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Greens call on AG to censure PM for confidentiality breaches

20 February 2013

Greens call on AG to censure PM over confidentiality breaches

The Green Party has written to the Auditor-General asking her to censure the Prime Minister for breaches of confidentiality relating to his public comments on her offices’ report into the SkyCity convention centre.

“The draft report would have been given to the Prime Minister and others in Government in confidence. By publically talking about the report and giving his interpretation of its findings in advance of its release he broke that confidence,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“John Key used privileged information contained in draft copies of the report to spin the Government’s incorrect line that the report exonerated their actions.

“Politicians are given confidential information all the time. We can’t use that information for political or commercial gain. John Key’s actions in relation to this report set a worrying precedent.

“In my view the Prime Minister’s statements made on the day before and the morning of the report’s release sent a clear signal to the financial markets as to the nature of the findings in the report.

“Breaches of confidentiality are a serious matter. Left unchecked they undermine the work of the Auditor-General and can have implications for the stock exchange.

“The Auditor-General needs to put a stop to breaches of confidentiality and use of privileged information by censuring the Prime Minister on his actions and strengthening future confidentiality arrangements.

“Failure to censure the Prime Minister would send a message to all political parties and other entities that they can utilise privileged information however they wish; even if it is in breach of confidentiality arrangements.”

The Green Party letter to the Auditor General is available here.

ENDS

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