Saturday, August 04, 2007

what Prebble knew but didn't reveal

Helen Clark has expressed disappointment in Environment Ministry Chief Executive Hugh Logan for failing to mention the crucial conversation he had had with Benson-Pope regarding the Madeleine Setchell case. Given that Benson-Pope, Logan and State Services Commissioner Mark Prebble had all privately expressed opinion on the appropriateness of Setchells employment without even knowing her political opinion,(and hid that from the public) why hasn't Clark expressed disappointment with Prebble as she has done with the other two?

Prebble can hardly dismiss Logan for not revealing that Benson-Pope had spoken to him about his views on Setchell's employment, given that he himself had a similar "forgotten" conversation with the Minister.

If Prebble has a legal obligation to oversee any inquiry, he surely has some obligation to remember the truth. Given that he didn't, he should come under more scrutiny as Logan for his omission, given his carefully worded Dominion Post piece omitting the relevant truth. Thats not merely being forgetful. It's the SSC's job is to keep the public service honest. To do that you have to be fully honest yourselves.

Prebble doesn't make mistakes like this accidentally. Like Benson-Pope, he should be held accountable for this omission if he wants the public to believe we have a neutral public service.

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