Person A

May 1st, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

After 12 months and $250,000, an inquiry into leaked Foreign Affairs Cabinet papers may never see the light of day.

In the High Court at Wellington yesterday, the lawyer for a person known only as “A” said the report by inquiry head Paula Rebstock voiced a “strong suspicion” that his client was responsible for the unauthorised disclosure of sensitive Cabinet documents, but offered no evidence to back it up.

The identity of Person A is well known around Wellington.

It is rare for a leak inquiry to actually determine who did it, or probably did it. It’s good that Rebstock appears to have been able to do so.

Labour have been calling out for months that the leak inquiry should halt. This to me reinforces that they know their source had been identified.

It is worth reflecting upon the fact that you will never get cast iron proof of whom leaked unless you capture them on video handing the documents over. But what you can establish is whom they scanned, copied or e-mailed documents with no valid reason for doing so.

Lawyer Jason McHerron told the court it was clear Ms Rebstock intended to proceed to find that “A” was responsible for the unauthorised disclosure of two Cabinet committee papers at the centre of the leak inquiry.

That was despite “A” denying being responsible.

Last month, Justice Dobson agreed to an injunction to delay the completion of Ms Rebstock’s report pending a judicial review. He also issued a gagging order against Ms Rebstock and State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie, who ordered the inquiry.

As I said the identity of Person A is well known, and even if they win their court case, I suspect their identity will not remain a secret.

The court heard yesterday “A” scanned and copied Cabinet documents but had repeatedly denied distributing them. A forensic examination was unable to find any evidence “A” sent the documents to anyone else. Without such evidence, the allegation should not be repeated, Mr McHerron said.

If you scanned in a cabinet document without being asked to do so, you’d better have a bloody good explanation for doing so.

Tags: ,

20 Responses to “Person A”

  1. freemark (615 comments) says:

    Righto, give us a clue then who A is..

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. peterwn (3,303 comments) says:

    Labour has been calling inquiries for just about everything under the sun. Now they want one stopped.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    “A” has been job hunting in Wellington. Funnily enough, doors once open are closing. Hey Mallard, going to offer them a job, go on, you know wink wink, nudge nudge ;)

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. rouppe (980 comments) says:

    Might be well known in the circles you run in Dave, but there are plenty of people who don’t work for government. Something you might forget now and then I’m sure…

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Ross12 (1,454 comments) says:

    Peterwn
    Just like the Greens wanting inquiries into everything and when they get on fracking that doesn’t come up with answer they want they get all huffy about it.
    I see the Dom Post editorial was saying the Govt. was wrong to have an inquiry into this leak. Why not, it was a blatant act of breach of confidentiality. When you have the Wellington bureaucracy leaking like sieve on everything it has to be stopped somehow.
    I presume if the Labour Party have been pushing for the inquiry to be stopped we can guess who the person is close to.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. hamnidaV2 (247 comments) says:

    “If you scanned in a cabinet document without being asked to do so, you’d better have a bloody good explanation for doing so.”

    Why? Will some Tory minister come and bully you for doing so?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 29 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. flipper (4,198 comments) says:

    I wonder whether Labour will now ask for assurance that phone calls made by “A”: were NOT intercepted (as they could be!) by the GCSB. Surely, they will?
    No?

    So will little (fat) pussy (C3) Robertson now ask Key for assurances the calls were not monitored? :

    If this were not so serious (in terms of a “totally independent public service”), it would be amusing. Which, come to think of it, it is.

    Of course it is no surprise that the silly women running the Dominion Post, feeling the heat from the blow torch, want Rebstock’s (she is a tough “son” of a bitch, thank goodness) flame extinguished.. Ha Ha Ha :)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Sidey (254 comments) says:

    hamnidaV2 (180) Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    “If you scanned in a cabinet document without being asked to do so, you’d better have a bloody good explanation for doing so.”

    Why? Will some Tory minister come and bully you for doing so?

