The Herald has just posted a story on the release of the State Services Commissioner's report into the Madeleine Setchell sacking. Here's the link:
Predictably, the report finds that Environment Ministry CEO, Hugh Logan made "management errors" in his handling of the affair, and Dr Prebble has imposed a "monetary consequence" of reportedly around 15% of his annual salary. I say that's not good enough, and Logan should resign.
Even more noteworthy though is Dr Prebble's revelation that his OWN conduct was "sub-standard", and he has imposed a penalty of 2.5% of his $400K pa salary! Hello!!!
Alongside the release of Dr Prebble's report is that of former Commissioner Don Hunn. The Herald reports that "Dr Hunn's report noted differing accounts of how events unfolded and many lapses of memory by some of the significant players." and that there were "significant errors" in the handling of the case.
The Herald goes on:
"Dr Hunn said while he was not asked to make any judgment on the actions of any of those involved except the State Services Commission (SSC), he found the ministry had made "significant errors" in hiring Ms Setchell, and sacking her.
It was clear from the evidence that Mr Logan had decided he had no option but to sack her, once he had heard of the minister's office's concerns about her appointment, Dr Hunn said.
The SSC had failed to show "sufficient leadership" to avoid the outcome that Mr Logan had decided upon from the outset, the report said."
You "failed to show sufficient leadership" Dr Prebble, yet you penalise yourself a mere sixth (in perecentage terms) of what you penalise Hugh Logan. That is a disgrace! But wait, there's more!! The Herald continues:
"When the matter became public several months ago, Mr Logan came under fire for failing to pass on to deputy state services commissioner Iain Rennie that Mr Benson-Pope had told him he could not be as free and frank if Ms Setchell was the ministry's communications manager.
That meant an initial report Mr Rennie prepared for the then state services minister Annette King was incomplete.
Before Mr Benson-Pope quit, SSC commissioner Mark Prebble wrote an article in which he stated that the minister had not been involved in the process behind her sacking.
It was also later revealed Dr Prebble was also told by the former minister he did not want Ms Setchell in his office, a fact which Dr Prebble said he did not recall when writing the article."
An earlier report in the Herald says that Dr Prebble has invited Ministers to sack him if they have concerns. I say to those Ministers - please accept Dr Prebble's invitation. If our most senior public servant cannot remember something as significant as Benson-Pope told him, that he "did not want Ms Setchell in his office" he is not fit to hold office.
I hope that when Question Time ends this afternoon, Margaret Wilson intones..."I have received a letter from.." and Parliament can urgently debate this matter.