It’s easy to lose count of the times the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) haven’t done what they said they would do.
They seem to be world class at stalling for time for no real reason other than it seems systemic.
But as I told you before, monitors record everything, what we see and what we hear; just the facts, no opinion, no interpretation, no spin.
Would you like a snippet of what we know so far?
Of course you would…
What they said they would do
What they actually did or didn’t do
|IMB Secretariat: “We will do everything we can to make sure the investigation moves swiftly, so that the situation can be resolved as quickly as possible. (1st June) I should also note that this does not affect the investigation into the concerns you raised about bullying by other IMB members -that will continue as normal, and will also report as soon as possible.”||“Swiftly”? “Quickly”? Still waiting and here we are on 11th July.|
|In his letter dated 26 May 2016 the Prisons Minister said he wanted a quick investigation.||“Quick”? Today’s 11th July and I still haven’t been interviewed by Iuliiana Best, the MOJ investigator.|
|MOJ: “We may need to ask you for further information in order to process your request in line with the legislation and officials from the Secretariat will be in touch about this.” (21st June)||IMB: No official from the IMB Secretariat contacted me
MOJ: I can confirm that we require no further information from you to process this and you will get a response shortly. (29th June)
|MOJ: “I hope to be able to update you on the investigation into the allegation of bullying soon.” (21st June)||“Soon”? The bullying took place on 19th April, I was interviewed by MOJ on 9th May, investigator Sandra Marcantonio emailed me on 13th June to let me know the IMB Secretariat had already been sent the report.|
|MOJ: “As Andrew Selous made clear in his letter to you he asked for the investigation to be completed as a matter of urgency.” (29th June)||“Urgency”? Letter arrived on 1st June and here we are on 11th July.|
|MOJ: “When the investigation into the bullying complaint is complete the investigator’s report will be sent to you together with the outcome of the investigation. Again we hope to complete this shortly.” (29th June)||“Shortly”? It’s now 11th July.|
You get the picture.
There’s more where that came from but suffice to say it seems I’m being led a merry dance by the Minister and by the department under his charge.
Remember, these people are all collecting a salary for what they do whereas I’m an unpaid volunteer. It’s you, the taxpayer, footing the bill for them stringing it all out. There’s nothing I gain from it.
My previous blog [I used to be ‘IN’ but now I’m ‘OUT’] talked about a “war of attrition”.
That seems to have struck a chord with many of you. Since writing that, numerous people have contacted me to tell me about very similar experiences they’ve had with IMB Secretariat and with MOJ delay tactics.
But, as I’ve said before, I’m not playing those games. It’s neither the time nor the place for silly games. And frankly I just don’t have the time.
That’s one of the reasons that it’s now appropriate to call a halt to this nonsense and to place a time cap on the MOJ for a reply.
No more “swiftly”.
No more “soon”.
No more “shortly”.
What MOJ needs to do
They need to answer my repeated requests for copies of :
- the report by Sandra Marcantonio submitted to the IMB Secretariat which is the first investigation into how I was treated on 19th April 2016 at the HBIMB Board Meeting, as well as
- the report by the IMB Secretariat submitted to the Prisons Minister which brought about my suspension pending investigation being conducted by Iuliiana Best.
To save their embarrassment, the deadline will be reasonable and oh-so-easy to achieve.
Should I not receive a straight reply with unredacted copies of the two reports by 19th July (i.e. four clear calendar months since this conspiracy against me first raised it’s ugly head) then I think I’ll be organising a visit to Petty France to collect the two reports, in person, along with members of the press and possibly a large body of parties interested in prison reform.
They will be infinitely more “noisy” about the failings of the IMB, the MOJ and the Minister than I ever could be alone.
But I’m not alone.