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« Ridley and Dyson on shale | Main | SciTech on peer review »
Wednesday
May042011

Plodding along

Last night I had a response to an FOI request to Norfolk Police for financial information relating to the UEA emails inquiry. I asked for costs per month for the investigation, expecting these to show a tailing-off over the period since Climategate.

Imagine my surprise then, to be sent this:

I wonder what happened in November 2010? A big anniversary party perhaps? :-) These could be big lumps of periodic recharges from external bodies - perhaps NDET? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Reader Comments (34)

So this the way the Police 'luander' public money into ACPO Ltd funds.

Did you FoI request ask on how much of the above was paid to NDET

[BH adds: No it was simply costs by month. It may be possible slice the costs in a different way - by account heading or payee perhaps. Why not give it a try?]

May 4, 2011 at 8:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Could it be that, after a year trundling along, someone stirred them up and they carried out a major review of the situation? If so, I wonder what they concluded?

May 4, 2011 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Bates

Wouldn't it be interesting to ask for a split within these costs for "police work" vs. "answering inquiries from the press/public"?

To be honest there's nil chance of this ever going to court, because the simple defence will be that it was in the public interest to inform the public of the real facts the last thing those from the political elite who ran the various inquiries (aka whitewashes even frauds) want, is for a real court of law to assess the real facts in a forum where they don't control the jury.

May 4, 2011 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterScottish Sceptic

Perhaps a "cold case review" as the investigation was a year old by then and had not resulted in a charge/ or other resolution?

May 4, 2011 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrooks

A case review and following up those leads in the Cayman islands?

May 4, 2011 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Maybe it was just the end of a budget year - with a new budget to be set.

May 4, 2011 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

O/T

Guardian:Rio Ferdinand – red devil turned unlikely green guru

Yes obviously Rio's management company want him to branch out his brand now that his playing days are coming to an end...

Whilst he may not be the thickest footballer (there is a lot of competition) he is fairly close to being the thickest footballer who opens his mouth regularly. I can only say the more we get people with multiple cars, houses, bar champagne bills and limited intellect, lecturing us on moving the "sofa from in front of the radiator" the better...

Greenism, the home of the Professional Footballer, brilliant...

May 4, 2011 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

New Lexuses (Lexi..??) for all those meetings at UEA...?

May 4, 2011 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I've asked before but can anyone here supply me with the address of the team at the Norfolk Constabulary? DC Baker wrote to me in Oz over a year requesting input, as I was one who caused such angst at UEA by requesting details of four confidentiality agreements.

I have written a response but unfortunately I have misplaced his letter. My input may enable him to solve this heinous crime. I also suggested that the Royal Mint should strike a coin in honour of the whistleblower. Especially appropriate because Sir Isaac was warden many years. A truly great mathematician and physicist. Buried as a king said Voltaire.

Revered for what he did. Not what he hid.

May 4, 2011 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

Looks like it was a big push to try and get something done for the December anniversary.

No joy obviously!

May 4, 2011 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss H

If it was a reveiw meeting, then they must have decided that there was not a lot further they could go as there is no activity at all in Dec/Jan; perhaps some tidying up of paperwork in Feb? A more charitable view could be that they completed the investigation, spent November writing the report which was sent to the Powers that Be who, having spend the next two months 'considering' it, sent it back in Feb for some 'minor adjustments' to make it say what it should have said, rather than what it did say.

May 4, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Re GrantB

My email had this address in it:

Norfolk Constabulary

OCC, Falconers Chase, Wymondham, Norfolk.

but that was for "Protective Services" (whoever they are).

May 4, 2011 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Grant

I have contact details for the officer in charge of the investigation (assuming he is still in charge). Do you want me to send him your email?

May 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Joe Romm will see a clear pattern of global warming in these figures

May 4, 2011 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Interesting.

£36.8k from Dec 2009 to Oct 2010, then £34.5k in Nov 2010 alone.

Almost the entire preceding year's spend in a single month.

May 4, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The large November charge may just have been annual rental for Detica who were doing forensics on the CRU server. Or guarding the CRU server and preventing any further FOI requests whilst the evidence was in police custody. If that payment was a completion payment, then the server may have been returned to CRU and FOI'able again for any matters relating to the leaked emails. The inquiry pointed out there was a lot of data on that server that may be of interest.

Goes to show how expensive 'simple' hacking cases can be though and why modern crime strains police budgets and resources. That kind of crime is on the increase, and police budgets are being cut.

May 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

OT but the Beeb is flogging April as the hottest EVER.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13269741

But they seem to struggle as to whether that's the hottest since 1910 or the hottest in the Central England series since 1659. Or maybe the hottest in the last 4 Billion years. Also whether that's the hottest for the UK, GB or GB with chunks chopped off (News at Ten last night seemed to be excluding parts of Scotland and Wales.

So far they haven't mentioned Gorebull Warming although, no doubt, we are supposed to infer that.

Interestingly, whilst the Beeb's web page attributes this to the MET Office, I can't see anything about April temperatures on the Mystic MET site.

