Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A sacrificial public servant

Education Secretary Lesley Longstone has resigned. Good riddance. Since being parachuted into the job last year, she's presided over the NovoPay fiasco, which has seen hundreds of teachers go unpaid, and led the Christchurch school closure mess. In addition, under her tenure the Ministry has been strongly criticised by the Ombudsman for its OIA handling processes. As the person in charge, it is right and proper that she carry the can for that.

...of course, the same applies to the Minister. These are her policies, and she is ultimately responsible to Parliament for her department. She should be resigning too. Instead, she's thrown her chief executive under the bus in the hop that this will carry the blame away. But if the problems continue next year, she will not be able to do the same to her acting chief executive.

(Meanwhile, I'm now wondering how much the next permanent Secretary of Education will want extra in salary and severance as compensation for the risk of being similarly sacrificed by Parata. Her refusal to accept blame for her own incompetence has just cost us a lot of money...)