Posts by nzlemming

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    The idea of them servicing the public/being ‘public servants’ doesn’t have much meaning in law to my knowledge.

    Correct. It's a misunderstanding that has been fostered by successive governments along the lines of "We're from the government, we're here to help". :-D

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Sacha,

    Simplest fix is to make parliamentary services covered by the OIA.

    Legally speaking, that's problematic. Official information is information received or generated by the Government of the day. Parliament is constitutionally separate. I would not want to see a situation arise where Parliament is subject to the wishes of the Government, and extending the OIA might be the thin end of the wedge.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    All you could want to know about what public servants should and should not do is here at the SSC who I note are now using "State Servants" as a role name. The UK Civil Service is the model, and it was set up under the Public Service Act 1912 as a way of avoiding jobs being handed out by politicians as patronage. There's quite a good 100th anniversary publication by Redmer Yska available from the site. The idea of public servants being specifically "servants of the public" is a misunderstanding. Public service, as defined in Wikipedia is:

    "... a service which is provided by government to people living within its jurisdiction, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing provision of services.

    which may be the reason SSC is now using "State Servants". It's 12 years since I was last employed by the gummint (at the SSC) so I don't know the reason for the change.

    Government agencies are politically neutral (and there are quite strict requirements on staff who are personally active politically) but they are part of the Executive Branch of Government and their job is to provide policy advice (which these days goes unheeded by Ministers), execute the statutory functions of government and implement such policy initiatives as the Government of the day may implement.

    There was never a contract clause (at least, not in any of mine) that specified that you served the GotD, but there was always a clause that you had to abide by the terms of the Code of Conduct. There is no particular legal requirement for a public/state servant to report a crime any more than an ordinary member of the public, though it is expected. This means you can pay tax on the profits of crime legitimately to the IRD and they are unable to tell the Police about the crime itself. At least they were - it's 20 years since I worked at IRD and data sharing has changed how a lot of this stuff interacts.

    All that said, it doesn't actually apply to Parliamentary Services. Parliament is not part of the Government of the day - it is a sovereign entity that the Government of the day reports to, hence Question Time. They are constitutionally independent and fiercely protective of that, to the point that they requested parliament.nz as a second level domain name because they felt they did not fit under govt.nz. And I had no real reason not to give it to them. All the Offices of Parliament report to the Speaker, not the Government, as does PS. They're not subject to the OIA, as ordinary MPs are not subject to it either. Only Ministers of the Crown, and the agencies that report to them, fall under the official information rubric. There are valid reasons for this, under constitutional law.

    In summary, if PS did what I suggested some posts back, then they followed the correct course of action in reporting the matter to the Speaker. Normally, I would not expect every employment matter to go to the Speaker, but each Speaker runs the shop his or her own way. I do believe that, if the Speaker was made aware that a crime may have been committed by an MP and that it impacted on a PS staff member, then he should have contacted the police and referred the matter to them for investigation. There is no indication that that happened.

    I would also expect the Speaker to raise the matter with the leader of the relevant party, in this case the PM. I would also expect that the PM should liaise with the Police on the matter, and instruct his MP to front up. There is no indication that that happened either. All indications are that the PM ordered the cover up and supplementary payment for Joyce Dickson's silence. I really cannot see that PS would allow that payment to be channeled via them, but the Speaker may have ordered it. If it was a separate payment, there is no question of it being an employment matter, because the party did not employ Dickson - PS did.

    I suspect Newsroom has a few more stories to file...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    Actually, public servants are required to serve the Government of the day. Your bias has you reading things that aren't there.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    They've made a complete hash of it. A new MP can dispose of the staff in their electorate office without reason, just because they don't feel confident in them. Barclay didn't do that though. He wanted to score over Dickson and have her fired for disloyal comments. So he recorded her illegally.

    My guess is that, when he went to Parliamentary Services with his recordings, they reared back on their hind legs and said "You've broken the law! We're not touching that! However, as you don't need a particular reason, we will facilitate her termination."

    I'd guess also that the head of PS had a quiet word with the Speaker (his boss), who then had a quiet word with the PM (Key) about the nature of Barclay's actions. Having been made aware of an illegal act, PS would be bound to report it, but not necessarily to the Police.

    Hands up anyone who doesn't think that the PM would confer with his deputy about such a matter, or the previous member for that seat? Oh. look, it's the same person, and it's the same person who was at his side when he demanded search warrants in the Bradley Ambrose matter, who's been heard trying to say this week that he didn't know taping was illegal. And English may be list only, but do you really think he's going to hand the place off to a spotty 23 year old with no supervision? I don't.

    It doesn't need to be corruption of PS to make this happen. I'm sure they went exactly by the book, as they always do, and that any payment from them was totally above board. The payment from the Leader's fund will have been separate, so as not to appear in Parliament's accounts.

    No-one has yet connected the dots to Carter and he had to be involved by virtue of his authority over and responsibility for Parliament. Either he or Key or both should have called the cops in.

    English doesn't have to be Dickson's employer to be guilty of a cover-up of a crime that he falsely claims to be an employment dispute.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Sacha,

    Audrey Young is truly the worm that turned at the moment. Remains to be seen if she lasts the distance.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Melodrama,

    Just playing YouTube Roulette and came across this:

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Melodrama, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It the way whole damn thing actually works.

    Quite.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Melodrama, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's not Lorde, it's the whole damn industry.

    And has been for a long while now.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2756 posts Report Reply

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