least 5 times over budget and months late. However even though the TOR were watered down the Commissioner has concurred with the Royal Court’s view in that the suspension process was unfair. The Commissioner has gone even further in that he has identified serious failings and named the individuals concerned.

I now turn to the specifics of the proposition; whose purpose is to request the Chief Minister to report on the outcome of a Review he commissioned on behalf of the States. By now Lodging the Napier Report as R132/2010 the Chief Minister, with some reluctance but with no explanation has complied with Part (c) of my Proposition.

Part (i) I ask what action if any , the Ch Minister has taken in respect of the destruction by the Chief Executive of the original notes taken at the suspension . AND

What guidelines if any the Ch Minister has issued regarding the recording of suspension meetings in the future.

Chief Minister has completely ignored the first part of the paragraph.

It is in fact from answers given in the past by Ch Minister that the original notes were destroyed before the typed copy had been agreed by the 3 participants and only signed by former Minister and Chief Executive.

When former Police Chief asked for the original notes, because he was taking the matter to Royal Court he told that they had been destroyed. When handed the typed copy they were not an accurate account of the suspension process. This action is totally unacceptable.

The destruction was not by some probationer police Officer but by the most senior and highest paid civil servant, who apart from being aware of the need for accuracy must have been aware of the seriousness of the suspension and for the need to safeguard the integrity of the process.

Chief Minister gives no explanation for the Ch Executive’s action other than to say that he is satisfied with the answers he has received from the Ch Executive. Sir, this is not good enough.

The second half of the paragraph is again unsatisfactory.

Ch Minister is sidestepping the matter. He says that Policies are already in place but Members not provided with the copies.

Deputy Le Claire asked the Ch Minister for copies during Oral question on 3rd February last year, but still not to hand.

However it appears that if there is a policy in existence then it advises Officers to use their discretion but if in doubt err on the side of caution. I hope that does not apply to the Police because they will in trouble from the Courts. The Ch Minister’s explanation is unsatisfactory and should be rejected.

Part (ii) is about the legal advice and asks the Chief Minister if he accepts the conclusion set out in various parts of the Napier Report that action was taken on a basis which was contrary to the advice of the Law Officers and what action, if any, he proposes to take in respect of that matter.

It is interesting to note that there are any number of occasions when Ministers do not take action expected of them, and when challenged they say that is because they are acting on the advice of the Crown Officers.

However we now have a case where Ministers and senior civil servants have blatantly acted against Law Officers advice and Members are expected to accept that failure without question.

Members may feel that Napier is particularly straightforward on this matter. In his report Mr Napier sets out the advice of the Law Officers in respect of the Metropolitan Police report. In paragraphs 69 and 72 Mr Napier expresses the strong view that the Metropolitan Police report, when it arrived, was, “in heavily qualified terms” and that it did not meet the stringent terms of the legal advice.

We also now know how this difficulty was dealt with by those involved in the suspension process. Parts of the Metropolitan Police report which suited the argument for suspension were extracted and included in a letter from the heavily conflicted Deputy Chief Officer, who would immediately step into his boss’ shoes when the suspension was implemented.

Those parts of the Met report which did not fit the argument, and in particular the heavy qualifications described by Napier, were excluded. We do not know if the then Minister was part of the arrangement or whether he was misled. But what we can be sure of, is that the stringent terms of the legal advice were not followed and as a consequence this sorry, totally expensive and futile saga was set in motion.

After paying for a Queen’s Councillor to review the suspension process which concurs with the Royal Court’s view, the Chief Minister is now telling Members that those findings are wrong, and he is right.

Originally it was claimed that the suspension was as a result of a letter received by the former Home Affairs Minister the day before the suspension. That Minister’s statement made under oath to the Wiltshire Police has now been proven to be untrue. There were plots a foot, months before the actual suspension.

Apparently the discussion between the former Ch Minister and the former Home Affairs Minister about the possible suspension was overheard by a States Minister who hopefully will clarify that matter.

