In preparation for his appearance at the SciTech Committee, Muir Russell has, at the last possible minute, attempted to cooper up his webpage by amending the list of FOI requests to include the David Holland FOI request for off-balance-sheet IPCC review comments that prompted Phil Jones’ notorious delete-all-emails request. Amazingly, this request had been left off the original list of FOI requests provided by the U of East Anglia.
As CA readers know (see here) , Muir Russell made the amazingly stupid misrepresentation that there had been no outstanding FOI request at the time of Jones’ delete-all-emails request. Fred Pearce observed of this instance of Muir Russell incompetence that:
Sir Muir seems to have been about the only person studying the affair not to have known about it. This is all, we may hope, cock-up rather than conspiracy.
Soon after the release of the report, I noticed that the University had inexplicably left this critical FOI request off their inventory. On July 13, I notified FOI officer Palmer of this omission and asked him to notify the Muir Russell inquiry – reported at CA here after the University had added foolishly endorsed the untrue Muir Russell finding on this matter – even though their own FOI officers knew otherwise.
Between July 13 and Oct 25, 2010, Muir Russell took no steps to correct the error. Now on the eve of his SciTech appearance – presumably so he can say that the error has been disclosed, Muir Russell has posted up an amended list, this time adding the Holland request 08-31 to the list. The revised list of FOI requests is linked as below (the change dated Oct 24, 2010, though the pdf to which we are directed is dated Oct 25, 2010, two days before Muir Russell’s appearance of Oct 27, 2010.)
Type: Written evidence
Author: University of East Anglia. A list of a all FOI requests received relating to the Climatic Research Unit since 2005
Link: click to open
In their covering note, Muir Russell stated:
Readers should note the addition of the 08-31 FOI request which was previously omitted due to an administrative error. The revision does not affect the conclusions or recommendations of the final report.
Well, here’s something that is directly affected. Muir Russell stated:
There seems clear incitement to delete emails, although we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made. Two e-mails from Jones to Mann on 2nd February 2005 (1107454306.txt) and 29th May 2008 (in 1212063122.txt) relate to deletion:
29th May 2008: ―Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise”.
The May 29, 2008 email was directly responding to FOI request 08-31, dated May 27, 2008. This was the precise case where the ICO said that “more cogent” “prima facie” evidence was impossible to contemplate.
Muir Russell’s amendments says that the “conclusions and recommendations” of the report are unaffected by the actual facts. Who would have guessed?