Public servants should not become political footballs

Published: Fri 5 Aug 2011 12:53 PM
5 August 2011
Public servants should not become political footballs, says PSA
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the row between the government, Phil Goff and SIS director Warren Tucker, using public servants to score political points is ill-advised, especially in election year, says the PSA, the New Zealand’s biggest union.
“A politically neutral public service is a cornerstone of our system of government and the erosion of that principle makes it impossible for public servants to do their jobs,” says Brenda Pilott, PSA National secretary.
“Public servants are required to keep their politics out of their job and their job out of politics. That means they cannot respond publicly to criticism or become embroiled in political rows.”
“In an election year all politicians need to be extra careful in their comment and public servants need to avoid any action that might give the impression they are politically motivated.”
“The SIS spat is a classic example of the sort of situation that undermines political neutrality and good governance,” says Brenda Pilott.

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