Mr Napier has been clear in his report, the legal advice was not followed and no matter what excuses the Ch Minister is attempting to make, the facts speak for them selves.

Those involved with the suspension got it wrong and Members have every right to expect the Chief Minister to accept Mr Napier’s finding and inform Members what action he has taken.

Part (iii) deals with the Discipline Code copies of which I circulated to Members over the weekend. I am asking whether the Chief Minister accepts the conclusion set out in various parts of the Napier Report, that the suspension process did not meet the requirements of the Disciplinary Code for the Police Chief, issued under Article 9(1) of the Police Force Jersey Law 1974, and again, what action if any, he has taken regarding the apparent breach of the process specified in the Code?

Having read the Discipline Code and Members will note that there is set procedure to be followed before a suspension can be implemented.

Mr Napier is of the view that there was no justification for an instant suspension. However again, we have the Chief Minister disagreeing with the QC he appointed, although graciously stating the Mr Napier is entitled to his view. However the Chief Minister states that in his view, Mr Napier’s conclusion is not the only one which can be drawn. However unlike Mr Napier, the Chief Minister has not stated how his view can be justified.

It should be noted that in answer to several questions on this matter the Chief Minister has gone on record as describing these matters as "procedural errors". In other words until lodging his Comments he accepted that errors had occurred but has now done a u turn without any explanation.

Given the seniority of the participants it can hardly be said that their calculated breach is no more than procedural. It is a gross interference in the constitutional framework which exists to protect the liberties of us all.

Nor should we be deceived into regarding these breaches as coincidental. The resignation of Home Affairs Minister, just 3 weeks previously, the brief elevation of the former Assistant Minister to Ministerial Office, and his imminent retirement along with the former Chief Minister and the absence of the Chief Officer on a few days leave provided a window of opportunity which was ruthlessly and cynically grasped.

In his Comments the Chief Minister has stated that he has had to weigh up the differing views when determining what action he needed to take, but has not said what action he has actually taken.

Part (a) (iv) asks why there has been no formal presentation of the Napier report to members and no opportunity to discuss the findings with the author. The Chief Minister knows that it is customary for Ministers who commission reports to arrange for its author to be present when the Report is released. At first he gave an undertaking that there would be a presentation to States Members. Later he reversed his position and said that such a presentation was not possible. This is because the customary need to make a presentation was not included in Mr Napier’s contractual responsibilities.

Members will note however that the Chief Minister has not chosen to tell us why this customary requirement was not included in the contractual arrangement and who took that decision. We should insist that he tells us more on this issue, such as why and when did Mr Napier change his mind. The Chief Minister has also not informed Members why he did not make the usual presentation to Members.

Part (v) Requests the Chief Minister to inform Members what training, procedural and other corrective measures he has taken to ensure personnel and disciplinary issues are managed appropriately in the future.

He tells us that such matters are “regularly reviewed as part of normal activities.” I ask how often they are reviewed because in July 2008 only a few months before the suspension, the former Chief Minister lodged R75 of 2008 which reported on the findings following a Review undertaken by Professor Upex.

The Professor was highly critical of the mishandling of the dismissal of another States Employee. We had the usual platitudes that lessons must be learnt and we must move on. But lessons clearly were not learnt because three of the main participants in the dismissal process were also involved with the former Police Chief’s suspension.

The Chief Minister says that there is room for improvement in the disciplinary code for the Chief Officer of Police. I agree but that was apparent 2 years ago. So what has he done about it? What action has he taken to date? What changes does he propose? And by which date will he be presenting his proposals to this Assembly?

The Chief Ministers response is shallow, dismissive and should be rejected by this Assembly. I believe that we should tell the Chief Minister that he must do better and offer something more convincing.

Part (a) (vi) asks the Chief Minister to clarify his position with regard to any disciplinary action in consequence of what has emerged from the report.

