Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Cronyism in Treasury

National has established a reputation for cronyism in its time in office, appointing party hacks to key positions influencing the media, legal system, and Christchurch rebuild. And now the disease has spread to Treasury:

Flaws have been revealed in Treasury's hiring process when it selected former employee Chris Major to head a key part of the asset sales programme.

Papers released under the Official Information Act show a Treasury employee had to be removed from the selection panel responsible for hiring the programme's Marketing and Communications Director.

The employee broke the rules when tenders were being sought for the position by actively encouraging a person to apply for the job, it's understood the person was Ms Major.

The papers also show Ms Major finished work at Treasury in another role less than three weeks before she was awarded the new job.

The tender Ms Major submitted for the work was not the cheapest received by the Treasury, but the department says it's not bound to accept the lowest offer.

Another person who unsuccessfully tended for the work then raised concerns about the way the contract was awarded and the panel used to select Ms Major.

Again, this isn't good enough. Public service appointments should be on merit, and seen to be so. If Treasury can't run a crony-free appointments process, then maybe we should get SSC to do it for them.