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

 

Julie Webb-Pullman: Palestinian National Unity Government: The Power Of One

A national unity government. Elections. A new-look PLO. Community reconciliation. Big hopes, even bigger expectations as representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas came to an agreement in Gaza today to form a national ... More>>

ALSO:

Charles Drace: What Really Happened In Ukraine

I went to Ukraine for dental treatment last year and saved enough on the treatment to pay for several weeks visiting both Western Ukraine and the Russian speaking part. I made friends with people from both parts, or should I say, both 'sides' as Ukraine ... More>>

ALSO:

Vincent L. Guarisco: A Western Shoshone Tragedy Vs Nevada Millionaire Rancher

Wow, I am always puzzled at how lucky some people are as apposed to others. Presently, a lot of media fanfare and armed militia have come to the aid of rancher 'Cliven Bundy.' It seems that they have helped him win the day. Or, so it would seem at least ... More>>

David Swanson: Torture Is Mainstream Now

As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president. And it's not hard to see why that would be the case. More>>

Uri Avnery: In One Word: Poof!

Poor John Kerry. This week he emitted a sound that was more expressive than pages of diplomatic babble. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee he explained how the actions of the Israeli government had torpedoed the “peace ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Poverty Incentive: Making The Poor Carry The Refugee Can

The poorer you are, the more likely you need to shoulder more. This axiomatic rule of social intercourse, engagement and daily living is simple and brutal enough: the poor shall hold, conserve, preserve. More>>

Nureddin Sabir: BBC Misreports John Kerry On Talks Failure

For once, US Secretary of State John Kerry was not mincing his words when he blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks with the Palestinians. But you would not have known this if you were following the story from the BBC News website. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Narendra Modi, And The Elections In India

On the upside, the gigantic election process that began yesterday in India is the largest exercise in democracy on the planet. Reportedly, a staggering five million people are employed, directly or indirectly, in the election process. The likely outcome is not quite so welcome... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news