Conduct of Mr Derek Conway: fourth report of session 2007-08, report and appendices, together with formal minutes

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The Stationery Office, Jan 28, 2008 - Political Science - 86 pages
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Following a memorandum submitted by the former Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, this report is a consequence of a complaint against Mr Derek Conway, Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup from a Mr Michael Barnbrook. The complaint concerned the fact that Mr Conway was paying his son 981 a month from his Parliamentary Staffing Allowance while his son was in full-time education at Newcastle University. Also that he had refused to disclose what work his son was doing on his behalf, or the hours his son worked. There appears to be no dispute over the fact Mr Conway employed his younger son as a part-time assistant from 1 September 2004 to 24 August 2007. His job description was based on a standard job description as set out by the Department of Resources (DFA) and his contract of employment provided he worked for 17 hours a week. He was originally employed on a salary of 10,000 per annum, increased to 11,773, which was backdated to the start of his employment. His basic salary was within the pay range set by the DFA. His son was also given four one-off sums, intended as in lieu of an annual salary uprating and bonuses for good work. The Committee has set out the following responses, including: that Mr Conway paid bonuses to his son in excess of the maximum permitted levels between 2005 - 2008; based on the Parliamentary Commissioner's assessment of the duties Mr Conway's son was asked to perform, it was unlikely he required all the contracted hours he was being paid for, the Committee therefore expresses scepticism that Mr Conway's son worked the permitted contracted hours per week; there is no record of the work his son is supposed to have done or a record of the hours kept, so any remuneration given was at the very least an improper use of the Parliamentary allowances, or at worst a serious diversion of public funds; that the salary paid to his son, was therefore a misuse of the Staffing Allowance; that as a consequence Mr Conway should repay the overpaid bonus funds, together with the associated pension contribution; the Committee stated that it regards this case as a serious breach of the rules and recommends Mr Conway be suspended from the service of the House for 10 sitting days, and also apologise to the House for his shortcomings by way of a personal statement.

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Memorandum from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from Mr Derek Conway 14
Reports from the Committee on Standards and Privileges in the current

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