Standards Commissioner George Hyzler has once again written to the Speaker of the House to deny various claims made against him by Labour’s whip Glenn Bedingfield who is coordinating a sustained attack on Hyzler following several rulings that have embarrassed government.
Hyzler said he investigated the claim that someone within the Office of the Standards Commissioner spent €3,000 on telephone calls paid for by public funds but “nothing resulted to substantiate these allegations”.
“Once again I invite the person who made these allegations to pass on any details, if he really wants me to investigate what he is alleging,” said Hyzler.
“In the absence of that, the only conclusion can be that this MP is consistently trying to undermine my office by making insinuations and unfounded accusations not only against me but also against the employees of my office, who are being victimised for doing their duties like all other public employees.”
Regarding his driver, Hyzler said his driver gets paid less than those of the ministers and parliamentary secretaries, and is expected to work everyday, unlike those employed by ministers or parliamentary secretaries who work one day in, one day out.
Hyzler denied that anyone in his office was ever found guilty of negligence as an auditor. A member of his office was simply included in a civil court case against Deloitte because he was a partner at Deloitte and all partners were written into the case.
Hyzler denied that his legal consultant’s son was a member of civil society NGO Repubblika, and said that even if he was, it would not constitute a conflict of interest because the legal consultant does not decide cases. Hyzler added that the Speaker’s legal consultant had a son who was contesting the general election for a particular political party but that did not constitute a conflict of interest for the legal consultant.
“When it comes to the perception of conflict of interest, one must consider whether the consistent violent attacks against me in Parliament are compatible with the role of who is making them as a member of the parliamentary committee which should be considering the reports presented for this committee about his own colleague MPs,” Hyzler said.
Bedingfield has spent weeks arguing that a former MP should never hold the role of Standards Commissioner although he never explained why.
What do you make of Hyzler’s response?