One summer evening in July, the citizens of Northern Ireland were treated to a display of 20 strange recommendations in the skies over the HET, the PSNI, former members of the RUC, victims in the cities and towns, villages and townlands of NI and in the countryside too.
Her Majesty‟s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) had scrambled to investigate the strange behaviour of the PSNI Historical Enquiries Team (HET), finding plenty that was puzzling as well as evidence of significant shortcomings in the way the HET operates.
What is the HET supposed to do?
We don’t know!!
Recommendation 1. The HET’s role and purpose need to be clarified
and specific terms of reference should be published. These must be explicit about what the public and interested parties can expect from the HET.
What does HET tell us about historical deaths?
Little or Nothing
Recommendation 2. The HET should publish an annual report to the
public setting out what it has done to achieve its objectives, how it has
responded to constructive feedback, and an acknowledgement about
those things that might not have been achieved.
Is HET accountable to us?
What do you think?
Recommendation 3. The Chief Constable and the NIPB should agree a
mechanism through which the HET can be made more open and
accountable to the public in Northern Ireland.
Can we comment on their work?
Recommendation 4. The HET should establish a single complaints
process that is easily accessible to those who might wish to complain
about any aspect of the work of the HET.
What’s their standard operating procedure (SOP)?
NHOI – Never heard of it!
Recommendation 5. The HET should establish clear and accessible
policies and procedures that deal with all aspects of the review
process. In particular, this should deal with the storage of material and
the maintenance of policy files.
To be continued