Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cosy corruption

Since Thompson and Clark have been in the news over their undemocratic and bullying behaviour around Southern Response, people have been looking hard at what parts of government they've been doing business with and what exactly they're doing. And the picture exposed is... not good. First, there was their dubious manipulation of DoC to cover up public domain information. But they've now been exposed as having dubious dealings with MPI and the SIS which have resulted in the State Services Commissions' inquiry into them being broadened to cover the entire state service.

The dubious behaviour was apparently revealed by OIA requests to those agencies. I haven't seen the MPI one, though they have a press release here about it. But the SIS one is on FYI, and it is... disturbing. The SIS's Protective Security Engagement Manger, responsible for making sure government agencies handle information securely, had a very chummy relationship with someone from Thompson and Clark, and steered business their way. They provided them with information to help bids, got them into classified meetings, arranged for them to do a bug sweep for someone who had contacted SIS for assistance. The head of the SIS notes in response to this:

In light of this correspondence, I have asked for several matters to be looked into. The emails raise questions in relation to conduct and possible bias in favour of Thompson and Clark. These questions are the subject of an internal investigation. I have also asked for our internal processes, policies and guidance to be reviewed to ensure that our (necessary and important) engagement with private sector providers is professional, appropriate and even-handed.
And, as noted, the SSC is now investigating as well. as they should - because this is basicly a case of cosy corruption, mates helping mates, and at the heart of an agency (the SIS) we trust to be above such things.

This relationship is far too cosy. The best thing the government can do is amputate it.