6 Dec 2014

Commission confirms earlier complaint

8:17 pm on 6 December 2014

The State Services Commission has confirmed several senior staff members complained about the behaviour of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)'s former chief executive before a formal sexual harassment complaint.

Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton - pictured here at a select committee meeting on 18 June 2014. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The commission has released further details about the lead-up to Mr Sutton's resignation in mid-November.

The information, released under the Official Information Act, shows senior authority staff members made an informal approach to the State Services Commissioner in mid-September, raising general concerns about Mr Sutton's behaviour.

No formal complaint was received at that point, but the commissioner spoke to Mr Sutton about the concerns raised, and discussed remedial action.

Later that month, a formal complaint was lodged about Mr Sutton.

The commission has now said it will review its guidelines on bullying and harassment in the workplace.

PSA welcomes review

The Public Service Association is welcoming the State Services Commission's review of workplace harassment guidelines

National secretary of the Public Service Association Richard Wagstaff said mistakes were clearly made in the handling of the high profile case, and it was crucial they were not repeated.

He said when one third of public servants had been bullied in the last six months, steps must be taken to address poor workplace culture.

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