Given the gravity of the suspension and the failings that have now been identified, Members and the public are entitled to know whether any disciplinary proceedings have been taken as a result of the findings of the Napier Report and if so, to update Members on the outcome of those proceedings.

I am not the only Member who has asked what action the Chief Minister has or is taking. Members will recall that I received a confidential email from the Chief Minister on 27th September regarding a disciplinary matter.

Members will also recall that at the last States Sitting I asked if the Chief Minister would make the contents of a confidential email available to all States Members but he declined on the grounds that it contained the name of a States Employee.

In the Chief Minister’s Comments he now tells us that the Disciplinary process is now complete and the outcomes remain confidential to the parties concerned.

It is not disputed that the Island’s most senior civil servant destroyed the suspension notes. Mr Napier has also reported that the same civil servant chose not to follow the Crown Officers advice and went ahead with a suspension process which was also contrary the Discipline Code.

The suspension set off a chain of events which saw the former Police Chief dismissed by stealth and has cost the taxpayer around a million pounds. It is not disputed that the Wilts Police produced a set of allegations but they were withdrawn. Therefore legally the allegations do not exist and the taxpayer’s money has been wasted.

As indeed has the Wiltshire Police Officer’s time, although no doubt their officers will have enjoyed spending over £200K on wining and dining at our taxpayer’s expense.

Both the Royal Court and Mr Napier have concluded that the suspension was unfair, yet despite the repercussions, States Members and the public are not allowed to be told what disciplinary action, if any, has ensued.

As the Chief Minister has stated he has taken disciplinary action I believe I am at liberty to divulge the contents of the Confidential email I referred to earlier, but I shall not divulge the name of the civil servant.

The Chief Minister informed me that he was instituting disciplinary action, however the employee concerned was out of the office and he had to wait until the employee returned. I did think the absence was ironic because the former Police Chief was also out of Office when he was called in to be suspended,

Given the time it normally takes to collate the evidence and arrange for a disciplinary hearing I am most impressed by the speed in which the process was completed because it is apparent that the process was concluded by the 19th October because as Members will see on page 9 of my proposition that the Chief Minister stated that he had investigated the disciplinary issues and he had nothing further to add.

It appears that yet again we have an apparently firm resolve followed by back-tracking and evasion. The Chief Minister is not appointed in order that he can be an advocate on behalf of his staff. He is supposed to be the person who holds his staff to account. There are worrying indications that the tail is wagging the dog.

In his response to this part of my proposition the Chief Minister seeks to hide behind the confidentiality rules which normally apply in disciplinary cases. But this is no ordinary case. This disciplinary matter strikes at the heart of our government.

In this debate we should not be hindered by rules created for the protection of public servants. We are the government of this Island. We make the rules. We should demand that the Chief Minister comes clean. We deserve to be told the truth. We do not deserve to be told that matters relating to the conduct of our highest paid employee are none of our business.

In Part (b) of the proposition I ask the Assembly to agree to seek closure of this long running issue by agreeing that an apology should be made to the former Chief Officer.

Members will note that the proposed apology is specific in its terms and relates entirely to his treatment during the suspension process and in particular the denial of those rights and protections to which he was entitled to under the Code.

The entitlements are clearly set out by Napier and are in any event no more than basic decency, common-sense and justice.

The Disciplinary Code which has been circulated to Members forms part of the Chief Officers Conditions of Service. They are his entitlements which are intended to ensure fair play and dignity of treatment.

The Police Chief was entitled to have concerns drawn to his attention at early stage and be given an opportunity to seek a resolution. That did not happen.

He was entitled to be able to argue his case at a preliminary hearing before suspension was considered. Again that did not happen.

What he was not entitled to was to be called into work in the midst of a family holiday and suspended without warning in the space of a few minutes without representation and without a hearing.

The process which was applied on that day in November 2008 was not only a breach of the Code, it was shameful, and by association shames us all. And let us not forget the service background against which these events occurred.

The Chief Officer had a long and unblemished record of service.

