Deputy Trott quickly cleared of code breach
A SENIOR deputy has been cleared of breaching the States members’ Code of Conduct.
Deputy Lyndon Trott was said to have breached the code during his statement to the States in December last year.
The statement, delivered by Deputy Trott in his capacity as vice-president of the Policy & Resources Committee, dealt with the PwC report into air and sea links, which at that time had not been made public.
The complainant, former airline pilot Mervyn Dacey, who has written a report on improving visibility at the airport, said that Deputy Trott’s speech breached parts of the code relating to public interest, accountability, openness, leadership and public trust.
However, Deputy Trott was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing by the Code of Conduct panel, led by former deputy Judy Beaugeard, which found there was not enough substance to the complaint to warrant a full investigation.
During his speech, Deputy Trott said that P&R was not wholly in support of conclusions drawn by PwC. ‘It would be perverse to suggest that the public interest is best served by making a speech diametrically at odds to the PwC and other, previous, professional reports,’ said Mr Dacey in his submission to the panel.
And while the code says that States members must be accountable, Deputy Trott made his comments ‘whilst knowing that they have no basis in fact’, said Mr Dacey. In his opinion, this indicated a belief that there would be no need to account for them.
In addition, he said that the speech breached the code in that, in his opinion, Deputy Trott did not ‘conduct [himself] in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust’, as set out in the code.
‘It is a fundamental requirement of good governance to keep the public trust,’ said the complainant.
‘To mislead the States multiple times on such an important topic is not to do so.’
Since the PwC report was not public at the time members were unable to rebut any of Deputy Trott’s statement and those who had seen it were bound by confidentiality.
‘The question is: were these honest mistakes made in good faith, but showing a remarkable lack of knowledge of the subject (whilst purporting to have that knowledge) or calculated misrepresentations of fact designed to influence the voting process in the subsequent Aurigny and runway extension debates?’
A spokesman for the Code of Conduct Panel said the complaint was received on Tuesday.
Under normal circumstances, the subject of the complaint would not know its contents until after the chairman had taken their decision, but the complainant had forwarded it to the media and it had been passed on to Deputy Trott.