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State Services Commission asked to clarify Parmar ruling

Rajen Prasad
Associate Spokesperson on Social Development

24 March 2014

State Services Commission asked to clarify Parmar ruling

Labour’s Associate Social Development spokesperson Rajen Prasad wants a clarification from the State Services Commissioner into why he believes there is no conflict of interest with a Families Commissioner actively campaigning for the National Party.

My letter asks Ian Rennie whether he has been provided with all the information around Dr Parmjeet Parmar, who has been politicking, wearing a party rosette at the Pasifika Festival and talking about standing in the Hunua seat.

“The position taken by the Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission, Belinda Milnes, that Dr Parmar does not have a conflict of interest to declare, is downright perplexing.

“The Chief Commissioner believes that a conflict will only arise if Dr Parmar is actually selected. In the meantime she does not intend taking any action. She has now confirmed that she is relying on State Services Commission advice that Dr Parmar’s actions do not breach its conflict of interest guidelines.

“I find this astounding and inconsistent with the guidelines set by the State Services Commission and the Auditor-general. The Minister and the Chief Commissioner had prior knowledge about Dr Parmar’s political ambitions and have not managed her potential conflict of interest competently.

“The Families Commissioner has now effectively approved Dr Parmar’s right to campaign while still a Commissioner. While Dr Parmar has confirmed her interest in a candidacy, Belinda Milnes does not see anything that needs to be declared and managed. I do!”

ENDS

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