Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (10)------The Crucial Missing Documents.


The temperature outside the Committee of Inquiry Building has certainly been rising and so too during the present Hearings. Those involved with responsibility for the welfare of young people in our Care Homes have been giving evidence. From the evidence given to date by some witnesses one is left to wonder whether they were actually working in Jersey. This is because some witnesses have claimed that the Homes were extremely well run and no one ever raised a hand or spoke a bad word against any of the young people

However some witnesses have had different experiences and certainly have not been blinkered or worn rose petal spectacles. Not only have they witnessed abuse but when raising concerns they fell on deaf years.

I recently attended a Hearing. I looked into the Press Room from where I am banned and noted the ample room available which says little for the COI Panel’s knee jerk reaction to ban some Bloggers like me.

I was surprised at the number of senior civil servants present who were no doubt attending to give moral support to the witness. However I wonder how many were there in their time and not at the taxpayer’s expense.

I also noted two senior civil servants sitting in privileged seats. I don't know why they were there but I understand that their attendance is regular. I am not only concerned that they are attending at taxpayer’s expense and not doing the job they are paid to do, but someone else is being paid to cover for their absence and possibly charged to the COI.

Given the seniority and of their positions in the Health and Chief Minister’s Department they would be intimidating to any current civil servant who dareS to break ranks and come forward with evidence of malpractice. I have raised my concerns with the COI but am still waiting a reply.

During the Hearing questions were asked about the disappearance around 2002 at La Chene of a number of crucial documents. Almost as expected even those in senior positions have not been able to come up with a suitable answer or even a possible reason for their disappearance.

Around 2002 serious concerns were being raised about overcrowding, abuse and the overall well being of the young people and staff at establishments like La Chene.
  
An independent inquiry was undertaken by Dr. Kathie Bull, who was seconded from the Office of Standards in Education (Ofsted) for this purpose.  In late 2002 she published her report entitled, “The Principles, Practices and Provision for Children and Young People with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and Disorders in the Island of Jersey”.  It is commonly known as the “Kathy Bull Report.”

The Report was most revealing and some might say it pulled no punches.  However what is not commonly known is there was a first report which was definitely revealing and Dr Bull pulled no punches. Unfortunately it was unpalatable for many of the people identified in the Report so a watered down version was published. Having seen both reports it cannot be disputed that punches were pulled and the published Report although still revealing made for more comfortable reading. 

I was not aware that a number of crucial documents had disappeared but given the comments in the Bull Report it does not take a genius to work out why they went missing or identifying the small number of people who might have been involved with their removal. 

42 comments:

  1. Bob, do you know if the Independent Care Inquiry is aware of Kathy Bull's first report? Will you publish it on here?

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    Replies
    1. I think COI is aware of the first report. However have sent it a link to this Blog.

      Delete
  2. Bob,
    I am most concerned regarding your experience at the COI. I know who the two civil servants are who you identify. I am due to give evidence to the CIO soon and yes I would certainly find their presence intimidating. Ostensibly they are helping the government with the COI and it is rumoured they are on enhanced salaries. Both men are part of the problem and both should be cross examined by the Committee to answer for past failings in managing child protection services .It would be interesting to inquire into their qualifications and experience in child protection .Their knowledge and experience of child protection is limited and they do not hold any relevant qualifications in this specialised field .Is it any wonder we are in the mess we are in?
    For any employee to speak out it would be career suicide.
    It is a travesty that they are even allowed to be in the room when the complaints will include them ,it is a conflict of interest,when the guilty are judge and jury of their own failings
    The Jersey Way of doing things, it certainly would not be allowed in the UK.

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    Replies
    1. I can understand your position and that is why I contacted the COI who has not replied. I will chase it up.

      Re the enhanced salaries. I would hope that is not the case because it is certainly not warranted.

      Delete
  3. Bob.

