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Clark tries to isolate Ministers from inquiry

Clark tries to isolate Ministers from inquiry

National Party State Services spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the public will want to know why Helen Clark failed to mention ministerial involvement in the brief she’s given the Auditor General to investigate issues around the Immigration Service.

“Her brief is completely silent on what Ministers knew.

“Right from the time that issues around the Immigration Service surfaced, Ministers have tried to excuse them as operational or employment matters. Helen Clark is again attempting to isolate herself and her Ministers from further uncomfortable questions.

“National says for the Auditor General to be able to get to the bottom of all the murky details, Ministerial involvement must form a part of the inquiry. The terms of reference should include which Ministers were briefed about the Oughton report, and when both Helen Clark and Ministers knew about the allegations surrounding Mary Anne Thompson’s CV.

“We need to know what prompted David Cunliffe’s concerns in April 2007, and what he was told in July 2007 when the Oughton report was finalised.

“What was Clayton Cosgrove told when he was briefed in December 2007 and why did no one take these issues seriously until matters relating to Mary Anne Thompson and the Pacific branch were made public in April 2008?

“Furthermore, we need to understand what sort of Ministerial contact there was with the State Services Commission about Mary Anne Thomspon’s CV and whether the Prime Minister made inquiries about why Ms Thompson dropped out of the running for the job to head the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“The public also need assurances that Ministers will co-operate, or be compelled to co-operate and that the inquiry’s findings will be released long before the election.

“The public won’t tolerate another inquiry which fails to deal with the fundamental questions.”


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