Cabinet Secretary to mop up embattled GCSB
"Given that Key is in charge, solely and completely, of this organisation, the buck stops with him."Featured comment
Prime Minister John Key has refused to rule out possible job losses at the Government Communications Security Bureau after its illegal spying on Kim Dotcom.
Secretary of cabinet Rebecca Kitteridge has been seconded to the bureau for at least three months as associate director.
Mr Key says the appointment is a huge vote of confidence in Ms Kitteridge’s ability to carry out a thorough review of the GCSB, its processes and procedures.
“The simple facts of life are the GCSB made some pretty bad mistakes when it came to this Kim Dotcom case. We cannot, and I will not, tolerate a repeat of them.”
He says bureau director Ian Fletcher is aware of how serious the issues are and he will be working with Ms Kitteridge, who Mr Key expects will file a number of reports, mostly on the inner workings of the GCSB.
He also flagged the possibility of job losses as a result, but says it will be a matter for the director.
“I would expect people will be held account for their actions or inactions.”
Mr Key has also refuted the suggestion he should have been more involved in operational matters, arguing people would be absolutely aghast, terrified and very concerned if he was able to tell the country’s intelligence agency and the New Zealand police not to go ahead with an operation.
Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge will review aspects of the under-fire Government Communications Security Bureau.
The embattled bureau’s director Ian Fletcher has apologised to Prime Minister John Key and internet mogul Kim Dotcom after it was discovered the GCSB was illegally spying on Mr Dotcom.
Department of the prime minister and cabinet ceo Andrew Kibblewhite says Ms Kitteridge will be required to carry out a capability, governance and performance review of the bureau.
Her responsibilities will include:
- Reviewing the systems, processes and capabilities underpinning the GCSB's collection and reporting.
- Building capability and providing assurance to the GCSB director the compliance framework has been reviewed, improved and is fit for purpose.
- Establishing new, specific approval processes for activity in support of police and other law enforcement agencies.
Late last week, Mr Key released Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor's report into the GCSB’s activities.
Mr Key ordered the GCSB to come up with a plan so it can "agree with police and other law enforcement agencies how to confirm immigration status before operations in support of law enforcement activity are undertaken within New Zealand".
The GCSB must also "establish new approval processes in the support of police and other law enforcement agencies”.
Qualified lawyer Ms Kitteridge has been Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council since April 2008.
Her legal focus was on compliance for corporate entities.