He had been decorated by the Queen for distinguished service. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Committee Members, the Home Affairs Minister and even the local media had gone on record praising his leadership of the Force.

He was described, and I quote, as a “high performing Chief Officer” who was able to ensure “that the operational independence of the Police is never compromised,” and who “continues to modernise and enhance the professionalism of the service.”

Members might ask “who said that?” I can tell Member who said it. It was none other than the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers in the Chief Officer’s most recent performance appraisal.

In responding to this issue the Chief Minister has sought to confuse the situation by inappropriate references to the HDLG investigation and making most derogatory remarks relating the abuse victims. He has referred to the now abandoned disciplinary case and has chosen to compound matters by making further unsubstantiated allegations against the former Chief Officer.

I will again remind Members that all disciplinary proceedings were abandoned. No charges were brought and no hearing was called. No compromises were reached and no deals were done.

From day one the Chief Officer challenged Ministers to come up with the evidence to justify what they alleged and to take their allegations to a fair hearing.

In spite of nearly two years and over a million pounds of expenditure they failed to do so. Allegations which emanated from the Wiltshire debacle were withdrawn because I submit it was not in the Minister’s interest to pursue them.

The Chief Minister should accept that the Wiltshire Investigation was a disaster which began with the botched suspension The Chief Minister should have the grace and seek closure. There is no honour in hitting after the bell. The contest is over.

The Chief Officer retired with an unblemished record. It is now clear that the entitlements of his conditions of service were not met. Apologise for that, and that alone, and move on.

I will not dwell on the Chief Minister’s suggestion that the former Police Chief and his Deputy should apologise to those who suffered at HDLG. I don’t know who drafted the Comments on the Chief Minister’s behalf, but Members should ask each one the 11 former residents whose allegations of abuse some 30 years ago are now being considered in the Royal Court. We should ask if they concur with the Chief Minister’s call for an apology.

Without the former Police Chief and his Deputy’s dedication to service to our Island, the allegation which had been swept under the carpet would not have come to light.

I propose my proposition and asked that it seconded. (end)

Submitted by Team Voice..........a media that digs that little DEEPER

Monday, 15 November 2010

Who is the real Chief Minister (3)

With P166/2010 due to be debated this week we bring you an update on our Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur’s, response to Deputy Bob Hill’s proposition.

The Foot Stamping Lackey’s of the Motherland (FSLM) are going to have a field day!

Chief Minster Le Sueur’s comments could, and no doubt will be, torn apart, as he once more appears to be ducking and diving the questions in his rabid obsession of protecting The Real Chief Minister and others.

Readers can make up their own minds with the hope that not only will the FSLM be having a field day, but the commenter who goes by the name “has-the-question-been-answered” does also.

 (a) to request the Chief Minister to inform States members in a Report presented to the Assembly, or in a Statement to the Assembly, of the action he has already taken and the action he intends to take in respect of the report dated 10th September 2010 into the suspension of the former Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police prepared for the Chief Minister by Mr. Brian Napier QC (‘the Napier Report’) and, in particular to provide information in respect of the following matters

 (i) what action, if any, the Chief Minister has taken in respect of the destruction by the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers of the original notes he took during the suspension meeting and what guidelines, if any, the Chief Minister has issued regarding the records of suspension meetings in the future;

 (i) the reporting of what takes place at any official meeting needs to be complete and accurate, and policies are already in place to ensure that this occurs. Whilst in some cases it is to be expected that original handwritten notes will be retained even after formal, typed-up versions have been produced and signed off as a true version of events, in other cases such an approach would be unnecessary and excessive. Officers have been advised to continue to use their discretion on these matters, but where there is any doubt, to err on the side of caution.

