Audrey Young is back and blogging, and this morning, produces a very poignant piece on the resignation of Immigration head Mary Anne Thompson. Here's the link:
If anything, this piece merely asks more questions that it answers - like "how?" and "why?". Young says:
"Thompson's appointment in 2004 was part of the circuit-breaker to rebuild the competence and reputation of an important arm of the public service.But what she did could not be excused and she had to go. Hopefully she came to that conclusion herself without pressure from Chris Blake, the head of the Labour Department.
What can't be fathomed is why her highly regarded judgment deserted her."
That is the big question. Has the public service become insidiously affected with a virus whereby cutting corners, putting self-interest ahead of the public good and ignoring departmental policies have become the rule rather than the exception? And is this a consequence of the stacking of the public service with those who are sympathetic to the causes of the Labour-led government? They are serious questions, and Young's conclusion seems to point in that direction:
"Another inquiry is underway by the State Services Commission and hopefully it will be more comprehensive and stretch back to the initial handling of the matter - make that non-handling - by ex-Labour Department chief, James Buwalda, who did not discipline Thompson.
The disturbing element of this case, however, is that the resignation was tendered only because Thompson's inappropriate involvement in her family's applications became public, not because of the inappropriate involvement itself."