6 Oct 2010

Inquiry fails to find source of leaks

7:47 pm on 6 October 2010

Investigations into who leaked sensitive Government information about mining proposals and changes to the state sector have failed to find those responsible.

Details of the Government's plan, since discarded, for mining on high value conservation land and its intentions on restructuring in the public sector were leaked to Radio New Zealand and the Dominion Post earlier this year.

State Services Minister Tony Ryall ordered investigations into the leaks.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie says in the case of the mining information, there is no evidence that it was more likely to have been leaked by someone in the public service than anyone else.

But he says it is likely the leak of information on state sector restructuring came from someone at the National Library.

Mr Ryall says the Government accepts recommendations the commissioner has made to improve confidentiality. He says Mr Rennie has identified changes that need to be made and is sure the public service will adopt them.

The Labour Party says the failure to find anyone responsible for leaks of Government information to the media is no surprise.

State services spokesperson Grant Robertson says the investigations were a witch-hunt and the Government has only itself to blame for the leaks.

Mr Robertson says the Government mucked around on releasing its mining proposal and was overly secretive about the mergers of government departments.

The Green Party says whoever is behind leaks did the right thing. Co-leader Russel Norman says they have served the public well - particularly in relation to the mining issue, as the Government had no mandate to pursue its idea.