Tuesday, July 03, 2007

'The unwilling party'

The naval architect who was involved in the 2004 Re-opened Formal Investigation into the sinking of the FV Gaul, and is the author of the technical documents that have been published on these pages, has sent a formal email/letter to his employers: Mr Peter Cardy, the new CEO of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Mrs Ruth Kelly (the new Secretary of State for Transport), Mr Laurance O’Dea (Treasury Solicitor) and two other managers within the MCA.
The text of the communication is reproduced below:
“To: "Peter Cardy" <Peter.Cardy@mcga.gov.uk>
Cc: <
ruth.kelly@dft.gsi.gov.uk>; <P.S@mcga.gov.uk>; <T.B@mcga.gov.uk>; <Laurance.ODea@tsol.gsi.gov.uk>
Subject: Trawler Gaul

Dear Mr Cardy,
I would like to present you with a problem, the solution for which appears to lie within the gift of both the MCA and the Department for Transport.
The problem stems from the outcome, in December 2004, of the Re-opened Formal Investigation (RFI) into the loss of the Trawler Gaul, the principal issue here being that the results of this public inquiry do not correspond with the evidence that was made available before it.
Although in the normal course of events, the MCA should not and would not be questioning the conclusions of a legal process that has been conducted by the Attorney General's office, in this case, however, there is clear evidence that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.
As you may be aware, this issue is not new, having previously been raised with the MCA, the DfT, the Minister for Transport (via parliamentary questions), the Admiralty Judge who ruled in the RFI and the Treasury Solicitor/Attorney General's office. However, their collective response to date has been either unsatisfactory or to ignore it, probably in the hope that the objections will eventually go away.
I am a Corporate Member of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and a Chartered Engineer. This Institution's byelaws state that:
Every Corporate Member shall at all times so order his/her conduct as to uphold the dignity and reputation of his/her profession and to safeguard the public interest in matters of safety and health and otherwise.
I consider it unacceptable that being in the Government's employment has brought me into conflict with the standards that are demanded from members of my profession. Furthermore, I find it ethically reprehensible that despite the serious failings in the conduct of this formal investigation, which are apparent, the government has not, as yet, thought fit to remedy this.
To conclude, I do not wish to remain an unwilling party to this miscarriage of justice and I would, therefore, be grateful if you could formally raise this matter with the DfT. with a view to bringing about an appropriate resolution to the case."
When contacted on the phone (several times), Ruth Kelly’s office refused to make any comments on this subject.

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