NZ government CTO debacle: more revelations, more embarrassment

The government's handling of its aborted appointment of Derek Handley as CTO is looking more embarrassing by the day as more revelations about the process become public.

Handley himself has now weighed into the controversy releasing what he says are all emails between himself and former digital services minister Clare Curran – who resigned over her handling of his appointment -- that have not already been released (covering period March 3rd to August 21st), along with all text messages between he and Curran that have not already been released (covering period March 10 to August 17).

He has also released an email he sent to prime minister Jacinda Ardern on 7 June 2018 and all text messages sent to her between March 10 and August 17, along with a copy of a statement on LinkedIn. All this material can be found here.

He says this material is the entirety of all digital communications between himself and Curran and himself and Ardern relating to, or containing any reference to, the CTO role and his return home to New Zealand [to take up the role] and that no other channel was used for communications.

Curran resigned in August because she had failed to document a meeting with Handley, then a candidate for the CTO role, the recruitment of which was being managed by her department.

Handley was subsequently appointed to the role but swiftly dismissed with Curran's successor Megan Woods saying the government was reconsidering its approach to digital transformation for New Zealand.

The National Party's state service spokesperson Nick Smith, has accused Woods of multiple failings over her handling of the matter.

“It was also a mistake for Megan Woods to not have personally communicated with Derek Handley when she cancelled his job on 14th September without warning, particularly when ministers had engaged in dozens of communications with him up until that date," he said.

“She erred again this morning in claiming she could not comment on the Derek Handley issue because of a confidentiality condition that did not exist. She erred a third time when she accidentally sent private information to my office and a fourth time with incorrect answers in Parliament."


Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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