Records and conlficts of interest

Ross Francis made this Official Information request to Ministry of Justice

The request was partially successful.

From: Ross Francis

Dear Ministry of Justice,

What changes (if any) have been adopted by the Ministry to improve its record-keeping following the Ministerial Inquiry into the Peter Ellis case which ended in 2001?

The Ministry advised me in 2011 that former chief legal counsel Val Sim met or spoke with inquiry head Sir Thomas Eichelbaum on six occasions during the course of the Ministerial Inquiry. The Ministry acknowledges, however:

"It is important to note that this figure is unlikely to reflect all instances in which Ms Sim either met or spoke with Sir Thomas Eichelbaum…[t]his is because there are most likely discussions or meetings that took place, of which we are not aware and a record was not created."

Has the Ministry asked Ms Sim for an explanation as to why she appears to have ignored her record-keeping obligations? If so, what was Ms Sim's response? (Ms Sim was a Law Commissioner for about three years.)

When the Ministry hires an employee or contractor, does the Ministry ask the employee/contractor if they have any conflict(s) of interest to declare? Please send me all documents relating to the declaration of conflicts of interest held by the Ministry.

Yours faithfully,

Ross Francis

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From: correspondence, official
Ministry of Justice

Dear Mr Francis

Your request has been received by the Ministry and has been assigned to a business unit.

We will respond as in due course.

Kind regards

Antony Paltridge
Team Leader (Media and External Relations) | Communication Services
Ministry of Justice
DDI: +64 4 918 8980

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From: Orr, Jeff
Ministry of Justice

Attachment conflicts of interest.pdf
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Dear Ross Francis


The Ministry's record-keeping practices were robust in 2001 and remain so
today.  Of course, the governing legislation for records management
changed in 2005 with the enactment of the Public Records Act 2005.  Online
guidance and training materials on records management under that
legislation are available to Ministry staff.


Ms Sim has not been a Ministry employee since 2004.  She has not been
contacted to inquire about her record-keeping practices when she was a
Ministry employee.


The Ministry's policy documents relating to conflicts of interest are


Yours sincerely,



Jeff Orr

Chief Legal Counsel









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