Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex ii39

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Ms Maria Fernandes

I refer to my meeting with you last week at your office which was arranged following your letter to me. As you know you asked me questions on a wide range of issues well beyond the subject of the meeting. Despite this I answered your questions for one and a half hours.

You will recall that at the end of the meeting I discovered that I was tape recorded by yourself without my knowledge or consent. You told me that you only asked Members if they agreed to be taped. However in the Ninth Report of the Select Committee at paragraph 12 it states:

"If I interview a witness I make a note of the meeting or ask the person if I may record what they are saying on tape. If a person chooses not to be taped I always send them the note ..." (my italics)

I would just like it noted for the record that I was neither aware nor asked whether I consented to being tape recorded. Therefore the procedure that the Committee has laid down was not followed.

6 July 2001

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