Phil can't take an ex-Minister

Phil Goff now says that he will take one of his current MPs, ostensibly an ex-Minister to meetings with Warren Tucker. He says they already have clearance. Let’s check this out against facts shall we, since Phil Goff and reality seem to be completely divorced.

Basically Phil Goff, as is usual these days, gets it wrong. He claims he will take a former minister with an appropriate security clearance into briefings with Warren Tucker. There is a slight problem with that premise.

Ministers don’t get security clearances. Ministers aren’t even vetted. Ministerial staff are, but the clearance doesn’t survive the departure from ministerial services, so even though Grant Robertson had two clearances, initially for MFAT and then Ministerial Services, he currently has no clearance

No ministers ever get vetted and Former ministers don’t have clearances once they cease being a minister.

Basically Phil Goff is wanting to include somebody who isn’t even on the Security and Intelligence Committee in secret and top secret briefings from the Director, and is lying about that person having a security clearance.

Even if it was true that some of his current MPs had a previous clearance, it’s the employing agency that grants a clearance, not the SIS. Ministers don’t have an employing agency. It would be preposterous for a Prime Minister to consult or have the SIS pre-vet prospective Ministers before making ministerial appointments.

Worse still for Phil Goff’s silly premise that his MPs still have clearance is that the Security in the Government Sector manual [alternate link] is very precise about security clearances.

Lapses and Transfers of Security Clearances

60. A security clearance lapses after five years or when the holder leaves the organisation that granted it.

61. When an employee with a clearance transfers to another government organisation, the Chief Executive of the new organisation may grant a new clearance at the same or lower level, without further vetting, if:

  • the previous clearance is less than 12 months old, and
  • the employee’s duties, for which access is required, are broadly comparable to those of the position in the previous organisation.

62. When transferring a clearance, the expiry date of the new clearance should be made the same as that of the original clearance from the former organisation.

63. For advice about confirming original clearance expiry dates and other information relevant to security clearance transfers, consult the NZSIS.

As you can see it is impossible for Phil Goff to suggest he takes another of his MPs or even a staff member along with to see Warren Tucker. All Goff has done now is ensure a Mexican Standoff between himself and Warren Tucker.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.