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Maharey comment on Rankin letter to Bradford

13 March 2001 Media Statement

Maharey comment on Rankin letter to Bradford

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said this afternoon he was disappointed he had not been briefed by Work and Income Chief Executive Christine Rankin in relation to potential defamation proceedings in her personal and private capacity against Green Social Services spokesperson Sue Bradford.

Mr Maharey said it was an accepted convention that senior public servants would normally inform their Ministers if such an action was being contemplated. This is also detailed in the Public Service Code of Conduct published by the State Services Commission:

"Generally, public servants have the same rights of access to their political representatives as other members of the public. However given the requirement for public servants to remain politically neutral in their work, such communications should be approached with special sensitivity … employees occupying senior positions or working closely with Ministers should exercise particular care with such communications …".

Mr Maharey said that in view of the potential for the matter to come before the courts he would be making no further comment.

ENDS

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