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

44.  Letter to Rt Hon Andrew Mackay from the Commissioner, 12 August 2010

When I wrote to you on 3 August, I said that I was writing to the former Head of the Fees Office to meet your request that that witness should see the final paragraph of your e-mail to me of 13 July. As you will know from that letter, I sent that witness paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Director's letter of 17 March.

I have now received a response of 8 August from the former Head of the Fees Office. I attach a copy. As you will see, he has taken the opportunity to provide more information about matters which he believes would have influenced any advice which he gave you; he has commented on the evidence from the Director of Strategic Projects; and he has offered some further comments reflecting his views on the designations both by you and Ms Kirkbride. As you will see, he has concluded that: "There is, therefore, no reason for me to change my evidence, for Mr Mackay is wrong in his recollection of my advice given in September 1997."

In view of this witness's comments on the evidence which you asked me to show him from the Director of Strategic Projects, I have written to the Director to show him this witness's comments and to invite any response he may wish to make. I have also written to the witness to let him know that, while I have noted his own views on the designations made by you and Ms Kirkbride, he has not seen the evidence which you have provided in relation to your designations. These were not matters which I had put to him.

There is clearly a difference in the recollections which you and the then Head of the Fees Office have of your discussion in or about September 1997. I will need to reflect this in the memorandum which I am preparing for the Committee on Standards and Privileges and in preparing my conclusions on this matter.

You are, of course, welcome to let me have any further factual points you may wish to make on the witness's response, although I suspect that we are now at the point where the evidence from you and the other witness has been fully explored. I will, however, let you have a copy of the Department's response when I receive it. And I look forward to receiving your response to the one remaining point I put to you in my letter of 3 August.

12 August 2010

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