Thursday, 10 January 2019

Compare and Contrast

The Times has apparently published a leading article  which calls for the head of the civil service in Scotland to be sacked over the government's mishandling of two sexual harassment complaints against the former first minister, Alex Salmond.

Which led to the following conversation on Twitter earlier today.

 5 hours ago

The Times calls for the resignation of Leslie Evans over botched investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Alex Salmond. Argues that Nicola Sturgeon should have sacked her.

In her handling of the Alex Salmond investigation, Scotland’s most senior civil servant is guilty of an egregious lapse of judgment and she should be sacked, argues today's leading article

Mark Irvine 

Interesting - yet not a single head has rolled in Glasgow City Council where senior officials have made a dog’s dinner of equal pay, defended discriminatory pay arrangements for years and run up an enormous equal pay bill which will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions to settle!

Yeah, that's because the Labour councilors responsible got voted out.

Mark Irvine   Replying to @JRingpiece @KennyFarq @alexmassie

Many of the Labour councillors are still there, but the senior officials - the highly paid professionals who gave the Council such awful advice are still in post - and somewhat incredibly the SNP-led council is now defending their track record.

I'll have more to say when I've been able to read the piece in The Times, but if you ask me the Scottish Government's failings are as nothing, compared to the scandal over equal pay in Glasgow which has harmed the lives of thousands of low paid workers and will cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds to settle.


Compare and Contrast (09/01/19)

Alex Salmond is never 'backward about coming forward' especially on his own behalf, so I read his comments on his recent court victory over the Scottish Government with great interest.

Here's an extract of what Alex had to say and his full comments can be read via the link below to The Daily Record.

"As a result, Leslie Evans, the Permanent Secretary, has wasted huge amounts of public money in and incompetent attempt to enforce an unlawful process.

"Now having incurred those costs to the pubic purse, she has collapsed the case prior to a full hearing.

"......the Scottish Government's conduct in this case as an institution has unquestionably lacked candour.

"Officials repeatedly failed to disclose documents to the Court which were of central importance.

"Those documents ultimately made clear the apparent bias and procedural unfairness which has only now been admitted."

In essence Alex has called for the head of the civil service to resign or to be sacked which I suspect is unlikely to happen because the irregularities involved are 'procedural' rather than about the merits of his case.

But compare what's going on in the Scottish Government to what's been going on in Scotland's largest council, where senior officials have been fighting tooth and nail to defend Glasgow's WPBR pay scheme for years, even after the WPBR had been condemned as 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court.

The same group of officials are also unwilling to 'come clean' over their role in the WPBR and are refusing my FoI requests which would hold them properly to account, in my view, by releasing important WPBR documents into the public domain.

Just what do they have to hide?

Compare and Contrast (08/01/19)

The head of Scotland's civil service apologises, and rightly so, for a flaw in the procedure under which complaints of harassment against Alex Salmond were investigated.

Compare and contrast this swift apology with the behaviour of senior officials in Glasgow who have never expressed any regret for defending the Council's 'unfit for purpose' WPBR pay scheme for 12 long years.

Up to and including a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt (in December 2017) to overturn the Court of Session's 'unfit for purpose' judgement by appealing this decision to the UK Supreme Court in London.

The court's decision in Alex Salmond's case is based on the doctrine of 'clean hands', i.e. that a person investigating a complaint should not have prior knowledge or involvement in the case to avoid accusations of taint or prejudice.

So let me remind readers of what I had to say yesterday about my FOI Request regarding Glasgow City Council's WPBR pay scheme.

And just to add a final 'Alice in Wonderland' touch to proceedings, sharp-eyed readers may notice that the Council's initial response has been sent "On behalf of Carole Forrest, Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council" - and that the FOI Review process is also conducted by 'Carole Forrest, Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council'.

As they say, you couldn't make this up.