    You wrote;

    “The Report was most revealing and some might say it pulled no punches. However what is not commonly known is there was a first report which was definitely revealing and Dr Bull pulled no punches. Unfortunately it was unpalatable for many of the people identified in the Report so a watered down version was published.”

    So the first report didn’t get to see the light of day?

    Now what does that remind me of? Oh I remember now, the Napier Report! The final Napier Report had been spun through the corrupt Law Offices Department washing machine TWICE before it was published and hidden from you.

    Readers (including yourself) who have a long memory will recall that you were assured by disgraced former Chief Minister, Terry Le Sueur, that you would get to see the Napier reports as they came and might recall this?

    “Deputy Bob Hill was asked by the Chief Minister if he would be part of the selection process to appoint the Reviewer, Deputy Hill only agreed if the Chief Minister would allow him to be involved with the ongoing work of the Commissioner, the reporting mechanism and the reports themselves, including the Final Report. The Chief Minister agreed to this arrangement via an email dated 1st March.

    However it is apparent that 2 position/interim reports have been submitted by the Commissioner but Deputy Bob Hill (who is supposed to have oversight) has not seen anything.”(END)

    THIS BLOG is worth another visit because, if nothing else, it will demonstrate a formula used by the States of Jersey and Law Offices of "washing" reports before they are deemed "clean" enough for publication.

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    1. I do remember and will never forget the experience. I expected better of our Chief Minister and acting Chief Executive Officer.

      Even the complaint into the Acting Chief Officers actions ended up with another cover up. Sadly most of the public would rather believe the complainants are the villains and not those who transgress.

      The more senior they are then the more likely their version of events will be believed.

      Delete
  4. Rave said E cat1 July 2015 at 18:13

    Don't know what you're talking about destroyed records.

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    1. It appears that you are unaware of the removal. Both both former Heads at La Chene/Greenfields were asked by the COI to explain the loss, but neither could throw any light on the matter.

      Delete
  5. Bob,
    You say:
    "Given the seniority and of their positions in the Health and Chief Minister’s Department they would be intimidating to any current civil servant who dareS to break ranks and come forward with evidence of malpractice"
    This a well known fact throughout The States of Jersey employees.
    The majority of SOJ employees see and know of many malpractices but would not dare Whistle Blow.
    Most with a mortgage to pay and a family to support, why would, or should they dare break ranks?

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    Replies
    1. I am aware of the culture of fear which is always more evident in small communities. I would be most surprised if many current civil servants will come forward and explain how things really are.

      Delete
  6. Yes, the missing files are a big concern. The thing is, will anyone be accountable for this 21st Century 'error'? I doubt it.
    'Missing, destroyed or lost files' seem to be a common occurrence these days, with an emphasis on files that contain serious implications. e.g. the Home Office have lost 114 child abuse files which includes the names of MP's and other dignitaries associated with the 1980's Westminster pedophile ring. That's a delivery van of files, not just the odd ripped out page. And it's not just child abuse. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are at it too, loosing UK files relating to USA rendition flights and claiming they were water damaged. Are we talking 21st Century? Yes.
    It's mind boggling that authorities clamp down on little people to the 'eth degree for incredibly petty errors while those in positions of authority get away with gargantuan 'errors' without even a scratch on their gold plated pensions.
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/05/lost-child-abuse-files-home-office (Child abuse files lost at Home Office spark fears of cover-up) and http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/09/files-uk-role-cia-rendition-destroyed-diego-garcia-water-damage (Files on UK role in CIA rendition accidentally destroyed, says minister)

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  7. Bob,

    Given that the names of these two employees are already in the public domain, there should be no concern about naming them. Their names and current roles have been reported on the BBC website and in the Jersey Evening Post.

    They are Richard Jouault and Tony Le Sueur.

    Here's the BBC link:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-29043781

    And here's the JEP link:
    http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2014/09/01/independence-of-historical-abuse-inquiry-could-be-undermined-warns-politician/

    The text of the BBC article is:

    "Civil servants' role in Jersey abuse inquiry questioned

    A decision to appoint two senior social service managers to support the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry has been criticised.

