THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT….
The following statement was written by Mr Colin Smart for use by media/survivors, re the CSA inquiry.
It is my understanding that this statement has also been sent to all mainstream media outlets.
The Resignation of Justice Goddard
This statement may be reproduced in total or in part as considered helpful to those who have survived and to the families of those who have not.
Because of other commitments I have not been in a position to check all the available published material concerning the resignation of Justice Goddard and therefore the two main points I am making may have already been already covered.
The first is that no attention appears to have been given to the terms of the contract which Justice Goddard agreed to sign following the confirmation Hearing by the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons. Below is a copy of the Contract which is available on the site of the Inquiry page 21 of the document index under Library.
I draw attention to 16 where the standard requirement of three months is stated. This means the resignation would have been accepted at the commencement of May giving Mrs May plenty of opportunity to have secured a replacement if the resignation has been submitted under 16.
It therefore can be assumed that either Justice Goddard was able to persuade Mrs May to release her because of a condition listed in paragraph 17 or Mrs May or her successor determined that the contract should be ended for reasons which are to remain confidential.
I will be surprised if the confidentiality requirement 21 will enable Justice Goddard to provide the Home Affairs Select Committee with the kind of information which the committee appears to be seeking and that apart from the present and former Home Secretaries being asked to attend the committee together with the Permanent Secretary I cannot see how any other individual employed under contract for the inquiry will be able to accept an invitation to appear or make public comment.
I have previously made the point that the appointment of a single Judge was questionable, recommending three with a reserve although at the time I never envisaged that there would be so many individual Hearings or that Hearings would commence in relation matters where there were ongoing police investigations and where it will be appreciated the Leveson Inquiry was divided into two parts with the second still to be agreed.
I also suggest it is impractical and unlikely any one individual can combine the task of managing the Inquiry overall with the chairing the individual Hearings and where, as stated, those already underway are the first tranche of what was said to be twenty-five in total covering the work strands headed by the Chairman and individual panel members.
It is noteworthy that at the opening of the most recent Preliminary Hearings the four other members of the Panel Inquiry were introduced. It is not evident from the transcript of the first Preliminary Hearings if the panel members were all present and where they were sitting. I have been surprised at the lack of attention being given to the content of the Hearings and the associated documentation which has been published by the Inquiry.
The main purpose of the Inquiry was to provide a definitive volume explaining what happened and why for each of the institutions covered. The main requirement of the victims who have survived and of the campaigners who supported them was that the final report answered the questions for each Institution of State, Church and Media: Was there a cover up which prevented prosecution and enabled further crimes to be committed, and if so was the cover up in the National and Public Interest or to protect people and avoid reputational damage to the Institution?
The process was to be comprehensive and thorough to bring closure on these issues.
Separately but included within the framework of the Inquiry is the Truth project which begs the question does this mean the Hearings are not about Truth but more about a determination of matters of fact according to the law at the time, the matters under consideration are said to have taken place. The Truth project is about enabling victim survivors where a prosecution has or is not possible, of have a continuing sense of injustice about what happened to them to tell their story including what happened to them subsequently, and in many instances what happened to their children and to their adult relationships, and to have their story recorded which was also an aim of the People’s Tribunal with which I was associated for a time. The Truth project appears to have set up in such a way that it can proceed and where the involvement of a Judge or Legal officer is not a prerequisite unless the story is to be published or the individual is to become a witness in a Hearing.
The Truth project should also provide sound data for establishing the quantity and quality of the ongoing help which the institutions should provide.
Obviously if as the work of the Inquiry progressed it became evident there were matters which should come to the attention of Government and Parliament then the terms of reference enabled this to happen but the notion that at the end of the Inquiry it would produce a magic solution to end the problems involved is even more ludicrous than the expectation that government can abolish sin.
There is need to continue to remind the words of Frank Dobson in his forward to the government response to the review and report of Sir William Utting People Like Us published in 1997 with the Government response publish over a year later in 1998 as Command Paper 4105.
Among the things he said was:
“This was not just a failure by care staff. The children had been failed by social service managers, councillors, police, schools, neighbours, the Social Services Inspectorate, Government Departments, Ministers, and Parliament. Some people from all these categories and institutions had worked hard to do a good job for these children but too many did not. The whole system had failed “
He also said:
“Additional resources are being made available. There can be no more excuses. “
Coinciding with the publication of the Government response the Secretary of State for Health made a statement to the House of Commons and which was repeated by Baroness Hayman in the House of Lords (November 5th 1998). The present Speaker of the House of Commons established that the £450 million being spent over 3 years was new money while the former Secretary of State, Virginia, now Baroness Bottomley, pointed out the problem was intractable.
