Saturday, April 28, 2007

The hot-potato game

In our post of 17 March, we reported on our attempts to obtain two documents held by the Department for Transport (DfT), which are mentioned in the Gaul RFI EXPERTS' PROTOCOL (paragraphs 3, 8 and 9) and which, frankly, should have been published within the final report (as was the case in the MV Derbyshire RFI).
Having failed to lodge a request for these papers via the parliamentary route, on 19 March, I sent THIS EMAIL to the DfT.
Since then, we have managed to obtain a copy of the first document (i.e. the list of “all” possible scenarios for the loss of the Gaul) from the MAIB. (This list looks quite interesting and we intend to comment on it separately, in due course.)
The second document that we would like to obtain, (i.e. the joint report, which gives details of the RFI experts’ consideration of the various loss scenarios that had been put forward during the investigation), the DfT is still not able to provide.
Chased up on this matter, the head of Shipping Policy 4, not too thrilled to hear from us again, said that the Department was now depleted of staff with intimate knowledge of the Gaul affair, so he had had to refer our request to the Treasury Solicitor. The latter, we were told, is now the only person left at the scene, able to guide the DfT in their search for the document in question.
I hope that the joint report – central piece of the £10m investigation - has not been misplaced or mislaid…
As I write these lines I am touching wood.

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