Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


MFAT Leak Report:“Strong Suspicion” But No One Named

MFAT Leak Report:“Strong Suspicion” But No One Named

Findings of the Rebstock Investigation into the Unauthorised Disclosure of Information Relating to the MFAT Restructure– 12 December 2013

Scoop Audio+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell


Click for big version.

An 18-month inquiry into leaks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has pointed the finger at a group of senior MFAT officials and a State Services Commission temporary clerical worker, but no one has been named.

The $510,00 inquiry by Paula Rebstock was to investigate the leak of confidential Cabinet documents on MFAT jobs cuts and restructuring to Labour MP Phil Goff and the media.

The clerical worker, who had previously worked in the Labour Party research unit, had been battling in court against the release of the report.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie, who ordered the investigation, said Ms Rebstock had a "strong suspicions" that a temporary clerical assistant working at the State Services Commission (SSC) leaked the three cabinet papers, but the investigation was unable to find “definitively” who was responsible.

Ms Rebstock's view was that it was not appropriate to name the leaker because there was still an “degree of doubt” and because the individual was a junior staff member, Mr Rennie said.

A lack of forensic information was a cause of the doubt.

Mr Rennie said he was “extremely saddened” that the leak may have come from the SSC and that changes had been made to improve the way sensitive information was handled.

The report also found the conduct of senior “Tier 3” public servants at MFAT during the change process “fell below standards”, and that there was a perception put across by the group that it was acceptable to air opposition to the changes outside the department and for political purposes.

It was probable that MFAT staff leaked material to Phil Goff and the media.

Mr Rennie said he would not talk publicly about persons X,Y, and Z referred to in the report, nor whether he had talked to public sector Chief Executives about whether there they had since employed staff members who had leaked the report.

He understood the change process could be challenging for staff but he expected them to voice their concerns through the “proper channels”.

“Deliberately leaking information and working to undermine and publicly embarrass your Chief Executive is not appropriate and can never be justified.”

Under New Zealand's system of Government it is vital that Cabinet be able to work in a secure and confident way. There was work being done to ensure secure handling of cabinet papers across the public sector.

He said he was not aware of any public sector Chief Executives taking disciplinary action at this time, but the report had only just been released.

The Rebstock report was itself leaked to the media yesterday.

*******

Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.


Click for big version.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

New HiveMind Project: What Should We Do About Sugar?

While most people agree that increased sugar consumption is a major cause of too many New Zealanders being overweight and obese, what we should do about this remains a matter of debate and argument. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Vladimir Putin’s Wonderful, Fabulous, Very Good Year

Safe to say that no-one, but no-one has had a better 2016 than Vladimir Putin. What an annus mirabilis it has been for him. Somehow, Russia got away with directly interfering in the US election process, such that a friendly oligarch is about to take up residence in the White House, rather than a genuine rival. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Normalisation Of Trump

We all supposedly agree that the media is going to hell in a tabloid handbasket, but the trends to the contrary can be a bit harder to spot. In his 1970s book The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe had mocked the way the media instinctively acts as what he called The Victorian Gentleman. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: The Reality Of Fake News

Fake news as reality; the inability to navigate the waters in which it swims; a weakness in succumbing to material best treated with a huge pinch of salt. That, we are told, is the new condition of the global information environment. More>>

Alastair Thompson: Helen Kelly And The Compassionless People
I wasn't a close friend of Helen Kelly's. But her passing has moved me to tears more than once in the past two weeks. I feel honoured to be one of the many who worked with her and was helped by her. More>>

Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On News From The US Election Eve

Here’s a somewhat scary headline from October 30 on Nate Silver’s 538 site, which summed up the statistical factors in play at that point: “The Cubs Have A Smaller Chance Of Winning Than Trump Does” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news