Friday 14 February 2020
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture tried hard to find a lawful way to provide full and complete material to the Scrutiny review into the appointment of the Head of Curriculum & Standards.
Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:
"No one is more frustrated than I am about what has become an absurd situation. 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.
"A new Regulation was made in January which was supposed to help. Since then we have been advised by the States' lawyers that we could lawfully submit all documents unredacted but only if the SMC provided an undertaking that it would not publish the material without first gaining consent from individual data subjects; this is a requirement of the new Regulation. 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.
"Our Committee accepts the rough and tumble of politics and respects the opinions of those who hold different views on policies and the issues of the day. 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."