Inquiry terms of reference widened
The State Services Commission today announced it will broaden the terms of reference for the investigation into allegations a government agency and one of its contractors may have breached the State Services Standards of Integrity and Conduct.
On 16 March, State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes announced the terms of reference and appointed Deputy State Services Commissioner Doug Martin to conduct the investigation.
When he made that announcement, Mr Hughes also asked Mr Martin to consider whether questions around the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment use of Thompson and Clark and other security consultants should be included in the terms of reference.
"Mr Martin has now recommended the terms of reference be extended to include MBIE," said Mr Hughes.
"Mr Martin's view is that the most prudent way to examine the issue is within the formal inquiry process. I have accepted his recommendation.
"Questions have been raised about MBIE's relationship with Thompson and Clark and this inquiry will now seek to answer those questions.
"As I said on March 16, separate to this inquiry, I am also looking more broadly at the use of private investigators by State services agencies to assure myself that they are being used in ways that are consistent with the requirements of the State Services Code of Conduct and that the behaviour of the investigators themselves also meets those standards."
The investigation will be conducted using the Commissioner's functions and powers under the State Sector Act 1988. The Act grants extensive powers of inquiry to the State Services Commissioner or his delegate. This includes the legal power to require the production of any records, files or other information, require government employees to answer questions and enter government premises.
The inquiry will report on the circumstances and reasons for the engagement of external security consultants by Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited and MBIE, including but not limited to Thompson & Clark Investigations Limited. The inquiry's terms of reference have been revised.
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