File Note by the Parliamentary Commissioner
14:00, 7 MARCH
In response to a telephone call to my office, I rang
Mr Kirkwood to discuss the nature of the material which he needed
to supply in response to the letter sent to him by Elizabeth Filkin
following up his meeting with Elizabeth last month. Mr Kirkwood
said that a response to the eighteen questions was well advanced
but he had become confused about how much detail he needed to
go into in responding to the questions. If he dealt with Ian Bruce's
complaints on a line by line basis, he was likely to take a great
deal of time in doing so and to overwhelm me with the resulting
quantity of paper. How detailed did he need to be?
I advised Mr Kirkwood that he should go into such
detail as he felt was reasonably possible and appropriate. In
that context, the existence of the seven year rule suggested to
me that it would make sense for him to concentrate particularly
on events which had occurred within the last seven years and the
complaints relating thereto, although he should not exclude comment
on matters before that point.
If Mr Kirkwood proceeded on this basis, I would once
I had had an opportunity to have a look at his response, seek
to discuss with him any outstanding issues. In this way we might
aim to complete the process of enquiry reasonably expeditiously.
I mentioned that I would be abroad from 14-25 March.
In these circumstances, Mr Kirkwood said that he would aim to
get his response to Elizabeth's questions to me on Monday, 11
Mr Kirkwood added that once the complaint brought
against him by Ian Bruce had been resolved, he would welcome the
opportunity of a meeting with me at which we could go through
his Trust activities, which he did not want to give up and which
he certainly wanted to conduct in a proper manner. I said that
I would be happy to talk to him about those matters once the immediate
complaints were resolved.
7 March 2002