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PSA To Set Up Public Service Ethics Committee

May 20, 2008
For Immediate Use

PSA To Set Up Public Service Ethics Committee

The PSA agrees with the Government decision to have the Auditor-General investigate the Immigration Service following the resignation of its head Mary Anne Thompson.

“We believe an independent investigation by the Auditor-General is needed because
questions continue about the decision-making process at the Immigration Service, particularly in the Pacific Division,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“We would also like to see the Auditor-General look at what advice and guidance the Labour Department has received from the State Services Commission in its handling of issues at the Immigration Service.”

“Our question is, ‘has the Commission been pro-active enough in assisting the Labour Department in this matter?’”

Brenda Pilott says all staff in the Immigration Service, especially in the Pacific Division, will be feeling that they are working under a cloud at the moment.

“The questions being asked are mainly about management’s handling of the situation and the decisions that were made and we believe this is where the Auditor General needs to focus his investigation.”

Brenda Pilott is concerned that these questions may cast a shadow on the integrity of the whole public service.

“That is why the PSA is setting up an ethics committee that will provide advice and guidance to our members, with the focus being on those working in the core public service,” says Brenda Pilott.

“We believe the union is ideally place to provide this assistance because our members work throughout the public service.”

Brenda Pilott says New Zealand has a world class public service that is respected internationally for its integrity.

An international organisation called Transparency International, based in Berlin, does a global corruption survey. In its latest survey, conducted last year, New Zealand, Finland and Iceland shared the top ranking as having the least corrupt public service out of 163 countries.

“We are concerned that the questions about the Immigration Service, in particular the Pacific Division, are placing the integrity of the whole public service at risk,” says Brenda Pilott.

“It’s essential that we maintain the public’s faith in our public services and that’s why the PSA is establishing an ethics committee.”


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