    To·ry noun \ˈtȯr-ē\

    : a member or supporter of a major British political group of the 18th and early 19th centuries favoring at first the Stuarts and later royal authority and the established church and seeking to preserve the traditional political structure and defeat parliamentary reform

    Can’t see why a two-century old British MP would bother being reincarnated just to travel all the way to Wellington to bully someone?

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. rouppe (980 comments) says:

    “If you scanned in a cabinet document without being asked to do so, you’d better have a bloody good explanation for doing so.”

    Why? Will some Tory minister come and bully you for doing so?

    It goes to confidentiality. There were four health workers who are now under investigation for accessing Jessie Ryders medical information. Not because they weren’t allowed to access medical information. But because they accessed medical information they had no reason to access.

    This is the same. Person A accessed cabinet papers without a reason. That person then leaked them. The first is grounds for some sort of sanction but perhaps not dismissal. The latter is certainly grounds for dismissal

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    Not that you can trust his word but has Phil Goff also denied that it was ‘A’ who passed the papers to him.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    If only the good judge had gagged Rebstock permanently.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 15 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Alan Wilkinson (1,886 comments) says:

    If person A admits unauthorised copying of Cabinet documents it is bizarre if that fact is to be suppressed. The world can draw its own conclusions.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Keeping Stock (10,410 comments) says:

    Why? Will some Tory minister come and bully you for doing so?

    You are an absolute twat sometimes Hamnida. Public servants make a declaration of secrecy when they take up their roles, and any breaches of confidentiality are regraded as serious misconduct, which can lead to instant dismissal.

    The fact that the information is being leaked to your favourite political party doesn’t make it any less of a gross breach of trust in the employer/employee relationship.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Keeping Stock (10,410 comments) says:

    Not that you can trust his word but has Phil Goff also denied that it was ‘A’ who passed the papers to him.

    Is that the same Phil Goff who denied having been briefed by Warren Tucker from the SIS about the Israelis caught up in the Christchurch earthquake backster? If it is, I would take anything he says with a truckload of salt.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Nookin (3,461 comments) says:

    Hamnida

    If you want to get stirred up about bullying ministers, why don’t you take 10 minutes or so to Google about the Erin Leigh affair? You will find quite abhorrent revelations about the actions of 2 senior Labour ministers towards a vulnerable employee.

    Then, if that is not enough for you, take a few more minutes to read all about David Benson-Pope and his mate Hurring’s efforts to sack somebody who had done absolutely nothing wrong and then fudge the truth about it all.

    Once you have read that, why don’t you sit down and reflect upon life for a few minutes and consider perhaps that “right-wing” does not mean “evil” and “left wing” does not mean “angelic”. I know it would be far too much for you to even contemplate the possibility that the term “Tory” has no application whatsoever in New Zealand but some silent therapy might well go a long way toward appeasing that inner hatred for and fear of anything outside your own bigoted little comfort zone.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    Nookin, you are wasting your breath.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Nookin (3,461 comments) says:

    Hi Alex. Haven’t seen you for a while.

    You are quite right, of course. Arguing with Hamnida is a bit like debating with Penny. The bigotry is impenetrable — so much so that they never respond to any rejoinder. I think they turn up to satisfy their own delusions of grandeur and self-importance.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Nostradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    Nookin:

    Agreed – Hamnida turns up to piss all over threads with drive-by smears. I don’t recall ever having seen him stay around to back up those smears with anything that even remotely looks like intellectual argument. In my view, that sort of pattern of conduct has all the hallmarks of a troll. Yes, troll it is – like Penny not-so.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Chris2 (770 comments) says:

    I have some experience in investigating leaks. They are a complete waste of time and money and they ruin morale. Far better that the organisation chalk it up to experience and improve their procedures for protecting sensitive information.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    hamnida is just laughing that so many people wasted their efforts on a troll post .. apparent by the lack of any defence.

    Nice one hamnida he he.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote