Report Will Be Studied

  • Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Jack Elder, says the Government will study the Internal Affairs Select Committee report on its financial review of the Fire Service but he has total confidence in the ability of the Commission, under its new Chair, Margaret Bazley to complete its modernisation task.

Mr Elder said the Committee's review covered the financial year 1997-98 and while the audit report noted a marked deterioration in the management and control environment of the Fire Service, it also noted that the Commission had undertaken a plan of action which was expected to address the issues raised.

Mr Elder said he had also required the Commission to report to him monthly on the progress it was making against the plan.

The select committee in its review recommended that the Government consider removing two "appointed" members of the Commission, the former Chairman, Roger Estall, and Brian Stanley.

Mr Elder said the Commission, in a response to the Committee, submitted there were no legal grounds for such a recommendation. Mr Estall, he said, had also advised the Chair of the Committee, Katherine O'Regan, the Commission felt "victimised and unfairly treated".