Chief statistician ‘was not put on gardening leave’

Duncan Gibaut. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30053694)

Once again dismissing claims that Dr Duncan Gibaut’s departure from Statistics Jersey had followed a row over the independence of his department, Senator John Le Fondré told States Members yesterday during question time that Mr Gibaut had asked for a ‘low key’ end to his 20-year career with the government, which was why no official announcement had been made.

However, he admitted that there had been an issue relating to independence raised by the Statistics Users Group, which reviews the quality, relevance and integrity of the statistics compiled by or on behalf of the government, which was now in the process of being sorted out. He said it was not a ‘disagreement’ but a ‘discussion’, perhaps a ‘strong discussion’, and related to how two existing laws governing statistics might or might not conflict to prevent some members of staff commenting on certain areas.

‘The issue I understand from reading the minutes is that there has been some difference of opinion in law-drafting instructions. When they [the instructions] come to me I will need to make sure they are as strong as possible,’ said the Chief Minister, who added that he wrote to the users’

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