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ESC has handed over unredacted documents, just not to Scrutiny

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EVERY political member of Education, Sport & Culture has disclosed emails, notes and other documents they hold in connection to the appointment of the head of curriculum and standards, the committee has said, but not to the body reviewing the process.

(Picture by Adrian Miller, 26558402)

Scrutiny president Deputy Chris Green said his committee had been frustrated by the delays in receiving the relevant documentation for an independent review into the appointment process after asking for it in August.

Policy & Resources has handed over redacted information.

A spokesman for Education said that in accordance with data protection requirements, all members of the committee have given their unqualified permission for the information they hold to be used for the purposes of the Scrutiny review.

Committee members said they have submitted the papers to its office and to the Law Officers, with no omissions or redactions.

Education president Matt Fallaize said since Scrutiny announced its review, the committee has been eager to provide everything it holds and to redact or omit nothing.

‘The week before last I wrote to Deputy Chris Green, asking him to identify an officer of the SMC or a reviewer to whom our full set of unredacted papers could be provided,’ Deputy Fallaize said.

‘[Scrutiny] has not yet identified how this could be done in a way which is lawful and in particular does not breach data protection legislation or the employers’ duty of confidentiality to employees.

‘Therefore, mindful of Scrutiny’s deadline for the papers to be submitted, we provided them to officers at ESC and to the Law Officers who are completely independent of the committee.’

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Lawyers’ advice was that the papers need to be redacted because some participants – not members of the committee but others – have not given permission for their personal data to be disclosed for the purposes of the SMC review.

Law Officers offered to work through Education’s papers and make the necessary redactions.

‘We hope to receive the redacted papers imminently and then we will submit them to Scrutiny, but we will still work with Scrutiny to try and find a way of submitting them in an unredacted way,’ Deputy Fallaize said.

‘We have nothing to hide and we would rather every word of every email and every document be available to Scrutiny’s reviewer. If a way can be found to do this we can provide the unredacted papers immediately because they have been held at the office of ESC for nearly two weeks.’

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The States rejected Scrutiny’s request for a tribunal of inquiry into the matter.

That would have had formal powers to gather evidence and compel witnesses to cooperate.

The investigation will examine whether there was undue political interference in the procedure, which unfolded with resignation threats from Deputy Fallaize after, it was claimed, his preferred pick was not chosen by the appointment panel.

The HR representative so disgusted with the process resigned and the successful local candidate pulled out after accepting the job and putting plans in place for it.

Problems with the appointment only came to light after an email from Deputy Fallaize was obtained by the Guernsey Press.

Subsequently some of those on the appointment panel have also gone public with concerns.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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