Author Topic: Jersey's 'secrecy culture' led to my suspension, says former police chief  (Read 5748 times)

Offline danrok

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Graham Power claims he was punished for daring to investigate allegations against some of the island's power players

The story is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/28/jersey-secrecy-culture

Quote
It's an episode which Jersey's critics see as a prime example of the way the island's elite treats those who dare to challenge their authority.

Offline jerseydaz

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I do like this line from the Guardians article. Who would have thought!
"In Jersey there are often school and family connections between police officers, lawyers, politicians and criminals," he told the Guardian.

Offline boatyboy

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Below:- part of his CV Taken from Mr Chris Swinson’s personal web site, notice no mention of Jersey, although Mr Swinson top accountant to HM Treasury Jersey is mentioned on other sites a little strange maybe.

The politicians I have spoken with rate him very highly and the last time his contract was discussed [ in camera] in the assembly, not one states member present voted against his re-appointment.

After the well informed Guardian stories and the Jimmy Carr offshore debacle, has Mr Swinson decided Jersey is the wrong place for an educated professional with integrity to work, especially for the States of Jersey. The suggestion of a secret corrupt society in the series on the police chiefs suspension and other subjects relating to Jersey did nothing for Jersey's ethical or moral reputation to the real world.

Of course no doubt other readers interpreted the articles in different ways. I suggest Jersey was not shown in a positive light.
 
Audit Commission
2000 – 2003, Commissioner
2000 – 2003 Chair, District Audit Panel

HM Treasury
2001 – Member, Audit Committee 2003 – Chairman, Audit Committee

Commission for Local Administration in England
2004 – Chairman, Audit Committee


http://www.swinson.co.uk/aboutchris.php

BBC

Jersey's government watchdog Christopher Swinson resigns

Jersey's government watchdog has resigned over a clash with the government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-18652925

bb

Offline danrok

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Here's the email pasted from CTV: (Source: http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=500166)

Dear Chris,

You kindly arranged for the attached report to be e-mailed to me on 21 May.

As a result of work pressures, I did not have an opportunity of reviewing the report in any detail at the time; however, it has been brought to my attention that some of the contents relating to the report I was asked by the Deputy Chief Executive of the States of Jersey to prepare in January 2011 and also some of the contents of your report relating to the evidence I provided to you by telephone are now being used to support local political actions.

I'm informed that sections from your report are being quoted for political purposes and used as evidence against at least one senior local politician. It appears that the sections of your report being used for this purpose are principally sections 497 to 502 on pages 148 to 150 of your report. I understand the principal inference that is being drawn for political purposes from these sections is that I was influenced inappropriately by the Minister concerned to produce a report for the specific purpose of ousting the Director of JPH. It seems that the wording you have used in section 499 of the report is being taken as part of the evidence of this undue influence by the Minister and then in addition sections 501 and 502.

I must first of all make it absolutely clear that I was not influenced by anyone in the preparation of my report of January 2011. Those who know me, will vouch that I'm not someone who will allow himself to be inappropriately influenced. Sections 501 and 502 of your report include confirmation from the Treasurer that I was not willing to be influenced to make changes in the report I did not agree with (I did make some of the changes she requested however), so I absolutely refute any implication that I was inappropriately influenced by the Minister or anyone else in the contents of my report. I must also say that I object very strongly to your statement in section 501 (1) of a public report that the drafting of my report 'was inappropriate and inflammatory'. I have no idea on what evidence you are relying for that statement, but it does seem to me to be verging on libellous, unless you have solid evidence to support the statement, which I know you do not. I therefore request you issue a circular to all recipients of your report amending that wording to make it clear you have no evidence to support that statement.

The second point I must make concerns section 499. In this section you have summarised a fairly lengthy telephone conversation we had about the purpose of my report into four bullet points, none of which reflect my views, nor what I recollect saying to you in our conversation, so I'm at a loss to understand how you arrived at these four bullet points. My view on the purpose of my report is (and always has been) that it was to act as a second opinion on the contents of the two lever arch files provided by JPH, following the earlier report prepared by the Deputy Chief Executive of the States of Jersey, when he had reviewed the two lever arch files. The Deputy CEO expressly requested that he wanted me to use my financial knowledge and experience to identify any other matters of relevance that he had not already identified in his report. Therefore, my report was intended to be complementary to his and not duplicate the same findings. I find it rather strange that you comment in various places in your report that 'the report was undermined by the flawed process which the Interim Director of Finance was directed to adopt'. My report was never intended to be anything more than an additional review of the two lever arch files and the introduction to my report makes that absolutely clear.

