Martin van Beynen reports:
Revelations that Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staff tried to do commercial property deals for their own company will be investigated by the Prime Minister’s Department and the State Services Commission.
A Stuff investigation revealed on Saturday that three Cera staff employed to facilitate investment in the Christchurch rebuild tried to arrange property deals through their own company for a finder’s fee (in one case $300,000).
Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee has told Stuff the Department for Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and the State Services Commission (SSC) would investigate the private arrangements.
Good. While there may not have been any wrong-doing, the information to date does suggest at the very least there were conflicts of interest that were not managed.
State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes said the issues were, on face value, a matter of concern.
“In general, having a private business in the same area as a public servant’s official responsibilities would be highly problematic and is most likely to be unacceptable.“It would be completely unacceptable for any public servant to use their position to advance private business interests,” he said.