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I’m struggling to understand – Scrutiny president

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SCRUTINY Management Committee president Chris Green admitted that he was ‘struggling to understand’ one of the comments made by Home Affairs.

Home Affairs members, left to right, Deputies Mary Lowe, Marc Leadbeater, Richard Graham and Rob Prow arrive for yesterday’s hearing. Second right is HMIC inspector Matt Parr.(Picture by Adrian Miller, 23299893)

His issue was with one of the recommendations of the HMIC report that Home needed to clarify it and Bailiwick Law Enforcement’s responsibilities for such things as strategic governance and oversight, objective and priority setting, operational direction and control, among other things.

Home had said that it accepted all the recommendations of the report. What Deputy Green said he was struggling with was how Home could dispute how HMIC reached this recommendation.

Deputy Richard Graham fielded this question initially, and said that while Home did not understand how the incidents quoted in the report led to its conclusions, they could not deny those conclusions.

‘The report suggests that you were distracted by operational minutiae at the expense of doing strategic stuff. Is that a fair point?’ asked Deputy Green.

‘I would say “not entirely”,’ replied Home president Mary Lowe. She said issues raised in the report, such as flashing cycle lights, were a small part of a meeting and came under any other business and were discussed after the main agenda of a meeting.

Strategic plans were in place, she said, but they were not going to be changed until the report came back. Had the committee not waited, she thought they would be sitting before Scrutiny answering an allegation of acting irresponsibly by acting before being given any direction.

‘We were hoping to have the report a lot sooner,’ she said.

Home was also challenged on why it had not taken any action when it received a draft of the report in May.

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Deputy Lowe said that ‘the key word here is “draft”’ and it wanted the report to be final before it could proceed.

She also added later that the dates by which most of the recommendations were to be completed, 31 January, had not been in that draft report.

Committee vice president Deputy Rob Prow said that a strategy concerning cybercrime had been put in place before the HMIC report was published. ‘The reason that came about was because imperatives were brought to us and we thought it was right and proper to make that strategic decision [at that time].’

Deputy Green said the panel wanted some assurance that the report’s recommendations would be acted on in a timely fashion, and also suggested that a follow-up report could be carried out.

Deputy Prow said the committee was committed to deliver the recommendations and to working with the new head of law enforcement to do this.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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