What happened next also merits reminding. The Member for Sunderland South Chris Mullin, then chaired the Home Affairs Committee on which also sat former Prime Minister David Cameron and the present Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, together with David Winnick who remains a member of the Committee. They inquired into the conduct of investigations into past cases of abuse in children’s homers HC 836-1 printed 22nd October 2002 and recommended that further police investigations should not take place unless authorised by a Judge.
On June 30th, a month ago, the House of Lords passed the following motion “That this House takes note of the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of historical child abuse.” I am yet to write to those participating in the debate in support of the need for due process standards but also reminding of the history of cover up and protectionism
It may be coincidence that it was in the autumn of 2012 Tom Watson asked David Cameron at PMQ’s the question which kicked off the current level of police investigations which led to the political clamour for an Inquiry and where the noble Lord Norman Tebbit explained on the Andrew Marr programme the day before the Home Secretary on behalf of the Government surrendered to the pressure for the Inquiry in 2014 that the British Way of cover up had such disastrous results.
In January 2014 after meeting Dr Liz Davies and Peter McKelvie and learning of their group with Tom Watson I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education, unaware that the Home Secretary led the Ministerial Group, supporting the government view that the first priority was the police investigations and re-investigations and that complaints about how the police dealt with previous allegations should be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, itself in the process of reform. I supported what has become the Truth project and I urged the collation and securing all relevant documentation.
At my meeting with Dr Davies and Mr McKelvie because they mentioned excluding someone brought by Tom Watson to one of their meetings, I believed it was appropriate to mention that I had led the questioning of the individual during the Gates Inquiry and where I had authored the majority report. I had not discussed or mentioned my authorship of the report since a private meeting arranged at his request with Sir William Utting at which he requested I wrote to the then Secretary of State, and it was only later in 2014 that the Spectator drew my attention to the 1993 article by Auberon Waugh which attempted to explain the different perspectives of the two reports and mentioned that I had authored one of the reports, although in fact the two non-lawyer colleagues had rewritten the report given my difficulties with the written language and one had the brilliant idea of summarising the 100 or so instances where had different actions and choices been made a child may still be living.
On January 2nd 2014 I was able to advise Dr Davies and Mr McKelvie that the individual mentioned (based solely on that experience several decades before) was a person of great professional integrity and therefore I was not surprised when the Home Secretary appointed the individual to the first panel inquiry and was disappointed when the individual did not continue to assist the subsequent Inquires.
For separate and important reasons, I provided the main commissioning authority for the Gates Inquiry with information, including the publication by a third party on the site Cathy Fox (not a person) the communication prepared by a Secretary of State to then Prime Minister and which I believe was for onward transmission to the Palace. This communication does not contain information which was disclosed to me before the inquiry commenced and where the Chairman in his report and I and my colleagues did not disclose in the majority report it was not in the Public Interest to do so.
The information provided Bexley Council enable them to determine the best approach to the request for republication of the two reports which are available to be read at the Bexley Public Library.
To emphasise the importance of the need for a meaningful sense of justice for victim survivors and all those directly involved in these traumatic and life destroying events, some thirty years later I was asked to assist one the surviving children with information who now has a separate name, and only within the past weeks, a crucial witness contacted for information whose life had remained affected by what happened and where I hope I was able to bring one mind to rest.
In 1991 the Editor of a local newspaper contacted about matters which had arisen before by appointment and which had been verified with my predecessor. I agreed to investigate and eventually reported what I found to the police and to the appropriate Secretary of State through her officials and subsequently directly.
I wrote to the editor at the time after meeting his deputy and as I repeated to the Secretary of State for Education in January 2014 that we should all be governed, particularly the media, by concern that it what is said does not trigger or cause victims to go through what happened to them again and again with traumatic consequences, and that we had also to be mindful that publicity is likely to adversely affect present day children in public care.
Further it is difficult enough coping with the realities of our individual lives, families and friends without taking on the responsibility for coping with the difficulties of others. The child care officer of the past as those of today have an impossible to achieve task and general assaults on them will not help and is likely to do greater damage. When we look into the abyss, the abyss looks into us.
