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Statement on SSC report into Christine Rankin


Hon Roger Sowry and Hon Peter McCardle

3 August 1999

Social Services, Work and Income Minister Roger Sowry and Associate Minister of Work and Income Peter McCardle said today that they accept the conclusions of the report into the performance of the WINZ CEO Christine Rankin.

"The action taken by the State Services Commissioner sends a clear signal to all state-sector chief executives that they have to be extremely careful with taxpayer funds, including when holding or attending conferences and training programmes," Mr Sowry said.

"However, staff training is a critical part of any organisation, whether private or publicly-owned, and chief executives can't feel that genuine training is discouraged."

In the nine months that WINZ has been in existence, there have been some major hurdles for the department to overcome.

"The integration itself was nothing short of a massive undertaking, plus coping with policy changes, taking on a new employment focus, and being constantly.in the glare of the media spotlight.

"And despite all these challenges, we feel overall WINZ is doing a good job in helping hard-to-place jobseekers get off a benefit and back into the workforce.

"We still have confidence in Ms Rankin as chief executive of WINZ," the Ministers said.

Due to the fact that there is another, in-depth investigation currently being done by the Office of the Auditor General, both Ministers said they would not be commenting further on the matter until the investigation was over.

"We have made our feelings on the matter clear and it would be inappropriate for us to say anything more until the Auditor General has finished his report."

ENDS

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