17 Mar 2009

PM recommends SIS stops monitoring MPs

6:33 am on 17 March 2009

The Prime Minister has recommended that the Security Intelligence Service stops monitoring the activities of sitting MPs.

John Key has released a report that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security made into the SIS continuing to hold a file on the Green MP Keith Locke.

Inspector-General Paul Neazor says the SIS should stop the practice of keeping open files on MPs.

Mr Key, who is the minister responsible for the service, says he cannot instruct it to stop, but he has passed on the recommendation to SIS director Warren Tucker.

He says he intends to ask Mr Neazor to conduct another review in six months to see whether the SIS has followed the recommendation.

Mr Key says the report makes clear that other MPs are also being monitored, but essentially it just means the intelligence service has been collecting news stories about their activities.

Keith Locke says he is pleased with the report and the subsequent recommendation.

He says the SIS has been guilty of monitoring the activities of people because of their political beliefs, not because they pose any danger to the country's security.

Dr Tucker says the SIS will move to implement the report's recommendations, including the need for new protocols for MPs and closing the files on people who become MPs.