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NCEA cover-up continues

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

18 March 2005

NCEA cover-up continues

The refusal of Labour’s Education Ministers to release information relating to problems with last year’s scholarship exams shows they are more concerned with dodging political accountability than fixing the system, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

Requests lodged by Mr English under the Official Information Act relating to information surrounding the scholarship results and action taken in response to them have not been returned within the required time, breaching the Act.

Earlier this month, David Benson-Pope refused to release policy advice he had received about the scholarship exam on the grounds that there was too much of it.

Responses to other requests for official advice and information have also been delayed.

“The law requires information requested under the Official Information Act to be released within 20 working days or an extension of time to be requested. The Ministers have ignored this requirement,” says Mr English.

“The actions of Mr Mallard and Mr Benson-Pope demonstrate total contempt for the public accountability that parents and students want and expect to see around the scholarship shambles.

“The only way to reassure parents, teachers and students that this kind of mess will not happen again is to make this information public to show what went wrong and what’s being done about it,”says Mr English.

ENDS

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