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Terms of Reference for Curran Investigation

Terms of Reference for Curran Investigation

Release of the Terms of Reference for the investigation into the engagement of Clare Curran by the Ministry for the Environment.

The State Services Commissioner, Mark Prebble, today issued the terms of reference for this investigation.

"I am releasing the terms of reference for this investigation in order that all involved can understand that it will be a thorough and fair process. It will address the concerns around Public Service neutrality and issues of conflict of interest that have been raised.

"In order to ensure that this investigation is able to arrive at a fair and accurate account of the facts, it will be helpful for people to refrain from publicly commenting or speculating on what they think the facts to be.

"Everyone we speak to can be confident that they will get a full, fair and unbiased hearing from the State Services Commission.

"I am not in a position to provide a date for release of the report, but it is a high priority and the intention is to complete it and make it public as soon as possible," Mark Prebble said.

Investigation into the engagement of Clare Curran by the Ministry for the Environment
Terms of Reference

Clare Curran was engaged on contract by the Ministry for the Environment between May and July 2006. Concerns have been raised publicly whether the Ministry for the Environment was inappropriately influenced in its decision to contract Clare Curran by the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues. In the course of the State Services Commission's reporting to the Minister for the Environment on the accuracy of advice from the Ministry for the Environment to the Minister on aspects of the engagement of Clare Curran, additional issues for clarification have arisen, particularly relating to whether or how any conflicts of interest were identified and managed.

Pursuant to provisions of the State Sector Act 1988, the State Services Commissioner has decided to investigate the issues raised, particularly relating to the circumstances in which the decision to engage Clare Curran was made and the extent to which any conflicts of interest were identified and managed.

1 The State Services Commissioner will:
1.1 Investigate the relevant facts around the contracting of Clare Curran by the Ministry for the Environment.
1.2 Make any appropriate findings on the issues and draw any lessons for the Public Service.

2 The Deputy State Services Commissioner will take responsibility for finding all the relevant facts and report to the State Services Commissioner.

Under Section 12 of the State Sector Act, the Deputy State Services Commissioner may exercise all the powers of the Commissioner and therefore has the Commissioner's powers and authority to summon witnesses and receive evidence specified in section 25 of the Act.


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