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ARB claims Salisbury points are far from fact

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You published a letter from Ian Salisbury on the government's decision to enlarge the ARB Professional Conduct Committee (AJ 3.6.04). It contained three points on which your readers might like further information.

The first is that Salisbury says the ODPM acted with 'unseemly haste' in bringing the Statutory Instrument in. There was no unseemly haste - the same parliamentary procedures were applied as for any other Statutory Instrument.

Secondly, Salisbury refers to the 'ARB's unlawful' policies.

The ARB has no unlawful policies - the board has sought expert legal advice to ensure that it behaves appropriately. At the meeting of the board held on 20 May 2003, when challenged about this accusation, Salisbury responded: 'I believe the board has been mistaken. I have made no allegation that it has acted in bad faith.' Even so, the board did not agree that it had been mistaken, let alone acted unlawfully or in bad faith.

Thirdly, Salisbury says that the introduction of the Statutory Instrument was defeated in debate by the board. That is not so. Rather, after close debate, it was endorsed by the board.

Robin Vaughan, chief executive and registrar, ARB

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