New National Director for National Office for Professional Standards

Archbishop John Dew has announced that Mr Bill Kilgallon is to replace Mr John Jamieson, who retires in February, as National Director for the Office for Professional Standards, the office which is tasked with dealing with complaints of abuse against clergy or religious.

“While the complaints and reviews which are being currently being processed are all historical, the office and this role remain crucial to investigating and resolving these cases so that the victims can receive some sense of closure and healing, and I’m delighted that Bill Kilgallon has accepted this role,” said Archbishop John Dew, President of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.

“Mr Kilgallon has had a long career in health and social care including overseeing inquiries in these areas and I have full confidence in his ability to lead this office,” Archbishop Dew says.

“Mr Kilgallon will take over from John Jamieson following a short handover period. Mr Jamieson, who was the inaugural Director has certainly made an invaluable contribution to the office through the establishing of protocols and processes bringing his experience as Police Commissioner and various roles in the criminal justice and policing sector to the role,” Archbishop John Dew says.

“I am grateful for the neutrality, integrity and wisdom that Mr Jamieson has brought the office and wish him all the best for his retirement after 8 years as the National Director,” Archbishop Dew says.

“In a credit to his work in the early part of Mr Jamieson’s time in the role, setting up transparent and effective processes, meant that he was able to move from full time to part time hours after 2 and a half years as things began to work much more efficiently,” Archbishop Dew says.

“While the complaints and reviews continue to deal with historical cases of abuse, there is no time limitation on laying a complaint and I urge anyone who has experienced abuse by clergy or religious to approach the National Office for Professional Standards and tell their story - an important step in the path to healing.” Archbishop Dew says.

“I am looking forward to taking on this important and challenging role building on the excellent work of John Jamieson. The Catholic Church in New Zealand is clearly committed to dealing with complaints of abuse – current and past – in an honest and transparent way.

Bill moved to New Zealand from the UK two years ago after a long career in social work and health care. From 1978-2002 he worked as Chief Executive of St Anne’s Community Services (an organisation he had founded in 1971). St Anne’s works with people who are homeless, people with alcohol and drug problems, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems. It provides a wide range of housing and social care services across Yorkshire and the North East of England.

He served on a number of government advisory bodies on mental health, learning disabilities and social work education. From 2003-2007 he was Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence – set up by Government to establish what works in social care and to develop policy and practice guidance. From 2007-2010 he was Chief Executive of St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds.

Bill was an elected Councillor on Leeds City Council for 13 years, and was a member of NHS management boards for 24 years including 10 years as Chair of a NHS Trust Board.

He led a number of inquiries in health and social care.

Bill was a member of a review led by Baroness Cumberlege into the protection of children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church in England and Wales which recommended a restructuring of the Church’s work in this area. He was appointed on 2008 as the first chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission responsible for setting policies and procedures in the Catholic Church in England and Wales and for monitoring compliance by the dioceses and religious congregations.

The bishops and congregational leaders established the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) to oversee the response to complaints of abuse. The National Director is responsible for ensuring that reviews are conducted fairly, thoroughly and independently.

In 2009, the role of the National Office for Professional Standards was amended to include oversight of all complaints from the time the complaint is made. If a review of process is later requested this will be carried out by an independent person, not the National Office for Professional Standards.

Number of complaints currently being investigated by the office: 10
All cases currently in progress relate to incidents that occurred prior to 1985.
Number of reviews currently underway: 2