So turning to your four bullet points:

(1) You state that the purpose of the report was not related to financial control. I certainly never said that to you and your statement is wrong in any case. As stated above, the Deputy CEO specifically asked me to use my financial knowledge and experience to highlight financial issues in the contents of the two lever arch files that he might have missed.

(2) You state that the Treasury Minister had decided it was necessary to remove the Director of JPH from his position at the time my report was circulated. I never said that to you and in any case it conflicts with your note 220 at the bottom of page 148, where it states '......for some time the Interim Director of Finance had been advising him as Treasury Minister that the Director, JPH's performance in his position was unsatisfactory ..........'. I have no doubt whatsoever that at the time I wrote my report in January 2011 the Treasury Minister had not decided whether he would support a process for removing the Director of JPH, even though I had been recommending to him and the Deputy CEO that this action might be necessary. The Treasury Minister was as aware as I was that Ministers must not interfere with the employment arrangements of civil servants; however, the Treasury Minister would have to take political responsibility for any termination costs involved with such a dismissal, if it proved necessary - hence his caution at that time in accepting the advice he was receiving from both myself and the Deputy CEO.

(3) Again, I certainly did not say to you, as this sub-section implies, that my report was intended as an alternative means of removing the Director of JPH 'because the amount he would have to be paid by way of compensation would not be politically acceptable'. I may have said there was always the possibility the review of the two lever arch files might unearth something sufficiently damning that appropriate disciplinary action could be taken against the Director of JPH, but I'm quite sure neither the Deputy CEO nor I seriously expected to find such evidence on these files, given that they had been put together by JPH staff and no doubt checked through by the Director of JPH
before they were handed over to the Deputy CEO. The principal purpose of the reports prepared by the Deputy CEO and myself on the two lever arch files was to establish whether the JPH recommendation to continue to proceed with the acquisition of Lime Grove House should be supported, or whether there might be other options that could be considered instead, which would satisfy the Police accommodation requirements. I don't recall any conversation with the Deputy CEO or the Treasury Minister that suggested my report might be used as a means to remove the Director of JPH, therefore I know I never had any view along those lines and consequently I know I would never have suggested to you in our telephone conversation that the purpose of my report was such.

(4) This section follows on from (3) above and suggests I said to you that my report 'was intended to be used as the basis for obliging the Director, JPH to leave the States without compensation by threatening his professional reputation.' This is even more far fetched than section (3) above and I'm absolutely certain I never said any such thing to you, for the same reasons as I've explained above. [final sentence -text redacted] I refute them entirely.

I don't know how best to prevent the statements you have purported I made in section 499 from being used as evidence against the Treasury Minister or anyone else, but I can only request you pass on my above comments to those who are trying to use them in this way, so that they are made aware that these sections of your report are incorrect.

In conclusion, I have to say that I think the process you have followed in the preparation of your report is seriously flawed. When I have been asked to contribute important evidence to other such reports elsewhere, I have been given the opportunity and sufficient time to review and correct the sections relating to my evidence, before the report was published. In this case, I received the report the day before it was published and even if I had been able to find time immediately to review the relevant sections and revert to you, it was clearly not your intention to make any amendments at that stage.

Kind regards,


Hugh

Hugh McGarel-Groves
Chief Financial Officer
Turks and Caicos Islands Government

Offline danrok

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Some news here on Hugh McGarel-Groves...
 http://tcipost.com/?p=18104

Remember this guy?  He was the one that was charging us £1000 a day for his "services".  What good was that?  None!

Offline Tosh

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And here http://tcipost.com/?p=18069

Now nothing wrong with strong leadership, but the way it has been alleged to have been done sounds familiar!  ::)

BTW as its my first post, hello everyone... ;)

Offline wakey

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And so another person who speaks out again the high and mighty bites the dust.

Offline man in the street

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 and thats the rub for me, those who speak out bite the dust.

Offline danrok

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Not so much speaking out, it was his job to produce the report.

Offline boatyboy

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Hi Tosh and welcome,

new people add different views which make the issues more interesting,

danrok and your research show, in my opinion, Hugh McGarel-Groves  is obviously a clever guy that can talk the talk but cannot walk the walk therefore as the article says greedy and leaving a trail of failures.

Thats why he ended up in Jersey, he was made to feel comfortable.

bb

Offline GeeGee

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Yes BB - The Jersey Way obviously suited him very well.

I really do wonder how and why he decided at the 11th hour he could find the time to respond to Chris Swinson's report? Too busy he said - I wonder?

