Martin Mathews Must Stand Down
Friday, May 19, 2017 at 9:47AM
Bill Barclay

Any reader of this blog will know that I have long been a critic, for good reason, of the 'See No Evil .............' Office of the Auditor General.

It seems that one has to be well qualified in this particular aspect of public service in order to be appointed as its head, and Martin Mathews appears to fill that description in spades.

The fact that those responsible for checking out his involvement in permitting the fraud of Joanne Harrison within the Transport Ministry, virtually right under his nose, leaves one gob-smacked as to what it actually takes in this country to disqualify you from any appointment to senior levels in the public service - particularly from within the comfortable confines of the Wellington Beltway.

The slow but sure emergence of further evidence involving the appointment of Ms Harrison's friends and relatives to high positions in the Department - one at least who failed to front for work for ten months only points to the total inability of Mr Mathews to exercise the level of control that should be expected of any high level executive, let alone that of Auditor General. He clearly has no concept of the role and the responsibility that it entails.

Based on evidence revealed to date, he must surely guilty of negligence, if not criminal negligence to have allowed these defalcations and manipulations to have taken place directly under his purview at MoT - the extent of his knowledge would need to be established in order to indicate which of the two, but colusion would certainly be criminal in these circumstances.

The fact the her activity was apparently reported to him on several occasions without him making the slightest effort to investigate, let alone confront her is relevant in this regard. The fact that Harrison was apparently permitted to engineer the removal of staff who she regarded as a danger to her activities points to culpibility of a high order.

What the hell was going on, and how on earth can this have possibly been kept even partially out of the assessment of the Public Service Commissioner in making his/her recommendation to the cross-bench Parliamentary Committee responsible for approving his appointment to the position of Auditor General?

After nigh on twenty five years in Australian Pubic Service, I can think of no set of circumstances even remotely approaching the level of incompetence, if not criminal neglect demonstrated in this particular occasion.  Such levels can only bring our public service into disrepute and scorn.

Step down Mr Mathews until this mess is sorted.

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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