Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed

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The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if it is to prevent similar situations occurring in the future.

Glenn Barclay, PSA acting national secretary, said “any inquiry into the behaviour of Judith Collins must be broader than just the allegations relating to the SFO, but should look at her relationships with the public service generally,”

“However, an inquiry can only ever be a Band-Aid, the relationship and trust between ministers and public servants is under threat.

“We need a commitment from whoever is in Government after the election to sit down with unions and the State Services Commission to rebuild those relationships.

“Public servants must be confident to give free and frank advice without fearing for their careers.

“Our members tell us that they have seen an erosion of free and frank advice, and public servants are increasingly expected to only say what their minister wants to hear.

“The independence of the public service from Government is of critical importance.

“We call on all political parties to publicly commit to working with the PSA and SSC to develop a high-level agreement between ministers and public servants,” said Glenn Barclay.