Response from Registrar General to complaint

Message from Registrar General Duncan Macniven on 22 March 2011  in response to the letter from SACC asking him to stop misrepresenting the facts
Dear Mr Haley
Thank you for your email below.

My letter to the Dumbarton Reporter was in response to their previous coverage and addressed allegations which are strongly denied by CACI International and remain unproven.  As you highlight, EU legislation prevents GROS from excluding a contractor based on unproven allegations.  But you also say that there is “substantial” evidence to back these allegations and imply that this constitutes proof. As the court process demonstrates, there has been no proof and the allegations remain “unsubstantiated”.  I believe that this was clear in my letter and I will not therefore be making any correction to what I have said.

Your email raises a separate issue: that we could have excluded CACI (UK) Ltd from the tender based on accusations of  “professional misconduct” by their parent organisation.  But the letting of the contract could not possibly have been influenced by work which CACI (UK)’s US parent company carried out in a legal fashion: interrogation is not itself contrary to international law, and proven illegal action would have been necessary before we could have excluded the company’s tender.

You stressed the global importance of combating human rights abuses and I unreservedly agree with that.  I am concerned in addition with the national importance of the information which the census is collecting.  The completeness and accuracy of the census play a big part in the distribution of public money including the funding which the Scottish Government gets from the Treasury, the provision of public and other services in Scotland and the work of voluntary and community bodies, who depend on the census for an accurate understanding of the size and nature of their communities of interest. Inaccurate or incomplete data can therefore have a significant impact on the people who benefit from such services – especially people who do not resemble the generality of people in their neighbourhood.

Yours sincerely

Duncan Macniven
Registrar General for Scotland
General Register Office for Scotland

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