The SSC report in the vetting of Stephen Wilce has been released.
The State Services Commissioner notes the following lapses by the SIS:
- that NZSIS did not check with counterpart overseas agencies to see what they knew about Mr Wilce. This was contrary to standard practice in cases where the applicant for a security clearance had worked overseas;
- that NZSIS did not follow up on Mr Wilce’s failure to disclose convictions once the Police check had revealed that he had convictions; and
- that NZSIS did not record or follow up on information received on Mr Wilce after the announcement of his appointment in the NZDF
I have to say these are pretty massive lapses. I mean they discover he had undsiclosed convictions and they did nothing. They had information supplied to them he wasn’t legit and they did nothing.
The SSC concludes:
The Director of NZSIS accepts the findings of both Mr Walter and the Court of Inquiry. He also accepts my finding that the anomalies occurring in Mr Wilce’s vetting process amounted to failings by the NZSIS in the provision of a professional security service.
That is a pretty big slap.
John Key notes:
“The State Services Commissioner has said further action needs to be taken to demonstrate confidence in the vetting system, and he will report back to me in the first half of this year. I have also asked a group of senior officials to closely monitor progress around this issue,” says Mr Key.
Two key initiatives will underpin the programme of action. An independent, international review of the current vetting system, along with other work, will be started in order to provide better information on the vetting system’s performance. In addition, the Director of Security is currently sampling 5 per cent of the Top Secret vettings undertaken at the time Mr Wilce was checked to provide an assurance that the failures were an exceptional event.
We were lucky that the failures only let through a braggart, rather than someone hostile to NZ’s interests.Tags: John Key, SIS, SSC, Stephen Wilce