Monday 05 August 2013
On Friday 2 August 2013, in the States of Deliberation, Deputy Garry Collins referred to "Simon Elliott's secret SAP reports."
The Minister immediately advised the Assembly that "there are no 'secret reports' on SAP. As Deputy Collins will be aware from his time as a member of the Treasury & Resources Board and as the political member of the SAP Project Board since election and for the majority of the implementation, there have been, as you would expect, a number of normal project reports on SAP prepared as part of the project management to aid the project board in delivery and as part of the gateway review process."
The facts are that on 2 May 2013, the SAP-STSC Project Senior Responsible Officer, Simon Elliott, received a report entitled 'PMO Review - Operations and Benefit Realisation'. This report was commissioned as part of the States standard 'gateway' review, which is itself a normal part of the project management process. It was prepared by ACK Management Consulting Limited, an independent third party to provide objective analysis and assist the project team in effectively delivering the project. As a formal gateway report, this was considered by the Project Board on 8 May 2013, the full Board of T&R at their meeting on 14 May 2013 and also by Policy Council at their meeting on 3 June 2013 as the SAP-STSC project falls under the FTP and Policy Council provides the political lead. The review's recommendations were accepted in full, and each recommendation is being or has been implemented. Internal operational project management reports such as this one are not ordinarily placed in the public domain.
In the Assembly, Deputy Collins referred to but did not quote from the section of the review in which the author - not the States, which in this case is the client - noted the confidentiality of the report, its use and its wider distribution. Nor did Deputy Collins acknowledge that those who had contributed their views to the report had done so having been assured that they were doing so on a confidential basis.
The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Gavin St Pier said:
"In referring to a 'secret report', Deputy Collins appeared to be implying that something had been hidden. In this case, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the review had not been shared with all those with whom it should have been shared. In view of the misleading comments made by Deputy Collins in the States, I will ask my Board and Policy Council to consider the possibility of publishing all or part of the report. I will clearly explain the basis of any decision we reach."
"When the Board considered the report earlier this year, Deputy Collins was present and he did not, at that time, argue for a wider circulation of the report."
"The Members' Code of Conduct is quite clear that confidential information including Departmental papers should only be used in connection with a Member's duties. Whilst it may be good practice for a Member to return Departmental papers when their role has ceased - such as Deputy Collins ceasing to provide the political lead on the SAP-STSC Project Board when he resigned from the Department for personal reasons - there is of course no compulsion to do so. Indeed, in an era of digital storage, the practical reality is that you must rely on individuals acting professionally, ethically and in good faith."
Deputy St Pier will raise the matter of the publication of the review at meetings of the Policy Council and the Department on Monday and Tuesday this week respectively having particular regard, of course, to the Code of Practice on Access to Public Information approved by the States of Deliberation last week. There will therefore be no further comment before Wednesday.