Home Affairs Committee – IICSA

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Home Affairs Committee – IICSA

Today the Home Affairs Committee heard oral evidence from the Rt
Hon Amber Rudd MP, Home Secretary, and Mark Sedwill, Permanent
Secretary, Home Office regarding the work of the Home Secretary. Dame
Lowell Goddard who had been invited to attend did not and sent a memo
(reported on yesterday) specifying her reasons for her resignation.

In relation to the IICSA, the focus was on the following factors:

1)         Dame Lowell Goddard’s resignation – why had she resigned?

The Home Secretary referred to Dame Goddard’s statement to the
Committee provided earlier in the week, the strengths/weaknesses she
highlighted and where Dame Goddard felt she could not deliver. Beyond
this the Home Secretary was unable to provide more information, as like
the Committee she only had the contents of Dame Goddard’s statement to
comment on. The Committee urged the Home Secretary to encourage Dame
Goddard to give evidence to the Committee and said they could facilitate
video link evidence given her return to New Zealand.

2)         What would the pay package be for Professor Jay?

Negotiations continue and the Home Secretary agreed to provide the
Committee with further information in writing but confirmed Professor
Jay’s remuneration would be less than Dame Goddard’s.

3)         Who is responsible for the Inquiry and its delivery?

The Chair is responsible. The Home Secretary confirmed her office was
in control of drafting the Terms of Reference (TOR), appointing the
Chair/Panel and assessing the budget, but the rest falls to the Chair as
the Inquiry once set up is a unit itself. She said she is encouraged by
Professor Jay’s focus – ‘pace, clarity and confidence’.

4)         Is the work of the IICSA endless?

The Home Secretary noted it is a substantial Inquiry with a major
remit and it was not for her to put a time frame on its completion.

5)         Is the remit of the IICSA too wide?

The Home Secretary confirmed this issue had been discussed and it was
agreed that the TOR as originally set up remained correct and there are
no plans to change or revaluate them. She did not agree with Dame
Goddard’s suggestion that the IICSA should be narrowed to focus on the
present and future rather than the past.

6)         Who has authority to appoint of staff and are there potential conflicts of interest?

The Chair has authority to appoint staff as she sees fit. The Home
Secretary disagreed with Dame Goddard’s statement that she was
handicapped to do so. The Home Secretary urged the Committee to put any
concerns re conflicts of interests to the new Chair. Chukka Umanna MP
suggested there may be some conflicts as many personnel at the IICSA are
also Home Office officials.

Miriam Rahamim, Solicitor, BLM

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