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SSC review into WINZ settlement released


Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Palmerston North

28 January 2000

SSC review into WINZ settlement released

Social Services Minister Steve Maharey today released the review by the State Services Commissioner into the procedures used to settle a dispute between WINZ and a former staff member which occurred before the general election. The Commissioner was asked to provide an assurance that proper procedures had been followed and accountabilities had been properly assigned.

“Labour has made clear that it is determined to restore a sense of moderation, accountability and integrity to the public service.

“In his review the Commissioner says he has ‘confidence that procedures used to reach the settlement . . . were prudent and proper’. In accepting this advice I have made it clear to Mr Wintringham and to WINZ that from now on I expect procedures to be in place to ensure that there are no repeats of similar incidents”, Mr Maharey said.

The Commissioner believes that people involved have been held accountable. In particular he notes that the Chief Executive of WINZ, Mrs Rankin, has been held to account for her public statements about the case and other aspects of the Wairakei incident.

“Mr Wintringham says this accountability involved appropriate financial penalty as well as censure and that this will be reported on publicly when the Commissioner presents his annual report later this year”, Mr Maharey said.

Mr Maharey reiterated that he had received advice that the settlement reached in the case is bounded by strict confidentiality which prevents details from being revealed and further comment being made.

ENDS

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