Tag Archives: ICO

WHISTLEBLOWER TAKES A GAMBLE ON ‘CORRUPT’ COUNCIL BOSS

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Why did every Bristol City Councillor receive an email in early June announcing that Bristol City Council’s latest Monitoring Officer, “L’il” Tim O’Gara, responsible for preventing corruption at our council is, er, CORRUPT? The tale begins with Tim’s old boss, Sheena Ramsey, at Worcester County Council. She arrived at Worcester in 2015 from Knowsley, Merseyside soon after SILENCING A WHISTLEBLOWER by bullying them into early retirement.

This whistleblower, Mike Fagan, had revealed that Knowsley’s Labour council leader, Ron “A” Round’s grandson had been appointed as a trainee at the council without going through any formal recruitment procedure. Mr Fagan was promptly offered EARLY RETIREMENT that came, he says, with “veiled threats of DIRE CONSEQUENCES should I refuse to accept it.”

When Mr Fagan discovered Sheena Ramsey had been APPOINTED as “Managing Director” at Worcester, he contacted councillors, “naively, expecting councillors at Worcester would insist that Sheena respond to my allegations with a denial and even threaten to take action against me for libel.”  

However, things didn’t go to plan as O’Gara moved into full EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ARSE-COVERING MODE for Ramsey, taking the lead on the issue and refusing to engage with Mr Fagan, despite realising early on that the allegations against Ramsay were ENTIRELY TRUE. L’il Tim, we’re told, was obstructive over FOI requests on the matter and publicly smeared Mr Fagan as “VEXATIOUS”.

L’il Tim also made these claims regarding Mr Fagan to the Information Commissioner (ICO) and wasn’t clear about the source of misinformation he provided to them. Although he WITHDREW ANY CLAIMS and denied having any information about Mr Fagan when confronted at an ICO tribunal. L’il Tim got away with all this as the ICO decided he had not committed a criminal offence in the way he handled the case. Although we’re told, “his actions would be adjudged corrupt on any ‘BALANCE OF PROBABILITY’ assessment”.

It’s therefore unlikely L’il Tim will be providing any explanation to Bristol’s councillors in a hurry. Instead the Reverend’s Head of Paid Service, Mike “Billie Jean” Jackson has dealt with the matter by forwarding to councillors a letter from Worcester smearing Mr Fagan as – wait for it – “VEXATIOUS” and announcing, “Bristol City Council now considers this matter to be closed”.

However, the pair of self-serving Bristol executives are in a bit of an awkward bind here. Should L’il Tim threaten to sue, as he should do to clear his name, he runs the enormous risk of being caught LYING. If he simply denies the claims, he runs the risk of getting SUED by the complainant. Hence we find Billie Jean trying to brush the matter aside with a crude NON-DENIAL DENIAL DEVICE obtained from Worcester. Although this letter is already attracting robust legal threats from Mr Fagan who has evidence from the ICO that states he is not “vexatious”.

Mr Fagan has now written again to councillors saying, “I am so confident that Mr O’Gara will refuse to deny his corruption that I can make the following offer. If the matter is investigated properly by the Council and in the event of my allegations not being upheld by such an investigation; I SHALL MAKE A DONATION OF £50,000 TO THE MAYOR’S FUND FOR BRISTOL“!

This sounds like easy money for a charity. A simple investigation into L’il Tim clearing him of the allegations against him and the charity banks £50k. That is unless our Monitoring Officer, responsible for tackling corruption at the council, is UNABLE TO DENY ON THE RECORD that he’s corrupt?

Happy days.

BLACKLIST BLUES: ANOTHER RUBBISH DAY FOR KIER

More details continue to emerge about the BLACKLISTING activities of Kier Group, the construction giant which bought up May Gurney and now runs Bristol’s rubbish and recycling collection routes.

It seems that Kier paid a WHOPPING £30,620 to the industry-backed spy company The Consulting Association – giving them access to files on 229 workers!

After the recent council vote to ban blacklisters from BCC contracts (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.6), there’s not much else that can go wrong for Kier.

Except be named as the construction company under investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office for direct involvement in illegal snooping practices like ‘blagging’, perhaps?

EXTRA:

Next issue (The BRISTOLIAN #4.8) we will cover the recent on-the-retreat move by blacklisters including Kier to set up a fund to pay out to the thousands of workers they shamefully kept out of work…