Standards and investigations

Standards and Investigations are important instruments for promoting proper standards of conduct among public servants.

The year saw the publication of Workforce Assurance Model Standards. These outline the Commissioner’s additional expectations for public service organisations around recruiting employees and contractors. The standards help ensure the suitability of the people that organisations engage and that the workforce continues to meet high standards for integrity and honesty. 

Last year, the Commission conducted one investigation under the then State Sector Act 1988. The Commissioner issued a certificate in respect of that investigation, enabling the use of certain powers contained in the Inquiries Act 2013. The investigation was led by Michael Heron QC and looked into how a Ministry of Health spreadsheet, containing sensitive personal information, ended up in the possession of the media in July 2020. Te Pou Turuki mō Te Kawa Mataaho | Deputy Public Service Commissioner was pleased to report that no public servant was responsible and sought assurances from the Director-General of Health around the future dissemination of this kind of information. In relation to the two individuals who were found to be responsible for the unauthorised disclosure, the report was referred to John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner.

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