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Government conflict of interest in telecomms Inq.

Maurice Williamson
Opposition IT Spokesperson

3 March 2000

National uncovers Government conflict of interest in telecommunications inquiry

A private telecommunications company (Clear) is advertising on the official government website while the new Government reviews the telecommunications industry, National’s IT spokesman Maurice Williamson uncovered today.

“This is an outrageous conflict of interest. The Government’s official website – funded by taxpayers and managed by a Government department should be free of advertising.

“The website was established as a public good. Does this government believe that advertising Clear is also for the public good?

“This smacks of hypocrisy. While the government trumpets its review of the telecomms industry, it is allowing one of the major companies that stands to benefit from the review to openly advertise on the government official website.

“This comes the very week the government is clamping down on advertising on television. How many rules on advertising does this government have?

“The Minister must explain how such a gross conflict of interest was allowed. It begs the question whether a review is worth having if Clear have already got the new government in its pocket,” says Mr Williamson.

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