News from State Services Commission
“The State Services Commission was contacted by the Prime Minister’s Office over the last 24 hours on the issue of the former chief executive of the Serious Fraud Office,” said State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today.
“Any activity that undermines, or has the potential to undermine, the trust and confidence in the public service to impartially serve the interests of the government and New Zealanders is a matter of concern to me.”
“It is important that Chief Executives and Ministers mutually support each other to carry out their respective roles, in order to work together to serve the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders. Ministers are entitled to hold public servants to high standards of trust and performance and, in turn, should respect the role the public service plays.”
“I am therefore extremely concerned by an allegation that a Minister has associated with third parties to discuss influencing my assessment of a Public Service Chief Executive. If true, this would be wholly unacceptable.”
“I told the Prime Minister’s Office that Judith Collins had a positive view of Mr Feeley’s performance through her time as Minister responsible for the Serious Fraud Office.”
“The Commission has reviewed its documentation and sought the recollections of staff responsible for the SFO portfolio at the time in coming to this view. This includes the period following the date of the email in October 2011 released today by the Prime Minister. Earlier in 2011, Judith Collins had raised with me the appropriateness of Mr Feeley’s consumption of a bottle of champagne following a media inquiry.
“It was appropriate that she spoke to me about this matter and my view on the matter was released publicly at the time.”
“Any campaign to undermine my confidence in Adam Feeley’s performance was entirely ineffective and unsuccessful. He was a strongly performing Chief Executive through his tenure for his work in transforming the SFO and vigorously pursuing criminal conduct in respect of finance company collapses.”
I would be very happy to consider Mr Feeley’s return to the Public Service in the future.”