    In an email, Deputy Roy le Herrisier said Richard Jouault and Tony Le Sueur, should remain "totally detached" as their department was being scrutinised.

    It is at the centre of a probe into historical child abuse allegations.

    A States spokesman said their secondment to help locate records for the inquiry was "normal practice".

    Richard Jouault is the service's director while Tony le Sueur is policy development, governance and quality assurance manager.

    Mr Le Herrisier said: "Given that the social services department...will be in the spotlight when the report is made, it seems very odd that they have been removed from very important work to support a process where they are under the spotlight and from which they should remain totally detached."

    A statement from the inquiry team said the two men were employed by the States as part of a "dedicated internal team" to handle requests from the inquiry for evidence.
    ​​
    A States of Jersey spokesman said it was standard procedure for civil servants to help gather States records in such circumstances."

    The text of the JEP article is:

    "Independence of historical abuse inquiry could be undermined, warns politician

    MOVING two of Health’s most senior civil servants to help gather evidence for the historical abuse inquiry could undermine its independence, a long-serving politician has warned.

    Deputy Roy Le Hérissier has said the department’s decision to move two senior members of staff to support work being done for the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry through the Chief Minister’s Department ‘raises questions’.

    This week, following news that the director of Children’s Services, Phil Dennett, was leaving his role, the Health Department announced that the director of Community and Social Services, Richard Jouault, would help collate evidence for the inquiry on behalf of the Chief Minister’s Department.

    The department also said that he would be joined by policy development, governance and quality assurance manager for Children’s Services, Tony Le Sueur.

    However, Deputy Le Hérissier believes that the States should not be involved with the inquiry while it is ongoing.

    He says that as the Social Services and Children’s Services departments are likely to feature in the panel’s report, it is concerning that Mr Jouault and Mr Le Sueur have been moved to help the inquiry.

    Deputy Le Hérissier said: ‘Given that Social Services is one of the main bodies under scrutiny it seems very odd that two key players have been moved to the Chief Minister’s Department to support the inquiry."

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your very helpful comment which I hope our reader at 03.59 below will read.

      I agree with the former Deputy Le Herissier.

      I can understand that during Hearings the COI might require documents but there is no need for highly paid civil servants to spend all day at Hearings just in case documentation is requested.

      Delete
    2. Mr Le Herissier makes very good points but has he given evidence to the care inquiry?

      Delete
    3. I know he has not done so, so far and I don't know if he is a witness, but the COI will have copies of all the relevant Reports.

      Delete
  8. So much negativity with unhelpful conspiracy and you wonder why Bloggers are banned from the Press Room.
    Can't you let the COI get on with its Terms of Reference and stop whining until its over? When people say they do not want this process influenced it seems ironic that the same people are doing their best to influence it online.

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    1. Oh dear, where have you been and what are you reading or better still not reading?

      Take off your blinkered spectacles and try reading this blog and the Comments above where you will see undisputed fact, some of it brought to light by the COI.

      Delete
    2. As senior managers perhaps they made the decision to pay themselves their own salaries.

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    3. Sorry but I don't think that such a suggestion is possible.

      Delete
    4. Bob - I would suggest to Anonymous at 3.59 that he/she attends the Public Hearings or reads the transcripts of evidence that are readily available on line before he/she passes any sort of judgement.

      Bob is not being negative in any way, shape or form and is only assessing the evidence that has been heard by the CoI, which becomes more 'enlightening' as the hearings go on.

      A lot of interesting and disturbing evidence is coming to light, and nobody as I see it is trying to 'influence' it. As Bob so rightly says, get those blinkers off and get on down there if you are so interested.