 (ii) whether he accepts the conclusion set out in paragraphs 45,67, 72 and 107 of the Napier Report that action was taken on a basis which was contrary to the advice of the Law Officers and what action, if any, he has taken or proposes to take in respect of that matter;

 (ii) as I have already indicated in response to questions in the States, I do not believe that the actions taken in respect of the suspension of the former Chief Officer of Police were contrary to legal advice. On the contrary, the action was taken in full awareness of such advice, but also in the light of all other relevant information and considerations. I have had regard to all such advice and other information when undertaking and assessing the disciplinary issues to be addressed as a result of the report.

 (iii) whether he accepts the conclusion set out in paragraphs 49–53, 55, 58–66, 107 and 108 of the Napier Report that the suspension process did not meet the requirements of the Disciplinary Code for the Chief Officer, issued under Article 9(1) of the Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974 as part of the Chief Officer’s terms and conditions, and what action, if any, he has taken regarding the apparent breach of the process specified in the Code;

 (iii) Paragraphs 107 and 108 summarise the views expressed in earlier paragraphs, and in themselves can be encapsulated in Mr. Napier's own words: "the basis on which he (the former Chief Officer of Police) was suspended on 12 November 2008 was in my view inadequate (my emphasis)". I accept that this is a conclusion which he is entitled to draw from the information provided to him. However in my view it is not the only conclusion which can be drawn. Indeed various other parties both before and after the event have come to the conclusion that suspension was justified, even though the procedure could have been improved upon. I have had to weigh up these differing points of view when determining what action I needed to take, if any, in respect of disciplinary issues arising out of the suspension process.

(iv) why there has been no formal presentation of the report to members and no opportunity to discuss the findings with the author?

 (iv) The author of the report was invited to present his findings to a meeting of States members, but declined to do so. Such a presentation was not part of the terms of reference, nor part of his contractual duties. In the view of the author, the report speaks for itself.

 (v) what training, procedural and other corrective measures, if any, he has taken in order to ensure that personnel issues, and in particular disciplinary issues, are managed appropriately in the future;

 (v) Procedures are regularly reviewed as part of normal activities. I am satisfied that procedures and training for disciplinary matters are regularly reviewed. However, I am concerned to ensure that particular disciplinary codes for individual senior employees are more critically examined, and as an example I am of the opinion that there is room for improvement in the disciplinary code for the Chief Officer of Police.

(vi) whether any disciplinary proceedings have been taken as a result of the findings of the Napier Report and, if so, to update members on the outcome of those proceedings;

(vi) I have already indicated in answers to questions in the States that I was addressing any disciplinary issues arising from the suspension of the former Chief Officer of Police. That process is now complete, and as indicated in my answers in the States, the outcomes remain confidential to the parties concerned.

Part (b) to request the Chief Minister to issue a formal apology to the retired Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police in relation to the failure of those involved, as identified in the Napier Report, to deal with the Chief Officer’s suspension in accordance with the procedures set out in the Disciplinary Code;

Part (b) In respect of part (b) of the Proposition, I have already been asked in the States at question time whether I would be prepared to issue an apology to the former Chief Officer of Police for the manner of his suspension. I stated then, and, in case any member is in any doubt, I reiterate now, that I do not intend to make any such apology, and that indeed in my view no apology whatsoever in that respect could be justified.

On the contrary, it would perhaps be more appropriate for the former Chief Officer of Police, and also the former Deputy Chief Officer of Police, who were jointly responsible for the mismanagement of the Haut de la Garenne investigation into child abuse, to apologise to the people of Jersey, and in particular those who may have suffered abuse at Haut de la Garenne or elsewhere in Jersey, for the unnecessary suffering and distress which they have caused through the erroneous approach which they adopted as identified in the report of the Wiltshire Police. However, I accept that this will not be forthcoming, and indeed the parties concerned seem to show no remorse for their actions.

