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Govt caught out over rush-job merger

Roger Sowry National State Services Spokesperson

19 April 2001

Govt caught out over rush-job merger

"Trevor Mallard's admission today that he ignored his officials' advice to consult several agencies on a merger of state services further indicates the whole thing is designed around getting rid of Christine Rankin," National's State Services spokesman Roger Sowry said today.

"Mr Mallard says he couldn't trust his own officials to keep the merger quiet. If that's the case he must have had something pretty big to hide.

"The papers released by the Government confirm the Department of Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Policy merger is all about one individual and one job. They show that until a fortnight before Cabinet's rushed decision, no decisions had been made and no departments consulted.

"This flies in the face of Helen Clark's promises of openness and transparency. Her Ministers have avoided answering my questions of 26 March asking whether there was work being done on a merger. Papers do show that merging the departments with the Child Youth and Family Service was considered.

"I am seeking advice from the Speaker of the House today on whether Ministers may have mislead Parliament in responding to my written questions.

"The Government is implementing this restructure without any financial analysis or consultation. That's no way to make changes and illustrates the blatant rush and disorganisation surrounding this merger, which is simply aimed at ditching Christine Rankin," Mr Sowry said.

Ends


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