1 Oct 2012

Cabinet Secretary to head review of spy agency

8:00 pm on 1 October 2012

The Cabinet Secretary is to oversee a review of the Government Communications Security Bureau, following revelations of its unlawful involvement in the Kim Dotcom case.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Paul Neazor, last week found the GCSB relied on incorrect police information about Mr Dotcom's residency and did not check further before intercepting his communications.

Prime Minister John Key says a brain fade by an individual was responsible for the illegal surveillance and he has apologised to Mr Dotcom.

Now Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge has been seconded to the GCSB to lead an immediate review of capability, governance and performance.

Mr Key says the bureau's director, Ian Fletcher, will decide whether or not anyone will lose their jobs, once he's finished reviewing what went wrong and who was directly responsible.

The Prime Minister has again defended the decision not to hold an independent inquiry, saying that, if warranted, people will be held accountable.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says while the review is not the fully independent inquiry that he has been calling for, it is a start. He says having the GCSB reviewed by someone who's "semi outside" it can't do any harm.

The Green Party has laid a complaint with police, alleging the bureau breached the Crimes Act. Mr Key says that's just a stunt, but says police will investigate if they believe there is merit in the complaint.