Although Environment and Public Services president Senator Philip Ozouf later withdrew his accusation, he maintained that the Senator Ted Vibert-chaired panel was concerned ‘as much about attacking individuals as they are about the issues at hand’.
He added: ‘If this is the way scrutiny is going, it is a sad day for this assembly’.
Senator Ozouf was responding to a question from Senator Paul Le Claire, who wanted to know why a consultant from the British Geographical Survey, who had advised the committee on its plans to introduce a water resources law and charged £250,000 for their services, had refused to sit before the scrutiny panel.
‘The key issue is that the BGS were asked to send an officer to the scrutiny inquiry, which they did, and the panel made no issue with his attendance,’ said Senator Ozouf.
‘But the panel did not like the evidence given, so they asked for another consultant, but this request was refused by the BGS.
‘It appears that this panel is more interested in individuals than issues.’ But Senator Vibert said that it was the duty of Senator Ozouf’s committee to ensure that all the evidence was put to the scrutiny panel.