Monday, November 12, 2018

This is what happens when agencies investigate themselves

The State Services Commission's inquiry into its appointment of Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha has reported back - and unsurprisingly, cleared the SSC of any wrongdoing. The full report is here, but the short version is that the appointment panel didn't know of Haumaha's support for convicted rapists Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum, because Police Commissioner Mike Bush thought it had all been resolved and didn't think it was "relevant", even when explicitly asked by the Minister. Which seems to be extremely poor judgement on his part. But they go further, and claim that it wouldn't have mattered anyway if the panel had known, because they would have agreed with the Police Commissioner and ignored it.

Which is the exactly the sort of result you get when organisations investigate themselves, and simply shows the extent to which the police and SSC still don't get it. Their past behaviour of raping women and covering up for it has left the police with a lingering taint and caused many people to lose confidence in them. If they want to be rid of that taint and regain the public's trust, they need to change, and be seen to change. The fact that the Commissioner considers concerns about it to no longer be relevant, and sees no political risk in appointing someone perceived as condoning that past behaviour to a senior position sends a clear message that the police haven't changed, and that they are utterly blind to public concerns about their integrity. And that in itself seems to be a reason to sack him as well as Haumaha.