State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today provided further detail on the process to appoint the Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in 2011.

“The position of GCSB was advertised in May 2011.  In addition, a recruitment consultant was appointed to assist me,” Mr Rennie said.

“Mr Fletcher was interviewed by a selection panel in July 2011, chaired by me.  The other members of the panel were Mr Maarten Wevers (now Sir Maarten), the Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Mr John McKinnon, the Secretary of Defence; and Ms Helene Quilter, a State Services Deputy Commissioner.”

“As is the normal process for chief executive selection, Mr Fletcher underwent assessment exercises conducted by an independent psychologist and also referee checks.”

The panel was unanimously of the view that Mr Fletcher was suitable for appointment and, on the basis of the panel’s recommendation, the other checking undertaken, and Ian Fletcher’s previous successful public sector career in the UK and Australia, Mr Rennie recommended Mr Fletcher’s appointment to the Prime Minister.

“I had first met Mr Fletcher in 2009 and knew that he was interested in returning to New Zealand at some stage.”

“At that meeting and then during the GCSB recruitment process, Mr Fletcher was open about the fact that he had known the Prime Minister when he was young and had met him infrequently since then.”

“As the Prime Minister has already said, the Prime Minister also told me about his previous knowledge of Mr Fletcher.”

“My view is that this contact did not prevent Ian Fletcher from being considered for a chief executive job in the State sector.  His candidacy was considered in the rigorous process all chief executive candidates are required to undergo,” Mr Rennie said. 

ENDS

Media enquiries:  Lisa-Marie Richan, Director - Communications (021) 244 1361

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