29 Aug 2014

MSD staffer suspended over blog posts

12:00 pm on 29 August 2014

A Social Development Ministry staff member has been suspended over accusations they posted derogatory remarks on the Whale Oil oil blog about beneficiaries and politicians.

The comments were posted under a pseudonym but have been linked back to the Ministry's computer system.

The Ministry said it is taking the comments and actions very seriously.

Deputy chief executive Merv Dacre said the Ministry will take appropriate action after it has fully established the facts.

Mr Dacre said the Ministry's social media policy explicitly excludes staff from commenting on Ministry or other Government policy in a way that could impact their ability to be politically neutral.

Mr Dacre said the person suspended had signed up to the Ministry's Code of Conduct, which spells out the behaviour expected of staff, including political neutrality.