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Damning report confirms Government agencies used private investigators for spying

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State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has issued a damning report into the use of private investigators by government agencies, calling the actions of some “an affront to democracy” and laying a complaint with police in one instance.

Lucy Bennett

By: Lucy Bennett Political Reporter, NZ Herald

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has issued a damning report into the use of private investigators by government agencies, calling the actions of some “an affront to democracy” and laying a complaint with police in one instance.

Hughes detailed a list of breaches of the State Service Code of Conduct, including potentially illegal recordings of insurance claimants, public sector employees accessing the New Zealand Transport Agency database for private investigation firm Thompson and Clark, paying for informants and spying on the Green Party and iwi.

Hughes today released his 80-page report into the use of external security consultants today. The inquiry was sparked by revelations of government agencies including Southern Response, MBIE, the SIS and Ministry for Primary Industries.

He took responsibility for what had occurred, as head of State Services. “I apologise unreservedly to those individuals whose privacy has been intruded on by state servants or their contractors.”

Hughes said he had laid a complaint with police today over potentially unlawful recording of meetings by private investigators Thompson and Clark of closed meetings held by insurance claimants on behalf of Southern Response.

The inquiry found that Southern Response acted inconsistently with the Code of Conduct from March 13 2014 to December 31 2014 and was in breach of the code from January 1 2015 to May 12 2016 when the code formally applied to the company.

Thompson and Clark (TCIL) attended and recorded several closed meetings that discussed options for legal action against Southern Response. They were made by a contractor who was not a licensed contractor and the recordings may have been unlawful. “It was not possible to make findings because the recordings were not retained – itself a breach of the code,” Hughes said.

He said Southern Response was a Crown company with a board responsible to shareholding ministers and the State Services Commission had little jurisdiction over how the matters should be dealt with. But he had written to Ministers Megan Woods and Grant Robertson with his concerns to enable them to take further action.

In the case of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Hughes found that two former employees had carried out secondary employment with TCIL in breach of the Code of Conduct.

Those employees accessed the NZTA database on behalf of TCIL, breaching individual privacy and in breach of the Code of Conduct…READ MORE

About the author

Martin Harris

I have a lovely partner and 3 very active youngsters. We live in the earthquake ravaged Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand. I began commenting/posting on Uncensored back in early 2012 looking for discussion and answers on the cause and agendas relating to our quakes. I have always maintained an interest in ancient mysteries, UFOs, hidden agendas, geoengineering and secret societies and keep a close eye on current world events. Since 2013 I have been an active member of theCONTrail.com community, being granted admin status and publishing many blogs and discussion threads. At this time I'm now helping out with admin and moderation duties here at Uncensored where my online "life" began.

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