The Muir Russell report thanks a “David Walker” for serving as Project Manager without identifying him. Despite Walker’s importance as Project Manager, Muir Russell did not provide a bio at the Inquiry website. David Walker is a common name. So who is this David Walker?
Andrew Montford also wondered about this at one time, but did not arrive at any conclusions or even hypotheses.
The March 20 minutes show that Walker was tasked to produce a “draft report outline”. On April 1, he was taked with re-circulating the draft report outline “in light of the comments received.” On April 14, Walker and Muir Russell were assigned to approach Richard Horton, chief editor of The Lancet, as an experienced editor to provide information on peer review in the context of the issues being considered by the Review. (Horton’s generic and windy article did not deal with any of the particulars that Muir Russell was assigned to investigate.) On Apr 22, Walker agreed to produce guidelines on report format for circulation to the Review members. Action DW.
The minutes of the later minutes degenerate into little more than statements that the Muir Russell panel had met and had discussions (no doubt full and frank). The last meeting on June 29 was attended by only four people: Muir Russell, Geoffrey Boulton, Kate Moffat of Luther Pendragon and David Walker.
The latest FOI sheds a little light on the identity of the David Walker -
about whom Muir Russell was so coy. It appears likely that our David Walker lives in Richmond, Surrey – this can be deduced from the new information. It is thus highly unlikely that he is seconded from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as once seemed possible. I’ve emailed Walker asking him for information on his background. [Nov 25 – the Richmond, Surrey deducible from the information might be a registered office of some kind i.e. circumstantial evidence (but not proof) that Walker is London-based, rather than Edinburgh-based.]
Update: Nov 26, 2010. David Walker was not involved in any of the meetings prior to March 20. At that time, the Muir Russell inquiry was floundering. It had been 4 months since the emails had been released and 3 1/2 months since Muir Russell had been appointed and they had done pretty much nothing. Walker shows up at the March 20 meeting and is immediately assigned the job of producing a draft report outline for discussion at the next meeting – even though he’d just come on board. From then on, there were regular meetings and a report, however abysmal, was rescued from the Muir Russell mess.
When, in response to Sep 11, 2010 criticism at CA, Lisa Williams later wanted the Muir Russell website to say that the omission of 08-31 from the list of FOI requests considered by the inquiry didn’t matter (even though this was untrue), she emailed Muir Russell and David Walker, adding the instruction to Walker:
David, please could you let me know when this has been actioned.
Update 1: I emailed Mike Granatt of Luther Pendragon asking him for bio information on David Walker. Granatt stated:
Luther Pendragon’s role of responding to inquiries on behalf of the Inquiry ended shortly after the review was published.
I don’t recall them responding to inquiries on behalf of the inquiry before the review was published either. Not that the inquiry inquired.
Update 2: David Walker provided a cordial reply to my email containing the following interesting and unexpected information:
I am a retired mechanical engineer and I spent my career working on pipeline design and offshore engineering. I retired from BP almost 5 years ago and continue to do a small amount of consulting.
I have had experience of ‘major incident’ enquiries, particularly in the process of co-ordinating work and compiling a report, which is the reason Muir approached me to assist with his enquiry.
I had no previous involvement or interest in any climate change matters.
An interesting presentation by Walker here.