POLITICS

Auditor General's F-35 Documents: MPs Waive Parliamentary Privilege Killing Bid To Stop Release Of Info

09/17/2012 04:25 EDT | Updated 11/17/2012 05:12 EST
CP
OTTAWA - A Federal Court bid to stop auditor general Michael Ferguson from releasing correspondence between his office and a House of Commons committee died a quiet death Monday.

MPs voted to waive the parliamentary privilege of protection over the records in what's being described as a one-time gesture.

A court application was filed by federal lawyers in early September after attempts to persuade Ferguson to reject the information request failed.

The NDP were seeking access to his correspondence with the public accounts committee, where he testified about his explosive report into the handling of the planned purchase of F-35 stealth fighters.

Commons Speaker Andrew Sheer says the action taken by officials was in keeping with long-standing practice and they'd only asked the auditor's office to wait until September before deciding whether to comply with the information request.

The court bid emerged when Ferguson's staff decided not to wait, and Sheer defended the decision to take legal action as a means of safeguarding Commons privileges.

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