SSC should investigate

The Herald reports:

A directive from the Ministry of Education telling an Opposition MP that information requests needed to be answered by the minister was a communications blunder, the ministry says.

Labour Party state services spokesman said he would write to the State Services Commission and ask it to investigate after MP Ruth Dyson made an inquiry to the ministry regarding policy about funding for disabled students.

She said she was trying to support the parents of a student whose support funding had been cut and was told that operational issues raised at a local level by government MPs could be dealt with locally, but requests for information from non-government MPs needed to go to the relevant minister formally for a response. …

The ministry said yesterday the directive given to Ms Dyson appeared to be the result of a staff member misunderstanding the rules.

Senior ministry manager Jim Matheson said the error was “regrettable”.

“The ministry will take steps to ensure such an error will not be repeated.”

It is 99% likely to just be a stuff up, but it is an important principle that MPs dealing with constituents issues are treated equally.

I think it would be useful to have the to investigate – not so much to find any improper behaviour, but to send out a signal to other agencies how important it is not to make mistakes like this.

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