The famous Carol Mills – John Bercow’s personal candidate for the position of Clerk of the Commons – was up in front of an Australian Senate finance committee this week.
An “excruciating process” (in the words of one present) extracted a number of admissions and confessions that undermine her reputation in the Commons as a “world-class administrator”.
· * Her department hasn’t had a Chief Financial Officer for 12 months.
· * While she chairs the Security management Board – a separate security panel was set up without her knowledge.
· * The threat level may have been fiddled to help justify a $400,000 cut in the security budget.
· * While cuts were being made and improvements to parliamentary facilities were being denied – she spent $3m on refitting her office (nearly twice the original estimate).
· * A contract for $30,000 to take 10 photographs was given to a friend and neighbour of hers from the same Sydney street.