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Monday, September 28, 2009

Molehunt abandoned

The decision of the Speaker of the House of Commons to abandon the hunt for the person who leaked details of MPs' expenses is an important symbolic act. It sends out a message that it is not the leak that is important but the reform of an unjustifiable system.

As Mr. Bercow says: "A witch-hunt of this kind is wrong in principle and offers the impression that MPs, not taxpayers, are the victims in this expenses affair, a view that is manifestly mistaken." He is absolutely right.

We still have to await the outcome of the House of Commons' own inquiry into their expenses system of course, but I know that the Speaker is not sitting around twiddling his thumbs. He is in Wales this week to see what the Assembly Commission has done to introduce greater transparency and accountability into its systems and how we are implementing the report by Sir Roger Jones and his group.

The Speaker will also be looking at other measures taken by the Commission to deliver a modern and outward-facing democracy. I will be meeting him at some point to talk about the IT side and in particular our e-petition system, forums and Senedd TV. Could some of these ideas be appearing in the House of Commons anytime soon? We will see.
"Could some of these ideas be appearing in The House of Commons anytime soon?"

Meanwhile the people of Wales are still waiting for a Presiding Officer with the same professionalism as The Speaker of The House of Commons.

Mind you, we should all be grateful I suppose. For the people of Wales have a Welsh Assembly that provides them with an e-petition system, forums and, yes folks, Senedd TV. It is has all changed out lives beyond belief and recognition, particularly Senedd TV. Even waiting lists have disappeared because of it. Whatever next? Perhaps the Welsh Assembly will adopt this idea from Westminster - public spending cuts.
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