15. Letter to Ms Nadine Dorries MP
from the Commissioner, 2 February 2010|
Thank you for your letter of 25 January responding
to mine of 15 December about this complaint in respect of the
identification of your main home for the purposes of your claims
against the Additional Costs Allowance.
I was most grateful for this response. I will now
be working through your revised diary entries and the supporting
information you gave me in your letter and will be back in touch
with my conclusions.
There was one immediate point, however, about which
I need to ask you. In the table which I sent you with my letter
of 15 December, I identified from your e-mail of 8 October that
you had in 2006-07 spent 111 nights in your constituency. The
information given in the table towards the end of your letter
of 25 January in effect transposes this to London. You have told
me that your PA, who completed the box, may have misunderstood
what you said. It would be helpful if you could let me know a
bit more about how such an error occurred and how you failed to
notice it afterwards.
You ask about the evidence I may receive from your
neighbours. Under my procedures, I am able to take evidence from
witnesses. That evidence is, like all the other evidence I receive,
subject to parliamentary privilege during the course of my inquiries.
Once I am clear about the evidence I have received from witnesses,
I normally show it to the Member and invite their comments. It
is too early to say how pertinent any evidence I receive from
your neighbours or other witness may be to the outcome of my inquiries.
You asked also about confidentiality. As you know,
information you send me is subject to parliamentary privilege
during the course of my inquiries. But it may be published once
my inquiry is completed. This may be so if I decide to submit
a memorandum to the Committee on Standards and Privileges when
I would submit to the Committee all the relevant evidence I have
received and the Committee would normally publish that with my
memorandum along with their own report. I am, however, able to
omit sections of the information I have received if I think it
is necessary and if I think the information is not required by
the Committee to assess the evidence on which I have reached my
conclusion. It is also open to Members to ask the Committee not
to publish with their report parts of evidence I have received.
I will be back in touch as soon as I have concluded
my work on your overnight stays. I would hope then to approach
the Department of Resources for their help on this inquiry. They
will be given copies of all the evidence I have received to help
them form their advice to me.
Thank you for your help on these matters.
2 February 2010