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Rankin should be sacked

Press Release 3 August 1999

The Green Party says the State Services Commission's minor censure of WINZ Chief Executive Christine Rankin is disappointing but predictable.

"The SSC has given Rankin the classic slap over the wrist with a wet bus ticket treatment," says Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald. "At best she will lose a bonus which is worth more than most people earn in a year.

"The bottom line is that Christine Rankin authorised payments for air charters to a resort hotel and numerous extravagances at other conferences. Not only is she responsible for this expenditure, she personally initiated much of it and should be held to account.

"I believe Christine Rankin should have been sacked for her failure to apply an acceptable level of financial management.

"By merely reprimanding her over the chartered planes State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham has delivered a very weak message about what is acceptable behaviour for departmental chief executives.

"He also appears to have ignored the other conferences even though they were in his brief and he should have been required to look into whether expenditure on the re-branding WINZ and numerous advertising campaigns undertaken by WINZ was appropriate.

"Meanwhile the failure of WINZ to meet its own key performance targets has been quietly brushed aside. The two clearly go together as the WINZ culture puts style before substance.

"Christine Rankin will continue to be an embarrassment to the National Government until she goes", he said.

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