      Delete
    5. RE. 3:59am & 9:50am, please see:
      http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.com/2015/06/mario-lundy-and-stuart-syvret-at-jersey.html?showComment=1435865835218#c8093588336415245304

      Good to see other readers spotting the 'lowest percentile' trolling at 3:59 in the morning.
      I may be wrong but I suspect that it was the same 'gentleman' up at 9:50 next morning contributing more inane fog "As senior managers perhaps they made the decision to pay themselves their own salaries"
      and five minutes later at 09:55 on VFC's blog it appears to even start having a discussion with itself :
      "So much tittle tattle..........." 03:52am
      "Its not tittle tattle..............." 09:55am

      Hilarious !

      If they actually have a point to make we would be grateful if they made it.

      Delete
    6. There are always a few sad people around who gain pleasure from sniping at those who have a different view, I agree with the comment above and would welcome something constructive from our blinkered friend.

      Delete
  9. Roy Le Herrissier was part of a Scrutiny panel that reported on The Coordination of Services for Vulnerable Children in 2008. The report slated social services and recommended an urgent investigation into social services management. this never took place but Roy would have been aware.One of the men was in charge of Chhildren Service at the time ,This report needs looking at again. how many reports have we had highlighting serious failures in the system? recently there has been the Scottish Care Report into failings in the Care Homes and the critical report into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. What do you have to get fired?

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    1. There have been a number of very efficient Scrutiny Reviews conducted with very pertinent recommendations which have been ignored.

      I was an enthusiastic supporter of Scrutiny when it was first set up and a Panel Chairman. However it soon became apparent that Scrutiny had no teeth and unlike the Executive where there is solidarity, too many Chairmen were looking at Scrutiny as a step to a Ministerial positions, did not want to the rock the boat or even support other Chairmen if they lodged propositions.

      One only has to read Rico Sorda's latest blog to see that regretfully Scrutiny is now very much a waste of time and money.

      Delete
  10. Bob, wasn't Tony Le Sueur involved with CAHMS and after a damming scrutiny report got moved sideways?

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    1. Yes he was. He is also a long time friend and colleague of witness 7 and was also his line manager at one time , currently he is saying that witness 7 is innocent, the accusations are all lies. If he was attending sitting in a privileged seat during the testimony of the survivors this was most inappropriate

      Delete
  11. As a long term member of staff of Les Chenes school who worked there during the Kathy Bull & transition to Greenfields era I can tell you exactly what happened to the missing documents. They were destroyed by the incoming Head of Care during August and September of 2003 when he thought that the best way to establish his regime was simply to throw away as much Les Chenes material as possible into a large skip. This included fixtures and fittings,library books, pupils artwork, and of course those documents. As he was unwilling/unable to communicate with the Les Chenes staff, the loss of the documents did not come to light until Operation Rectangle in 2008. Staff from Les Chenes would have been delighted had they been found as they would have provided and excellent contemporaneous account of how young people were treated in Les Chenes school. So there was never a conspiracy regarding the loss of these documents, it was down to the thoughtless action of a new appointee - who incidentally lasted approximately 8 weeks before quitting through stress, apparently. As to the Kathy Bull reports - the first one was simply to look at the running of Les Chenes school and nothing else. As a result of this report HMI Bull was commissioned to produce a further report into the SEBD provision right across the Island, which she duly did in considerable depth. Anyone taking the time to read both reports will see that the Les Chenes section of the second report is very similar indeed to the initial one. In no sense at all is it a watered down version, in fact if anything the second Bull Report is more damning as it examines the entire provision, not just one establishment. So for all the conspiracy theorists out there, sorry but there's nothing to report here. Do your homework and read the material before making judgements.

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    1. Thank you for your explanation above.

      If as you say that not only documents, but also fittings, library books, artwork etc were removed its surprising the matter did not come light until 2008, particularly as the Head left so soon after the removal.

      As mentioned in my blog I did read both reports and said they were revealing but the second Report made for more comfortable reading. I stand by that Comment.

