This is not so much an update about the Dotcom case per se
, but about some of the repercussions of the fiasco: GCSB review ordered
By Kate Shuttleworth
Updated 3:25 PM Monday Oct 1, 2012
The Government Communications Security Bureau is being reviewed after it was found to be spying on Kim Dotcom illegally.
The Secretary of Cabinet has been appointed to carry out a capability, governance and performance review of the Government Communications Security Bureau after it was found to be spying on Kim Dotcom illegally.
Chief executive of the department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Andrew Kibblewhite Director of the GCSB Ian Fletcher announced today that Secretary of Cabinet Rebecca Kitteridge will be seconded immediately to the GCSB for an initial period of up to three months in the new role of Associate director of the Bureau.
Ms Kitteridge will be responsible to the director of the GCSB for the immediate review.
Ms Kitteridge's responsibilities will include:
- # Review the systems, processes and capabilities underpinning the GCSB's collection and reporting,
- # Build capability and provide assurance to the GCSB director that the compliance framework has been reviewed, improved and is fit for purpose.
- # She will establish new, specific approval processes for activity in support of police and other law enforcement agencies.
Ms Kitteridge was appointed as secretary of the Cabinet and clerk of the executive council in April 2008.
She is a senior public servant who is responsible for the security and integrity of the Cabinet decision-making system and the New Zealand Royal Honours systems.
She provides advice on ethics and conduct in relation to Ministers of the Crown, and is a key constitutional advisor to the Governor-General and the Prime Minister of the day.
Ms Kitteridge is a lawyer and a focus in private practice was on legal compliance for corporate entities.
Since joining the public service she has specialised in constitutional matters at both the Cabinet Office and in the legal division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. While in Cabinet Office she has advised four Prime Ministers and four Governors-General.
I presume from this that since the Dotcom case is already under scrutiny in the High Court, then there will be no interference in the current and proper rigorous judicial review of the circumstance around what was - according to the judge - an apparently unwarranted and thus illegal/wrongful break-in, arrest, with subsequent sequestration of Dotcom's private and business assets, all by NZ police authorities.
There is a defined crime called Home Invasion
- Refer: Crimes (Home Invasion) Amendment Act 1999
- in New Zealand, applied in cases where people illegally break into your home and variously imprison/beat up/kidnap/rape/kill the occupants and damage/steal property.
I am unsure how the legislation is to be enforced in cases where it seems that it is the police
that have carried out the Home Invasion - the police presumably existing to protect people and their property, rather than the opposite of that.
I am none too sanguine about this so-called "review". GCSB's operation needs to have the hard light of scrutiny shone on it, by an independent review panel
. The review needs to be carried out in an auditable, open and transparent review process. It should ideally result in a published report of what the findings are, and what has been done to stop the rot that is clearly there (QED).
The report should be open to public scrutiny and not in the form of a whitewash. However, whitewash is what you can typically expect to see when government departments review each other. Effectively seconding a public servant into a subordinate role to the Director of GCSB - rather than having an independent review panel - would therefore seem most unlikely to be able to cut the mustard.
People will be unlikely to believe that it isn't
going to be a whitewash. How could they believe otherwise, when the government is deliberately not
putting in an independent review panel?
Regardless of the outcome, the voters will at least be able to make a decision, come the next election.
"The rule of thumb is that, if a business process can not stand the hard light of scrutiny, then there is probably something unethical about it". - Sir Adrian Cadbury (Chairman of the then Quaker family-owned Cadbury's) in his prize-winning article on Business Ethics for Harvard Business Review circa 1984.