Which Ministers appointed themselves to CEO recruitment panels?

May 28th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Readers will recall the fuss over John Key making a phone call to Ian Fletcher informing him of the GCSB vacancy. would have had you believe this was an unprecedented ministerial involvement.

As has happened in all the recent appointments that Labour has criticised, all were recommended by a panel of neutral civil servants.

This got me thinking. Has there even been an interview panel that didn’t include just neutral civil servants but a Minister?

It’s one thing to have the Minister sign off on an appointment, but do you want Ministers actually sitting on CEO interview panels? Wouldn’t that be far worse than merely making a phone call.

So I asked the State Services Commission if any Ministers in the last 14 years have sat on interview panels for chief executives. They replied that this has happened on four occasions – in 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2008.

What is disturbing about these ministerial membership of appointment panels is all the roles were ones of pivotal importance to our democratic institutions. They were:

  • 2000 – on interview panel for the Solicitor-General
  • 2004 – on interview panel for the State Services Commissioner
  • 2007 – on interview panel for the Clerk of the House of Representatives
  • 2008 – on interview panel for the State Services Commissioner

So this puts it all into perspective – a phone call, vs actually sitting on the interview panel – which means you are effectively hand picking your preferred candidate.

Ministers should be consulted on recommendations and for some roles they make the final appointment. But i think it is generally undesirable for Ministers to sit on interview panels for state sector chief executives. It is rather hypocritical to complain about bad process in appointments, when they did far far worse themselves.

The OIA response is here - Scan-to-Me from 11-util2 ssc govt nz 2013-05-15 124921

Tags: , , , , ,

21 Responses to “Which Ministers appointed themselves to CEO recruitment panels?”

  1. JeffW (324 comments) says:

    Well caught DPF. Perhaps you should start a journalism school.

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Don the Kiwi (1,649 comments) says:

    Left wing Labour – the domain of hypocrites and liars.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,833 comments) says:

    Whenever these clueless clots complain about Mr Key or the National Party you can be sure they are themselves expert in the behaviour about which they complain. Labour and the Greens. The Gleebour Party – the clueless led by the gormless.

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. joegreen (16 comments) says:

    The only problem in this observation/argument is that it really doesn’t matter which side of the ideological spectrum you inhabit, it is wrong. Old wrongs don’t cancel or balance new ones. If the behaviour is persistent then it is plainly systemic.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Well I’ll be. Not much surprises me about the Labour scum. But this time I’m speechless.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,833 comments) says:

    joegreen, you need to try harder. It might pay you handsomely as well to get out and experience the real world where people with talent are shoulder tapped all the time.

    The long and the short of it is simple. Mr Key is squeaky clean, having stayed clear of the selection process, while the Labourite gangsters were up to their necks in cronyism.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    Labour’s Spokesperson for Kim Dotcom Affairs, Grant Robertson, led the attack on John Key for his minor involvement in the GCSB CEO appointment. Is it possible that Robertson was employed in the PM’s office for all of these ministerial CEO appointments? Or just three of them? In either case, I wonder if he felt even a twinge of shame for such blatant and unapologetic hypocrisy?

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Mark (1,432 comments) says:

    DPF you a becoming a master at trying to justify National Party and the PM’s cock ups by pointing out that Labour did it first. Because Labour did it does not justify anything. Key’s problem with Fletcher was not talking to him, having breakfast or making phone calls it was the lack of candour when asked questions about it later. I do not think that many people saw it as a particularly momentous issue but as it always is in politics when you get caught fudging the truth as the prime minister was on this occasion and treating the electorate as idiots then you deserve all the criticism coming your way. We had enough of that under the Clarke government. Key who thrived early on with almost a bumbling honesty is now running a government that is heading down the Labour/Clark path with political influence over appointments.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 24 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. YesWeDid (1,043 comments) says:

    ‘So this puts it all into perspective – a phone call, vs actually sitting on the interview panel’

    It wasn’t just a ‘phone call’ DPF, it was rejecting all the other applicants and then promoting your own man.

    I don’t know why you are dragging this up again, you seem obsessed with finger pointing at the opposition parties.

    Maybe you just needed a post at the top that wasn’t about ‘food for schools’.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 24 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. sparky (235 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t trust the Labour/Greens with a sick dog on a chain. There hypocrites and liars.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    YesWeDid (889) Says:

    “It wasn’t just a ‘phone call’ DPF, it was rejecting all the other applicants and then promoting your own man.”

    Who gives a shit? The right person was chosen. It is called the real world and as someone mentioned it happens all the time in the private sector.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Um, YesWeDid, you’re conveniently forgetting that the State Services Commissioner TOLD the PM he should reject all the other applicants. Really, you Labour scum are beneath contempt.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Ancient Dan (44 comments) says:

    well done david

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    This is a subject close to my heart!!.

    I’ve always wondered why Heads of Departments/Bosses/Chiefs couldn’t just pick up their staff without going through all the elaborate pantomime/rigmarole of inviting applications, setting a short list, interviewing, writing up the result with clearly stated reasons for picking – sorry- selecting the successful candidate.

    I’ve seen in in practice. It goes like this:

    Boss: We need a new Head of Whatever. I reckon Bloggs is the man to go for.

    Head of Personnel: Righto. I’ll organise the requisite adverts, interviewing panel, and invite applications

    Boss. Ok. But make sure Bloggs gets it.

    HoP; Sure thing, but we’ll have to go through the rigmarole of the set-down recruitment routine.

    Boss: Whatever, as long as Bloggs gets selected

    HoP. No problem, He’ll get the nod.

    Boss: (To himself: What a nonsensical waste of taxpayers money and interview panel time. I’ll give Bloggs the news now)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    Oh! And I forgot to includ mention of the statutory right of unsuccessful candidates to challenge the decision!

    Cloud Cuckoo Land, eh!

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. burt (8,033 comments) says:

    Oh DPF – It’s different when Labour do it !

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Keeping Stock (10,178 comments) says:

    Whenever someone from Labour starts to bang on about cronyism, two words will normally shut them up. Try “Mike Williams” or “Dianne Yates”, or if you really want to get a rise, “Georgina Beyer” who bitched and moaned that Labour WOULDN’T appoint her to any cushy retirement jobs.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. RF (1,345 comments) says:

    Hey.. the left retards & anti kiwi’s should just piss off and stop trying to bring this country to its knees. Every day you see some whinging knuckle dragger slagging off about how they were “done wrong”.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Viking2 (11,280 comments) says:

    Did you notice Sheep tonight winging and moaning along with his new favourite toyboy. Complaining about Keys new partners in breakfasts.

    They were hopless.

    Mind you I disagree with the thing in principle but, if it keeps the theives and looneys from the castle anything will do.

    (Off the topic but here’s the rub. Fonterra, so that Govt. won’t change its rules, Sanitarium so they won’t lose their charity staus (which they should.).

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Well done in eliciting this information DPF. It’s a pity we can’t find out as well if there were any other occasions when Ministers solicited applications for chief executive vacancies.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Grizz (540 comments) says:

    Turkey’s don’t vote for an early Christmas. Sanitarium and Fonterra have got on board as they have a lot more to lose under a Gleebour government. However, when the project gets renewed in 2 years, we will see how much bargaining power those 2 companies will have.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.