28 January 2011
PM’s Youth Programme celebrates young achievers
Prime Minister John Key today joined in celebrations for the 100 participants in the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme – young people who have made a concerted effort to turn their lives around.
The group of 14- to 17-year-olds were chosen to take part in the week-long programme as a reward for making positive, life-changing choices.
Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett also attended the final day of the programme at Waitakere’s Trusts Stadium.
“I’m really proud of the young people who have seized the opportunity to take part in this year’s programme. These are young New Zealanders who have faced challenges, or tough decisions, and have decided to take responsibility for their futures,” says Mr Key.
The participants were nominated by community leaders, including school teachers and youth aid officers, after improving academic performance, or by moving away from anti-social behaviour such as truancy or low-level offending.
“It’s not easy for anyone, of any age, to overcome obstacles. The fact these young people have made choices to overcome those obstacles says a lot about their gutsiness and determination to succeed,” says Mr Key.
This is the second year the programme has been operating, which sees the participants engaging in a number of activities, including mentoring from sports stars and local celebrities.
Participants will benefit from follow-up mentoring for up to three months after the programme winds up this week.
28 January 2011
PM releases SSC report into NZSIS vetting
Prime Minister John Key today released the State Services Commission’s report of the investigation into the vetting processes used by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) to grant a security clearance to Stephen Wilce, former Chief Defence Scientist and Director of the Defence Technology Agency in the New Zealand Defence Force.
The report finds the vetting process in respect of Mr Wilce failed to follow basic procedures in the provision of a professional security service.
Mr Key says the report notes that while the vetting of Mr Wilce was generally in compliance with the requirements and expectations of the day, the system was not yet “fit for purpose” in terms of efficiency and client focus.
“The State Services Commissioner has said further action needs to be taken to demonstrate confidence in the vetting system, and he will report back to me in the first half of this year. I have also asked a group of senior officials to closely monitor progress around this issue,” says Mr Key.
Two key initiatives will underpin the programme of action. An independent, international review of the current vetting system, along with other work, will be started in order to provide better information on the vetting system’s performance. In addition, the Director of Security is currently sampling 5 per cent of the Top Secret vettings undertaken at the time Mr Wilce was checked to provide an assurance that the failures were an exceptional event.
The Prime Minister asked the State Services Commissioner to investigate the vetting processes in respect of the appointment of Mr Wilce in order to ascertain whether the current processes were adequate and fit for purpose. This investigation was distinct from and independent of those initiated by the New Zealand Defence Force.
The general findings of the investigation are available on the State Services Commission website at: www.ssc.govt.nz/inquiry-security-clearance.Tweet