Just after we discover that National ministers and staffers have been accepting gifts from a bank wanting the government’s business and John Key says ministers shouldn’t take ‘too many’ Rugby World Cup freebies, we learn that civil servants are sternly banned from accepting any gifts. Do as I say, not as I do, eh?
State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie has explicitly stated civil servants are not to take World Cup freebies, saying: “They will be of considerable monetary value, scarcity, and prestige” and “acceptance would risk compromising perceptions of public service impartiality”
Hmm. Those seem like bloody good reasons why ministers shouldn’t be taking gifts from corporates either.
As I/S notes:
“Public servants are not allowed to accept such hospitality, precisely because it looks bad and creates a perception of corruption and conflict. Attendance at corporate events must be strictly for business reasons, and departments should meet attendance costs. MPs and Ministers impose these rules on public servants for good reasons. But it is absolutely hypocritical if they do not also apply the same thinking to themselves.”
Double standards galore.