Deletion of MPs’ attendance data may hamper misconduct investigations, unions warn |  Political news

Deletion of MPs’ attendance data may hamper misconduct investigations, unions warn | Political news

MP misconduct investigations could be jeopardized after House of Commons authorities agreed to delete attendance data for members of parliament, the unions have warned.

Following complaints from the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Mark Spencer, House of Commons Clerk John Benger agreed to remove data on when MPs had been in parliament after seven days.

The dispute over deletion of MPs’ data arose after Rees-Mogg, an official cabinet minister, tweeted about a “leftist freedom of information request” showing he had attended the House of Commons 159 times in 154 days sitting.

He complained, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, asked MPs to make statements on whether the data should be removed, and it was decided that it should be removed every week.

when news from heaven asked to see the reasons why parliamentarians did not want this data to be kept – where it could have been accessed through further freedom of information requests – the Spokesperson refused.

Now two separate unions have raised concerns about how this could affect investigations into the allegations against MPs.

Garry Graham, deputy general secretary of the Prospect union, which represents civil servants, said: “Given the growing concern about sexual misconduct by parliamentarians involving parliamentary workers, it seems potentially unwise to destroy evidence that could substantiate an allegation. made about the occurrence of such an incident”. on the farm.”

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Jawad Raza, a country official for the FDA, who also represents civil servants, said: “House authorities need to be more transparent about why the decision to remove MPs’ attendance data was made, as this information could be vital for safety and security purposes”. .

“Knowing which MPs have attended the parliamentary premises is often useful when investigating cases of misconduct involving intimidation or harassment of staff, and indeed for tracking positive cases during a pandemic.”

Mr Rees-Mogg, along with the Leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer, met with Sir Lindsay before making the decision.

Parliamentary officials spoke with security, legal, information management, information compliance and human resources advisers, as well as members of the House of Commons Committee.

It comes after a series of complaints in recent months and years about the conduct of MPs, including the scandal surrounding the former deputy chief. Chris Pincherwhich was instrumental in the downfall of Boris Johnson.

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A House of Commons spokesman said: “The House Clerk, as data controller, has completed a review of the House’s data retention policy in respect of members. Having considered relevant advice and representations, the Data retention policy for members has been updated so that all pass usage data is retained for only seven days.

“The Secretary is satisfied that retention of this data for the proposed period meets all of our health and safety requirements. We are unable to comment further on the details of our security or investigative processes.”

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