14 Sep 2010

Changes could be made to high level vetting processes - PM

5:45 pm on 14 September 2010

Prime Minister John Key says changes could be made to the vetting processes for high level public service jobs.

The Defence Force is investigating the appointment of its former chief scientist, Stephen Wilce, after questions were raised about claims made on his CV.

Mr Key has asked the State Services Commission to look into the role of the Security Intelligence Service in giving Mr Wilce security clearance.

He says the commission will also look at wider vetting procedures and whether changes need to be made to the current system.

Mr Wilce is not commenting.

Many questions, says Labour leader

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says many questions need answering about the appointment of Mr Wilce as the Defence Force's chief scientist.

He was appointed under the previous Labour Government five years ago, but Mr Goff who is a former Defence Minister, says he cannot recall meeting him.

Mr Goff says the Momentum recruitment company cannot have checked Mr Wilce's background properly.

But he says the Defence Force which hired Mr Wilce, and the Security Intelligence Service which gave advice on his security clearance, are also responsible.

Defence and the State Services Commission are investigating the appointment.