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Release Of CAA Review Report

Media Release from the State Services Commissioner
Thursday 4 December 2003


The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, today commented on the release of his review report into the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA's principal function is the promotion of safety in civil aviation, at a reasonable cost. The CAA is responsible for establishing safety and security standards relating to the civil aviation system, and monitoring adherence to those standards.

The Chairman of the CAA asked the State Services Commissioner to review conflicts of interest on the part of an employee and/or the CAA itself. The Chairman also asked the Commissioner to review the CAA's policies, procedures and practices for the conduct of special investigations, and investigations relating to the suspension of aviation documents. Douglas White QC was appointed by the Commissioner to conduct the inquiry, under Section 25 of the State Sector Act.

Mr Wintringham says the report identifies a number of areas of concern for the CAA relating to its policies and procedures for managing and investigating conflicts of interest relating to staff.

"I am pleased that the CAA Board has taken immediate steps to address the report's findings.

"The vast majority of State sector staff uphold the highest standards of ethical behaviours in their work. Allegations of improper behaviour by one individual impact on all State sector staff and any allegations should be investigated thoroughly - as it was in this case.

"There are also lessons for other State sector organisations in this report.

"People who deal with government organisations should expect to be treated fairly, courteously and with due process. That is the basis of trust in government.

"State servants who have the power to affect the lives and livelihoods of New Zealanders carry a particular responsibility. They must operate under clear procedures and to the highest ethical standards. That means the avoidance of conflict of interests, or even the appearance of such conflicts.

"For this reason I support the action taken by the CAA Board in response to my report" Mr Wintringham said.

The Report for the State Services Commissioner on Civil Aviation policies, procedures and practices relating to conflicts of interest and conduct of special purpose inspections and investigations by Douglas White, QC can be found online at http://www.ssc.govt.nz

Background on Section 25 of the State Sector Act

Under section 25 of the State Sector Act, the Commissioner and persons he appoints under section 25(2) of the State Sector Act have the same powers to summon witnesses and to receive evidence as are conferred on a Commission of Inquiry by the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908.


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