We have already expended significant and largely wasteful levels of money and manpower on the Haut de la Garenne saga, and the time has come to declare that 'enough is enough'. We cannot turn back the clock or re-write history, but we can declare a conclusion to this sad and distasteful episode, and I hope that all Members will wish to do just that. (end)

We are able to inform readers that the Former Deputy Chief Police Officer and Senior Investigating Officer Lenny Harper has sent a letter to our only "news" paper, the Jersey Evening Post, addressing, among other things, the comments of Chief Minister Le Sueur regarding an apology, and his "priority suspects" Morag and Anthony Jordan. We shall see if it appears in their paper before publishing it on here.

Submitted by Team Voice...........a trusted media.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Unhappy Anniversary (2)

Exactly one year ago today we published a Blog containing an interview with Deputy Bob Hill concerning the possible illegal suspension of Graham Power QPM which can be viewed here.

One year on we are not that very much the wiser as to what "really" went on. We do know that Senior Civil Servants were having secret un-minuted meetings discussing the suspension weeks, if not months, before the "official version" of events had said.

Today "The Friends of Graham Power" have released a Press Statement to all island "accredited" media and VFC. This might be the only place you will see it in its entirety if past performance of the "accredited" media is anything to go by.

In fairness the Press Release says only little more than what has been said in the past. However one thing it does say, that is not written, is that the former Police Chief  "is not going away". Hamish Marett Crosby, Terry Le Sueur, Ian Le Marquand and others might be getting bored with all the questions still being asked about this possibly illegal suspension. But what must start becoming apparent is that two years down the line there is no letting up of these questions, neither will there be until we start getting some answers. Furthermore if our local "journalists" were asking them then we wouldn't have to.

The key players in this disgraceful act, Andrew Lewis, Bill Ogley, David Warcup and Ian Critch have not been interviewed by ANY of our "accredited" media...........why not? Are they ("accredited" media) really that useless or are they under orders to "put this to bed?".


On 12th November 2008 the then Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police, Graham Power QPM, was suspended from duty by the Minister for Home Affairs, Andrew Lewis assisted by the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers, Bill Ogley.

The suspension occurred in the midst of a family holiday and was without prior warning, without a hearing and without representation. The Royal Court and more latterly, Brian Napier QC in a report to the Chief Minister, have criticised the manner in which the suspension was carried out and the evidence upon which it was based. At the time of the suspension the then Minister claimed that he was in possession of evidence which indicated that Mr Power had been negligent in his oversight of the Historic Abuse Enquiry. A claim which Mr Power strongly denies.

In spite of a disciplinary enquiry and suspension costing well over a million pounds no disciplinary charges were ever brought and no hearing was called. Mr Power retired in July 2010 having served for over three years past his normal retirement date.

Earlier this year the States agreed to commission a report from Brian Napier QC into the manner of the suspension. In his report Mr Napier is critical of the process used in the suspension and the evidence on which it was based. Mr Napier suggests that the suspension appears to have been carried out contrary to the advice of the Law Officers. He is also critical of the fact that any alleged concerns were not raised with the Chief Officer at an earlier stage, and that there was no preliminary hearing to allow Mr Power to put his case before suspension was considered, in accordance with the requirements of the Disciplinary Code made under the Police Law.

Two years after the suspension the issue remains controversial. A proposition which asks the States to agree that the Chief Minister be required to address the outstanding issues from the Napier report and to seek closure is due to be debated in the States next week.

Mr Power is understood to be living in North Yorkshire, but continues to have a close interest in Jersey issues.

Friday 12th November 2010. (End Press Release).

Submitted by Team Voice, a media that strives to be "Entirely Accurate".

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Who is the real Chief Minister (part 2)

In part 2 of this series, part one being HERE we bring you an excerpt from the sworn affidavit of Former Chief Police Officer Graham Power QPM. Below that are some questions that arose from it in our States Chamber as recorded on Hansard.

Excerpt from sworn affidavit of Graham Power QPM.