      The removal of objects to establish a new regime reminded me of Brian Clough’s first few days at Leeds United in which he did something similar including removing photographs of successful teams, which did not go down with the players and staff. His regime only lasted 44 days.

      Delete
    2. The missing documents did not come to light for.so.long as the skip was removed by the contractors and following the resignation of the Head of Care there was a chaotic period during which an interim management team took over, then a temporary appointee, following which in 2006 Simon Bellwood was appointed to manage the newly built Greenfields. Because of all the changes nobody thought to enquire as to exactly what had been destroyed. When staff needed to refer to these records for Operation Rectangle they were found to be missing and the only conclusion was that they had gone into the skip.

      Delete
    3. @18:02 Can we assume that you are the same commenter as above @20:30 ?

      20:30 says "I can tell you exactly what happened to the missing documents"............ "So there was never a conspiracy regarding the loss of these documents"

      18:02 says "When staff needed to refer to these records for Operation Rectangle they were found to be missing and the only conclusion was that they had gone into the skip."


      ...................right, so it is only an ASSUMPTION that the missing records went in the skip ?????

      Just one has to ask as abuse did happen (and in some states institutions this was sexual abuse, including some of the most bestial nature.)


      Now, sexual abuse aside, please remind us what happened to Simon Bellwood when he objected to the abuse and dangerous and illegal practises he came across. How was this not a conspiracy???

      BTW, Thank you for commenting. It is valuable to have a view of both sides of the story and people should not forget that there were some good people working in children's services, and many just doing their best. Please continue to comment and readers please try not to be judgemental.

      Delete
    4. Thanks to both of you for your contributions and it’s good to have two intelligent opposing views. Getting rid of confidential documents is not advisable because once out of your control, you have no idea where they may end up. Shredding is by far the better option.

      Until the incoming Head admits to removing the documents or the real culprit comes forward, the removal will always be open to speculation.

      Delete
    5. Not about Stuart. About Greenfields:

      http://simonbellwood.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/stuart-syvret-my-opinion.html


      "he [Syvret] responded as you would expect from a Politician.






      With integrity, respect and an open mind."

      [ That's actually very witty :-) ]

      Delete
  12. Bob.

    Alleged rape victim attempted to take her own life after experiencing THE JERSEY WAY.

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  13. Simon Bellwood has been giving evidence to the CoI

    His blog makes interesting reading

    http://simonbellwood.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/intro.html

    It looks as if it was Bellwood's appeal for help to Health Minister Syvret which alerted him to the Dickensian attitude to child welfare and child protection.

    They had to get rid of Syvret because he saw through the lies of the responsible civil servants and started making his own inquries.

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    1. Syvret was voted out of his position by the Assembly after a debate on his behaviour after e-mailing civil servants. Lets at least try and keep to the facts.

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    2. If you know the facts, you will know it was not just down to emailing civil servants.

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  14. It would have been helpful if Simon had answered some of the questions asked in his blogs Comments. However the whistleblowing was a huge step in unfolding the abuse and cover ups which now come to light.

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  15. It is good to hear Deputy Mike Higgins is back at work following his illness and that he has lodged the question below which will be asked at the States Sitting on Tuesday.

    “Will the Chief Minister explain why two officers, appointed to liaise with the Committee of Inquiry for document provision, are present at the majority of hearings and explain how their normal duties are being covered, at what cost, and where the budget has been allocated from, and whether any concerns have been expressed regarding the potential impact of the attendance at hearings?”

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  16. These questions are a waste of time and you know that.
    The questionnaire is always fobbed off.

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  17. If you have read this blog you will realise that the questions are really relevant. Being fobbed off is par for the course but will not stop good members like Deputy Higgins from seeking answers.

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  18. Mike Higgins is one states member that is not afraid to ask difficult questions ,unlike some politicians who are more concerned about their seats than the people who put them there. If only we had more states members like him

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