Letter to the Chairman of the Committee
on Standards and Privileges from Mr Kevin Reid
I am very surprised at the contents of your letter
of 21st June which was delivered by fax to another member of staff
at my workplace.
As regards the content of your letter, you tell me
that the Parliamentary Commissioner reported to the committee
that I had "not provided her with certain information she
had requested to assist her with one of her current enquiries."
This was apparently reported to you in critical terms on the 20th
June, and you wrote to me on the 21st June. You informed me in
your letter that you "were concerned to hear this from the
Commissioner" and informed me of your own powers to "compel
witnesses to provide information".
Can I make the facts completely clear. The first
I heard about this letter was on the 19th June, only a day before
the commissioner apparently reported to you. Up until that time
I had not received the letter dated 7th June; indeed I have still
not received the actual letter. On the 19th I was contacted by
phone at my place of work by Ms Deborah Gent from the Commissioner`s
office who referred to a letter of the 7th June. I told her truthfully
that I had never received such a letter. I suggested that Ms Gent
fax the letter to me, which she did. I then phoned her office
to confirm receipt of the fax. The letter requested information
regarding my personal financial circumstances, which obviously
required me to do some checking.
This took place on the afternoon of the 19th June.
And yet it appears that within 24 hours the Parliamentary Commissioner`s
report to the committee left the impression that her non-receipt
of a written response by the following morning constituted a failure
on my part to co-operate. Frankly I find this, and the implication
behind it very disturbing. The commissioner has now been pursuing
this investigation for over five months. I was apparently expected
to reply in all seriousness and in writing within five hours.
Throughout the months of this investigation I have
co-operated fully with the Commissioner. I have given her a full
statement as far back as February. I have attended an interview
with the Commissioner in March. I have given detailed replies
to all of her many letters and requests. Within a week I replied
to the letter faxed to me on the 19th June. In short, I have co-operated
fully and timeously, out of respect for you and the other members
of the Committee.
I would not wish member of the Committee to be erroneously
left with any impression to the contrary, I would be extremely
grateful if you could bring the contents of this letter to their
Thank you in anticipation.
3 July 2000