Candid camera

17th February 2006 at 00:00
A new form of words to describe what you would rather not confess to appears in an employment tribunal judgment in Edinburgh. Famous past legal cases have variously referred to being "economical with the truth" and "dissembling" when those under oath prefer to mask facts or opinions.

The latest offering comes from the written verdict in the case of community education worker John Travers against his employer, Edinburgh City Council.

Travers took the council to the tribunal after being disciplined for blowing the whistle on what he alleged was sharp practice in a community ICT project.

Who should pop up as chief prosecutor for the authority but Colin Dalrymple, the city's former depute director of education and general secretary of the education directors' association, who was sacked hurriedly last year for gross misconduct after allegedly passing information on the council's PPP project.

Dalrymple was the senior officer who disciplined Travers, after he had sent a barrage of emails around the council about the ICT project.

The council claimed Travers's evidence was "neither reliable nor credible".

Mr Dalrymple, on the other hand, "was both a reliable and credible witness".

But the tribunal notes that "Mr Dalrymple's failure to be candid in evidence regarding the first written warning sanction makes it difficult to examine the respective gravity of the other offences".

"Failure to be candid in evidence". Now that's another for the list.

Let us hope Dalrymple polishes up his act. For he will be appearing shortly in front of another tribunal, this time not "reliably" acting for the city council but "candidly" fighting his former employer's decision to sack him.

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