The Daily Telegraph - Decorated RM officer claims he was sacked for whistleblowing

DangerMouse

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#1
The Daily Telegraph - Decorated Royal Marine officer claims he was sacked for whistleblowing over misuse of funds

A decorated former Royal Marine officer claims he was unfairly sacked for turning whistleblower over concerns thousands of pounds of public funds were being wasted.

By John-Paul Ford Rojas, 7th January 2013.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark McKinney, a volunteer running deer management services for the Ministry of Defence, warned that money was being needlessly spent hiring private contractors to do jobs his team could provide for free.
But when the 47-year-old complained to superiors - incuding Timothy Laurence, husband of the Princess Royal - he claims was singled out for victimisation by the Ministry of Defence and was forced out of his job.

In a written tribunal statement, Lt Col McKinney said: “It is my view that I have been dismissed as a result of complaints that I have made against a number of high-ranking individuals within the Armed Forces.”

Lt Col McKinney, who served in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Iraq, first raised concerns in 2006 after learning that a private company was being paid to assess deer populations on MoD land in Scotland.

As his job already entailed coordinating deer management, he reported his concerns to the MoD's fraud unit but he claims the complaint was never investigated.

Believing his grievances to have been ignored, he fired off further complaints to senior commanders – but this was viewed as “insubordinate” by top brass.

He claims there was then a campaign to “intimidate and discriminate against” both him and another witness.
His statement said he believed “none of the correct MoD investigative procedures were carried out”.

“To do so would have implicated and indeed involved Vice Admiral (Retd) TJH Laurence (the former chief executive of Defence Estates) which, as a member of the Royal Family, would have been very embarrassing for all concerned.”
He said senior officers told him his performance was “excellent” but his complaints were likely to damage his career. There was also allegedly an attempt to “bully or harass” him when another officer said there “would be consequences” to his actions.

A letter raising his grievances to the First Sea Lord Sir Jonathon Band was considered “insubordinate”. In July this year he was summoned to a meeting and told he was to be “administratively discharged”.

He said he was dismissed “following allegations of ‘gross misconduct’ in how I pursued my complaints”.

His unfair dismissal claim against the MoD comes amid concerns that internal disciplinary procedures within the Armed Forces are being used to target those with legitimate grievances. It is due for a preliminary hearing in Dundee in February.

The officer, of Dunning, Perthshire, had spent 17 years in the Royal Marines, serving in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, and on a mission supporting the Kurds of northern Iraq, before leaving as a major in 2003, and joining the Royal Marines Reserve.

He saw further service on an EU mission to the Democratic of Congo and a UN tour in Liberia, for which he received a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service, while in civilian life working for a security firm.
Lt Col McKinney said his service record was “exemplary” and that he was “proud to have served as an officer in the Royal Marines”.

Lt Col McKinney told the Daily Telegraph the allegation of misuse of funds related to £1600 being used to pay a private contractor for a survey of deer populations on MoD land even though its experienced volunteer managers could have done it for free.

The surveys were carried out at forest plantations in Gairlochhead training area, adjacent to the Faslane submarine base.
He believed it was part of a plan – later aborted - to privatise the running of 63 deer sites across the UK, so surveys at all the sites would have cost more than £100,000.

Lt Col McKinney said he had reported his complaints to Timothy Laurence but that he “did nothing about it”.
Claiming he had been the victim of a vendetta, he said: “It’s been six years of hell.” But he faces an uphill struggle in his legal battle as employment tribunals do not ordinarily cover the military.

Lt Col McKinney is being backed by his local MP Gordon Banks, who says the officer appears to have been “singled out for inappropriate treatment” because of his complaint.

He said he had “real concerns” over the idea that members of the services could be singled out because they have made complaints.

“The MoD should focus on those complaints and not see the people who are lodging the complaints as troublemakers.”
An MOD spokesman said: “Mr McKinney’s case is subject to ongoing employment tribunal proceedings and it would therefore be inappropriate for us to comment further.”
Decorated Royal Marine officer claims he was sacked for whistleblowing over misuse of funds - Telegraph
 
#2
An interesting one - feels to me like he wanted the job for his own interests, and is getting a huff on that the MOD awarded the tender to someone else, then didnt have the good sense to let it lie.
Not convinced in the slightest by his story, which smacks of someone with a chip on his shoulder. This is the danger of people who confuse their own post service careers with the idea that they still know what is going on in the system, and when the answer doesnt magically suit their purposes, spend time having a sulk.
 
