Two-week deadline for review of safety in Work and Income service centres

News from MSD
In Wellington today, Ministry of Social Development chief executive Brendan Boyle announced details of the independent review into the Ministry’s physical security environment. Former NZ Police Commissioner Rob Robinson and Deloitte New Zealand Chairman Murray Jack, will conduct the review.

They will be supported by an Advisory Group to test thinking and emerging recommendations. The members are:

Sir Maarten Wevers (Chair), former Chief Executive, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Glenn Barclay, National Secretary, Public Service Association
Craig Sims, Chief Operating Officer, ANZ Bank, and
Graham Maloney, First Assistant Secretary, Service Delivery Operations, Department of Human Services (Australia).

This team will be supplemented with specific security expertise as required.

The objectives of the review are to determine:

Given the Ministry’s functions and activities and the risks associated with those, were all practicable steps taken to ensure the safety of Ministry employees in relation to the shooting at the Ashburton office?
What changes are recommended to the physical security environment in Ministry workplaces to ensure the physical safety of staff and members of the public from threats and assaults?

The review will be in two parts. Part one will look at public-facing service centres (predominantly Work & Income sites, including services for seniors and students), including those where the Ministry is co-located with other agencies. This review aims to be completed in two weeks.

The second part of the review process, which will have a longer timeframe for completion, will look at all remaining Ministry workplaces.

Additional and/or different advisory group members may be added to the second phase of the review. Staff feedback will be actively sought as part of the review process.

“I want to thank all these people for making themselves available at short notice to provide their considerable expertise to ensure a robust and timely review is carried out,” Mr Boyle said.

“The Ministry regularly reviews its security protocols and site safety plans but the Ashburton attack has prompted a further examination.”

“Following Ashburton we owe it to our staff to take another good look at their safety.”

“They are naturally very shaken after Monday’s attack, and the stream of subsequent threats to various sites has understandably compounded their unease.”

“The Police investigation is on-going and will provide additional useful input as we proceed with both phases of the review.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Ministry frontline staff for coming into work and continuing to serve the public this week. It hasn’t been easy, and I just want them to know we are grateful for their work during this difficult time.

“I also want to thank the many New Zealanders who have shown their support to MSD staff in many different ways over the last few days. It has been gratifying to see the groundswell of goodwill from many of our clients and others for the work we do every day.

“I will be making the review publically available when it is complete,” Mr Boyle said.

Mr Boyle also announced a change to the way Work and Income will control access to Service Centres.

“From next week security guards will control entry and may ask for identification. If anyone is assessed as presenting a risk they may be refused entry,” Mr Boyle said.

“While this may cause some slight inconvenience to clients we believe that in the interests of safety for staff and clients, this is a step worth taking.”

Man arrested after threats made to Work and Income office

 

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