Today’s Editorial for January 14: Auditing the Met probe

We welcome the recent announcement of Auditor General Dan Duguay concerning the audit his office has begun to ascertain the exact cost of the UK Metropolitan Police team’s investigation into misconduct at the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Mr. Duguay’s office will also delve into whether the spending on the Met team’s investigation represents good value for money for the taxpayers of this country.

We found it very interesting, however, that Mr. Duguay stated that all parties involved in the investigation – including Governor Stuart Jack, Acting Police Commissioner James Smith, and the Met team’s Senior Investigating Officer Martin Bridger – have all agreed to cooperate fully with the Audit Office’s work.

This is interesting to us because we have tried on numerous occasions to ascertain one of the goals of Mr. Duguay’s audit; that of the broken down costs of the Met team investigation. Instead of full cooperation, we were met with a virtual stone wall, despite numerous requests.

Quite possibly if the Met team or the governor had been forthcoming with information we requested, the Auditor General wouldn’t be conducting his investigation now.

Maybe it is the spirit of the newly implemented Freedom of Information Law that has come into play, or maybe it is just fear of Mr. Duguay that has spurred the sudden cooperativeness of those who were seemingly content for the costs of the investigation to remain out of the public’s eye.

Regardless of why, we feel the actions of Mr. Duguay and the professed willingness of the various parties involved to offer full cooperation is a step in the right direction. When it comes to how money from the coffers of the Cayman Islands is spent, there should be full transparency unless the information somehow compromises national security. That’s not the case here.

As to the question of whether the money spent on the Met team’s investigation represents good value for money, the public will probably come to its own conclusions on that point.

A good start would be if the Met team finds a prosecutable offence in all of this that actually leads to a conviction after a trial. Right now, we’re not so sure that will happen.

If nothing new ends up coming out of the Met team’s long investigation, the public will almost invariably come to the conclusion this was all a waste of time and money.