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SECRECY? YOU CAN WHISTLE FOR THAT; Law chief's grievance admission.

Byline: | Brendan McGinty

The chief executive of Scotland's legal aid body has told employees he can't guarantee grievances against bosses will be treated confidentially.

Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) chief Colin Lancaster made the startling admission in an email about a solicitor whose complaint was mishandled.

In the Sunday Mail two weeks ago, Ceri Evans, 34, told how her career had been left in tatters because SLAB mishandled her bullying complaint.

She had provided a diary of alleged incidents in support of another woman raising a grievance against the same senior solicitor, Stuart Hamilton. But SLAB gave the diary to Hamilton without informing Ceri.

In an email to staff, Lancaster said confidentiality was not guaranteed. He told colleagues: "We submitted to the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) that our grievance procedure makes clear that while confidentiality of the process is paramount, it cannot be guaranteed between those involved in any grievance.

"As we told the Sunday Mail, 'It is essential to ensure the fairness of our grievance procedures that all parties are aware of the issues and details of anycomplaint.'TheMail d i d not publish that part of our statement.

"It is important you know the ICO didn't tell us we shouldn't have shared the information. The only failing they identified was we didn't tell Ceri we had shared it."

BUTTHEICOFINDINGs also highlighted that SLAB had taken several months to confirm whether information had been shared.

MSP Monica Lennon said: "As Ceri's MSP, I'll continue to seek answers over the way in which the investigation into her allegations has been handled."

SLAB said: "We fully accept the ICO decision that our processes should have made clear what information would be shared and when."


story In Mail

diary Ceri Evans

email Lancaster

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 9, 2018
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