CAROL Mills, the Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services, has issued an extraordinary statement in the wake of recent fevered media reporting in the United Kingdom over her proposed appointment to be Clerk of the House of Commons.
I have obviously seen media coverage in recent weeks about recruitment to the role of the Clerk of the House of Commons and Chief Executive Officer of the House of Commons Service. I have declined to confirm or comment upon my candidacy to date, as the selection process has not concluded. However, given comments attributed to the Clerk of the Australian Senate and ongoing interest in the matter, I am issuing this statement.
I was disappointed to read an email reportedly from the Clerk of the Senate, one of my peers at the Parliament of Australia, in the media. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further in a personal capacity at this time. As a senior parliamentary officer, I take seriously my responsibilities to promote and uphold the values and code of conduct articulated in the Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Service Act 1999.
I take this opportunity to thank the many people in Australia and the United Kingdom, including senior parliamentarians and parliamentary officers, who have supported me in my current role as Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) as well as encouraging me to be considered for the role in the UK Parliament.
As Secretary DPS, I can say that the Department is concerned about commentary relating to the use of closed circuit television footage by DPS officers for internal investigations involving DPS staff; a matter presently under consideration by the Senate Standing Committee of Privileges. Until such a time as the Committee completes its inquiry and report, it would not be appropriate for DPS to make any public statement on this incident beyond noting that the Department does not accept the accuracy of some reports on this matter. DPS looks forward to the opportunity to explain to the Committee the basis of its view that use of the CCTV footage was in fact authorised, and wholly consistent with parliamentary privilege.
[Photo by Brent McDonald]