May 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

OT story for Andrew's consideration. In the US, Russia's English language news outlet, RussiaToday (or RT.com) highlighted Yamal, Siberia for extreme tourism!
http://rt.com/news/freezing-yamal-new-tourist/
Frozen chosen choices abound: Stalin's prison is being restored, and Yamal is home to the best preserved Mastadon's. "Last year, 8,000 foreign visitors braved Yamal." No word on tree-coring yet. Hopefully THI will help put that more important sight-seeing option on the agenda.

May 4, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Bish>

One possible explanation is that you asked for "total cost expended by month" - I suspect 'costs incurred' might have been what you actually wanted to ask for. It's reasonable to interpret your request as referring to payments that have been made, so a bill for monthly services paid once a year would show up in one month's account.

May 4, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Your Grace @May 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM - Thankyou. I have sent you an email. My response to the inquiry is flippant and irreverent. It will not help them a jot and will barely add a quid to their May 2011 ledger. If you find it so bad you do not wish to forward it, I will post it by snail mail to the address TerryS gave.

Cheers

May 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

And £16k in June 2010. Why the sudden activity then? Were they being asked to produce reports for one/all of the enquiries? I forget the sequence of events and would need to look back at what was in the news then. There seem to be bursts of activity every so often; after the Nov 10 veritable bustle there are 2 months of nothing followed by another short burst in Feb this year. It doesn't seem to me that the fuzz are too desperate to keep at this one and are probably jollied along by someone every so often to look busy and active.

May 4, 2011 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterbiddyb

I've got it! I've got it!

What is the betting that if one asks for a list of employees in October 2010 and one at beginning of December, that there is not a conspicuous absence of some "FOI officer" who left rather suddenly with the words: "if you ever mention what you did here you will be straight into court".

I think November was probably: "investigating" someone and February was a review by the University who chose not to "press charges" ... for two obvious reasons:

1. The employee knew much more than came out in the climategate emails
2. The University would look daft having been the ones who told everyone: "it was a hacker".

May 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

There does appear to be something climatic or seasonal about the investigation. Can you ask and get receipts (or totals per month) for all investigative excursions to Costa del Sol and Cancun?

May 4, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPascvaks

And do they have any suspects or "persons of interest"?

May 4, 2011 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

if the police were doing the work in-house, then it is hard to see what might have been expended, other than the cost of trips to the university and a few lunches. However, my experiences of the police suggest that they do not have in-house forensic IT expertise. My guess is that they must have bought in the services of an IT expert, who presented a bill in one fell swoop. I conjecture that £30k is 2-3 months work for one of these guys?

May 4, 2011 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

My experience of civil service in UK tells me that the Nov 34K was a mid-term budget balancing sum that they couldn't saddle some other investigation with.

May 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

OT but the Beeb is flogging April as the hottest EVER.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13269741

Martin I think it is ever but there was some debate in Jan about Dec being the coldest since 1900 or so when they said that they didn't keep seperate ,monthly records before about 1900? by memory, mine that is.

May 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

But Martin it was very warm 11.3°C in the CET (note CET).

May 4, 2011 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

"Martin I think it is ever but there was some debate in Jan about Dec being the coldest since 1900" ... but that was due to the Gulf Stream slowing down which causes cold, which is very different from this global warming which causes heat.

You've got to remember, that global warming causes extremes: so e.g. when it is extremely dry, global warming causes drought, and when it is extremely wet ... it causes wet.

Oh ... the grand Old duke of Norfolk he had a couple of men, he marched them up to the top of the hill and he forgot where he left the map so couldn't march down again.

May 4, 2011 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

I wrote a comment earlier saying exactly what Atomic said. Maybe the forensics guy finished his job and billed for his services (after years and years).

BTW does anyone remember when was it that David Adam's Nature article on Jones came out? If I am not mistaken it was in November last year when Adam declared in no uncertain terms that it was a hack.

If it was a hack, the hackers are still out there, if it was a leak, the leaker is still in there.

May 4, 2011 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Re Shub

If the leak's been mended, then a request for before and after organisation charts may help. The UEA would probably try to deny that though either out of habit or because it contains personal data, like names. In an ideal would, it then might be useful to find any unusual severance payments made to anyone no longer on the charts, then wonder what's taking Norfolk Constabulary so long. Being originally from Suffolk though, that could just be 'NFN'.

May 4, 2011 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Could be travel for interviews...maybe to the place of the Russian server?

May 4, 2011 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Watts

Re Anthony

Seems a bit steep for interview costs or T&S. Unless it's for senior officers, UK police travel and subsistence expenses aren't very generous. ACPO's specialists like NDET I think get charged out at around £650-850 a day but I still suspect forensics, mainly as the timing fits with the typical time lag for IT forensics here. Stephen Richards may be right though about it being a budget shuffling exercise as well.

May 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Atomic

The Govt year end is March 31 so you normally find that Jan, Fen and March are the heavy months for departmental spending - use it or lose it.

May 4, 2011 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

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