13.  The feeling in the room was tense and there was general talk about the questions asked by the Health Minister and the need for some sort of action in response. I had the feeling that “something was going on” to which I was not a party. After the meeting the Chief Executive, Bill Ogley, asked me to stay behind. Also remaining were the head of States H.R., Ian Crich, the Chief Officer of Health, Mike Pollard and the then Chief Officer of Education, (Tom McKeon who has since retired.) The Chief Executive said that it was anticipated that the Council of Ministers would tomorrow be asked by the then Chief Minister, Senator Frank Walker, to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Health Minister and that this could result in his removal from office. I was then told of measures that had apparently been put in place to facilitate this. I was told that the islands Child Protection Committee (C.P.C.) was due to meet at the same time as we were meeting and that arrangements had been made for it to pass a vote of “no confidence” in the Minister. It was then suggested that as the heads of the relevant public services we should do something similar and that this would give support to the proposal that the Chief Minister would bring forward the next day.

14. I was shocked by this and initially did not know what to say. I eventually made two points. Firstly I said that the Minister was entitled to ask difficult questions. As I saw things that was his role and it was our role to provide a response, and secondly, even if that was not agreed, what was being proposed was civil servant and police engagement in political activity. I stated clearly that I did not see that as acceptable and that I would have nothing to do with it. At this point the Chief Executive asked me to leave the meeting which I did. I then made contact with a police colleague who had been at the C.PC. and discovered that this colleague had also had left their meeting for similar reasons. Shortly afterwards we both made brief notes in relation to what had happened. This was my first noteworthy experience of the formation of an “inner circle” of politicised senior civil servants loyal to the Chief Minister. The Chief Executive and the head of H.R. subsequently played a significant role in my suspension. (End)

Hansard 19th Jan 2010

6. Deputy T.M. Pitman of the Chief Minister regarding the involvement of the C.M.B. in discussions relating to the dismissal of the Minister for Health and Social Services in July 2007:

Did a meeting led by the Chief Executive take place after the C.M.B. (Corporate Management Board) meeting on 25th July 2007 to discuss matters relating to then Minister for Health and Social Services, and if so who was present at the meeting? Was the possible removal from office of the then Minister discussed, and if so would the Chief Minister suspend all those present from their duties pending a full investigation into the matter?

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

The Chief Executive has confirmed that there was a meeting of some chief officers following a meeting of the Corporate Management Board on 25th July 2007 to discuss the impact, which the then Minister for Health and Social Services’ criticism of Social Services staff was having on staff morale. Those present at the meeting were the Chief Executive, the Chief Officer of Police, the Director of Human Resources, the Chief Officer of Education, Sport and Culture and the Chief Officer of Health and Social Services. The Chief Police Officer did not attend the entire meeting. The Chief Executive confirmed that at no time was there discussed at this meeting the possible removal of the then Minister from office.


3.   6.1  Deputy T.M. Ptman:

I have a copy of the file note from the Chief of Police on my desk. Could the Chief Minister just clarify, the States C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officer) stands effectively accused by the Island’s most senior police officer with what he concluded was a lead involvement in an attempt to remove a Minister from office regardless of the rights and wrongs of what that Minister did? How can this not result in suspension as a neutral act while this is investigated, particularly given that the C.E.O. was later to play a major part and a contentious part in the suspension of the Chief of Police?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I have to be fully careful here because I am not sure whether this file note may have any relevance to the investigation that is currently underway and I maybe urge caution in answering this but say merely that I believe that any reference to a file note, which may be contained in some blog or other source should be treated with the appropriate level of certainty.

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

It is a copy of the file note; it is not in some blog.

The Bailiff:

Sorry, what is your question, Deputy? Deputy what is your question? Deputy, this is question time, were you asking a question? Deputy, I am speaking to you, please stand up when I am speaking to you.

Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I was not aware you were talking to me, Sir, apologies.

The Bailiff:

Well I am not sure who else I was talking to, but anyway ...

3.6.2 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I was just quite shocked at the dismissive nature that everything comes from a blog; it is a proper file note so perhaps my question would be, would the Chief Minister perhaps now take that more seriously?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I will treat it to the extent that I need to treat it at this stage, with the appropriate level of seriousness, yes.

