MOD Response to Deepcut Review - "Complaints Commissioner"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Jun 14, 2006.

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  1. MOD has issued its response to the Review by Nicholas Blake QC into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four soldiers at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut.

    Story from MOD Oracle

    From Adam Ingram's announcement in Parliament:

    As I am travelling I have not yet had the chance to make a detailed comparison with what Blake recommended and what MoD have accepted. They will still have to satisfy Parliament in the context of the Armed Forces Bill. My personal reaction is in principle to welcome the promise of a Complaints Commissioner, aka Ombudsman.

    D.Y.

    Footnote:

    The question of a Complaints Commissioner was discussed some time ago by the BAFF Steering Group. It was noted that there is no conflict between having a Commissioner and a representative staff organisation for a country's armed forces: several countries, including Australia, have both.

    It was also commented that any faction which is trying to head off the proposed Federation might turn with relief to the Commissioner idea as (from their point of view) the lesser of two evils. This may well be what has now happened. Growing support for a Federation has given the Blake recommendation a crucial boost at the right time.

    Similarly, some of those who oppose the Federation on websites may now turn up claiming that they were always in favour of a Commissioner.

    Support was expressed in the Steering Group for the establishment of a Commissioner, but there were also misgivings about the thought of an unelected civilian being in a position to issue instructions to the Chain of Command.
     
  2. It seems a grudging acceptance of the need for change, but for my money it is almost pathetic in concept. Commisioner to me smacks of authority and would be almost unapproacable by any serving perso, especially someone with gripe who did not crave attention, but wanted a problem solved.

    I also think it highly unlikely that the Commisioner could be a civilian, he/she would simply have insufficient knowledge to deal with every issue.

    It is clear from this quote"Our fundamental intent is to promote the effective operation of existing military proceedings and provide independent assurance that the procedures are working effectively, with systemic issues appropriately addressed." exactly what the CoC is trying to do, which is to undermine the rational for BAFF, however I believe that the Commisioner would be seen to be an untrustworthy, crony of the CoC from whom little will be achieved.