I’ve been listening to the parliamentary committee interviews of the Police in connection with the #hackgate affair. Stephenson the recently resigned commissioner, Fedorcio the director of public affairs, and Yates the recently resigned deputy chief police officer.
I have to say they all sound professional and their integrity pretty sound. Yates had already stated the decision to employ Wallis was “crap” with hindsight. Fedorcio clearly squirmed when asked to explain that he got a personal recommendation from Yates to support his “due diligence” (*) in employing Wallis. They clearly hadn’t colluded in getting their story straight on this point (which is a good thing). Fedorcio didn’t say it was a crap decision, but clearly for all three it was an embarrassing decision – with hindsight.
What is crap is al the innuendo from the certain members of the committee and the political correspondent Ian Watson, around the use of personal contacts in recruitment. Procedures guard against “abuse” of such contacts, but they are not a substitute for “who you know”. Nepotism is something quite different.
Also think all the points about real police priorities are genuine, and all the self-righteous hypocrisy from the commentators with the benefit of hindsight really doesn’t help.
[Rapid switch over to the CMSSC Murdoch hearings.]
(*) No-one actually performed due diligence – but the recruit was on a retainer contract, not staff, and previously personally known to several of those who would be using his occasional specialist service – experience relevant to the specific services, and not-related to #hackgate.