Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Second Report

Annex 96

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 attention.

Thank you in anticipation.

3 July 2000

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