‘Fake narrative we are hiding something’
A FAKE narrative is developing that Education has something to hide over its appointment of a senior officer, the committee says.
Education, Sport & Culture says it is ‘absolutely ridiculous’ that it cannot hand over unredacted documents to Scrutiny.
A Scrutiny investigation into the controversial appointment last year of a curriculum and standards officer has stalled as a result.
‘No one is more frustrated than I am about what has become an absurd situation,’ said Education president Matt Fallaize.
‘We were advised by the States’ lawyers that data protection legislation prevented us from submitting all documents unredacted unless every data subject agreed, and not all did agree. That is why the Scrutiny Management Committee received the documents with some redactions.’
He said that a new regulation in January was supposed to help but the latest advice from the States’ lawyers was that ESC could submit the documents unredacted only if Scrutiny promised that it would not publish the material without first gaining consent from individual data subjects.
‘The SMC has not provided that undertaking. We were advised that submitting all the documents without that undertaking from the SMC would be unlawful.
‘This is immensely frustrating for our committee. We have faced the unenviable choice of either providing all the material in unredacted form and breaking the law or providing the material with redactions, as we have, and having to put up with inevitable claims that we are not being transparent.
‘It is, frankly, absolutely ridiculous for a committee of the States to find itself in this position in connection with a review being carried out by another committee of the States.’
Education says that it accepts the ‘rough and tumble of politics’.
‘But this is different. This is about a completely fake narrative that we have something to hide and that we have not co-operated with Scrutiny’s review.
‘In fact we have pushed hard to be fully transparent, but we have been thwarted in that aim and cannot provide everything the SMC would like unless they provide us with the undertaking which is required by law.’