29 Oct 2010

Recruitment firm defends work in Wilce hiring

10:26 am on 29 October 2010

The recruitment company which shortlisted the now disgraced Steven Wilce for a top defence job says it was not its job to check his references.

Mr Wilce resigned as director of the Defence Technology Agency in September when claims surfaced that he had embellished his CV.

A Court of Inquiry has found that Mr Wilce was not honest about his qualifications, and also says recruiting firm Momentum accepted a binding legal obligation to do reference checking.

However Momentum managing director Bede Ashby says it has provided evidence that a verbal change in the contract meant the company didn't have to do reference checks.

Mr Ashby says had his company had been required to carry out the checks, Mr Wilce probably wouldn't have been appointed.

System failures

Prime Minister John Key says serious system system failings have been identified, for which a range of people are accountable.

Mr Key says inexperienced panel interviewers, as well as lax reference and security checks, allowed Mr Wilce to exploit loopholes in the system.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp told Morning Report nothing has surfaced so far that would suggest mistakes have happened with the recruitment of other people.

Dr Mapp says if there were widespread problems, this would have come to light in the months Mr Wilce was being investigated.