Private purchase advisers no longer in use
Work on a code of conduct to cover private purchase advisers has not advanced because no one is using them any more, MPs were told today.Internal Affairs chief executive Brendan Boyle told Parliament's government administration select committee today that
Work on a code of conduct to cover private purchase advisers has not advanced because no one is using them any more, MPs were told today.
Internal Affairs chief executive Brendan Boyle told Parliament's government administration select committee today that no departments were using the advisers so the work was no longer needed. A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill English confirmed the advisers were no longer being used, they were hired for initial contracts and then it was up to individual ministers whether to retain them longer.
About a year ago Mr Boyle told the committee he had an initial discussion with State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie about a code of conduct for ministerial advisers that would include the private purchase advisers.
Private purchase advisers are contractors who are paid out of department budgets, but advise ministers.
They are not Ministerial Services' responsibility because of this arrangement, which outraged Labour MPs and prompted accusations they would be used to do political work as they were not covered by the public servants' code of conduct.
When the arrangement was revealed, Labour MP Grant Robertson said they were "hired guns for (Finance Minister) Bill English's razor gang".
Fellow Labour MP Chris Hipkins said the Government was avoiding normal hiring procedures to boost its staff, while state sector workers were losing their jobs.
The Government said the advisers were very useful and more than paid their way by finding savings for the taxpayer.
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