INDEPENDENT NEWS

Purge Crown Entities of party hacks, say Greens

Published: Sun 5 Dec 1999 01:40 PM
The Green Party has urged the Labour-Alliance government to steer clear of appointing party hacks to Government bodies.
The call has come from Green Party co-leader Rod Donald, who first exposed that all five appointed Lotteries Commission board members were current or former National Party officials.
In addition to the Lotteries Commission, Mr Donald points the finger, in particular, at the Casino Control Authority, the Law Commission, the Earthquake Commission, Asure New Zealand (formerly the meat inspection division of MAF) and Lotto's sister organisation the Lotteries Grants Board.
"I am pleased to see PM-elect Helen Clark calling for blatant political appointees to resign from Crown Entities such as the Lotteries Commission and I urge the incoming government to avoid falling into the same trap," he said.
"The Green Party is not opposed to political party members being appointed to government bodies but they must first and foremost be there because of their relevant skills and expertise.
"Rather than these appointments being made behind closed doors it would be preferable for the new government to instruct the State Services Commission to advertise any vacancies on these bodies.
"In the interests of transparency, it is also vital that any appointee who holds a political party position should disclose it."
Mr Donald has also urged Labour to initiate a wide-ranging review of the more-than-160 crown entities for which the Government has responsibility.
"My investigations confirm that there is lack of scrutiny and accountability by Treasury and the State Services Commission of Crown Entities and this has led to inefficiencies and extravagance.
"Terms of reference for such a review should include whether retaining a separate entity or incorporating the activity back into the public service is more effective," Mr Donald said.

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