Offline danrok

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STATEMENT FROM THE COMPTROLLER & AUDITOR GENERAL
LIME GROVE HOUSE
I am aware of suggestions made by Mr Hugh McGarel-Groves concerning my Report on the
attempt to purchase Lime Grove House.
For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to make it clear that:
(1) I am confident of the evidence which formed the basis for the Report.
(2) I am not aware of any reason to amend the Report.
(3) My normal process was applied to the evidence provided to me by Mr McGarel-Groves and, in particular, a draft of the information he gave me was sent to him at the email address he provided.
(4) A copy of the draft Report for his comment was also sent to the email address that he provided.
(5) No response was received from him to either the draft of his evidence or the draft Report.
ENDS

Source: http://www.auditorgeneral-jersey.org/pdf/Statement-LGH_C&AG-25-06-2012.pdf

Offline shortport

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What a shame to see one of the good guys go.I always had faith in Mr .Swinson and believed he always carried out his work in a fair and professional manner without being swayed by any local political agenda.To be honest i'm surprised he lasted as long as he did in Jersey,it must have been infuriating for him to deal with our establishment politicians.Whats the betting that the new man to take his position will be carefully picked so as to be a bit more favourable in the right direction when needed.Nudge,nudge,wink,wink.

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Reading the review on McGarel-Groves he fits in very well with our crooked and lying establishment members, i know who i believe and that is Chris Swinson.
Groves would have been the perfect man for the CoM to watch there back.
How come this letter ( email ) has only just been sent, sounds very fishy to me but then this is the way the establishment work and one can that they really do not know how to cover up their mistakes in a way that nobody would suspect wrong doing.

Offline boatyboy

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Re: Jersey's 'secrecy culture' led to my suspension, says former police chief
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 03:30:51 PM »
The heading says it all " a secret culture " is that culture going to help the truth stay hidden in the up and coming Committee of Enquiry announced by the CM Gorst ? It is widely accepted that the Police Chief was removed, and recently the Auditor General. Both men of the highest integrity.

Now here is the thing and it is a simple point to make. The enquiry will be after the truth, the whole truth and nothing but.

Being positive, let us hope that the terms of reference ( ToR's) are similar to Leverson it will be robust and deep searching, let the voters give the chief minister and the council of ministers a chance.

What for the life of me I cannot understand, if as no doubt submissions will be made under oath, then agreeing with ex Deputy  ( honest ) Bob Hill, why should anyone need a lawyer. Citing Leverson, Rebekah Brooks did not have a lawyer present.

Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, will give evidence in a full-day hearing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/blog/2012/may/11/leveson-inquiry-rebekah-brooks-live

No mention of lawyers sitting by her side telling her what and what not to say, ( paid for by the enquiry ) just a person under oath answering questions.

Can someone from the States of Jersey Government explain why if a person on oath in the pending enquiry needs legal representation then the taxpayer and not the individual we are told will have to pay hence the hefty price tag of £6 million in costs is banded about. That cost to be met by the States, what is going on ?

I read that this could be used as an argument to put work on the table for Jersey lawyers but in my opinion, it looks like someone behind closed doors in the Jersey civil service has decided to get some heavy weight obstructive protection paid for by the long suffering good people of Jersey to shield States employees who have something to hide ?

Of course one can understand a child abuse victim, ( the victim ) wanting a private hearing, but logic determines that for an enquiry to be open, honest and have integrity as in a deep an unyielding hunt for the truth, any person wishing or refusing to answer questions, will be opting for not telling the truth or as bad protecting another person, that should carry the threat of a police investigation with charges to follow.

It negates the point of holding a CoI. if obstruction in getting to the truth is employed.

Is the CM Gorst and his council of Ministers to allow more corruption in the States of Jersey? Who says Jersey is corrupt apart from Stuart Syvret the respected ex deputy Bob Hill does. Mr Hill proved without doubt that Gradwell's claims that HdeLG did not have cellars ( they were voids he said ) large enough to be used for child abuse was a complete lie.

Recycled from his blog, thanks to ex Deputy Hill

Bob Hill 6 November 2012 22:51

It is interesting to see that the JEP has highlighted the cost of the Inquiry at £6m. The high cost will only be because of the legal support for witnesses and one wonders why witnesses need a lawyer to help them with their evidence?

Napier was a disappointment and it does look as though he took his money and ran away. I am not sure if that is the case, his TOR was changed and I am pretty certain that his report was amended. I was supposed to have oversight of the review but was denied the opportunity of seeing Napier's two draft reports. The fact that he did not come over to present his report leaves one to believe that he wanted nothing further to do with Jersey and its corruption.

http://bobhilljersey.blogspot.com/2012/11/jersey-historic-abuse-inquiry-one-small.html

BB
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 03:35:23 PM by boatyboy »