However, the question also remains Who guards the guardians? When politicians, the Government and our parliament fail to do this then responsibility must rest with a free media.
Colin J Smart 6th August 2016
TERMS OF APPOINTMENT FOR THE CHAIR OF
THE INDEPENDENT PANEL INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
This document sets out the principal terms and conditions of your appointment as the Chair of the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Name of Appointee
1. Hon Justice Lowell Goddard
Period of Appointment
2. Your appointment will be for the duration of the Inquiry, commencing on 6 April 2015. This will be a fixed term appointment for an initial period to 1 December 2018, unless terminated early in accordance with paragraphs 16 and 17 below. This appointment can be extended for a further period if this is mutually agreed by both you and the Home Office.
Job Title and Responsibilities
3. Your main responsibilities are to chair the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the draft Terms of Reference for which are set out at Annex A. Please note that the Home Secretary in consultation with you may amend these Terms of Reference at any point during the term of your appointment.
4. You are not an employee of the Home Office. Accordingly, nothing in this document shall be construed as, or taken to create, a contract of employment between you and the Home Office or Her Majesty’s Government.
5. You will receive a salary of E360,000 per annum, El 10,000 per annum rental allowance, El 2,000 per annum utilities’ allowance, less any necessary deductions. These sums will be paid in equal monthly instalments in arrears to your bank or building society, save for the rental allowance which will be paid in equal monthly instalments in advance.
6. Your salary will be reviewed annually by the Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, on or about 6 April in each year of your appointment.
Tax, Expenses and Subsistence
7. All of your remuneration will be subject to the normal United Kingdom tax requirements, and subject to deduction of income tax and Earnings Related
National Insurance Contributions (ERNIC) at source under the PAYE scheme.
8. The Home Office will cover the cost of four return fly hts from the UK to New Zealand per year for yourself and your husband
The Home Office will also cover the cost of two return econom fli hts per year from New Zealand to the UK for our immediate famil
9. The Home Office will reimburse all reasonable expenses (including travel and other expenses) in line with Home Office policies for employees and which are properly and necessarily incurred in respect of your appointment.
1 0. The Home Office will provide you with a car and driver to be used for official travel only.
11. Your appointment to the role is not pensionable.
12. To comply with HM Treasury’s Resource Accounts Manual, you should note that the Home Office may be required to disclose your remuneration in its annual accounts.
13. You will be expected to work 5 days per week. It may occasionally be necessary to work additional hours for which there will no additional compensation.
14. You will be entitled to 30 days of annual leave per annum.
15. Your main place of work will be Millbank Tower, Westminster, London SWIP 4QP although this may be changed on reasonable notice.
16. You may resign at any time by giving 3 months’ written notice to the Home Secretary. If you have given written notice, the Home Secretary may, at his/her absolute discretion, elect to terminate your appointment earlier than on the expiry of your notice period.
17. The Home Secretary may also at any time terminate your appointment if s/he
is satisfied that:
(a) on the ground that, by reason of physical or mental illness or for any other reason, you are unable to carry out the duties of chairman;
(b) on the ground that you have failed to comply with any duty imposed on you by the Inquiries Act 2005;
(c) on the ground that you have —
(i) a direct interest in the matters to which the inquiry relates, or (ii) a close association with an interested party,
such that your membership of the inquiry panel could reasonably be regarded as affecting its impartiality;
(d) on the ground that since your appointment, you have been guilty of any misconduct that makes you unsuited to membership of the inquiry panel.
Code of Conduct
18. Your conduct should be in accordance with the Nolan Report
Recommendations, ‘The Seven Principles of Public Life’ (see Annex B). The code covers, amongst other things, the corporate and individual responsibilities of Public Appointees, agreed restrictions on political activities and disclosure of Public Appointees’ financial interests.
19. You must declare any personal or business interests, which may, or may be perceived (by a reasonable member of the public) to influence your judgment in performing your responsibilities. Conflicts of interest may arise from financial interests and more broadly from official dealings with, or decisions in respect of, individuals who share your private interests.
20. All information on potential conflicts of interest will be held by the Home Office HR and could be disclosed to the public under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In entering into this agreement and accepting this appointment you thereby consent to this retention and disclosure.
Confidentiality / use of official information
21. You are required to exercise the same care in the use of official information that you acquire in the course of your responsibilities, that is required from officials employed in the Civil Service. You are subject to section 1(1) of the Official Secrets Act 1989.