#3
Please stop regurgitating every defence-related newspaper article that you encounter.

Please.
 
#4
Who are the 'experienced volunteer managers'? Are they RMR on their days off or something? Was it actually a part of his job, or as a 'volunteer running deer management services' was he entirely divorced from the MoD, with no contract? All a bit woolly.
 
#5
An interesting one - feels to me like he wanted the job for his own interests, and is getting a huff on that the MOD awarded the tender to someone else, then didnt have the good sense to let it lie.
Not convinced in the slightest by his story, which smacks of someone with a chip on his shoulder. This is the danger of people who confuse their own post service careers with the idea that they still know what is going on in the system, and when the answer doesnt magically suit their purposes, spend time having a sulk.
If that's the case the First Sea Lord Could simply have rejected his complaint, making a comment about correct channels if he really felt he had to. Sacking him does make it sound like someone was getting twitchy because the guy was right.
 
#6
A Lt Colonel running 'deer management services for the MOD'................................WTF ?????????
 
#8
Note the lack of timing between the 1SL complaint, which sounds as if it was done outside approved way of service complaints, and the 'admin discharge'.
The whole thing smacks of someone who has decided that he isnt happy that he is not getting what he felt he wanted, and that because of this, he senses a conspiracy. I've reported things to Defence Fraud before- they are very diligent about investigating claims, so the idea that this would be 'hushed up' is bordeline lunacy.
sorry, but this merely confirms the sad decline of the DT as a quality paper in my eyes.
 
#9
Note the lack of timing between the 1SL complaint, which sounds as if it was done outside approved way of service complaints, and the 'admin discharge'.
The whole thing smacks of someone who has decided that he isnt happy that he is not getting what he felt he wanted, and that because of this, he senses a conspiracy. I've reported things to Defence Fraud before- they are very diligent about investigating claims, so the idea that this would be 'hushed up' is bordeline lunacy.
sorry, but this merely confirms the sad decline of the DT as a quality paper in my eyes.
I beleive the demise started when the Barclay Brothers became involved IMHO
 
#10
This character has been causing a headache for the Naval Service for some time with increasingly unsubstantiated and vexatious complaints. He has widely 'traded' on his RM background in support of his outside interests.

I'm really surprised that th DT is running this - but they have been sucked in by the whole SAS hero none sense of late, as well...
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
A Lt Colonel running 'deer management services for the MOD'................................WTF ?????????
Agreed, he's too senior to stag on. And where does the buck stop?
 
#13
DDM is in fact run by a Brigadier, with oversight at higher levels. It is official, works with DE and is made up of volunteers from all arms and services - and all ranks. It works to SOPs and SOs and is one of the most stringent organisations in the UK for ensuring proffesional conduct of deer management. It has its issues, as do all organisations, however it is recognised widely as the best way to manage deer on the DE. As to the gentlemean involved - I am unable to comment as I know not the detail.
 
#15
An interesting one - feels to me like he wanted the job for his own interests, and is getting a huff on that the MOD awarded the tender to someone else, then didnt have the good sense to let it lie.
Not convinced in the slightest by his story, which smacks of someone with a chip on his shoulder. This is the danger of people who confuse their own post service careers with the idea that they still know what is going on in the system, and when the answer doesnt magically suit their purposes, spend time having a sulk.
Mind you, the privatisation of shooting (including "deer management") on military land was seen as a potential money earner a few years ago. Someone thought charging commercial rates for pheasant (up to 40 squid a bird) would be a great money earner for tracts of unfarmable land and ranges, until someone else calculated the unlimited/guaranteed access required for shoot management and the shoot days themselves and the potential compo for squashed/lost birds due to exercise activity was completly unworkable/unprofitable.

agree on the "wouldn't let it lie bit" - how do you get sacked from the RMR bar the usual naked roll mat fighting excuse?
 
#16
I wonder who is behind the company(ies) that were awarded the contract(s) to carry out the survey???? I wonder if that's where the problem lies?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
You think less complaining and more fauning would have been a better approach?
I think he got stuck in a rut, saw red and is now having a fallow period as a result.
 
#19
A Lt Colonel running 'deer management services for the MOD'................................WTF ?????????
Read the article, it isn't hard, it's even in English:

"A decorated former Royal Marine officer "

He's a Lt Colonel RM (Ret'd, retread? retard??)
 
#20
Moreover, I don't think the chap is decorated, per se. Campaign medals - yes; Decorations - no. Unless he recently decided to dress up for the Festive Season and hire out deer for Christmas logisitics operations...
 

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