Numbers of dismissals from service citing conflict of interest

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Dear Maritime and Coastguard Agency,

1/ Please can I have numbers of serving Coastguard Officers (if any) by region who have been dismissed citing "conflict of interest".
Specifically this would be in relation to their membership of another voluntary search and rescue organisation.
2/ Can I have the definitive policy statement which explains how the Coastguard deals with membership of other search and rescue bodies.
3/ Are there any memberships of secondary search and rescue organisations that are excluded from the policy.
4/ If there have been dismissals for "conflict of interest", have there been any appeals. If so have these been successful or not.

If you feel that results by region may identify any individual, I am prepared to accept a "whole" organisation answer. You do not need to identify which voluntary search and rescue organisations are involved. However as much detail as possible would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor McKee

Wendy Wood, Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Dear Mr McKee

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act. Here are the responses to your questions.

1) There are no serving Coastguard Rescue Officers who have been
dismissed citing 'conflict of interest'.
2) The following is an extract from the CRS Code of Practice for
Managers and Volunteers which provides guidance on the matter:

"Membership of other voluntary organisations

4.20 Members of the CRS are volunteers and as such are at liberty to
belong to other voluntary organisations.
4.21 However, any multiple memberships of different voluntary search
and rescue organisations is discouraged by HMCG and by other voluntary
groups such as the RNLI, Retained Fire and Rescue Service, Police
Specials, Mountain Rescue and Lowland Rescue as there is always the
possibility of a conflict of interests not just in terms of availability
and call out but also competence, standards and safety. Experience has
shown that, where separate organisations are involved in the same type
of search and rescue activity, different procedures, protocols and
safety regimes exist between these organisations. That same experience
has also shown that members who belong to two or more of these different
organisations can become confused in terms of procedures, protocols and
safety. In some cases this has resulted in the introduction of
non-standard practices in one organisation because another
organisation's procedures or methods were thought to be superior but in
reality were unsuitable.
4.22 The CRS prides itself on being a front-line search and rescue
resource in the UK and as such, needs to be professional and safe in all
it does through competence and regular practice, either in training or
real incidents. This may be more difficult to achieve if a Coastguard
Rescue Officer belongs to one or more other rescue organisations. SMs
should see on an individual’s Enrolment Form whether he/she belongs to
another voluntary rescue organisation and ask appropriate questions on
the commitment to that organisation and its impact on commitment to the
CRS.
4.23 HMCG does however accept that in some parts of the UK coast
particularly island communities that there is no alternative than to
belong to several voluntary emergency response organisations."

3) No.
4) Not applicable.

I trust this answers your questions.

Wendy Wood
Maritime and Coastguard Agency

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Dear Wendy Wood,

Very helpful, information as requested, thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor McKee

Marj left an annotation ()

Dear Trevor,
I can tell you that there has been a dissmisal at Southend Coastguard Rescue station this year. It was investigated outside the realms of the CG16 code of practice and an appeal was made. The CRO Coastguard rescue officer's appeal was rejected by a Coast Saftey Manager backing the Sector manager who had not followed MCA policy in the CG16 with reference to Problem solving. despite fellow CRO's stating that an allegation was false, the MCA made no effort to investigate by there own rules as set out in the MCA CG16. Due to the gross injuctice that has taken place, 5 CRO team memebers at this station resigned in hope that the MCA would reconsider an investigation. Southend CRT had a team of 11 coastguard rescue officers. The station now currently only has 4. This is due to team members standing by there fellow officer for unfair termination of his membership by the MCA, hope that helps.

Trevor McKee left an annotation ()

Hi Marj

Can find no reference to CG16.
There is obviously an imperfect system of moral justice within the HMCG management. It seems their whole philosophy surrounds denying legitimate recognition of CRO rights. This is wrong and can't go unchallenged.
I understand the CEO has been replaced by Peter Dymond.
Perhaps a pooling of knowledge on behalf of CRO's would be in order?

Marj left an annotation ()

Hi Trevor, try again to post this below....

The CG16 Does exist, I can get you a copy if i have an email address to send it too. failing that i could find somewhere to post it up for you to see.
I completely agree with you re comments about CRO's.
Peter Dymond is just the Acting Chief Coastguard at present due to sick leave. Sir Alan Massey is CEO.
Im surprised Wendy has not commented on this thread, but then again the Code of current conduct is to clam up !! I can tell you that the CSM for the South East Sector was Adrain Bates( Coast Saftey Manager) he had stated off the record that there were a number of grievances with CRO's at a few other stations around his sector. ( that says it all) I feel its likely that he got promotion at London to get away from the problems leaving the New guy Iain Cambell to resolve the issues.
It is my belief that there is disharmony around the country one way or the other with the MCA. CRO's are the front line, and yet it seems they are the least listened to