Mr Andrew Mackay and Ms Julie Kirkbride - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

40.  Letter to Rt Hon Andrew Mackay from the Commissioner, 3 August 2010

Thank you for your e-mail of 2 August responding to my letter to you of 21 July with the letter of 18 July from the former Head of the Fees Office.

You note that I did not send to that witness the final paragraph of your e-mail to me of 13 July, referring to the advice of the Director of Strategic Projects. This was because I wanted the evidence of the then Head of the Fees Office about his conversations with you rather than any comments on the views of the Director. But, in view of your suggestion that with that knowledge, the answer in part b) of this witness's letter of 18 July might have been different, I am now putting the matter to him. Your e-mail of 13 July quoted only part of the relevant paragraphs of the Director's letter of 17 March. I am sending him the full relevant extracts, namely paragraphs 2 and 3 of that letter.

The evidence from the then Head of the Fees Office has, as you know, identified for my inquiry your May 2009 telephone call to him. I was not, of course, aware of that telephone call before I received his evidence and so did not raise it in interview with you. It would be helpful if you could let me know why you did not tell me about such an apparently important telephone conversation which, you would have known, did not corroborate your recollection of the advice you received in your meeting with the then Head of the Fees Office in about September 1997. It might have been expected that you would have considered it relevant and so would have referred to that conversation in your written evidence or when, in oral evidence, you were describing your very clear memory of your 1997 meeting.

I will let you see the response I receive from this witness. I would hope then that I can bring this inquiry to a conclusion so that the matter can be resolved before too much longer. I would be very grateful, therefore, if you could let me have a response to the one remaining point about your telephone conversation in May 2009 within the next week.

Thank you for your help.

3 August 2010

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