Political storm rages on – and on
WITH everyone desperate to do the right thing, it is amazing how difficult that is proving.
The investigation into the appointment of Education’s new head of curriculum and standards is a masterclass in why government grinds so slowly and to such little effect.
Education wants to tell all. It is eager to provide chapter and verse.
Policy & Resources is similarly keen to act with ‘openness and integrity’. It wishes to comply fully and in a timely manner.
Scrutiny Management may not have wanted the job in the first place – perhaps recognising the quicksand ahead – but is now determined to make progress. Its independent external reviewer is presumably champing at the bit.
And still the weeks and months tick by with little or no tangible progress.
The glue in the works seems to be ‘data protection’. Two of the most misunderstood and misused words in governance.
It cannot have been the intention back in 1986 when Guernsey first codified the rights and freedoms of the individual over the processing of personal data that the law would prove a barrier to honest, open and timely scrutiny of government.
Yet ‘the lawyers’ have spoken and documents freely and willingly handed over may have to be redacted to avoid anybody’s rights being subverted.
Meanwhile, the individuals at the heart of a matter that should have been disposed of months ago continue under a cloud.
That includes Clare Sealy, the curriculum officer appointed in May, who, through no fault of her own, found herself at the centre of a political storm.
It includes Amanda Singleton, the HR officer who resigned in disgust at what she saw as a sham recruitment process and the candidate who was appointed but then pulled out for reasons that remain unclear.
The cloud also follows all the members of the recruitment panel and the civil servants and politicians involved in the decision-making behind the appointment.
The fallout from that appointment has now been raining down for seven months.
Regardless of the outcome of the inquiry, the States has already failed those people and failed a test of its ability to execute timely governance.