Jul 4, 2008

The Role Of The SSC

Several readers have commented to us about an idea contained in the Dominion Post's Editorial a few days back about the new head of the State Services Commission. We quote their idea in full:

It might, for example, consider adding the position of state services commissioner to the small club of parliamentary officers who report to Parliament itself, rather than a minister, and replicating the employment arrangement of the auditor-general, who is appointed for a seven-year, non-renewable term. That would give the commissioner an independence the incumbent does not enjoy now.
No one can accuse Auditor-General Kevin Brady of being anyone's lapdog after the persistent way he went after illegal party spending at the 2005 election and reported his findings to Parliament. Were Mr Rennie to be given similar autonomy, ministers would think more than twice about taking on their chief executives, particularly if they knew such antics would inevitably be made public.

We endorse this idea. The Dominion Post was talking about ideas for National, but we would encourage Labour to consider adopting this policy as well. We would hope that a legislative change to this effect would pass with all MPs supporting it.