Statement from Martyn Dunne, director-general of the Ministry for Primary Industries
The Ministry for Primary Industries has referred evidence of potential serious staff misconduct to the Serious Fraud Office.
As previously advised, MPI has also referred the matter to the State Services Commission and it is part of the SSC’s inquiry into the use of external security consultants including Thompson & Clark Investigations Limited.
The conduct of concern did not involve the contracting of Thompson & Clark by MPI but to other matters.
Information obtained to date suggests these matters occurred prior to October 2013. They involved staff no longer working for MPI.
MPI is extremely disappointed by the nature of the potential misconduct.
Measures are already underway internally to understand how the matters may have occurred – even though they occurred some years ago. This will contribute to a “lessons learned” exercise to ensure they cannot happen in the future.
We are confident that current processes, structure and culture make it unlikely these events would occur now.
MPI has held off disclosing the referral to the Serious Fraud Office until now to provide the SFO with the opportunity to properly evaluate the material provided by MPI.
MPI will be making no further comment on this matter while the SFO and SSC inquiries are underway.