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Auditor General must investigate Key’s handling of appointment

Labour Deputy Leader


Auditor General must investigate Key’s handling of GCSB appointment

The Labour Party is asking the Auditor General to conduct an inquiry into the appointment process used to select Ian Fletcher as the Director of the GCSB.

“John Key might want to shrug his shoulders and pretend that nothing out of the ordinary has gone on here, but no-one believes him,” says Labour Deputy Leader Grant Robertson.

“This is a very serious matter. The only democratic oversight of the GCSB comes from the Prime Minister – and his story about Ian Fletcher’s appointment is changing daily.

“It is completely inappropriate for Mr Key to short-circuit proper processes and shoulder-tap a mate for the job of the country’s top spy. Even the State Services Commissioner admits he was surprised that the PM picked up the phone to Ian Fletcher.

“It is now clear that the SSC did not follow its own ‘Guide for Applicants’ which stated that shortlisted candidates would be interviewed.

“Well, that never happened. Instead John Key ripped-up the initial shortlist – which included at least one candidate deemed appropriate for the job by the former head of the GCSB Bruce Fergusson – but the job was never re-advertised.

“Instead, John Key phoned Ian Fletcher, told him to get in touch with someone from within his own Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet about the vacancy. And low and behold that friend is the only person who was interviewed and gets the job.

“The recruitment of Ian Fletcher does not pass the sniff test. The only way to clear this up and restore public confidence is for the Auditor General to investigate,” says Grant Robertson.


NOTE: David Shearer’s letter to the Auditor General is attached, as is the Applicants Guide and GCSB Position Description

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