22. You must not disclose any information which is confidential in nature or which is provided in confidence without the authority of the Home Secretary.
23. Unauthorised disclosure of any information gained in the course of your appointment, or its use by you for personal gain or advancement, could result in your appointment being terminated with immediate effect and/or criminal prosecution.
24. The requirements in this clause apply both during the term of your appointment and after your appointment has terminated.
25. In accordance with s.37 of the Inquiries Act 2005, as a member of the inquiry panel no action lies against you in respect of any act done or omission made in the execution of your duty as such, or any act done or omission made in good faith in the purported execution of your duty as such.
Gifts and Hospitality
26. You are expected to ensure that any acceptance of gifts and hospitality can stand up to public scrutiny. Gifts should be declined wherever possible, and any offers should be reported to the Secretary to the Inquiry.
27. Where it would be ungracious or otherwise difficult not to accept, you should inform the Secretary to the Inquiry of the gift, the estimated value and the donor and ensure that a record is placed in the Home Office’s hospitality register. Similarly, care must be taken to ensure that no extravagance is involved with working lunches and other social occasions held in relation to carrying out your responsibilities.
28. You are requested to sign this document to confirm your acceptance of these terms and conditions.
hereby agree to the above terms and conditions.
. on behalf of the Home Office
Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
Terms of Reference
1 . To consider the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed; to identify further action needed to address any failings identified; to consider the steps which it is necessary for State and non-State institutions to take in order to protect children from such abuse in future; and to publish a report with recommendations.
2. In doing so to:
(a) Consider all the information which is available from the various published and unpublished reviews, court cases, and investigations which have so far concluded;
(b) Consider the experience of survivors of child sexual abuse; providing opportunities for them to bear witness to the Inquiry, having regard to the need to provide appropriate support in doing so;
(c) Consider whether State and non-State institutions failed to identify such abuse and/or whether there was otherwise an inappropriate institutional response to allegations of child sexual abuse and/or whether there were ineffective child protection procedures in place;
(d) Advise on any further action needed to address any institutional protection gaps within current child protection systems on the basis of the findings and lessons learnt from this inquiry;
(e) Disclose, where appropriate and in line with security and data protection protocols, any documents which were considered as part of the inquiry;
(f) Liaise with ongoing inquiries, including those currently being conducted in Northern Ireland and Scotland, with a view to (a) ensuring that relevant information is shared, and (b) identifying any State or non-State institutions with child protection obligations that currently fall outside the scope of the present Inquiry and those being conducted in the devolved jurisdictions;
(g) Produce regular reports, and an interim report by the end of 201 8; and
(h) Conduct the work of the Inquiry in as transparent a manner as possible, consistent with the effective investigation of the matters falling within the terms of reference, and having regard to all the relevant duties of confidentiality.
3. State and non-State institutions. Such institutions will, for example, include: (a) Government departments, the Cabinet Office, Parliament and Ministers;
(b) Police, prosecuting authorities, schools including private and state-funded boarding and day schools, specialist education (such as music tuition), Local Authorities (including care homes and children’s services), health services, and prisons/secure estates;
(c) Churches and other religious denominations and organisations;
(d) Political Parties; and
(e) The Armed Services.
4. The Inquiry will cover England and Wales. Should the Inquiry identify any material relating to the devolved administrations, it will be passed to the relevant authorities;
5. The Inquiry will not address allegations relating to events in the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies. However, any such allegations received by the Inquiry will be referred to the relevant law enforcement bodies in those jurisdictions;
6. For the purposes of this Inquiry “child” means anyone under the age of 18. However, the panel will consider abuse of individuals over the age of 18, if that abuse started when the individual was a minor.
7. The Inquiry will have full access to all the material it seeks.
8. Any allegation of child abuse received by the Inquiry will be referred to the Police;
9. All personal and sensitive information will be appropriately protected; and will be made available only to those who need to see it; and
10. It is not part of the Inquiry’s function to determine civil or criminal liability of named individuals or organisations. This should not, however, inhibit the Inquiry from reaching findings of fact relevant to its terms of reference.
THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC LIFE
The principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in the civil service, local government, the police, courts and probation services, NDPBs, and in the health, education, social and care services. All public office-holders are both servants of the public and stewards of public resources. The principles also have application to all those in other sectors delivering public services.
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.