Saturday, October 28, 2006

Questions on answers or How to communicate economically

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the total cost of investigations and inquiries into the loss of the F. V. Gaul in 2006 prices. [96789]
Dr. Ladyman: The total cost to the Department of investigations and inquiries into the loss of the FV Gaul was £6.5 million.

No adjustment has been made for 2006 prices.

Gadfly: Perhaps Dr Ladyman should know that the Original Formal Investigation was concluded in 1974.

There appear to be some items missing from the above list. The total costs to the Department should also have included:

1. the costs of the stability and seakeeping investigations and model tests carried out for the Department by NMI and YARD between 1975 and 1978 estimated at £75,000 (in 1976 prices)

2. the costs of the two reports by Roger Clarke published in 2000. Stated to have cost the Department £50,000 at that time

3. additionally, the costs of 32 years of governmental time that has not been included in the above (political staff, technical, clerical and administrative staff, MOD, legal etc) - £1m at todays prices would not be an unreasonable evaluation!

If a simple compound interest calculation is carried out on the costs detailed above, using historical Bank Rate indices, then a figure of £10m at 2006 prices is obtained!

See also: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/columnists/columnists.html?in_article_id=371759&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=244

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards the implementation of the formal safety recommendations arising from the F. V. Gaul Re-opened Formal Investigation. [96790]

Dr. Ladyman: It is considered that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the recommendations have been implemented.

Gadfly: The four formal safety recommendations have not been implemented.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any evidence of a design fault in the construction and arrangement of the duff and offal chutes on the trawler F. V. Gaul was made available to the Wreck Commissioner during the 2004 investigation. [96794]

Dr. Ladyman: The Marine Accident Investigation Branch provided the inquiry with a copy of a full set of technical drawings for the vessel, a number of which detailed the design of these chutes. These drawings were reviewed by the technical experts and the expert representing the Department for Transport referred to these drawings in the production of the document “Notes on the duff and offal chutes”, submitted to the Re-opened Formal Investigation. These notes included comments on the design of the chutes and the potential design inadequacies.

Gadfly: First of all, the question that had been asked was not answered (i.e. was any evidence of a design fault made available to the Wreck Commissioner?). A yes or no answer would have sufficed.
Secondly, The Marine Accident Investigation Branch would provide, as they normally do and as the Treasury Solicitor recently confessed, “considerable assistance” to the Wreck Commissioner. They would therefore provide much more than a set of old drawings.
Thirdly, the “Notes on the duff and offal chutes”, only commented on a presumed design deficiency in relation to the difficulty of maintenance of the non-return flaps.So, in a couple of sentences, Dr Ladyman implies that either the MAIB performance was poor, or the MAIB witheld evidence, or the retained experts were unable to recognize an obvious design fault in the construction and arrangement of the duff and offal chutes.

***

“When you hear a denial of knowledge or responsibility, rate it carefully on the plausibility scale. The real culprit is usually at the top, as his nose will eventually demonstrate”. (Patrick Brown, 1999, Plausibility and Pinocchio)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does that figure include the cost of the cover-up?

harrygaud said...

I now wonder if the government is going to do the honourable thing ...

gadfly said...

Not if they can help it.

gadfly said...

We have received complaints that some websurfers from Hull cannot access our websites.

These sites have surely been accessed by viewers from further afield (i.e.in the States
and New Zealand) without problem.
So, maybe Hull people have some 'big local problem'. Don't know.

Anyway, I would like to advise that anyone contacting us via Instant Messages/Email should view the replies received with caution.

Whoever wishes to make his/her views known should use the comments box on this blog.