3.6.3 The Deputy of St. Martin:

We have heard the positions of certain people who were kept behind, will the Minister explain as to why the majority or the whole of the Corporate Management Board were not asked to discuss this particular issue?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I made it clear that the purpose of the meeting was the effect of criticism on staff morale. The meeting was directed at those officers directly concerned with staff morale.

3.6.4 Deputy M.R. Higgins of St. Helier:

Just following on from Deputy Pitman’s question, first of all has the Chief Minister seen the file note, which the Chief of Police recorded at police headquarters after his meeting with the Chief Management Board? Has he seen this first of all and, secondly, if he has not, if he takes a copy of it will he please act on it? Because it does seem to indicate there was far more to that meeting than meets the eye.

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I have not seen the original file note, I have seen a copy of it and as I have previously said it will be treated with the appropriate level of seriousness.

3.6.5 Deputy S. Pitman:

I would like to refer to that file note on 25th July from the former Chief Officer and he does say coming back from that meeting: “I was left with the clear impression that they were attempting to draw me [that was the C.M.B.] in my capacity as the Chief of Police into a Civil Service-led attempt to remove a Minister from office.” I add there that the Chief Executive was also there. Bearing that in mind - and the Chief Executive was also involved in the organisation of Operation Blast and he burnt the notes of the meeting that was held in the Chief Officer’s suspension - surely the Chief Minister should be taking some leadership and looking into these issues of the Chief Executive? He should be taking them very seriously.

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

The file note in question and contents of it may form a matter of the disciplinary investigation. I do not feel inclined at this stage to make any comment on the content of that file note.

3.6.6 Connétable A.S. Crowcroft of St. Helier:

If, as the Chief Minister alleges, the meeting was held in respect of staff morale, why was the Chief of Police not requested to leave the meeting? Why was it a matter of his own choice to leave the meeting? Secondly, were any notes taken of the meeting?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

The decision of the Chief of Police to attend or not attend is a matter for the person concerned and not for me. To the best of my knowledge no notes of the meeting were taken; it was an informal meeting.

3.6.7 The Deputy of St. Mary:

The question will be what is the Chief Minister saying was not discussed? I just want to refer to the file note. The discussion was led by B.O. (Bill Ogley), who we know is the Chief Executive Officer, who disclosed: “The Child Protection Committee will this afternoon be discussing a vote of no confidence in the Minister … Attempts were made by the C.E.O. to draw me into this. I was told that my people were part of the Island’s arrangements and I should show collective support by opposing the criticisms of the Minister.” Could the Chief Minister tell us what was not being discussed?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

I do not think I can. I do not believe it is appropriate to speculate on the content of that file note, as I say, while there is still a disciplinary process ongoing.

3.6.8 Deputy T.M. Pitman:

I stand to be corrected, but I believe I heard the Chief Minister imply that this could not be looked at because there was an inquiry into the suspension of the Chief Officer. Could he just clarify how the 2 are in any way related? How can that stop him taking action to investigate allegations against another senior civil servant?

Senator T.A. Le Sueur:

My comment was that the content of the file note might form part of an ongoing disciplinary investigation. (End Hansard)

So here we are left with a few more questions. A couple being are we expected to believe that our most Senior Police Officer is making up a complete pack of lies about the Chief Executive Officer, Bill Ogley, by not only submitting a file note, but is willing to risk possible imprisonment for perjury by swearing an affidavit that he knows to be false?

Now that all disciplinary action against the former Chief Police Officer has been abandoned by Home Affairs Minister Ian Le Marquand, there are no more “investigations” going on, why hasn’t the Chief Minister initiated an investigation into the claims made against Mr. Ogley in the sworn affidavit of Graham Power QPM?

Something very untoward appears to have gone on and it is the “duty” of our supposed Chief Minister to get to the bottom of it, why hasn’t he?......................Who is “the real Chief Minister?”

Submitted by Team Voice.